CONSCIOUSNESS

Awareness of one’s own perceptions, thought, feelings, sensations and external environment

FUNCTIONS OF CONSCIOUSNESS
• Restricts our attention • Combines sensation with learning and memory • Helps us select personally meaningful stimuli from the input of our senses • Allows us to draw on lessons stored in memory

• What is the nature of consciousness? • The brain creates consciousness when it combines external stimulation with internal experiences

STRUCTURES OF CONSCIOUSNESS

LEVELS OF CONSCIOUSNESS
• Preconsciousness (preconsciousness memories) – lie in the background of the mind until they are needed & are retrieved with relative ease • Subconscious – store of information that was registered in memory without being consciously attended to • Unconscious – part of the mind that houses memories, desires, & feelings that would be threatening if brought to consciousness

UNCONSCIOUS
(Sigmund Freud)

o Unconscious thoughts can shape behavior even though we may have no awareness of their existence o Harbors memories , desires & emotions that, at a conscious level, may cause anxiety

CONTINUUM OF CONSCIOUSNESS
• Controlled Processes – activities that require full awareness, alertness & concentration to reach some goal • Automatic Processes – require little awareness, take minimal attention, and do not interfere with other ongoing activities

CONTINUUM OF CONSCIOUSNESS
• Daydreaming – activities that require a low level of awareness, and involves fantasizing or dreaming while awake
• Attention focuses internally on memories, expectations, & desires • Occurs when people are alone, relaxed, engaged in a boring or routine task, or just about to fall asleep • May be a source of creativity

CONTINUUM OF CONSCIOUSNESS
• Altered states – mental state other than ordinary waking consciousness such as sleep, meditation, hypnosis, or a drug-induced state

SLEEP

• Circadian rhythms – physiological patterns that
repeat approximately every 24 hours

• Sleep debt – deficiency caused by not getting the
amount of sleep required

• Functions:

1. Conserve

2. Restore

STAGES OF SLEEP
• 1–

• • • •

fast brain waves similar to waking state 2 – slower EEG, punctuated by sleep spindles; drowsy state 3 & 4 – sleeper enters progressively deeper state of relaxed sleep; brain waves (also heart & breathing) slow dramatically As stage 4 ends, electrical activity of brain increases, sleeper climbs back up through stages in reverse order As brain reaches stage 1 again, waves become fast; sleeper now enters REM sleep, after few minutes, entire cycle begins to repeat itself (REM – rapid eye movements – quick bursts of eye movements at periodic intervals during sleep)

• • • • •

Do you often get sleepy in your classes? Do you sleep late on weekends? Do you usually get sleepy when you get bored? Do you often fall asleep while reading or watching TV? Do you usually fall asleep within five minutes of going to bed? • Do you awake in the morning feeling that you are not rested? • Would you oversleep if you did not use an alarm clock to drive you out of bed?

SLEEP DISORDERS
 Insomnia  Sleep Apnea – respiratory d/o where person
intermittently stops breathing while asleep

 Narcolepsy – disorder of REM sleep, involving sudden REMsleep attacks accompanied by cataplexy

 Cataplexy – sudden loss of muscle control that may occur just
before a narcoleptic sleep attack; waking form of sleep paralysis (Sleep paralysis – inability to move any of the voluntary muscles, except those controlling the eyes; normally occurs during REM sleep)

DREAMS
- psychoanalytic view • “royal road to the unconscious” (Freud)  Guardian role by relieving psychic tensions created during the day  Wish-fulfillment: allowing dreamer to work through unconscious desires  Clues to motives & conflicts  Relates to recent experience

DREAMS
- biological view • Activation-synthesis theory (Hobson & McCarley): dreams begin with random electrical activation coming from the brain stem. Dreams, then, are the brain’s attempt to make sense of – to synthesize – this random activity

ALTERED STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS
THROUGH CONCENTRATION & SUGGESTION

• Meditation –form of consciousness change often induced by • Hypnosis – an induced alternate state of awareness,

focusing on a repetitive behavior, assuming certain body positions & minimizing external stimulation characterized by heightened suggestibility and (usually) deep relaxation

Hypnosis
• Procedure where hypnotist uses power of suggestion to induce changes in thoughts, feeling, sensation, perception in another person • Hypnotizability – degree to which an individual is responsive to hypnotic suggestions • Uses: research; pain control; desensitizisation (phobia)

ALTERED STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS
AND DRUG-INDUCED STATES  PSYCHOACTIVE DRUGS –drugs that influence subjective experience & behavior by acting on the nervous system; alter normal mental functioning (e.g. mood, perception, or thought  STIMULANTS – speed up activity in the CNS, suppress appetite, & cause a person  DEPRESSANTS  HALLUCINOGENS

DRUG ADMINISTRATION and ABSORPTION
Ingestion Injection Inhalation Absorption through mucous membranes of the nose, mouth, and rectum

DRUG ADDICTION
(slavery to a substance)

• Physical dependence – compulsive pattern of drug use where user develops drug tolerance coupled w/unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when drug is discontinued • Psychological dependence – craving or irresistible urge for a drug’s pleasurable effects

DRUG ADDICTION
(slavery to a substance)

• Drug tolerance – when user becomes progressively less affected by the drug so that larger & larger doses are necessary to maintain the same effect • Withdrawal symptoms – usu. physical & psychological, when a regularly used drug is discontinued • Addicts –habitual drug users who continue to use drugs despite its adverse effects on their health & social life and despite their repeated efforts to stop using it.

COMMONLY ABUSED DRUGS
 STIMULANTS (“uppers”)  DEPRESSANTS (“downers”)
 HALLUCINOGENS

(“psychedelics”)

STIMULANTS
(drugs that speed up activity in the CNS, suppress appetite, & cause perform to feel more awake, alert, & energetic)

- Caffeine - Nicotine - Amphetamines (increase arousal, relieve
fatigue, improve alertness, & suppress the appetite)

- Cocaine (produces feeling of euphoria)

DEPRESSANTS
(decrease activity in CNS, slow down bodily functions, & reduce sensitivity to outside stimulation) • Alcohol • Barbiturates - addictive
depressants used as sedative, sleeping pills & anesthetics

• Narcotics – derived from
opium poppy & produces painrelieving & calming effects (ex. Heroin – derived from morphine)

• Benzodiazepines or Anxiolytics – calms user
(ex. Valium)

HALLUCINOGENS
(alter perception & mood and can cause hallucinations)

o Marijuana – effects from relaxation & giddiness to
perceptual distortions & hallucinations

o LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) – unpredictable
effects ranging from perceptual changes & vivid hallucinations to states of panic & terror

o MDMA (methylene-dioxy-metamphetamine) –
produces both stimulant & psychedelic effects (ex. Ecstasy)