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Consciousness

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					Consciousness
What is Consciousness?
           • It is the awareness of
             things inside and
             outside ourselves
           • It cannot be seen,
             touched, or looked at
             directly
           • There are different
             ways of looking at
             consciousness
           • There are different
             levels of
             consciousness
      Meanings of Consciousness
• Sensory awareness – you
  are aware of the sights,
  sounds, noises, and smells
  around you
• Selective attention – being
  able to screen out some
  stimuli to focus on a
  particular stimulus (paying
  attention in class)
• Direct inner awareness –
  you are aware of thoughts,
  emotions, images, and
  memories without using
  your senses – they are
  inside of you
• Sense of self – you are
  aware of yourself and your
  existence as a unique
  individual
        Levels of Consciousness
•   Conscious
•   Preconscious
•   Unconscious
•   Non-conscious
Conscious

     • People are aware of
       themselves, their
       thoughts, and
       perceptions
     • You are conscious
       when you are aware of
       your awareness
   Preconscious
• Your preconscious is where
  all of the information goes
  that you can recall if
  necessary
• This is where you store
  memories, experiences,
  random bits of information,
  etc.
• They are not always in your
  awareness, but you can
  become aware of them by
  focusing your attention on
  them
Unconscious
      • Sometimes called the
        subconscious
      • This is where information gets
        stored that you are not able to
        become aware of
      • You may repress painful
        memories here, or socially
        unacceptable urges and
        impulses
      • Freud believed your actions
        were heavily influenced by the
        information you store in your
        unconscious
                 Non-Conscious
• Most of your biological
  functions happen at this
  level – you do not have to
  think about them for your
  body to continue doing them
• You may not even be aware
  they are happening
• Heartbeat, pupils dilating,
  your fingernails growing,
  breathing
  Altered States of Consciousness
• Occurs when a person’s sense of self or sense
  of the world changes
• You may no longer be aware of what is going
  on around you
  • Sleep, hypnosis, drug-induced state
Sleep and Dreams
Some Background Information
              • Humans spend about 1/3
                of their lives asleep
              • The amount of time we
                spend asleep depends on
                our circadian rhythms,
                or biological clocks
              • Body temperature, brain
                activity, and blood
                pressure change
                significantly when we are
                sleeping
              The Stages of Sleep
• Every stage of sleep has a
  different brain wave pattern
• When we are alert, the brain
  emits beta waves (short and
  quick)
• When we are relaxed, the
  brain emits alpha waves (a
  little longer and slower)
• Stage 1 (light sleep) – brain
  waves slow down more to
  theta waves
    – People might see vivid images
      that they can recall if they are
      awakened
    – Lasts about 30-40 minutes
The Stages of Sleep (cont.)
             • Stage 2 (moderate sleep) – brain
               waves continue to slow more,
               becomes harder to wake people
               up
             • Stage 3 (deep sleep) – brain
               waves slow down to delta waves,
               pretty hard to wake someone up
             • Stage 4 (deepest sleep) – brain
               waves are at their slowest, it is
               very hard to wake someone up
               at this level
             • After about 30 minutes at stage
               4, people begin to move back up
               the stages to 3, then 2 and 1
             • People will return to stage 1
               about 90 minutes after they fall
               asleep
                       REM Sleep
• REM – Rapid Eye Movement
• Occurs after people complete a
  sleep stage cycle, brain
  produces waves similar to those
  made in stage 1
• Blood pressure goes up,
  breathing becomes irregular,
  heart beats faster, and eyes
  move quickly from side to side
• People complete about 5 sleep
  cycles when they sleep for 8
  hours – REM sleep becomes
  longer with each cycle
Why Do We Sleep?
        • Sleep helps the body
          recover physically by
          reviving tired muscles
          and organs as well as
          boosting resistance to
          infection
        • Sleep also helps people
          deal with psychological
          health, like stress
        • People sleep more when
          they are under more
          stress
                Randy Gardner
• 17 year old who stayed up
  for almost 11 days without
  any sleep
• Became very irritable
• Could not focus his eyes
  and had difficulty speaking
• Had memory lapses,
  hallucinations, and
  delusions
• Took Gardner several days
  to return to normal
  circadian rhythm
                          Dreams
• EVERYONE dreams, but
  some people have more
  difficulty remembering their
  dreams than others
• We have the most vivid
  dreams during REM sleep
• People can dream in black &
  white or in color
• Many dreams have plots and
  vivid images and often involve
  people we know
• Scientists and psychologists
  are not sure why we dream
  and they disagree about the
  meaning of dreams
What Do Dreams Mean?
          • Freud thought that dreams
            reflected your unconscious
            urges and desires – because
            some of the things in our
            unconscious are painful or
            undesirable, we symbolize
            them in our dreams
          • Biological psychologists
            believe we dream because our
            neurons fire at random during
            sleep and our brain tries to
            make sense of this jumble of
            messages
          • There is no agreed-upon set of
            rules for interpreting dreams
                     Insomnia
• This is the inability to
  sleep, people tend to
  experience it when going
  through periods of anxiety
  or tension
• It can worsen if you try
  too hard to fall asleep
• Occasional insomnia is
  pretty common and
  usually goes away on its
  own
Nightmares and Night Terrors
              • Most people have had
                nightmares, and certain
                themes in nightmares are fairly
                common
              • People who are anxious or
                depressed tend to have more
                nightmares – they occur during
                REM sleep
              • Night terrors are more severe
                than nightmares and occur
                during stage 3 & 4 sleep –
                people usually do not fully
                wake up during night terrors
              • They usually occur in young
                children whose nervous
                system has not developed
              Sleepwalking
• Many children walk
  during stages 3 and 4
  of the sleep cycle
• They may hold
  conversations with
  people, but if
  awakened they will
  not remember what
  they said or did
• Most people outgrow
  sleepwalking
                 Sleep Apnea
• Occurs when people stop
  breathing temporarily
  during sleep because
  their air passages are
  blocked
• Causes the body to jolt
  out of deep sleep, though
  people may not wake up
• Can lead to tiredness
  throughout the day, high
  blood pressure, heart
  attacks, and strokes
Narcolepsy
     • Is very rare, occurs
       when people fall
       asleep any time,
       anywhere
     • Can be extremely
       dangerous and is
       usually treatable with
       drug therapy and
       frequent naps
  Drugs and
Consciousness
How Do Drugs Affect the Body?
               • Different types of drugs
                 affect the body in different
                 ways
               • All drugs cause the
                 nervous system to
                 function abnormally
               • Some drugs are
                 addictive, causing the
                 body to crave them just to
                 feel normal
               • Some drugs are
                 connected to the
                 development and
                 progression of serious
                 diseases
     Depressants -
     Alcohol
• Depressants slow the activity
  of the nervous system and
  generally make people feel
  relaxed
• Alcohol and narcotics are
  depressants
• Alcohol causes intoxication,
  which can include slurred
  speech, blurry vision, balance
  problems, and lack of
  concentration
• Causes a lack of judgment and
  impaired coordination
• Long-term alcohol addiction
  can lead to liver failure, cancer,
  and heart problems
         Depressants - Narcotics




• Used to relieve pain and induce sleep – decrease the activity
  of the CNS while stimulating pleasure receptors, are very
  addictive
• Morphine, heroin, and codeine are narcotics
• Withdrawal symptoms from narcotics often include, nausea,
  chills, vomiting, tremors, rapid heartbeat, and physical pain
Stimulants - Nicotine
•   Stimulants speed up nervous
    system activity
•   Nicotine is a very common
    stimulant that reduces
    appetite and boosts
    metabolism
•   Nicotine is as addictive as
    heroin but its effects and
    withdrawal symptoms are not
    as severe
•   Cigarettes are responsible for
    more deaths per year in
    America than suicide,
    homicide, alcoholism, car
    accidents, drug overdoses,
    and AIDS combined
Stimulants - Amphetamines
             • Amphetamines help people
               stay awake and cause a
               reduction in appetite by
               making the body produce
               more neurotransmitters
               and slowing their
               absorption
             • High doses can have
               effects that last for several
               days, after which a person
               crashes both physically
               and psychologically
             • Some people experience
               terrifying hallucinations and
               delusions while taking
               amphetamines
     Stimulants - Cocaine
• Cocaine produces feelings of pleasure and reduces hunger – it
  deadens pain and makes people feel more self-confident
• It also causes insomnia, headaches, body tremors, nausea,
  hallucinations, convulsions, and delusions
• Puts a major strain on the heart
      Hallucinogens - Marijuana
• Hallucinogen is a drug
  that produces
  hallucinations
• Marijuana produces
  mild hallucinations and
  feelings of relaxation by
  slowing the CNS
• It also decreases
  coordination, impairs
  judgment and memory,
  and can cause anxiety
  and confusion
• Often raises blood
  pressure and heart rate
  greatly
              Hallucinogens - LSD
• Much stronger than marijuana
  and produces more intense
  hallucinations – causes neurons
  in brain to send messages to the
  wrong destination, overloads the
  brain with messages
• Hard to predict the effects LSD
  will have when someone takes it
• Side effects include violent
  outbursts, self injury, panic
  attacks, and flashbacks that
  occur sometimes years after use
• Can permanently change the
  chemistry of the brain
Drug Abuse Treatments
             • Detoxification – removal of the
               drug from the body, helps to
               wean addicts off of the drug while
               restoring health to the body
             • Maintenance programs – people
               are given a less dangerous
               substance to substitute the more
               harmful drug (methadone clinics)
             • Counseling – can be conducted
               individually or in a group setting
             • Support groups – people meet in
               groups for emotional and moral
               support (AA, NA, etc.)

				
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posted:9/20/2011
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