Consciousness is the processing of information at various levels of awareness.
According to Freud, there are three main Levels of Consciousness:
Psychologists divide the Study of Consciousness into two distinct categories:
Waking Consciousness: The awareness of sensations and thoughts while we are awake.
Psychologists study Waking Consciousness through:
Altered State of Consciousness: a state of consciousness in which there is a redirection of attention, a different type of mental state.
Examples of ASC are:
There are two main types of sleep:
REM: Rapid Eye Movement sleep, a very active type of sleep
Non-REM: non-Rapid Eye Movement sleep, envelops the more passive stages of sleep
Electroencephalogram (EEG): the record of brain wave activity.
When we go to bed each night, we pass through four stages of non-Rem sleep before reaching REM sleep.
Stage 1: Relaxation to sound sleep
Stage 2: Deeper Sleep, harder to awaken
Stage 3: Bounce between stage 2,4
Stage 4: "deep sleep" - hard to wake up
REM Sleep: "dream sleep"
Most dreaming occurs during REM sleep. When awaken from REM sleep, 83% of people could recall their dreams.
Michael Jouvet: leading researcher in the field of neural sleep control
Raphe Nucleus: Area in the back of the brain involved in non-REM sleep.
Locus Coeruleus: Area of the brain that is involved in REM sleep -> inhibits muscle tone -> paralyzing the person from acting in their dreams.
What exactly are the functions of sleep?
One must be deprived of sleep and then note changes that occur in their behavior.
What are the results of sleep deprivation?
Dyssomnias: chief symptom of the disturbance in the amount and quality of sleep.
Parasomnias: chief symptom is an unusual event that disturbs sleep.
Insomnia: the inability to sleep.
Sleep Apnea: a person may fall asleep easily, but then breathing stops and you wake up gasping for air.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS, aka "Crib Death"):
Narcolepsy: sleep disorder
Sleep walking- NonREM stage of sleep. Person walks in his/her own sleep.
Sleep Terror Disorder- occurs when children wake up screaming and when asked not know why.
Drug: any foreign chemical substance that alters the functioning of a biological system.
Psychoactive Drug: causes changes in behavior and cognition by modifying conscious awareness.
Psychopharmacology: the science of the effects of psychoactive drugs on behavior and cognition.
ex. Alcohol, opium and Nicotine.
Psychological Dependence- when a person craves the drug even though it is not biologically need in the body in order to survive.
Physical Dependence: a condition in which the habitual user's body becomes biochemically dependent; if the person stops taking the drugs, they will experience unpleasant physical reactions.
Depressants: central nervous system active drugs that have a sedative, or sleep inducing efect.
This group generally includes:
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: Infants born to women alcoholics have congenital malformations.
Sense of pleasure and euphoria, user quickly develops a tolerance and addiction.
Caffeine and nicotine, cocaine and amphetamines.
Psychedelic Drugs: (aka hallucinogens), not only change in emotional feelings but also changes the perception of the external workd.
This group generally includes:
-Effects include brightly colored visual illusions and vivid dreamlike thoughts.
-Sense of existing outside the body.
-Intense emotional feelings
-Social and physical setting can determine the degree of the altered state of consciousness.
-Dates back to around 2,700 BC.
-Mixture of leaves and flowers of a cannibus plant.
-psychological effects include a sense of well being, feelings of relaxation and vivid awareness of perceptions.
-High doses result in confusion, hallucinations and feelings of panic.
-Used to treat several disruptions in psychological functions in people.
Patients treated seem to be more relaxed and less anxious then they were before.
There drugs are not usually used for recreational purposes.
What is hypnosis?
-Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness and involves producing trances in people. These may have a hallucinatory or dreamlike quality but the alteration of brain wave activity is the main object of applying various techniques of inducing an hypnotic state.
-Hypnosis can be induced in various ways but in a therapeutic setting it is almost invariably done via suggestion (verbal and non-verbal). Shock and Command can also be used to induce an hypnotic state as can other ethically dubious subtle methods of waking-hypnosis and sleeping-hypnosis.
Hypnosis in a therapeutic setting is most likely to involve:
-A relaxing setting
-A preamble designed to settle the client down (but not necessarily remove anxiety, which can be exploited to induce trance by building an expectation) and preparation of the subject for the session
-Suggestions that aim to turn attention inward and help to relax the body and the mind, progressively
-A test of the depth of the state of hypnosis may be executed (e.g. eye closure, rigid arm)
-Information gathering and/ or a therapeutic undertaking
-Arousal to normal waking state.
No one type of personality is distinctly more susceptible to being hypnotized than another although an inability to focus thoughts and unusually rigid mind can be problematic.
Ernest Hilgard (1987) reported that the best subjects for hypnosis are those who have good imaginations and the ability to fantasize.
What are some of the uses of hypnosis?
Most common use of hypnosis has been in controlling everyday behavior problems.
Hypnosis can be used to help individuals to remember events that have been forgotten. Great care needs to be taken to investigate 'lost' memories using an objective method as the heightened suggestibility of the mind in an hypnotic trance can lead to the induction of false memories when possible 'facts' are implied by the practitioner's questioning method. The consensus seems to be that the use of hypnosis for lost memory recovery does not offer a distinct advantage over other systematic methods of uncovering forgotten memories. More research is required to identify the best method of recovering lost memories.
-Witnesses to remember crime details
-Victims to remember facts.
What do you think of the validity of the results? Can we trust the results???
Meditation: the practice of some form of relaxed concentration that can block distracting sensory stimuli.
Effects of Meditation: Enhance self-esteem and confidence. Reduces stress, anxiety and blood pressure.
Types of Meditaion:
-Zen: focus is on breathing
-Yoga: focus is on a phrase, assume a certain position or object.
-Transcendental: repeats a certain sound over a period of time.
-Restricted -Environmental -Stimulation -Technique
Technique is used to study sensory deprivation -> when stimuli availiable to an individual reduced drastically.