General
Psychology
Scripture
• Matthew 5:7
Blessed are the merciful, for they will
receive mercy
The merciful - The tender-hearted: they
who love others as themselves: They
shall obtain mercy - Whatever mercy
therefore we desire from God, we
should show the same to others. He will
repay us a thousand fold, the love we
bear to any for his sake.
Forms of Consciousness
Psychology’s Relationship to this Topic
Psychology was once
defined as “the description
and explanation of states of
consciousness.”
Now, consciousness is just
one topic among many for
psychologists.
Cognitive
neuroscience
allows us to
revisit this topic
and see how the
brain is involved.
Brain and
Consciousness:
Findings and Debates
Finding
Some rare
“unconscious” patients
have brain responses to
conversation.
Implication
Don’t judge a book
by its cover when it
comes to
consciousness.
Debate
What is going on
in the brain that
generates our
experience of
consciousness?
One View
Synchronized, coordinated
brain activity generates
consciousness, or at least
is a sign that conscious
activity is occurring.
Conscious vs. Unconscious Activity:
The Dual-Track Mind
Conscious “high” track:
our minds take deliberate
actions we know we are
doing
Examples: problem solving,
naming an object, defining a
word
Unconscious “low” track:
our minds perform automatic
actions, often without being
aware of them
Examples: walking, acquiring
phobias, processing sensory
details into perceptions and
memories
Example in the book (borrowed from the Sensation
and Perception topic:
Automatic processing:
Conscious “high”
track says, “I saw a
bird!”
Unconsciously, we
see:
Think before you act?
 In one study, students
showed brain activity
related to pushing a button
BEFORE they were aware
of their decision to push
the button.
 Does this mean the
“decision” is an illusion?
Why Have Two Tracks?
Possible benefit: not
having to think about
everything we do all at
once
Examples
 You can hit or catch a
ball without having to
consciously calculate
its trajectory.
 You can speak without
having to think about
the definitions of each
word.
 You can walk and chew
gum AND carry on a
conversation.
Unusual Consequences of Having a
Dual-Track Mind
Blindsight
Selective
Attention
Selective
Inattention
 Inattentional
blindness
 Change blindness
 Choice blindness
Blindsight
Case Study
A woman with brain
damage, but NO eye
damage, was unable to
use her eyes to report
what was in front of
her.
BUT, she was able to use
her eyes to help her
take actions such as
putting mail in slots.
What are the two
mental “tracks” in this
case?
Describing the mail and
the slot:
the “high road,” or
conscious track, in this
case known as the
visual perception track
Judging size and distance
well enough to put the
mail in the slot:
the “low road,” or
unconscious, automatic
track, in this case known
as the visual action track
Selective Attention
 There are millions of bits
of information coming at
our senses every second.
 So, we have the skill of
selective attention; our
brain is able to choose a
focus and select what to
notice.
Selective Attention and
Conversation
 The good news: we can focus
our mental spotlight on a
conversation even when other
conversations are going on
around us. This is known as
the cocktail party effect.
 The bad news: we can
hyperfocus on a conversation
while driving a car, putting the
driver and passengers at risk.
Selective Attention:
what we focus on,
what we notice
Selective Inattention:
what we are not focused
on, what we do not notice
Selective inattention refers to our
failure to notice part of our
environment when our attention is
directed elsewhere.
Selective Inattention:
 inattentional blindness
 change blindness
 choice blindness
Inattentional Blindness
 Various experiments show that when our attention is
focused, we miss seeing what others may think is
obvious to see (such as a gorilla, or a unicyclist).
 Some “magic” tricks take advantage of this
phenomenon.
Change Blindness
The Switch
Two-thirds of people didn’t
notice when the person they
were giving directions to was
replaced by a similar-looking
person.
By the way, did you notice
whether the replacement
person was in the same
clothes or different clothes?
Choice Blindness
In one experiment, people chose their favorite among
two jams. But when the jar’s contents were
deceptively reversed and tasted again, people
described the same jar’s contents as their chosen jam.
The researcher flips the divided containers, so that the next
taste from that jar is actually the other jam.
Sleep as a State of Consciousness
When sleeping, are we fully
unconscious and “dead to
the world”?
Or is the window to
consciousness open?
Consider that:
we move around, but how do we
stop ourselves from falling out of
bed?
we sometimes incorporate realworld noises into our dreams.
some noises (our own baby’s
cry) wake us more easily than
others.
How Do We Learn About
Sleep and Dreams?
 We can monitor EEG/brain
waves and muscle
movements during sleep.
 We can expose the
sleeping person to noise
and words, and then
examine the effects on the
brain (waves) and mind
(memory).
 We can wake people and
see which mental state
(e.g. dreaming) goes with
which brain/body state.
Sleep and
Biological
Rhythms
 24 hour biological
“clock”
 90 minute sleep
cycle
Daily Rhythms and Sleep
The circadian (“about a
day”) rhythm refers to the
body’s natural 24-hour cycle,
roughly matched to the
day/night cycle of light and
dark.
What changes during the 24
hours?
Over the 24 hour cycle, the
following factors vary, rising
and falling over the course of
the day and night:
 body temperature
 arousal/energy
 mental sharpness
“Larks” and “Owls”
Daily rhythms vary from
person to person and with
age.
General peaks in alertness:
evening peak—20-year old
“owls”
morning peak—50-year
old “larks”
Sleep Stages and Sleep Cycles:
What is Measured?
Stages and Cycles of Sleep
Sleep stages refer to distinct patterns
of brain waves and muscle activity that
are associated with different types of
consciousness and sleep.
Sleep cycles refer to
the patterns of shifting
through all the sleep
stages over the course
of the night. We
“cycle” through all the
sleep stages in about
90 minutes on average.
There
are
four
types
of
sleep.
Falling Asleep:
From Alert to Alpha
Eyes Closed
Alpha waves are the relatively slow brain
waves of a relaxed, awake state.
Falling asleep
 Yawning creates a brief boost in
alertness as your brain metabolism is
slowing down.
 Your breathing slows down.
 Brain waves become slower and
irregular.
 You may have hypnagogic (while
falling asleep) hallucinations.
 Your brain waves change from alpha
waves to NREM-1.
Non-REM Sleep Stages
Getting deeper into sleep…
but not dreaming yet
NREM-1
NREM-2
NREM-3
REM Sleep
Eugene
Aserinsky’s
discovery
(1953):
dreams
occurred
during
periods of
wild brain
activity and
rapid eye
movements
[REM sleep].
What happens during
REM sleep?
 Heart rate rises and
breathing becomes rapid.
 “Sleep paralysis” occurs
when the brainstem blocks
the motor cortex’s
messages and the muscles
don’t move. This is
sometimes known as
“paradoxical sleep”; the
brain is active but the body
is immobile.
Stages of Sleep:
The 90 Minute Cycles
Through 8 Hours of Sleep
The length of REM sleep increases the longer you remain asleep.
With age, there are more awakenings and less deep sleep.
NREM-1
NREM-2
NREM-3
Why do we sleep?
What determines the quantity and rhythm of sleep?
The amount and
pattern of sleep
is affected by
biology, age,
culture, and
individual
variation.
Light and the
brain regulate
sleep.
 Age: in general, newborns need 16 hours of
sleep, while adults need 8 hours or less
 Individual (genetic) variation: some people
function best with 6 hours of sleep, others with
9 hours or more
 Culture: North Americans sleep less than
others, and less than they used to, perhaps
because of the use of light bulbs
 The circadian rhythm is hard to shift (jet lag).
 This rhythm can be affected by light, which
suppresses the relaxing hormone melatonin.
Why do we sleep?
What does sleep do for us?
1. Sleep protected our ancestors from
predators.
2. Sleep restores and repairs the brain and
body.
3. Sleep builds and strengthens memories.
4. Sleep facilitates creative problem
solving.
5. Sleep is the time when growth
hormones are active.
Effects of
Sleep Loss/
Deprivation
Research shows that
inadequate sleep can
make you more likely
to:
 lose brainpower.
 gain weight.
 get sick.
 be irritable.
 feel old.
Sleep Loss Effects
by Body System
Sleep Loss/Deprivation=Accident Risk
Accident
Frequency
Sleep loss
results in
more
accidents,
probably
caused by
impaired
attention and
slower
reaction time.
Sleep Hygiene
How to Sleep Well
1. Turn the lights low and
turn all screens off.
2. Eat earlier, and drink
less alcohol and
caffeine.
3. Get up at the same time
every day.
4. Exercise (late afternoon
is best).
5. Don’t check the clock;
just let it happen.
6. Get counseling for
anxiety and depression.
Sleep Disorders
Are these people
dreaming?
 Night terrors refer to
sudden scared-looking
• Insomnia: persistent inability
behavior, with rapid
to fall asleep or stay asleep
heartbeat and
• Narcolepsy (“numb seizure”):
breathing.
sleep attacks, even a collapse
into REM/paralyzed sleep, at  Sleepwalking and
sleeptalking run in
inopportune times
families, so there is a
• Sleep apnea (“with no
possible genetic basis.
breath”): repeated awakening
These behaviors,
after breathing stops; time in
mostly affect
bed is not restorative sleep
children, and occur in
NONREM-3 sleep.
They are not
considered dreaming.
Dreams
the stream of images, actions, and
feelings, experienced while in REM sleep
What We Dream About
 Dreams often include
some negative event or
emotion, especially
failure dreams (being
pursued, attacked,
rejected, or having bad
luck).
 Dreams do NOT often
include sexuality.
 We may incorporate realworld sounds and other
stimuli into dreams.
 Dreams also include
images from recent,
traumatic, or frequent
experiences.
What We Dream About:
(Psychoanalytic Theory)
Sigmund Freud believed there was
often a hidden “latent content”
(conflicts, worries, and urges)
underneath the symbolic
“manifest content” (the plot,
actions, and images recalled) of
dreams.
Theories about Functions of Dreams
Theory
Explanation
Lacks any
Dreams provide a “psychic safety
scientific
valve”;
they
often
express
Wish fulfillment
support;
otherwise
unacceptable
feelings,
(psychodreams may be
and
contain
both
manifest
analytic theory)
interpreted in
(remembered) content and a latent many
different
content (hidden meaning).
But why
do we
ways.
sometimes
Dreams help us sort out the day’s
Informationdream about
events and consolidate our
processing
This may
be
things
we have
memories.
true,not
but it
Regular brain stimulation from REM experienced?
does not
Physiological
The
sleep may help develop and
explain
why we
function
individual’s
preserve neural pathways.
experience
brain is
meaningful
REM sleep triggers impulses that
weaving
the
dreams.
Activationevoke random visual memories,
stories, which
synthesis
which our sleeping brain weaves
still tells us
into stories.
something
Does not
Dream
content
reflects
the
about
the
Cognitiveaddress
the
dreamers’
cognitive
dreamer.
developmental development—his or her
neuroscience of
theory
dreams.
knowledge and understanding.
THE EPWORTH SLEEPINESS SCALE
no chance of dozing = 0
slight chance of dozing = 1
moderate chance of dozing = 2
high chance of dozing = 3
SITUATION CHANCE OF DOZING
Sitting and reading____________
Watching TV____________
Sitting inactive in a public place (e.g a theater or a meeting)____________
As a passenger in a car for an hour without a break____________
Lying down to rest in the afternoon when circumstances permit____________
Sitting and talking to someone____________
Sitting quietly after a lunch without alcohol____________
In a car, while stopped for a few minutes in traffic____________
THE EPWORTH SLEEPINESS
SCALE
• 1 – 6 Congratulations, you are getting
enough sleep!
• 7 – 8 Your score is average
• 9 and up Seek the advice of a sleep
specialist without delay
Dreams
Dream and Interpretation
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General_Psychology_files/Chapter Three Part One 2014 - K-Dub