Chapter Five: States of Consciousness
Vocabulary

Activation-synthesis hypothesis- Hobson’s theory that dreams are by-products of random stimulation of brain cells; the brain attempts to combine this spontaneous activity into coherent patterns known as dreams.

Addiction- Broad term describing s compulsion or craving to achieve the effects produced by a drug.

Alpha Waves- Slower brain waves that indicate drowsy relaxation.

Alternate states of consciousness- mental states other than ordinary waking consciousness, found during sleep, dreaming, psychoactive drug use, and hypnosis.

Altered-State Theory- Hypnosis, according to this theory, results from a special altered state of consciousness. It is doubted that relaxation, role-playing, and suggestion explain instances in which patients endure complex surgeries without drug-induced anesthesia.

Automatic processes- mental activities requiring minimal attention and having little impact on other activities.

Circadian rhythms- biological changes that occur on a 24-hour cycle.

Consciousness- an organism’s awareness of its own self and surroundings.

Controlled processes- mental activities requiring focused attention that generally interfere with other ongoing activities.

Delta Waves- Slow, high-amplitude waves, which signify deeper levels of sleep.

Depressants- Psychoactive drugs that act on the central nervous system to suppress or slow bodily processes and reduce overall responsiveness. For example: Alcohol, barbiturates, anti-anxiety drugs, Rohypnol, Ketamine, CoHB.

Divided Consciousness- Ability to do two things at once.

Drug Abuse- Drug taking that causes emotional or physical harm to the drug user or others.

Evolutionary/Circadian Theory- as a part of circadian rhythms, sleep evolved to conserve energy as protection from predators.

Hallucinogens- Drugs that produce sensory or perceptual distortions called hallucinations. For example: LSD or Marijuana.

Hypnagogic State- This state is characterized by feelings of floating, weightlessness, visual images (such flashing lights or colors), or swift, jerky movements and a corresponding feeling of slipping and falling. They are sometimes incorporated into fragmented dreams and remembered in the morning. They also may occur while the victim is falling asleep and they may explain reported accounts of alien abduction.

Hypnosis- A trancelike state of heightened suggestibility, deep relaxation, and intense focus.

Insomnia- persistent problems in falling asleep, staying asleep, or awakening too early.

Jet Lag- Decreases in alertness, mental agility, and efficiency

Latent Content- The true, unconscious meaning of a dream, according to Freudian dream theory.

Manifest Content- According to Freud, the surface content of a dream, which contains dream symbols that distort and disguise the dream’s true meaning.

Meditation- A group of techniques designed to refocus attention, block out all distractions, and produce an alternate state of consciousness.

Microsleep- Slipping into brief, repeated periods of "microsleep" lasting only a few seconds at a time occurs when the body has gone 72 hours or more without sleep.

Narcolepsy- Sudden and irresistible onsets of sleep during normal walking hours.

Night terrors- Abrupt awakenings from NREM sleep accompanied by intense physiological arousal and feelings of panic.

Nightmares- Anxiety-arousing dreams generally occurring near the end of the sleep cycle, during REM sleep.

Non-Rapid Eye Movement Sleep (NREM)- Stages 1 to 4 of sleep with Stage 1 as the lightest level and
Stage 4 as the deepest level. Stage 1 sleep the breathing becomes more regular and your heart rate slows, as your blood pressure decreases. Stage 2 sleep is noted by sleep spindles and the progression of a more relaxed and less responsive to external environment sleep. Stage 3 and 4 are marked by slow, high-amplitude delta waves and it is very hard to wake a person in Stage 3 or 4. STage 4 is the time when most children wet their bed and when sleep walking occurs.

Opiates- Drugs derived from opium that function as an analgesic or pain reliever (the word opium comes from the Greek word meaning “juice”). For example: Morphine, heroin, codeine.

Physical Dependence- Bodily processes have been so modified by repeated use of a drug that continued use is required to prevent withdrawal symptoms.

Preconscience- Available memories

Psychoactive Drugs- Chemicals that change conscious awareness, mood, or perception.

Psychological dependence- Desire or craving to achieve the effects produced by a drug.

Relaxation/Role-Playing Theory- Hypnosis, according to this theory, is a normal mental state in which deeply relaxed suggestible people allow the hypnotist to direct their fantasies and behavior.

Rapid Eye Movement Sleep (REM)- A stage of sleep marked by rapid eye movements, high-frequency brain waves, paralysis of large muscles, and dreaming. REM Sleep is also known as the "Paradoxical Sleep."

Repair/Restoration Theory- Sleep serves a recuperative function, allowing organisms to repair or replenish key factors.

Selective Attention- A person can selectively pick out one message when a lot of other stimuli are going on.

Subconscious- Has the ability to ignore, select or reject incoming stimuli.

Sleep Apnea- Repeated interruption of breathing during sleep because air passages to the lungs are physically blocked or the brain stops activating the diaphragm.

Sleep Spindles- Short bursts of rapid, high-amplitude brain waves, which occur during Stage 2 of sleep.

Stimulants- Drugs that act on the brain and nervous system to increase their overall activity and general responsiveness. For example: Cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, MDMA, Caffeine, Nicotine.

Tolerance- Decreased sensitivity to a drug brought about by its continuous use.

Unconscious- Repressed memories and dreams

Unified Theory- Hypnosis, according to this theory, is a combination of both relaxation/role-playing and unique alternate state of consciousness.

Withdrawal- Discomfort and distress, including physical pain and intense cravings, experienced after stopping the use of addictive drugs.


Chapter Five: States of Consciousness

Understanding Consciousness
- Consciousness: An organism’s awareness of its own self and surroundings
- Alternate States of Consciousness (ASCs): Mental states, other than a wakeful state, found during the stages of sleep, and drug use
- Selective attention: Control our consciousness to choose what we concentrate on
(Remember: Selective hearing with our parents = Selective attention)

Function of Consciousness
- Monitoring (selective attention, i.e. cocktail party phenomenon)
- Controlling (used to plan and change our action)

Conscious/Unconscious
- Subconscious: Ignore (Remember: Submarine = Subconscious)
- Preconscious: Available memories
- Unconscious: Repressed memories, dreams (Freudian slip)
(Remember: Underneath = Unconscious)
- Divided Consciousness: Ability to do two things at once
- Controlled vs. Automatic Processes
- Controlled Process: Focused attention (Remember: Controlled = Concentrate)
- Automatic Process: Minimal attention (Remember: Automatic = Autopilot)

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Circadian Rhythms
- 25 hour rhythms
- Controlled by:
- Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SCN)
- Pineal gland
- Disruption in circadian rhythms leads to increased fatigue, and low concentration
- Example: Jet lag
- Shift workers tend to have less accidents if the schedule is shifted from morning to evening and rotated every 3 weeks
- Sleep Deprivation: increases stress, making it difficult to separate the effects of sleep deprivation and stress. Sleep deprivation is also alters your moods, decreases self-esteem, reduces concentration and motivation, increases irritability, lapses in attention, reduces motor skills, and increases cortisol levels.
- After around 72 hours of no sleep, the mind slips into short, repeated periods of “microsleep,” which only last a few seconds each time.

Stages of Sleep
- Brain waves measured with an electroencephalograph, muscular activity measured with electromyograph, and eye movement measured with trooculograph
- Hypnagogic State: Characterized by feelings of floating, or falling (Remember: Hypnagogic sounds like someone going under anesthesia, like the falling feeling)
- Stage 1: Theta waves, activity slows
- Stage 2: More deeply relaxed, sleep spindles (short bursts of rapid, high-amplitude brain waves) occur
- Stage 3: Delta waves 20-50%, transitional stage (Remember: Delta waves = Deep sleep)
- Stage 4: Delta waves >50%, this is when sleepwalking occurs, deepest sleep
- Stages 1 to 4 are called Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) Sleep
- NREM is important recovery sleep
- Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep
- The paradoxical sleep
- Characterized by: Breathing and pulse become irregular and fast, rapid eye movements, muscles are deeply relaxed and unresponsive
- REM is important for brain functions such as learning and consolidating new memories
- Increases as night moves on
- About 25% of sleep

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Cycles of Sleep
- Repeats about every 90 minutes

Two Major Theories of Sleep
- Repair/Restoration Theory: Sleep helps body recuperate (Remember: Repair = Recuperate)
- Evolutionary/Circadian Theory: Sleep conserves energy and protects from predators

Three Major Theories Of Dreams
- Psychoanalytic/ Psychodynamic View: (Freud) Unconscious desires are apparent in our dreams
- Manifest Content: Symbols or the object in the dream (ex. candy)
- Latent Content: Underlying meaning (ex. candy symbolizes happiness)
(Remember: LAtent = LAme meaning behind the symbol)
- Biological View (Hobson)
- Activation Synthesis Hypothesis: Triggered by neural firing and activity from the brain stem
-Interpretation is not random
- Cognitive View (Cartwright)
-Information processing: Helps us sort out experiences and thought (mental cleaning)

Sleep Disorders: When Sleep Becomes a Problem
- About ⅔ of American adults suffer from sleeping problems
- 25% of children under 5 have sleep disturbances
- Nightmares, night terrors, sleepwalking, and sleep talking are all more likely to occur among young children, but they can occur in adults, as well and when they do, they are usually related to stress or major life-changing events.
- Only known treatment recommended: patience and soothing reassurance at the time.
- Two types of Sleep Disorders:
i.Dyssomnias
1. Insomnia: Persistent problems falling asleep, staying asleep, or awakening too early (Remember: Insanely tired = Insomnia)
2. Sleep Apnea: Repeated interruption of breathing during sleep because air passages to the lungs are physically blocked or brain stops activating the diaphragm
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3. Narcolepsy: Sudden and irresistible onsets of sleep during normal waking hours.
ii. Parasomnias
1. Nightmares: Anxiety-arousing dreams generaly occurring near the end of the sleep cycle, during REM sleep.
2. Night Terrors: Abrupt awakenings from NREM sleep accompanied by intense physiological arousal and feelings of panic. (Remember: Terrors are scarier than mares)
- Sleepwalking: tends to accompany night terrors. Occurs during NREM sleep.
- Sleeptalking: occurs with about equal probablity in RREM and NREM sleep. It can include single, indistinct words or long, articulate sentences. It is even possible to engage some sleeptalkers in a limited conversation.
Psychoactive Drugs
- Psychoactive Drugs: Chemicals that change conscious awareness, mood, or perception
(Remember: Make you psychotic = Pscyhoactive Drugs).
- Drug Abuse: Drug taking that causes emotional or physical harm to the drug users or others.
- Addiction: Describes a compulsion to use a specific drug or engage in a certain activity.
- Psychological Dependence: Desire or craving to achieve the effects produced by a drug
- Physical Dependence: Bodily processes have been so modified by repeated use of drug that continued use is required to prevent withdrawal symptoms
- Tolerance: Decreased sensitivity to a drug brought about by its continuous use
- Four Major Categories of Psychoactive Drugs
i.Depressant: Psychoactive drugs that act on the central nervous system to suppress or slow bodily processes and reduce overall responsiveness.
(Remember: Decrease your reactions = Depressants)
a. Examples: Alcohol, Barbiturates, Anti-anxiety Drugs
ii.Stimulants: Drugs that act on the brain and nervous system to increase their overall activity and general responsiveness. (Remember: Stimulate your reactions = Stimulants)
a. Examples: Cocaine, Amphetamine, Methamphetamine, Ecstacy, Caffine, and Nicotine
iii.Opiates: Drugs derived from opium that function as an analgesic or pain reliever. Mimics endorphins. (Remember: Opium is numbing = Opiates)
a. Examples: Morphine, Heroin, Codeine
iv.Hallucinogens: Drugs that produce sensory or perceptual distortions called hallucinations. (Remember: Having hallucinations = High on hallucinogens)
a. Examples: LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide), Marijuana
- Drug Use:
- Step 1: Production or synthesis
a. Neurotransmitter is produced. Drug serves as a precursor for synthesis. Drug also, blocks the production.
- Step 2: Storage and release
a. Neurotransmitter is stored in vesicle and when the impulse arrives, the neurotransmitter is released. Drug increases the release and blocks the neurotransmitter storage/release.
- Step 3: Reception
a. Neurotransmitter binds to receptors and activates them. Drug attaches to the receptors and activates them instead. Drug blocks the neurotransmitter by filling the receptor space first, but does not activate the neuron.
- Step 4: Deactivation
a. Excess neurotransmitter is deactivated by reuptake and the drug blocks the normal deactivation of neurotransmitters, which leaves more in the synapse to stimulate receptors.

Healthier Ways to Alter Consciousness
- Mediation: A group of techniques designed to refocus attention block out all distractions, and produce an alternate state of consciousness.
- Hypnosis: Trance like state of heightened suggestibility (deep relaxation and intense focus) used to help remember forgotten things, train athletes mentally, and reduce pain.
- Biofeedback: Bodily processes, such as heart rate and blood pressure, are monitored order for the patient to learn to control them.

Theories of Hypnosis
- Role Theory: Not an alternate state of conscious (act out role of hypnotized person)
- Altered State Theory: Results from actual altered state of consciousness
(Remember: Altered State Theory = Actually Altered State of Consciousness)
- Dissociation Theory: (Ernest Hilgard) Hypnosis causes us to divide our consciousness voluntarily

Five Common Myths of Hypnosis
1. Forced Hypnosis: People cannot be hypnotized against their will. Hypnosis requires a willing participant.
2. Unethical Behavior: People will not perform an act that they would not perform normally while under hypnosis, just because they are hypnotized.
3. Exceptional Memory: The myth that you remember more, is merely due to the fact that the body and mind are relaxed enabling a period of hyperfocus.
4. Superhuman Strength: This is similar to Unethical Behavior, participants are going to perform the tasks the same, whether under hypnosis or not.
5. Fakery: A blend of conformity, relaxation, obedience, suggestion, and role play are all a part of hypnosis. Most participants are not consciously faking hypnosis.

Works Cited

Freud Iceberg. Chart. Psyche.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2011. <http://www.psyche.com/psyche/images/misc/freud_iceberg3_sm.gif>.

Huffman, Karen. "Psychology in Action." Danvers: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2007. Print.

Sleep Apnea. Chart. From Your Doctor. Web. 16 Feb. 2011.
<http://fromyourdoctor.com/topic.do?title=Sleep+Disorders+Sleep+Apnea&t=3399>.

Sleep Cycle. Chart. Sleep Problems. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2011. <http://www.sleep-problems.com/content/pictures/sleep_cycle.gif>.
Important People
  • James Braid- A Scottish physician who put people into a trance-like state for surgery. He coined the term “hypnosis” in 1843. His techniques did not become popular because anesthetics were discovered around the same time.
  • Sigmund Freud- Explains dreams with the psychoanalytic view, which states that repressed and unacceptable desires surface during dreams with the main purpose of wish fulfillment. The story line of a dream is referred to as manifest content with the underlying meaning termed as latent content. He wrote a book tittled “The Interpretation of Dreams” in 1990. Critics point out that his theories are primarily subjective with little research or evidence to support it.
  • Ernest Hilgard- Proposed the dissociation theory, stating that hypnosis causes one’s consciousness to divide voluntarily. One part of consciousness responds to the suggestion of the hypnotist, while the other remains aware of reality. Many psychologists do not believe in the legitimacy of hypnosis, including the dissociation theory.
  • Alan Hobson- Worked with Robert McCarley in order to propose the idea that specific neurons in the brainstem fire spontaneously during REM sleep. Dreams are then manufactured when the cortex synthesizes the stimulation. This theory is known as the Biological View. The Psychoanalytic View and Cognitive View oppose this theory.
  • William James- One of the most famous early psychologists, living from 1842 to 1910. He began to look at states of consciousness, acknowledging its different forms. Behaviorists like John Watson did not believe in the importance of studying consciousness in the field of psychology.
  • Robert McCarley- Worked with Alan Hobson in order to propose the idea that specific neurons in the brainstem fire spontaneously during REM sleep. Dreams are then manufactured when the cortex synthesizes the stimulation. This theory is known as the Biological View. The Psychoanalytic View and Cognitive View oppose this theory.
  • Franz Anton Mesmer- Used an early form hypnosis in the 1700s using magnets. He told his patients they would be relieved of all their problems, without much evidence to support his methods. His theories have been proven inaccurate.
  • John Watson- A behaviorist who believed that consciousness was not relevant to psychology. He believed the only reliable way to get insight into people’s minds was through their behavior. Many opposed this opinion, with consciousness being a large component to the studies of psychology.



Interesting Facts
  • Major disasters due to human error have been proven to occur between midnight and morning. Eighty-two percent of Japanese train incidents have occurred during this time. The Union Carbide chemical accident, Chernobyl nuclear power plants disaster, and oil spill from the Exxon Valdez have also taken place during this night shift. Such patterns are thought to be caused by disruptions in the circadian rhythms, though the effects can be lessened by shifting schedules from days to evenings to nights (Huffman, 174).
  • Randy Gardner holds the Guinness World Record for staying awake the longest with 264 consecutive hours, after which time he became irritable, but not psychotic. After his record was set, he only slept for fourteen hours (Huffman, 175).
  • A Common myth is that dreams last only a few seconds. Research shows that some dreams seem to occur in “real time.” For example, a dream that seemed to last twenty minutes, probably did last twenty minutes. (Huffman, 173).
  • Before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulated the sale of such drugs as heroin, opium, and cocaine, they were commonly found in over-the-counter; non-prescription drugs. (Huffman, 189).We forget 90% of our dreams.
  • Within five minutes of waking half of our dream is already forgotten. Within ten minutes, 90% is gone (15 Interesting Facts About Dreams).
  • In our dreams we can only see faces of people we have seen in our life, even though we may not know or remember them (15 Interesting Facts About Dreams).
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6fBHHrZFLg&feature=fvst
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMZDieZoing
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWMEnkyL_qA

Works Cited
"15 Interesting Facts about Dreams." boredpanda.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Apr. 2011.
<http://www.boredpanda.com/15-interesting-facts-about-dreams-dreaming/>.
"Animal Hypnosis and Trances." YouTube. Web. 29 Mar 2011.
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMZDieZoing>.
"Freudian Interpretation of Dreams." YouTube. Web. 29 Mar 2011. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWMEnkyL_qA>.
"Hallucinogenic Cocktail." YouTube. Web. 29 Mar 2011. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6fBHHrZFLg&feature=fvst>.
Huffman, Karen. Psychology in Action. 8th ed. United States: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2007. 173-189. Print.