What is the Circadian Rhythm?

Our sleeping pattern follows a circadian rhythm, which is really just a way of saying a daily pattern of wakefulness and sleepiness (circadian derived from Latin: circa – “about” and diem– “day”). Our circadian rhythm is influenced by environmental factors, known as zeitgebers (German for “time-givers”) which help to set this internal clock.   One of the most most powerful zeitgebers …

States of Consciousness Resources

On this page you’ll find a number of resources for understanding states of consciousness, including consciousness and attention, the circadian rhythm and sleep cycles, drugs, hypnosis, and meditation. If I’ve missed a good resource, please share it in the comments section! General Resources States of Consciousness Key Terms States of Consciousness Pinterest Page OpenStax States of Consciousness Chapter States of …

Robert Stickgold on the Importance of Sleep

This is a fantastic interview with one of my favorite former professors, Robert Stickgold, who discusses the many important functions that sleep has. He touches on the unity of consciousness, immune function, memory processing, endocrine function and obesity, emotional regulation, and improvement on physical tasks. Most importantly he reminds us not to think of sleep as a waste of time. …

Key Terms for States of Consciousness

  Download a free pdf of this key terms list here: States-of-Consciousness-Key-Terms Find explanations and examples of all of these key terms and more here: Master Introductory Psychology: Complete Edition         René Descartes mind-body problem Cartesian Theater philosophical zombie problem of other minds Thomas Nagel minimal consciousness self-consciousness mark test “hard problem” of consciousness unity intentionality selectivity transience …

Finding Freud’s Legacy in Neuroscience?

This is a link to an interesting article from Discover Magazine which looks at the intersection of Freudian psychoanalysis and modern-day neuroscience research. It covers quite a lot of ground along the way, considering cases of brain damage, anosognosia, Damasio’s work on emotion, Libet’s work on the experience of conscious will, and the default mode network, and manages to tie …

Hallucinations

I recently finished reading Oliver Sacks’ book Hallucinations. It’s a fascinating look at different types of hallucinatory experiences, from the visual scenes of Charles Bonnet Syndrome to hearing voices and feeling mystical religious ecstasy. In one chapter, Sacks also describes his own youthful experimentation with a number of psychoactive substances (LSD, morning glory seeds, morphine, and more) and he includes stories …

REM Behavior Disorder

In the following video, we can see an example of a patient with REM Behavior Disorder. Remember that REM Behavior Disorder differs from sleepwalking, which generally occurs during Slow Wave sleep (stage 3 and 4).

Magic and Change Blindness

Here’s another example of change blindness featuring Magic Singh performing some close-up illusions, followed by Beau Lotto explaining why this type of blindness occurs. While the video refers to inattentional blindness, this is probably better referred to as change blindness, since these examples represent failures to notice changes, rather than failures to notice the introduction of unexpected items (which would …