In this section, we will study consciousness in a number of forms. First, will explore what consciousness is and whether feeling like we consciously caused an action to occur means we actually did cause it.
Then, we’ll learn about the processes of sleep and the major theories of why we sleep. There are a number of disorders that can result when these processes go awry, and we will categorize these disorders according to the stage of sleep in which they occur.
Next, we will learn about various drugs that have effects on consciousness.
Finally, we will consider the effect meditation and hypnosis on consciousness and other outcomes.
Read Chapter 6 and then complete the Chapter 6 Aplia assignment.
- What is consciousness?
- Do you think machines can designed to interact in a way that is impossible to distinguish from humans?
- How is self-awareness defined? How is it operationalized in experiments? Do you agree with the way researchers test for self-awareness? Are there any factors that might result in a false positive or false negative outcome of the test?
- What is the binding problem? Evaluate the proposed solution– does it make sense? Do you have other ideas for how this process might work?
- Describe the stages of sleep, including REM. Which sleep disorders are associated with each stage?
- Why is REM sleep important?
- Compare and contrast the theories about why we dream.
- (look back at Chapter 2) What is a case study? What are the pros and cons of case studies? Describe one of the case studies presented in the Consciousness and Brain Damage section. What did the researchers learn? What are the limitations?
- What are the key effects of hallucinogens, stimulants, depressants, and opiates? Of the specific drugs described, which do you think is the most harmful?
- Is hypnosis real? What evidence supports your position? What evidence could be found that would argue against your position?
- What are the benefits of meditation?
- SciAm article: Neuroscience Challenges Old Ideas about Free Will featuring Michael Gazzaniga
- Who’s in Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain by Michael Gazzaniga
- The Illusion of Conscious Will by Daniel Wegner
- SciAm article: How Physics and Neuroscience Dictate Your “Free” Will by Christof Koch
- The Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain by Antonio Damasio
- TED Talk: Antonio Damasio: The quest to understand consciousness
- Cog: A Human-like Robot (MIT)
- Self-Recognition by Animals (Science Daily)
- New York Times Topic: Sleep
- TED Talk: Jessa Gamble: Our natural sleep cycle
- What Are Dreams? (NOVA) (not on Rotten Tomatoes yet!)
- Mouse Party
- Addiction (HBO) (post a review on Rotten Tomatoes if you want and let me know!)
- New York Times article: A General in the Drug War featuring Nora Volkow (video too)
Suggest a link! Click HERE