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Psyc chapter 5 - conscious/unconscious Cheat Sheet by

talks about our conscious, unconscious, dreaming, sleep and how drugs affect our conscious minds.

What is consci­ous­ness?

A persons subjective experience of the mind and the external world.
Your conscious perception is subjective
Your conscious perception is the content of your experience


How things seem to the conscious person.

Mind body problem:

The issue on how the mind is related to the brain and body.

Divided attention:

Many believe you are not paying attention to many tasks, but instead rapidly switching your attention.
Attent­ional blink:
A brief slow-down in mental processing after progre­ssing another event.
Your brain has limited resources for paying attention.

Altered states of conscious:

concen­tration medita­tion: you can focus on one thing at a time.
mindfu­lness medita­tion: you let your thoughts flow freely, focus on them but not reacting.
- it can lower blood pressure, reduce stress and changes in hormones
- the brains electrical activity changes and correlates with positive emotional state, better attent­ional perfor­mance or enhanced immune function.
The pineal gland: helps control the circadian cycle of sleep and wakefu­lness by releasing melatonin
- bright light detection by the eyes in sent to a small part of the hippoc­ampus then to the pineal gland.
Melatonin: travels through the bloods­tream and affect receptors in the body.
Bright lights suppresses the production of melatonin, where darkness triggers the release.
When you sleep your brain enters different states from when you are awake and active.
Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
Nights when you want to sleep most causes you to become extra sensitive to sleepiness making it harder for you to fall asleep.
Sleep apnea:
A person stops breathing for a brief period while sleeping.
A disorder where sudden sleep attacks occur in the middle of waking activi­ties.
Sleep paralysis:
Experience of waking up, but being unable to move.
Usually happens when your awake, but before you’ve regained motor control.
Sleep terrors:
Episodes of screaming, having intense fear while sleeping.
Sleepw­alking. People usually walk with their eyes open.


Uncons­cious processing can influence behaviour.
When an uncons­cious thought is suddenly expressed at an inappr­opriate time or social context.
Some might reveal uncons­cious thoughts and desires that can simply be cases of misrem­emb­ering.

Found basic proper­ties:

Is the quality of being directed towards an object.
- Consci­ousness is always about something.
The resistance to division or ability to accrue inform­ation from all the bodies sense.
The capacity to include some objects but not others.
Shown through dichotomy listening:
- People wearing headphones hear different messages in each ear.
- cocktail party phenomenon: people tune in some messages while tuning out others.
Consci­ousness has the ability to change

Efforts to compress concerns:

Mental control:
Attempt to change conscious state of mind.
Through suppre­ssion:
Conscious avoidance of thought.
Rebound effect of thought suppre­ssion:
The tendency of a thought to return to the consci­ousness with greater frequency.
Ironic processes of mental control:
Occurs because the mental process that monitors errors can itself produce them.

Brain injury:

Unresp­onsive wakefu­lness syndrome. When people emerge from a coma; do not respond to external stimuli for more than a month.
Brain death:
Irreve­rsible loss of brain function.


Substances that excite the CNS, height­ening arousal and activity levels
- caffeine, amphet­amines, nicotine, and cocaine.


Substances that reduce the activity of the CNS.
Expectancy theory:
Alcohol effects can be produced by peoples expect­ations of how alcohol will influence them in certain situat­ions.
Alcohol myopia theory:
Hampers attention, leading people to respond in simple ways to difficult situat­ions.

The dreaming brain:

Your brain is smart enough to realize its not actually seeing those weird images, but instead dreaming.
The motor cortex, visual associ­ation, brain stem and more are activated during REM sleep.
The prefrontal cortex is deacti­vated during REM sleep.

Freud;s view: dreaming:

Dreams hold meaning:
Could be anxiety related or wishes.
Latent content:
A dreams true meaning.
Activa­tio­n-s­ynt­hesis model:
The brain imposes meaning on fandoms neural activity.

Freudian uncons­cious:

Dynamic uncons­cious:
Contain thoughts, feelings, and desires that were denied to conscious awareness because of psycho­logical force.
Removes all unacce­ptable thoughts and memories from consci­ousness and keeps them in the uncons­cious.
Cognitive uncons­cious:
Gives rise to a persons thoughts, choices, emotions and behavi­ours, even though they are not experi­enced by the person.
Dual process theories:
We have two different systems in our brain for processing inform­ation.

Conscious disorders:

Deep sleep state, no response to things.
Vegetive state:
Regular periods of time when people appear to be “awake.”
Minimally conscious state:
People can respond but incons­ist­ently to sensory stimul­ation.

Levels of consci­ous­ness:

Minimal consci­ous­ness:
A low-level of sensory awareness. Occurs when the mind inputs sensations and outputs behavi­ours.
Full consci­ous­ness:
You know and are able to report your mental state.
A distinct level of consci­ousness in a person towards themse­lves.


Some people lose their vision due to damages to their primary visual cortex.
Some find a “second sight.” Their uncons­cious mins guide their behaviour correctly.

Selective attention:

Attending to one thing while ignoring others.
You only consci­ously experience the content of the text you pay attention to.
When you try to ignore many of the things and events around you to focus on one.
The stimuli you try to ignore are distra­ctions that must be eliminated or excluded.
The mental process of elimin­ating those distra­ctions is called filtering or selecting.

Conscious percep­tion:

Although you see all these things, you are only consci­ously aware of a few.

Binocular rivalry:

Two dissimilar images are presented simult­ane­ously to each eye and your conscious perception altern­ates.

Sleep and dreaming:

Altered state of consci­ous­ness:
A change in ones normal mental state as a result of trauma or accident or included through medica­tion, drugs, etc.
Circadian rhythm:
A naturally occurring 24 hour cycle.

Daydre­aming and the brains default network:

A state of consci­ousness in which random thoughts come to mind
Your brain is always active
Default mode network:
Activa­tions of brain areas when people day dream
When you are working on mental­/co­gnitive tasks, DMN tents to decrease.
The DMN is also connected to our feelings and self-p­erc­eption. It plays a role in overall happiness.
Mindfu­lness meditation is an effective way to reduce DMN activity.

Hemisp­atial neglect:

Disorder of attention.
Deficit in attention to and awareness of one side of the visual field.
They often have no sensory loss. No visual deficit.
Kept neglect is more common:
Caused by the left side of the brain
Some brain regions in the parietal and temporal lobes are associated with neglect.
Egocentric neglect:
Never “sees” what is on their left side even when they change perspe­ctive.
Alloce­ntric neglect:
Never “sees” the left side of any object.
Motor neglect:
Failure to move one side of the body when there is no paralysis.
Tactile neglect:
Inatte­ntion to tactile stimuli on one side of the body.
Auditory neglect:
Inatte­ntion to sounds on one side of space.

Uncons­cious processing can influence percep­tion:

When the response to a stimulus is influenced by recent experience with that stimulus.
- it can influence how you perceive an object.
Subliminal percep­tion:
When stimuli are processed by sensory systems, but does not reach the conscious.

Inform­ation in the unattended ear:

People cannot report the contents of the message in the unattended ear, but:
They know that there was a message
They know the gender of the speaker.
Some superf­icial nature of the speech.

Drugs and consci­ous­ness:

Psycho­active drugs:
Chemicals that influence consci­ousness behaviour by altering the brains chemical message system.
Drug tolerance:
tendency for larger doses of a drug to be required over time to achieve the same effect.
Physical depend­ence:
Unpleasant physical symptoms from withdrawal due to drug use.
Psycho­logical depend­ence:
Desire to return to drugs even when physical symptoms are gone.

Problem of other minds:

The fundam­ental difficulty we have in perceiving the consci­ousness of others
We lack the ability to directly perceive the consci­ousness of others


Narcotics ad opiates:
Highly addictive drugs derived from opium that relieves pain.
- reroutes the endorp­hins. These tempor­arily flood the endorphins and stop them from producing natrually.
Later sensation and perception and often causes visual and auditory halluc­ino­gens.
Contains psyc active drugs called tetrah­ydr­oca­nna­binol.


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