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Consciousness: Sleep, Dreams, Hypnosis, and Drugs

Lecture for PSYC 101 Class 4

Clare Gruszka

on 16 September 2012

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Transcript of Consciousness: Sleep, Dreams, Hypnosis, and Drugs

Sleep, Dreams, Hypnosis and Drugs Consciousness: There are several definitions of consciousness.. What is Consciousness? For our purposes, Consciousness: a person's awareness of everything that is going on at any given moment Altered states of consciousness:
Shifts in the quality or pattern of mental activity--attention may be increased, decreased, or split between activities Most waking hours are spent in waking consciousness, in which thoughts, feelings, and sensations are clear and organized, and one feels alert Other altered states are daydreaming, being hypnotized, meditating, under the influence of drugs, and sleep... Sleep Altered States: Sleep is one of the human body's biological rhythms, or natural cycles of activity that the body must go through
Sleep is a circadian rhythm, lasting 24 hours, and is a product of the activity of the hypothalamus, the hormone melatonin, the neurotransmitter serotonin, and body temperature The Biology of Sleep Within the hypothalamus, there is a suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) that is sensitive to light As daylight fades, the SCN tells the pineal gland to secrete melatonin. As melatonin accumulates, a person will feel sleepy. As the light coming into the eyes increases (as it does in the morning), the SCN tells the pineal gland to stop secreting melatonin, allowing the body to awaken As the day goes by, serotonin levels in the nervous system increase and seem to be associated with sleepiness The higher the body temperature, the more alert people are; the lower the temperature, the sleepier they are A few theories of sleep exist... Adaptive Theory States that sleep evolved as a way to conserve energy and keep animals safe from predators who hunt at night; This explains why people sleep when they do Restorative Theory States that sleep provides the body with an opportunity to restore chemicals that have been depleted during the day as well as the growth repair of cell tissue; explains why people need to sleep **The average amount of sleep needed by most adults is about 7 to 9 hours within each 24-hour period** Stages of Sleep An overview of the stages of sleep: http://education-portal.com/academy/lesson/sleep-cycle.html There are two kinds of sleep:
1. REM (rapid eye movement) sleep- relatively active type of sleep when most of a person's dreaming takes place, the voluntary muscles are inhibited, and there is little movement
2. Non-REM sleep- much deeper, more restful kind of sleep in which the person's body is free to move around A person who is wide awake and mentally active will show a brain-wave pattern on an EEG called beta waves As the person relaxes and gets drowsy, slightly larger and slower alpha waves appear Alpha waves are eventually replaced by even slower and larger theta waves

Stage 1 sleep: light sleep; may experience vivid visual events called hypnogogic images or hallucinations, as well as a hypnic jerk When knees, legs, or sometimes whole body gives a big "jerk" when drifting off to sleep. May be that ancestors slept in trees and that the relaxation of the muscles as one drifts into sleep causes a "falling" sensation, at which point the body jerks awake to prevent the "fall" from the hypothetical tree Stage 2 sleep: indicated by the presence of sleep spindles, bursts of activity on an EEG Stage 3 sleep: highlighted by the first appearance of delta waves, the slowest and largest waves
Stage 4 sleep: predominantly delta waves; body is at its lowest level of functioning; people are very hard to awaken and if something does wake them, may be very confused and disoriented at first What happens in REM sleep? REM sleep occurs four or five times a night, replacing Stage 1 after a full cycle through Stages 1 through 4
It is accompanied by paralysis of the voluntary muscles, but rapid movement of the eyes
When a person in REM sleep is awakened, he or she almost always reports being in a dream state
After a very physically demanding day, people tend to spend more time in NREM deep sleep than is usual, but an emotionally stressful day leads to increased time in REM sleep Sleep Disorders REM State Sleep Disorders Stage 4 Sleep Disorders Nightmares and a rare disorder called REM behavior disorder occur during REM sleep Nightmares: bad or unpleasant dreams that occur during REM sleep; children tend to have more nightmares than adults do because they spend more of their sleep in the REM state REM behavior disorder: a rare condition in which REM paralysis fails and the person moves violently while dreaming, often acting out the elements of the dream Other Sleep Disorders Sleepwalking and sleeptalking occur in Stage 4 sleep Night Terrors: attacks of extreme fear that the victim has while sound asleep during stage 4 sleep Insomnia: an inability to get to sleep, stay asleep, or get enough sleep Sleep Apnea: occurs when a person stops breathing for nearly half a minute or more Narcolepsy: a genetic disorder in which the person suddenly and without warning collapses into REM sleep Dreams Dreams as Wish Fulfillment Freud's Interpretation: Real inquiry into the process of dreaming began with the publication of Freud's "The Interpretation of Dreams" (1990) One of the ways Freud devised to get at early memories was to examine the dreams of his patients, believing that conflicts, events, and desires of the past would be represented in symbolic form in dreams Manifest Content: actual dream and its events
Latent Content: symbolic content The Activation-Synthesis Hypothesis The pons sends random signals to the areas of the cortex that interpret vision, hearing and so on--when signals from the pons bombard the cortex during waking consciousness, the association areas of the cortex interpret those signals as seeing, hearing, and so on When people are asleep, the signals from the brain stem are random and not necessarily attached to actual external stimuli, yet the brain must somehow interpret these signals Without outside sensory information to explain the activation of the brain cells in the cortex by the pons area, the association areas of the cortex synthesize a story, or dream, to explain that activation A revision of the activation-synthesis theory, the activation-information mode model (AIM) states that information experienced during waking hours can influence the synthesis of dreams A synthesis of sleeping and dreaming:
http://education-portal.com/academy/lesson/why-do-we-sleep-and-dream.html Altered States: The Effects of Hypnosis Hypnosis: a state of consciousness in which a person is especially susceptible to suggestion Steps in Hypnotic Induction 1. The hypnotist tells the person to focus on what is being said
2. The person is told to relax and feel tired
3. The hypnotist tells the person to "let go" and accept suggestions easily
4. The person is told to use vivid imagination The key to hypnosis seems to be a heightened state of suggestibility: people who fantasize a lot, who daydream, and have vivid imaginations, as well as people who get "really into" whatever task they are doing are more susceptible to hypnosis than others Fact or Myth: What Can Hypnosis Really Do? People cannot be hypnotized against their will
Basic suggestion effect: the tendency for individuals to act as though their behavior is automatic and out of their control; it gives people an excuse to do things they might not otherwise do because the burden of responsibility for their actions falls on the hypnotist
Hypnosis cannot give increased strength, reliably enhance memory, or regress people to an earlier age or an earlier life, but it can produce amnesia, reduce pain, and alter sensory impressions Theories of Hypnosis Hypnosis as Dissociation Hilgard believed that a person under hypnosis is in a state of dissociation, in which one part of consciousness is hypnotized and susceptible to suggestion, while another part is aware of everything that occurs Hypnosis as Social Role-Playing Social Cognitive Theory of Hypnosis: the hypnotized subject is merely playing a social role--that of the hypnotized person
Expectancies of hypnotized person play a big part in how the person responds and what the person does under hypnosis
Experiments have shown that participants who were familiar with hypnosis had no trouble copying many actions previously thought to require a hypnotic state The Influence of Psychoactive Drugs Altered States: Psychoactive drugs: alter thinking, perceptions, memory, or some combination of those abilities

Many psychoactive drugs are very useful and were originally developed to help people

However, misusing them can pose serious risks to one's health and may even cause death Before we talk about the types of psychoactive drugs, it's important for us to talk about dependence... Physical Dependence
Drugs that are physically addictive cause the user's body to crave the drug and creates a physical dependency
When deprived of the drug, the user will go through physical withdrawal
Withdrawal symptoms can range from headaches, nausea, and irritability to severe pain, cramping, shaking, and dangerously elevated blood pressure--this occurs because the body is trying to adapt to the absence of the drug Along with this, drug tolerance occurs as the user's body becomes conditioned to the level of the drug--after a time, the user must take more and more of the drug to get the same effect Psychological Dependence
The user believes that he or she needs the drug to function well and maintain a sense of well-being
Any drug can produce psychological dependence, while not all drugs produce physical dependence Drugs that increase the activity of the nervous system, particularly the sympathetic division of the central nervous system Stimulants Pain-relieving drugs of the depressant class that are derived from the opium poppy Narcotics Hallucinogens Now let's look at the types of psychoactive drugs... Amphetamines Synthetic drugs (not found in nature), such as Benzedrine or Dexedrine
Help people stay awake and reduce appetite, but are highly physically addictive
Drugs in this class have been used to treat ADHD and as a stimulant for weight loss via diet pills Methamphetamine
Crystalline form of amphetamine ("crystal meth") that can be smoked and is used by "recreational" drug users
Causes the sympathetic nervous system to go into overdrive
Does not provide extra energy, but causes users to burn up whatever energy reserves they have
Because appetite is also depressed, a "crash" is inevitable
When inevitable "crash" or depression occurs, the tendency is to intake more of drug to get back "up"
This leads to a tolerance, which can be built up very quickly Cocaine Naturally found drug in coca plant leaves
Produces feelings of euphoria, energy, power, and pleasure, as well as deadens pain and suppresses appetite
Highly addictive and can cause convulsions and death in some first-time users Nicotine A mild stimulant that is very physically addictive
Produces a slight "rush" or sense of arousal as it raises blood pressure and accelerates the heart, as well as providing a rush of sugar into the bloodstream by stimulating the release of adrenaline
Can be very difficult to quit using tobacco products because the physical withdrawal symptoms can be as bad as those resulting from alcohol, cocaine, or heroin abuse
In terms of addictive power, is more powerful than heroin or alcohol Caffeine Most commonly used stimulant
Natural substance, like cocaine and nicotine, found in coffee beans, tea leaves, cocoa nuts, and at least 60 other types of plants
Mild stimulant; helps maintain alertness, and can increase effectiveness of some pain relievers such as aspirin Drugs that decrease the functioning of the nervous system Depressants Barbiturates Also known as major tranquilizers
Have sedative effects and are used as sleeping pills
Effects, depending on dosage, range from mild sedation or sleepiness to unconsciousness or coma Benzodiazepines Also known as minor tranquilizers
Drugs such as Valium and Xanax are the drugs of choice for treating sleep problems, nervousness, and anxiety Alcohol Most commonly used and abused depressant
Can interact with other depressants
Excessive use can lead to alcoholism, health problems, loss of control, and death
Stimulates release of GABA--as more GABA is released, brain's functioning becomes more and more inhibited, depressed, or slowed down Opium Earliest form of narcotic
Highly addictive because it directly stimulates receptor sites for endorphins
Causes natural production of endorphins to decrease pain Morphine More refined version of opium, but highly addictive
Used today in carefully controlled doses and for short periods of time Heroin Believed to be a purer form of morphine and, therefore, less addictive, but in fact is even more powerfully addictive
When morphine or heroin wear off, there is no protection against any kind of pain, causing severe symptoms of withdrawal associated with these drugs Methadone Ability to control symptoms of heroin or morphine withdrawal without the euphoria, or "high" of heroin or morphine Stimulants that alter the brain's interpretation of sensations, creating hallucinations Three synthetically created hallucinogens are LSD, PCP, and MDMA (ecstasy) Three naturally occurring hallucinogens are mescaline, psilocybin (contained in certain kinds of mushrooms), and marijuana A mild hallucinogen, producing a mild euphoria and feelings of relaxation
Larger doses can lead to hallucinations and paranoia
Most studies have concluded that while marijuana can create a powerful psychological dependency, it does not produce physical dependency or physical withdrawal symptoms
Contains substances that may be carcinogenic and impairs learning and memory Marijuana Based on Ciccarelli, S.K. & White, J.N. (2012). Psychology (3rd Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
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