States of Consciousness Definitions

CONSCIOUSNESS: The continuous stream of perceptions, thoughts, feelings, or sensations of which we are aware from moment to moment-our awareness of various cognitive processes, such as sleeping, dreaming, concentrating, and making decisions
WAKING CONSCIOUSNESS mental state that encompasses the thoughts, feelings and perceptions that occur when we are awake and reasonably alert


mental state that differs noticeably from normal waking consciousness-daydreaming, sleep, dreaming,hypnosis, meditation,intoxication
CIRCADIAN RHYTHM: Within each 24 hour period, the regular fluctuation from high to low points of certain body functions-daily cycle
REM (paradoxical) SLEEP: sleep stage with rapid eye movement -most vivid dreams occur-difficult to awaken,paralysis of large muscles, fast/irregular heart rate, increased brain wave activity
NON-REM (NREM) SLEEP: non rapid eye movement stages of sleep that alternate with REM stages during cycle. Non-rapid eye movement sleep has four sleep stages characterized by slow regular respiration and heart rate, an absence of rapid eye movement and blood pressure and brain activity at low point of 24 hour clock
SLEEP CYCLE a cycle of sleep lasting about 90 minutes and including one or more stages of NREM sleep followed by a period of REM sleep
SLOW WAVE SLEEP stages 3 and 4; deep sleep
DELTA WAVE SLEEP the slowest brain-wave pattern; associated with stage 3 and 4
STAGE 4 SLEEP the deepest NREM stage of sleep, characterized by EEG of more than 50% delta waves
MICROSLEEP: a momentary lapse from wakefulness into sleep usually occurring when a person is sleep deprived
REM REBOUND: the increased amount of sleep that comes after REM deprivation; often associated with unpleasant dreams or nightmares
REM DREAMS dreamlike story quality dream that occurs continuously during REM; vivid, visual, emotional, bizarre
NREM DREAMS: Mental activity during NREM more thought like than REM dream
SENSORY DEPRIVATION: extreme reduction of sensory stimulation
PARASOMNIAS Sleep disturbances where behaviours and physiological states that normally occur only during the waking state take place during sleep or the transition from sleep to wakefulness
SOMNABULISM: Sleepwalking that occurs during partial arousal from stage 4 sleep
SLEEP TERROR A sleep disturbance where a person partially awakens from stage 4 sleep with a scream, in a dazed, groggy, racing heart, panicky state
NARCOLEPSY a serious sleep disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and sudden uncontrollable attacks of REM sleep usually 10-20 minutes-usually has triggers
SLEEP APNEA: a sleep disorder characterized by periods when breathing stops during sleep and person must awaken briefly to breathe; major symptoms are excessive daytime sleepiness and loud snoring
INSOMNIA: sleep disorder characterized by difficulty falling or staying asleep or by light restless or poor sleep, causing distress and impaired daytime function
MEDITATION any of various methods of concentration, reflection or focusing of thoughts to suppress the activity of the sympathetic nervous system -lowers rate of metabolism,heart and respiratory system
HYPNOSIS: trance like state in which a person responds readily to suggestions
PSYCHOACTIVE DRUGS chemical substances that change moods and perceptions
SUBSTANCE ABUSE a pattern of drug abuse that diminishes the ability to fulfil responsibilities at home, work or school that results in repeated use of a drug in dangerous situations or that leads to legal difficulties related to drug use
SUBSTANCE DEPENDENCE a pattern of compulsive drug taking that results in tolerance, withdrawal symptoms or other specific symptoms for at least a year
DOUBLE-BLIND PROCEDURE study where neither researcher or subject knows which subjects are receiving an active drug and which are receiving an inactive substitute (placebo).
DEPRESSANTS chemicals that slow down behaviour or cognitive processes-alcohol, barbiturates, opiates-SLANG NAME DOWNERS
BARBITURATES potentially deadly depressants first used as sedative and anti convulsant now used for epilepsy arthritis
OPIATES drugs such as opium and heroin derived from opium poppy that dull senses and induce euphoria, well being relaxation-also includes synthetic derivatives
NARCOTICS derived from the opium poppy, a class of depressant drugs that have pain relieving calming effects
HEROIN A highly addictive partly synthetic narcotic derived from morphine
STIMULANTS drugs including amphetamines and cocaine that stimulate sympathetic nervous system and produce feelings of optimism and energy SLANG NAME UPPERS
AMPHETAMINES stimulant drugs producing rush of euphoria followed by crash and depression
COCAINE drug derived from cocoa plant produces euphoria by stimulating sympathetic nervous system leads to anxiety depression and addictive craving
HALLUCINOGENS drugs such s LSD and mescaline that distort visual and auditory perception (peyote,PCP)
LSD Lysergic acid diethylamide: hallucinogenic drug produces hallucinations and delusions similar to psychotic state
CRACK The most potent, inexpensive and addictive form of cocaine, smoked
CRASH Feelings of depression, exhaustion, irritability and anxiety following an amphetamine, cocaine or crack high



Information on this site is authorized for use only by the students of this course.Students have permission to copy any of the content. For copyright information of the linked sites please see the respective authors.

2003 Karen E.Hamilton