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Circadian Rhythms

Internally generated patterns of body functions, including hormonal signals, sleep, blood pressure, and temperature regulation, which have approximately a 24-hour cycle and occur even in the absence of normal cues about whether it is day or night.

Three Theories of Sleep

1. Repair and Restoration
2. Evolutionary Theory
3. Memory Consolidation

Repair and Restoration

a. REM restores mental functioning
b. NREM restores physiological functioning
Evidence: Sleep deprived people are more likely to become ill or die

Evolutionary Theory

a. Carnivores more active at night
b. Small prey species tend to sleep less than predators

Memory Consolidation

Based on cognitive research showing a link between sleep and memory.

Levels of Awareness

Even while asleep, we have some level of awareness. Sleep does not mean unconciousness.

Electroencephalograph (EEG)

Measures electric activity in the brain.

Electromyograph (EMG)

Measures muscle tension.

Electro-oculograph (EOG)

Measures eye movement.

Electrocardiograph (EKG)

Measures heart rate.

Beta Waves

Normal waking thought, alert problem solving; 13-24 cps.

Alpha Waves

Deep relaxation, blank mind, meditation; 8-12 cps.

Theta Waves

Light Sleep; 4-7 cps.


Deep sleep; >4 cps.

Sleep Stages

Awake: Delta and Alpha waves
Stage 1: "Sleep Spindles" (short bursts of alpha waves)
Stage 2: Theta waves, and "K complexes"
Stage 3: Delta waves (low-frequency, high voltage)
Stage 4: steepest sleep spindles, slowest delta waveform
Rem Sleep

Sleep Apnea

Involves frequent, reflexive gasping for air that awakens a person and disrupts sleep. Breathing stops for a minimum of 10 seconds while sleeping. Usually accompanied by loud snoring. 2% of women and 4% of men between ages 30 and 60 have this disorder.
Related to obesity.


Occurs when a person arises and wanders about while remaining asleep. Tends to occur within the first 3 hours of sleep (during slow-wave sleep). Episodes can last from 15-30 minutes. More common among young adults.


Marked by chronic problems getting adequate sleep including difficulty falling asleep, difficulty remaining asleep, and early morning awakenings. 20-40% of adults complain of insomnia in a 1-year period. Difficulties increase with age. More common in women than men
Sedative drugs
Melatonin treatment
Cognitive-behavioral treatment/sleep hygiene
Relaxation training


Disease marked by sudden and irresistible onsets of sleep during normal waking periods. Such individuals go instantly from wakefulness into REM sleep for about 10-20 minutes. Occurs in about 0.05% of the population. Appears to have a genetic component.

Theories of Dreaming

1. Wish fulfillment
2. Problem-solving
3. Activation-synthesis
4. Temperature regulation

Psychoactive Drugs

Chemical substances that modify mental, emotional, or behavioral functioning. Effects of drugs vary person-to-person depending on the user's: age, mood, motivation, personality, previous experience with drug, body weight, and physiology.

Physical Dependence

Exists when a person must continue to take a drug to avoid withdrawal illness.

Psychological Dependence

Exists when a person must continue to take a drug to satisfy intense mental and emotional cravings.


A progressive decrease in a person's responsiveness to a drug as a result of continued use. Compensatory conditioned responses. Can lead to overdose in new environments.

Narcotics (Opiates)

Examples: Morphine, Heroin
Methods of Ingestion: Injected, smoked, oral
Principal Medical Uses: Pain relief
Desired Effects: Euphoria, relaxation, anxiety reduction, pain relief
Potential Short-Term Side Effects: Lethargy, drowsiness, nausea, impaired coordination, impaired mental functioning, constipation


Examples: Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines
Methods of Ingestion: oral, injected
Principal Medical Uses: Sleeping pill, anticonvulsant
Desired Effects: Euphoria, relaxation, anxiety reduction, reduced inhibitions
Potential Short-Term Side Effects: Lethargy, drowsiness, severely impaired coordination, impaired mental functioning, emotional swings, dejection


Examples: Amphetamines, Cocaine
Methods of Ingestion: oral, sniffed, injected, freebased, smoked
Principal Medical Uses: Treatment of hyperactivity and narcolepsy, local anesthetic (cocaine only)
Desired Effects: Elation, excitement, increased alertness, increased energy, reduced fatigue
Potential Short-Term Side Effects: Increased blood pressure and heart rate, increased talkativeness, restlessness, irritability, insomnia, reduced appetite, increased sweating and urination, anxiety, paranoia, increased aggressiveness, panic


Examples: LSD, Mescaline, Psilocybin
Methods of Ingestion: Oral
Principal Medical Uses: None
Desired Effects: Increased sensory awareness, euphoria, altered perceptions, hallucinations, insightful experiences
Potential Short-Term Side Effects: Dilated pupils, nausea, emotional swings, paranoia, jumbled thought processes, impaired judgment, anxiety, panic reaction


Examples: Marijuana, Hashish, THC
Methods of Ingestion: Smoked, oral
Principal Medical Uses: Treatment of glaucoma and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting; other uses under study
Desired Effects: Mild euphoria, relaxation, altered perceptions, enhanced awareness
Potential Short-Term Side Effects: Elevated eart rate, bloodshot eyes, dry mouth, reduced short-term memory, sluggish motor coordination, sluggish mental functioning, anxiety


Methods of Ingestion: Drinking
Principal Medical Uses: None
Desired Effects: Mild euphoria, relaxation, anxiety reduction, reduced inhibitions
Potential Short-Term Side Effects: Severely impaired coordination, impaired mental functioning, increased urination, emotional swings, depression, quarrelsomeness, hangover


The process through which experience modifies pre-existing behavior or knowledge; occurs via experience and observation of the relationship between events.


Learning associations between events in the environment.

Classical (Pavlovian) Conditioning

A type of learning in which a stimulus acquires the capacity to elicit a response originall elicited by another stimulus.

Unconditioned Stimulus

In classical conditioning, a stimulus that unconditionally—naturally and automatically—triggers a response.

Unconditioned Response

In classical conditioning, the unlearned, naturally occurring response to the unconditioned stimulus (US), such as salivation when food is in the mouth.

Conditioned Stimulus

In classical conditioning, an originally irrelevant stimulus that, after association with an unconditioned stimulus, comes to trigger a conditioned response.

Conditioned Response

In classical conditioning, the learned response to a previously neutral (but now conditioned) stimulus (CS).

Basic Processes in Classical Conditioning

Spontaneous Recovery
Stimulus Generalization
Stimulus Discrimination
Higher-Order Conditioning
CS used as UCS in next pairing

Processes in Operant Conditioning

Successive Approximations
Stimulus Control


Strengthen response tendencies (primary and secondary; secondary is conditioned).

Schedules of Reinforcement

Ratio: Dependent on behavior
Fixed: certain # of behaviors before
Variable: # of behaviors needed for
reinforcement change (vary)
Interval Schedules: Dependent on time
Fixed: reinforcement given on a set schedule
Variable: Amount of time before reinforcements

Positive Reinforcement

Strengthen a response by presenting a reward.

Negative Reinforcement

Strengthen a response by removing an aversive stimulus. Escape/avoidance learning: responses are adopted to escape/avoid aversive stimuli.
Phobia extinction


Weakens response tendencies; Can either present an aversive or remove a reinforcer
E.g., getting spanked after stealing a cookie or getting a ball taken away after throwing it in the house.

Learned Helplessness

Failure to act due to perceived lack of control over contingencies.

Superstitious learning/behavior

Skinner's subjects began picking up odd habits, such as preening or turning, because they incorrectly paired those habits with a reward.

Taste Aversion

A type of classical conditioning in which a previously desirable or neutral food comes to be perceived as repugnant because it is associated with negative stimulation.

Ecologically Relevant Stimuli

When conditioning fits an organisim's ecological role, it is paired more easily.

Latent Learning

Learning that occurs but is not apparent until there is an incentive to demonstrate it.

Observational Learning

Responses are influenced by observing the behavior of others (models).

Basic Processes:


First stage of the memory process; in it information is transformed or coded (a transduction process) into a form that can be processed further and stored.

Three Basic Processes of Memory



Convert memories into a form we can store in our memory.


Memory can be stored for varying lengths of time.


Bring memory into consciousness.

Types of Encoding



Encodes visual aspects
Examples: People's faces, capitalized letters of a word


Encodes sound
Examples: Retain melodies and catch phrases


Encodes meaning
Examples: More likely to remember when you think about what the material means, not rote memorization.

Enriched Encoding

The more information you have on a certain subject, the better chance you have of retrieval in the future.

Short-Term Memory

Memories must be processed here for permanent storage. Approximately 20 seconds in duration. 7 +/- 2 chunks capacity at any one time.


Meaningful unit of information.

Long-Term Memory

Permanent storage with very large capacity (maybe unlimited). Rehearsal is necessary for transfer from STM to LTM.


Save or maintain memories in STM for a short period (repetition).


Attach meaning to material to be remembered. More permanent memory for transfer to LTM.

Semantic Clusters

We organize memories in these, information is connected in clusters. When they are activated multiple things alone the cluster are activated.


Increases memory retrieval by relating items to one another.

Memory Cues

Any stimulus associated with a memory; usually enhance retrieval of a memory.


When you remember as many pieces of information as you can; the order does not matter.

Mnemonic Devices

Techniques for using associations to memorize and retrieve information.

Recognition Test

Test in which retention is measured by the ability to pick out previously learned items from a list that also contains unfamiliar items.

Relearning Test

Test of retention that compares the time or trials required to learn material a second time with the time or trials required to learn the material the first time.

Why do we forget?

Ineffective encoding (lower level of processing), decay, interference (retroactive vs. proactive), retrieval failure, repression (when we want to forget the information), amnesia

Types of Amnesia

Retrograde and Anterograde

Retrograde Amnesia

Loss of memories that were stored before a traumatic event.

Anterograde Amnesia

Inability to store new memories after a traumatic event.

Episodic Memory

Memory of one's life, including time of occurrence.

Procedural/Nondeclarative/Implicit Memory

A subsystem within Long term memory which consists of skills we acquire through repetition and practice (e.g., dance, playing the piano, driving a car).

Episodic/Declarative/Explicit Memory

Memory of learned skills that does not require conscious recollection.


Kills cells mainly in the hippocampus and cortex leads to impairment in memory.

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