4. States of Consciousness (Ch 4)

4.1 Sleep and Dreaming

  • Consciousness

    • A state of awareness about ourselves and our environment
    • Many varieties of consciousness, both natural and induced
  • Circadian Rhythms

    • Body’s natural cycle of fluctuations of natural processes

      • Temperature
      • Hormone levels
      • Level of wakefulness
    • About 25 hour clock when under “Free Running” conditions

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  • Biological rhythms of sleep as measured by EEG

    • Five stages of sleep and differing brain waves

    • Stage 1: Alpha waves

      • hypnogogic sensations
    • Stage 2: Theta waves

      • sleep spindles
      • K-complexes
    • Stage 3: delta waves

    • Stage 4: slow wave sleep

    • REM: paradoxical sleep


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  • Sleep disorders

    • insomnia
    • hypersomnia
    • narcolepsy
    • sleep apnea

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  • REM rebound

    • dreams appear necessary
    • If REM deprived, longer periods will occur
  • Theories about Dreaming

    • Freud’s theory of dreams
      • manifest content disguised as latent content


    • Activation-synthesis theory
      • Constructed story to explain images from random neural activation

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    • Information-processing model
      • dreams are a way to consolidate information

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4.2. Hypnosis and meditation

  • Hypnosis

    • induced state of consciousness

    • heightened state of motivation

    • deep relaxation and heightened suggestibility

    • dissociation: split in consciousness



  • Meditation

    • heightening ones' awareness
    • practice of acknowledging content of the mind
    • promote relaxation, energy and compassion

4.3. Psychoactive Drug Effects

  • Produce a different state of consciousness by mimicking, inhibiting or stimulating activity of neurotransmitter

  • Depressants: alcohol, barbiturates, opiates

  • Stimulants: cocaine, amphetamines

  • Hallucinogens: LSD, mescaline, psilocybin

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  • According to current psychological research, hypnosis is most useful for which of the following purposes?
    • (A) Pain control
    • (B) Age regression
    • (C) Treatment of psychotic behavior
    • (D) Treatment of a memory disorder
    • (E) Treatment of a personality disorder
  • Which of the following drugs is most likely to cause hyperalertness, agitation, and general euphoria?
    • (A) A barbiturate
    • (B) A stimulant
    • (C) A hallucinogen
    • (D) An antidepressant
    • (E) An antipsychotic
  • Brain waves during REM sleep generally appear as
    • (A) alternating high- and low-amplitude waves
    • (B) rapid low-amplitude waves
    • (C) irregular medium-amplitude waves
    • (D) slow low-amplitude waves
    • (E) slow high-amplitude waves
  • According to the activation-synthesis hypothesis of dreaming, dreams serve which of the following purposes?
    • (A) To protect the ego from the unconscious struggles of the mind
    • (B) To make sense of random neural activity during sleep
    • (C) To provide unfiltered problem solving of encounters that occurred while awake
    • (D) To provide a window into the unconscious, revealing true wishes and desires
    • (E) To provide learning and rehearsal of material encountered while a person is awake

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