Psychology Consciousness and the Two Track Mind

Table of Content

Our awareness of ourselves and our environment (can take different forms) Cognitive neuroscience
The interdisciplinary study of the brain activity linked with cognition (including perception, thinking, memory and language)
Dual processing
The principle that information is often simultaneously processed on separate conscious (deliberate, high road) and unconscious (automatic, low road) tracks. Selective attention
The focusing of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus Inattentional blindness
Failing to see visible objects when our attention is directed elsewhere Change blindness
Failing to notice changes in the environment
Circadian rhythm
The biological clock; regular bodily rhythms (temperature, wakefulness) the occur on a 24-hour cycle REM sleep
Stage 5
Rapid eye movement sleep, a recurring sleep stage during which vivid dreams occur (also known as paradoxical sleep – muscles relaxed, other body systems active) Alpha waves
The relatively slow brain waves of a relaxed, awake state
Sleep spindles
Occurs during stage 2
Stage 1
Transition into sleep
Stage 2
Beginning of slow wave
Stage 3

Stage 4

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Periodic, natural, reversible loss of consciousness – distinct from unconsciousness as a result of coma, general anesthesia or hibernation Hallucinations
False sensory experiences, such as seeing something in absence of and external visual stimulus Delta waves
The large slow brain waves associated with deep sleep
Recurring problems in falling or staying asleep
A sleep disorder characterized by uncontrollable sleep attacks. The sufferer may lapse directly into REM sleep, often at inopportune times. Sleep apnea
A sleep disorder characterized by temporary cessations of breathing during sleep and repeated momentary awakenings. Night terrors
A sleep disorder characterized by high arousal and an appearance of being terrified; unlike nightmares night terrors occur during stage 4 sleep, within 2 or 3 hours of falling asleep and are seldom remembered Dream

A sequence of images, emotions and thoughts passing through a sleeping persons mind. Dreams are notable for their hallucinatory imagery, discontinuities and incongruities and for the dreamers delusional acceptance of the content and later difficulties remembering it Manifest content

According to Freud, the remembered story line of a dream (different from its latent or hidden content) Latent content
According to Freud, the underlying meaning of a dream
REM rebound
The tendency for REM sleep to increase following REM sleep deprivation (created by repeated awakenings during REM sleep) Hypnosis
A social interaction in which one person (the hypnotist) suggests to another (the subject) that certain perceptions, feelings, thoughts or behaviors will spontaneously occur. Posthypnotic suggestion

A suggestion made during a hypnosis session to be carried out after the subject is no longer hypnotized Dissociation
A split in consciousness which allows some thoughts and behaviors to occur
simultaneously with others Psychoactive drug
A chemical substance that alters perceptions and moods
The diminishing effect with regular use of the same does of a drug requiring the user to take larger and larger doses before experiencing the drug’s effect Withdrawal
The discomfort and distress that follows discontinuing the use of an addictive drug (physical pain, intense craving) Physical dependence
A physiological need for a drug, marked by unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when the drug is discontinued Psychological dependence
A psychological need to use a drug, such as to relieve negative emotions Addiction
Compulsive drug craving and use, despite adverse consequences Depressants
Drugs (alcohol, opiates) that reduce neural activity and slow body functions Barbiturates
Drugs that depress the activity of the central nervous system, reducing anxiety but impairing memory and judgment Opiates
Opium and derivatives, such as morphine and heroin; they depress neural activity, temporarily lessening pain and anxiety Stimulants
Drugs that excite neural activity and speed up body functions (caffeine, cocaine) Hallucinogens
Psychedelic drugs that distort perceptions and evoke sensory images in the absence of sensory input Near-death experience
An altered state of consciousness reported after a close brush with death (such as through cardiac arrest); often similar to drug-induced hallucinations The cocktail party effect

Psych Ch. 3 – Consciousness & The Two Track Mind
Key terms

Psych Ch. 3 – Consciousness & the Two Track Mind
Vision/visually guided actions – dual processing unit
Much of our everyday thinking, feeling and acting operates outside our
conscious awareness We process most information outside our conscious awareness
Sleep and dreams
Sleep deprivation can cause difficultly studying, diminished productivity, tendency to make mistakes, irritability, fatigue, increases hunger arousing hormone ghrelin and stress causing cortisol, decreases hunger suppressing leptin, suppress immune cells that fight off viral infections and cancer Sleeps functions:

it protects ( giraffes 2 hours, bats 20 – fits there ecological niche) Helps us recuperate – helps restore and repair brain tissue Makes memories – restores and rebuilds fading memories from the day Feeds creative thinking – dreams can inspire noteworthy literary/artistic/scientific achievements May play a role in the growth process – during deep sleep the pituitary gland releases a growth hormone Sleeping pills and alcohol can aggravate troubles sleeping not help – reduces REM sleep Natural alternative solutions

Exercise regularly but not in the late evening ( late afternoon is best) Avoid all caffeine after late afternoon & avoid rich foods before bedtime Glass of milk before bed provides the raw materials for the manufacture of serotonin Relax before bedtime – use dimmer lights

Sleep on a regular schedule
Hide the clock face to not be tempted to check it repeatedly Reassure yourself that a temporary loss of sleep causes no great harm 8/10 dreams are marked with a negative experience or emotion ( people commonly dream of repeatedly failing in an attempt to do something, being attacked, pursued or rejected, experiencing misfortune Sensory stimuli in our sleeping environment can protrude on our dreams ( phone ringing, odor) To remember a dream – get up and stay awake longer than 5 min Why do people dream:

To satisfy our own wishes – in large this theory has given way to many others To file away memories – help sift, sort and fix the days memories in our memory To develop and preserve neural pathways

To make sense of neural static – dreams erupt from neural activity spreading upwards from the brainstem To reflect cognitive development – part of brain maturation Hypnosis
Biological and psychological explanations of behavior are partners, not competitors Hypnosis can help people get over stress related ailments and help cope with pain/fear 3 myths associated with addiction

Addictive drugs quickly corrupt – morphine taken to control pain is powerfully addictive and often leads to heroin abuse (about 10% of people have difficulty using psychoactive drugs in moderation or stopping all together) Addictions cannot be overcome voluntarily; therapy is required – recovery rates of treated and untreated groups barley differ – viewing addiction as a disease can undermine self-confidence and the will to change cravings We can extend the concept of addiction to cover not just drug dependencies, but a whole spectrum of repetitive, pleasure-seeking behaviors 3 major categories of psychoactive drugs

Depressants – alcohol, barbiturates, opiates
Stimulants – caffeine, nicotine, cocaine, amphetamines, ecstasy Hallucinogens – LSD, MDMA, marijuana
Psychoactive drugs effects depend on the dosage, the form ingested, the situation and the users expectations and personality LSD and other powerful hallucinogens are chemically similar to (and therefore block the actions of) a subtype of the neurotransmitter serotonin Why adolescents become regular drug users

Thrill seeking
Biological influences – genetic predispositions – variations in neurotransmitter systems Psychological influences – lacking sense of purpose, significant stress, psychological disorders (depression) Social-culture influences – urban environment, cultural attitude toward drug use, peer influences Suggestions for drug prevention and treatment programs

Educate young people about the long-term costs of a drugs temporary pleasure Help young people find other ways to boost their self-esteem and purpose in
life Attempt to modify peer associations or to inoculate youths agains peer pressures by training them in refusal skills People rarely abuse drugs if they understand the physical and psychological costs, feel good about themselves and the direction their lives are taking and are in a peer group that disapproves of using drugs

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Psychology Consciousness and the Two Track Mind. (2016, Jul 20). Retrieved from

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