PSYC101, Week 7, Consciousness Pt. 1
PSYC101, Week 7, Consciousness Pt. 1 PSYC 101
Popular in General Psychology
Popular in Psychology (PSYC)
This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Samantha Wammack on Sunday October 9, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC 101 at Boise State University taught by Brian Stone in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 5 views. For similar materials see General Psychology in Psychology (PSYC) at Boise State University.
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Date Created: 10/09/16
Consciousness Pt. 1 (Sleep) 10/6/16 Consciousness: Awareness of self and world. A creature’s subjective sense of the world and of its own mental states. • So when you are aware of something or attending to something, that thing is in your consciousness. • Even if the thing you are aware of is: o Your own mental state (“I am sad now”) o Your consciousness itself (awareness that “I am conscious” and awareness that “I am aware that I am conscious” “Unconscious” is a term used ambiguously, so we have to be careful to ask what someone means: • Completely lacking consciousness: Totally knocked out, com, dead, where your brain registers no sensations, thoughts, or motor commands. • Things you aren’t conscious of right now: Things you aren’t aware of and not attending to BUT nonetheless affect your behavior. o Example: you are busy in conversation and you suddenly hear your name being called. o Your brain was processing all of the incoming sounds behind - the-scenes (totally out of awareness) for important things. o Also called “Cognitive Unconsciousness” “Cognitive Unconsciousness”: all the automatic mental processes that are going on in your brain that you are not (currently) aware of or experiencing. • Example: Learning new things by exposure without realizing it. (When a baby learns to walk…falls down…walk again. • A lot of intermediate steps in a complex thought • Implicit associations and attitudes (like very subtle racist or sexist reactions even if consciously not acting or believing those things. Example: Blindsight • Eyes are fine but Area V1 (in occipital lobe) is damaged, so no visual experience at all. • But the patient can navigate a blocked hallway or catch thrown objects despite being blind. • Turns out a small # of neural connections from eye go directly to the dorsal stream (bypassing the usual V1) Can we manipulate behavior using subliminal messages? • Subliminal messages occur so fast or subtly that they cannot be consciously perceived. It seems V1 is necessary for Example: A sign in the movie theatre that conscious visual experience says “Buy some popcorn” (“seeing”) but even without • Unfortunately, subliminal messages: any visual perception, we o rarely have any affect can unconsciously use light o tiny effect (1/10 that of a input (sensation) for very perceivable message) spatial tasks. o usually only works in situations where it matches the persons existing goals/intentions. Consciousness- Sleep Sleep: An altered state of consciousness 2 ß Beta Waves Awake Relaxed/drowsy ß Alpha waves Stage 1 sleep ßTheta Stage 2 sleep Stage 3 sleep. ß Delta • Stage 1 sleep is also called NREM-1 • Dreaming doesn’t happen in any of those stages….only REM sleep. REM Sleep (Rapid Eye Movement): • This is when most dreams happen. • Brain/Physio active, but body is paralyzed. • Happens in cycles between cycles of deep sleep (stage 3), throughout the night. • More REM and less Stage 3 deep sleep as the night goes on. Why do humans and animals sleep ? (Not testing specifically) o Some theories: § Memory consolidation § To save energy/calories § Protection from dangers in the night § Regenerate myelin sheath § Threat/instinct rehearsal (body practices automatic physiological reactions to threats, mating, etc. in a no-risk content) § Other? Combination? We don’t know (yet). 3 Do animals dream? • We can see dogs and cats move in their Fact sleep but that doesn’t prove that they are Dolphins sleep but don’t having a dream drown. They sleep with • However, we do have good evidence that at one hemisphere of their least many mammals dream. brain at a time. Example: MIT hooked up electrodes to measure a rat’s brain as it ran a maze a bunch of times. • Very distinct patterns of bran activity during maze running (could distinguish running from walking, left turns from right turns , using brain activity) • Found these same patterns of activity during stages of rat sleep similar to REM in humans. Why do we dream? • Freud thought dreaming was the symbolic bubbling up of suppressed thoughts/urges, and he made up whatever explanations he wanted to, with no good way to test it. • Memory consolidation (but this happens in non-REM too) (and if we dream about things that didn’t happened). • “Defragmenting” metaphor from computers: it’s a way of cleaning up loose neural connections and strengthening important ones. (aka…garbage collection). • Activation Synthesis model: during sleep there’s a random neural firing (not brain dead) and the brain always automatically interprets neural input as perceptions so here it tries to construct perceptions out of random firing. • Problem solving…solve lingering problems…” free association” 4
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