I did WHAT?

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Chapter 5 is all about consciousness, our subjective experience of the world and ourselves. This is an incredibly interesting chapter that talks about phenomena related to consciousness such as sleep, dreams, hypnosis and drugs.
Dreaming occurs mostly during REM sleep, a stage of sleep that involves extra brain activity and "rapid-eye movement" (hence the name REM), and sometimes in non-REM sleep. The chapter also covers disorders related to sleep, including sleep-walking. Sleepwalkers don't remember details of their seemingly conscious experiences, which include (but are not limited to) driving, using computers, having sex and other such things, leading to reactions like "I did WHAT when I was sleepwalking?"
Hypnosis is another popular conscious-altered state. It can be defined as a set of techniques that provides people with suggestions for alterations in their perceptions, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors (Lilienfield 2010). Once thought to be another form of pseudoscience, hypnosis has many myths and theories associated with it. One such myth is that it is a trance. The trance-like state that hypnotees experience is simply the ease of response to suggestions.
The final main topic of this interesting chapter covers psychoactive drugs and their effects on our consciousness. These types of drugs contain mind-altering chemicals which are naturally in our brains. Depressants slow down or calm our senses, stimulants "rev up our central nervous system," narcotics take pain away, and psychedelics have similar effects on our consciousness as dreams (Lilienfeld 2010).
All in all, our consciousness and the seemingly supernatural experiences we have are still studied and debated today and, at least for me, are topics that I am very interested in.

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This page contains a single entry by abexx024 published on January 26, 2012 7:46 AM.

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