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Consciousness and Altered States

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Ericka Patton

on 26 October 2016

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Transcript of Consciousness and Altered States

Variations in

C. Hypnosis
D. Drugs
& Altered States
I. Consciousness- awareness of various cognitive processes such as sleeping dreaming, concentrating & making decisions
m.Manifest Content
What you actually see, hear, feel, etc. within a dream
What was the manifest content in that dream?
n.Latent Content
The hidden meaning in our dreams that reflects our unconscious desires.
p. Activation Synthesis Theory
During REM sleep, certain areas in the brain fire randomly, particularly in emotional and visual centers.
This gives emotional significance to essentially random sensory experiences. This is why it FEELS like our dreams have meaning when there actually isn't any

e. After descending through all four stages we will go back up through each. Ex of the sleep cycle:
1,2,3,4,3,2,1,rem1,2,3,4,3,2,1, rem etc...
f. REM sleep
(Rapid Eye Movement)
also Paradoxical Sleep
Latent content?
l.Sigmund Freud and Dreams
3. Sleep
Circadian Release of Cortisol
B. Sleep & Dreaming

A. Daydreaming- escaping from demands of real world
1. Occurs w/o effort
Freud thought that dreams were filled with hidden meaning and clues to our unconscious desires
Dreams may also...
let us reprocess the things we learned that day
attempt to find solutions to problems in
everyday life
o. Lucid Dreams
a lucid dream is a dream in which the person who is dreaming becomes aware that they are dreaming
c. Narcolepsy
d. Sleep walking
A trance-like state in which the subject responds much more readily to suggestion
Hypnosis is a social phenomenon where there is no effect on body's blood pressure, heart rate...etc
Hypnosis is...
1. Hypnosis...
a.Cause people to relax, have a narrowed focus of attention, engage in fantasies
e. Cause change in behavior after the hypnosis has ended
b. Can treat a range of psychological and medical problems
C. Cause hallucinations and distort your sensory perception
d. Reduce inhibitions
a. work on everybody
c. Make people act in ways that would normally be beyond their physical or mental abilities
b. Force people to do things against their will
Hypnotic Pain Relief
2. Hypnosis is used effectively to ...
stop smoking
stop overeating
ease chronic pain
reduce anxiety
provide insight into people's life
Post Hypnotic Amnesia
Hypnosis can be considered altered b/c of the dramatic increase in susceptibilty to suggestion
hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness, as are sleep and drug induced states
a. Altered State
3. Hypnosis is...
an Altered State
methods of concentration reflection, or focusing of thoughts to reduce nervous system
4. What is the focus?
Almost anything can be the focus of meditation.
c. An perpetual sense of well-being
a. Mantra
"Behold! The Jewel in the Lotus!"
A particular word or words
(usually significant words like God, Love, Infinity, etc.)
e. Sounds and music
c. Bodily sensations
f. Mental Imagery
b. Breathing
a. Promote relaxation
e. Personal and spiritual growth insight
d. Increasing traits like love, compassion, patience, generosity, forgiveness
b. Enhanced awareness of the present moment
Yoga is a good example of this
"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly"
the Buddha
a.k.a being fully aware of the present moment
a. Depressants
b. Narcotics
c. Stimulants
d. Hallucinogens
Sleeping pills
Slow down (depress) the functions of the body, including heart rate and respiratory rate
Relax muscles or relieve anxiety
Some also impair memory functions and judgement
high potential for addiction
Overdoses of these substances can lead to death
Creates a numbing sensation in the body
Relieves feelings of pain
Cause feelings of euphoria at higher doses
However if a person starts using these substances then that person’s brain will stop producing its own natural painkillers
This causes them to have a VERY HIGH potential for addiction
Also have very painful withdrawal symptoms
These substances speed up the functions of the body
increase feelings of alertness
high energy levels
Feelings of euphoria
Feelings of power or invulnerability at higher doses
high potential for addiction
cause hallucinations, or vivid sensory experience without external cues
People have no control over these experiences and may have flashbacks.
A. Waking Consciousness (WC)- mental state that includes thoughts, feelings, & perceptions that occur when we are awake and alert; examples???
1. our own awareness of passing of time
2. contact with reality
B. Altered States of Consciousness (ASC)- mental state which differs noticeably from normal waking consciousness; spend 1/3 of lives in ASC examples???
2. personality differences affect content of
daydreaming; achievement-oriented happy, & curiosity daydreamers
3. positive benefits of daydreamers
a. people express & deal with desires
b. builds cognitive & creative skills
c. help people endure difficult situations
4. Other psychologist
disagree, saying it has no
positive value
1. 1/3rd of our lives are spent sleeping

2. Theories of function and sleep
a. adaptive mechanism


Encourages organisms to remain inactive &
conserve energy during times when food supplies were low or predators were numerous; increases chance of survival

b. restorative
process that allows the body to repair
Your getting very sleepy....
What state o f consciousness is
is Dorothy in???
Each cycle is 90 min
4-5 cycles per night
A. Twilight State- relaxed wakefulness (pre-sleep)
b. Stage 1
slowing of bodily functions

slowing of
pulse, muscles
relaxing; last
a few moments;
easily awakened
& unaware of having
c. Stage
2 & Stage 3
Deeper sleep; brain waves become slower; hard to
awaken & does not respond to stimuli; heart rate,
blood pressure & temperature rate continue to drop
d. Stage 4
delta sleep; heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, & bodily temperature are at lowest; most sleepwalking, sleep talking, nightmares, bed wetting occur
vivid dreaming occurs; bodily
functions are the same as when awake; deepest sleep
body's voluntary muscles are paralyzed; this stage becomes longer with each cycle.
4. Amount of Sleep

a. the younger
you are, more sleep &
deep sleep
b. women
sleep better
than men

Vivid visual & auditory experiences that occur primarily during REM
a. everyone dreams
b. time spent dreaming gradually decreases with age
c. 4-5 dreams a night, 1-2 hours are spent dreaming
d. most dreams are quickly forgotten
e. dreams are short or long (longer dreams occur right before waking
f. dreams about recent events also occur before waking, remember the best
g. men and women dreams differ?

h. dreams content varies across different age groups

i. common dreams

i. falling

ii. being attacked

iii. being chased

iv. being nude in public

j. half of characters in dreams are dreamer or acquaintance; half are strangers

q. Types of nightmares

i. night terrors-feeling of intense panic; occur mostly in children; stress related & can be dangerous; cannot be awakened- most common in children ages 4-12

ii. anxiety nightmare- content of dream causes anxiety. examples??
6. Sleep disorders
a. insomnia-difficulty falling asleep/ remaining asleep

4 types
i. sleep-onset- cannot go to sleep
ii. sleep awakening- wake up five + times per night
iii. early termination- wake up less than 6 hours
iv. light sleep- spend too much time in stage one
b. apnea- breathing difficulties during
the night & exhausted during the day;
some actually stop breathing!! YIKES!
hereditary condition which causes the victim to fall asleep w/o warning & loss of muscle tone after moments of emotional excitement
almost never occurs in REM... Someone tell me why?
happens in stage 4; more common in boys

e. Sleep Talking-
90% occurs in non-
dreaming period;
occurs in stage four

f. bed wetting-
occurs in non-REM sleep;
caused by stress; physical
7. Most sleep disorders are not
related to dreaming
III. Artificial
Variations in Consciousness
A. Sensory Deprivation Model-
Radical reduction of sensory stimuli
ex. visual, auditory, & tactile stimulation

1. McGill's Study, pg 161
2. effects:
a. irritability
b. difficulty thinking
c. difficulty concentrating

d. altered percepton
1. lowers metabolic, heart, & respiratory rates

2. used to reduce stress & treat medical problems
e. daydreaming

f. hallucinations
1. drug-altered consciousness states have been used since ancient times for social, religious, & personal reasons
2. substance abuse- drug use that limits ability to fulfill responsibilities at home, work, or school; repeated use in dangerous situations or leads to legal difficulties related to drug use
3. substance dependence- pattern of compulsive drug taking that results in tolerance &/or withdrawal symptoms for at least a year.
4. tolerance- higher doses are
required to produce its original
effects or prevent withdrawal
5. withdrawal- unpleasant physical & psychological effects following discontinuance of a drug
6. research on effects of drugs is difficult; researchers are more likely to look for & observe certain behavior they are expecting; subjects often act in the way they expect the drug to affect them
a. double-blind procedure

neither researcher or subject know who is recieveing active drug or inactive substitute.
b. placebo
chemically inactive substance used for comparison with active drugs
Quiz Tomorrow:
Know Examples of ASC & WC
Matching: Waking consciousness, altered states of consciousness, day dreaming, consciousness
What fraction of life is spend in ASC?
Did you know??
Hangovers Hurt our Economy

A CDC study says that US employers lost $77 billion yearly thanks to workers' impaired productivity due to alcohol abuse.
Most abused drug in
Stage One
Stage Two and Three
Stage Four
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