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41 Key Terms of States of Consciousness

alpha wave
type of relatively low frequency, relatively high amplitude brain wave that becomes synchronized; characteristic of the beginning of stage 1 sleep
biological rhythm
internal cycle of biological activity
cataplexy
lack of muscle tone or muscle weakness, and in some cases complete paralysis of the voluntary muscles
central sleep apnea
sleep disorder with periods of interrupted breathing due to a disruption in signals sent from the brain that regulate breathing
circadian rhythm
biological rhythm that occurs over approximately 24 hours
codeine
opiate with relatively low potency often prescribed for minor pain
cognitive-behavioural therapy
psychotherapy that focuses on cognitive processes and problem behaviours that is sometimes used to treat sleep disorders such as insomnia
collective unconscious
theoretical repository of information shared by all people across cultures, as described by Carl Jung
consciousness
awareness of internal and external stimuli
continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
device used to treat sleep apnea; includes a mask that fits over the sleeper’s nose and mouth, which is connected to a pump that pumps air into the person’s airways, forcing them to remain open

divided attention

the process in which individuals attend to many sources of information at once
delta wave
type of low frequency, high amplitude brain wave characteristic of stage 3 and stage 4 sleep
depressant
drug that tends to suppress central nervous system activity
euphoric high
feelings of intense elation and pleasure from drug use
evolutionary psychology
discipline that studies how universal patterns of behaviour and cognitive processes have evolved over time as a result of natural selection
hallucinogen
one of a class of drugs that results in profound alterations in sensory and perceptual experiences, often with vivid hallucinations
homeostasis
tendency to maintain a balance, or optimal level, within a biological system
hypnosis
state of extreme self-focus and attention in which minimal attention is given to external stimuli
insomnia
consistent difficulty in falling or staying asleep for at least three nights a week over a month’s time
jet lag
collection of symptoms brought on by travel from one time zone to another that results from the mismatch between our internal circadian cycles and our environment
K-complex
very high amplitude pattern of brain activity associated with stage 2 sleep that may occur in response to environmental stimuli
latent content
hidden meaning of a dream, per Sigmund Freud’s view of the function of dreams
lucid dream
people become aware that they are dreaming and can control the dream’s content
manifest content
storyline of events that occur during a dream, per Sigmund Freud’s view of the function of dreams
meditation
clearing the mind in order to achieve a state of relaxed awareness and focus
melatonin
hormone secreted by the endocrine gland that serves as an important regulator of the sleep-wake cycle
meta-analysis
study that combines the results of several related studies
methadone
synthetic opioid that is less euphorogenic than heroin and similar drugs; used to manage withdrawal symptoms in opiate users
methadone clinic
uses methadone to treat withdrawal symptoms in opiate users
methamphetamine
type of amphetamine that can be made from pseudoephedrine, an over-the-counter drug; widely manufactured and abused
narcolepsy
sleep disorder in which the sufferer cannot resist falling to sleep at inopportune times
night terror
sleep disorder in which the sleeper experiences a sense of panic and may scream or attempt to escape from the immediate environment
non-REM (NREM)
period of sleep outside periods of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep
obstructive sleep apnea
sleep disorder defined by episodes when breathing stops during sleep as a result of blockage of the airway
opiate/opioid
one of a category of drugs that has strong analgesic properties; opiates are produced from the resin of the opium poppy; includes heroin, morphine, methadone, and codeine
parinsomnia
one of a group of sleep disorders characterized by unwanted, disruptive motor activity and/or experiences during sleep
physical dependence
changes in normal bodily functions that cause a drug user to experience withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of use
pineal gland
endocrine structure located inside the brain that releases melatonin
psychological dependence
emotional, rather than a physical, need for a drug which may be used to relieve psychological distress
rapid eye movement (REM) sleep
period of sleep characterized by brain waves very similar to those during wakefulness and by darting movements of the eyes under closed eyelids
REM sleep behaviour disorder (RBD)
sleep disorder in which the muscle paralysis associated with the REM sleep phase does not occur; sleepers have high levels of physical activity during REM sleep, especially during disturbing dreams
restless leg syndrome
sleep disorder in which the sufferer has uncomfortable sensations in the legs when trying to fall asleep that are relieved by moving the legs
rotating shift work
work schedule that changes from early to late on a daily or weekly basis
selective attention
the ability to select certain stimuli in the environment to process, while ignoring distracting information
sleep
state marked by relatively low levels of physical activity and reduced sensory awareness that is distinct from periods of rest that occur during wakefulness
sleep apnea
sleep disorder defined by episodes during which breathing stops during sleep
sleep debt
result of insufficient sleep on a chronic basis
sleep rebound
sleep-deprived individuals will experience shorter sleep latencies during subsequent opportunities for sleep
sleep regulation
brain’s control of switching between sleep and wakefulness as well as coordinating this cycle with the outside world
sleep spindle
rapid burst of high frequency brain waves during stage 2 sleep that may be important for learning and memory
sleepwalking
(also, somnambulism) sleep disorder in which the sleeper engages in relatively complex behaviours
stage 1 sleep
first stage of sleep; transitional phase that occurs between wakefulness and sleep; the period during which a person drifts off to sleep
stage 2 sleep
second stage of sleep; the body goes into deep relaxation; characterized by the appearance of sleep spindles
stage 3 sleep
third stage of sleep; deep sleep characterized by low frequency, high amplitude delta waves
stage 4 sleep
fourth stage of sleep; deep sleep characterized by low frequency, high amplitude delta waves
stimulant
drug that tends to increase overall levels of neural activity; includes caffeine, nicotine, amphetamines, and cocaine
suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN)
area of the hypothalamus in which the body’s biological clock is located
theta wave
type of low frequency, high amplitude brain wave characteristic of stage 1 and stage 2 sleep
tolerance
state of requiring increasing quantities of the drug to gain the desired effect
wakefulness
characterized by high levels of sensory awareness, thought, and behaviour
withdrawal
variety of negative symptoms experienced when drug use is discontinued

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Key Terms of States of Consciousness by Edited by Leanne Stevens is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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