File - CYPA Psychology

Chapter 3: Consciousness and the Two-Track Mind
The Brain and Consciousness
a. Consciousness: our awareness of ourselves and our environment.
b. Cognitive neuroscience : the interdisciplinary study of the brain
activity linked with our mental processes.
i. “The mind is what the brain does,” (Minsky, 1986), we just
don’t know how it does it.
ii. May be the key to “reading minds”
c. Dual Processing
i. The principle that information is often simultaneously
processed on separate conscious and unconscious tracks
d. Two-track mind
i. “We know more than we know we know.”
ii. A visual perception track enables us to unconsciously
create mental “furniture” that lets us think about the world.
A visual action track guides our conscious, moment-tomoment actions.
iii. It seems, our brains are ahead of our minds.
1. Hollow face illusion
2. Neural activity actually precedes consciousness of it
iv. Selective attention: the focusing of conscious awareness on
a particular stimulus.
1. Your five senses take in 11,000,000 bits of
information per second
2. You consciously process about 40
3. Cocktail party effect
4. Selective attention and accidents
a. Texting while driving
5. Selective inattention
a. Inattentional blindness: failing to see visible
objects when our attention is directed
b. Change bias: failing to notice changes in the
c. Choice-blindness blindness
Sleep and dreams
a. Biological rhythms and sleep
i. Circadian rhythm: the biological clock; regular bodily
rhythms that occur on a 24-hour cycle.
1. Light influences the onset or delay of sleep
a. Suprachiasmtic nucleus (SCN)
b. Sends messages to the pineal gland through
the hypothalamus to decrease sleep hormone,
ii. Sleep Stages
1. REM Sleep: Discovered by mistake by Armond
Aserinsky, also known as paradoxical sleep
a. Heart rate rises
b. Breathing becomes rapid and irregular
c. Eye dart around (closed)
d. The body is internally aroused and externally
2. Sleep Waves:
3. Alpha: the relatively slow brain waves of a relaxed,
awake state.
4. Delta waves: the large, slow brain waves associated
with deep
iii. Hallucinations: false sensory experiences, such as seeing
something in the absence of an external visual stimulus.
iv. Sleep spindles: bursts of rapid, rhythmic brain-wave
b. Why do we sleep?
i. The effect of Sleep Loss
1. Effects mental functioning
2. Effects moods
3. Effects personal relationships
4. Make you fatter!!!
5. Suppress immune cells that fight infection
6. Increased mistakes and accidents
ii. Sleep Theories
1. A species’ sleep pattern tends to fit it’s ecological
2. Reduces free radicals; molecules that are toxic to
3. Sleep is for making memories
4. Feed creative thinking, better a solving difficult
problems after sleeping
5. Plays a growth in the growth process: the pituitary
gland releases a growth hormone during deep sleep.
c. Sleep Disorders
i. Insomnia: an inability to fall or stay sleep
ii. Narcolepsy: uncontrollable sleep attacks
iii. Sleep apnea: a sleep disorder characterized by temporary
cessations of breathing during sleep and repeated
momentary awakenings.
iv. Night terrors: characterized by high arousal and an
appearance of being terrified; unlike nightmares, night
terrors occur during Stage 4 sleep, with in two or three
hours of falling asleep and are seldom remembered.
d. Dreams
i. What We Dream
1. We spend six years of our life in dreams
2. 80% of dreams are at least partially negative
ii. Why We Dream
1. To satisfy our own wishes (Freud)
a. Dreams are key to understanding our inner
b. Manifest content: the remembered story line
of a dream
c. Latent content: underlying meaning of a
2. To file away memories
a. See as a way of information processing
b. But, memory consolidation may occur
independent of dreaming, including non-REM
3. To develop and preserve neural pathways
4. To make sense of neural static
a. Dreams are the brain’s attempt to make sense
of random neural activity (activationsynthesis theory)
5. To reflect cognitive development
a. Younger children’s dreams seem more like a
slide show and less like a story
a. Facts and Falsehoods
i. Can anyone experience hypnosis?
1. Hypnotic suggestibility
ii. Can hypnosis enhance recall of forgotten events?
1. These memories combine fact with fiction
2. Testimony from hypnosis is generally banned in
3. UFO claims
iii. Can hypnosis force people to act against their will?
1. An authoritative person in a legitimate context can
induce people – hypnotized or not—to perform
some unlikely acts.
iv. Can hypnosis be therapeutic?
1. Hypnotherapists
2. Posthypnotic suggestion: made during a hypnosis
session, to be carried out after the subject is no
longer hypnotizes; used by some clinicians to help
control undesired symptoms and behaviors.
3. No conclusive evidence that it is effective
v. Can hypnosis alleviate pain?
1. Yes
2. 10% of us can become so hypnotized that we can
even undergo major surgery without anesthesia.
b. Explaining the hypnotized state
i. Hypnosis as a social phenomenon
1. Social influence theory: hypnosis is an extension of
everyday social behavior, rather than something
ii. Hypnosis is divided consciousness
1. Dissociation: a split in consciousness, which allows
some thoughts and behaviors to occur
simultaneously with others.
2. Selective attention
a. Does not block sensory input but rather our
attention to that input
Drugs and consciousness
a. Dependence and addiction
i. Psychoactive drug: a chemical substance that alters
perceptions and moods
ii. Tolerance: the diminishing effect with regular use of the
same dose of a drug, requiring the user to take larger and
larger doses before experiencing the drug’s effect.
iii. Withdrawal: the discomfort and distress that follow
discontinuing the use of an addictive drug.
iv. Dependence
1. Physical
2. Psychological
v. Misconceptions about addiction
1. Myth 1: Addictive drugs quickly corrupt
2. Myth 2: Addictions cannot be overcome voluntarily;
therapy is required
3. Myth 3: We can extend the concept of addiction to
cover not just drug dependencies, but a whole
spectrum of repetitive, pleasure-seeking behaviors
b. Psychoactive Drugs:
i. Depressants
1. Alcohol
a. Disinhibition
b. Slowed neural processing
c. Memory disruption
d. Reduced self-awareness and self-control
e. Expectancy effects (kind of like placebo)
2. Barbiturate: drugs that depress the activity of the
central nervous system, reducing anxiety but
impairing memory and judgment
3. Opiates (opium, morphine, heroin)
a. Highly addictive
ii. Stimulants
1. Methamphetamine
a. Men have higher rates of addiction because
they release more dopamine when they take
2. Caffeine
3. Nicotine
4. Cocaine
5. Ecstasy/ MDMA: releases stored serotonin and
blocks it’s reabsorption
iii. Hallucinogens: distort perceptions and evoke sensory
images in the absence of sensory input
1. LSD
2. Marijuana
a. Experience can vary with the situation
c. Influence on Drugs Use
i. Biological Influences
1. Evidence says that it is addition and dependence is
highly genetic
ii. Psychological and Socio-cultural influences
1. Low life prospects increase drug use
2. Females with history of depression, eating disorders,
or sexual abuse are at a higher risk
3. Urban environemtns increase drug use
Near Death Experiences
a. Possible biological cause: oxygen deprivation
b. What do you think?