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Our awareness of ourselves and our environment.

selective attention

the focusing of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus, as in the cocktail party effect


Information that is not conscious but is retrievable into conscious awareness


the part of the mind that contains material of which we are unaware but that strongly influences conscious processes and behaviors


the level of consciousness devoted to processes completely unavailable to conscious awareness (e.g., fingernails growing)

altered states of consciousness

mental state that differs noticeably from normal waking consciousness; Examples: sleep, daydreaming, dreaming, meditation, hypnosis, influence of drugs and alcohol

circadian rhythms

The 24-hour biological cycles found in humans and many other species.

rapid eye movement sleep

a stage of sleep characterized by rapid eye movements and linked to dreaming; also called REM sleep


an inability to sleep

night terror

a sleep disorder characterized by high arousal and apparent terror; unlike nightmares, night terrors are seldom remembered

sleep apnea

a sleep disorder characterized by temporary cessations of breathing during sleep and repeated momentary awakenings


a sleep disorder characterized by sudden and uncontrollable episodes of deep sleep


continuous and profound contemplation or musing on a subject or series of subjects of a deep or abstruse nature


A clinical technique used to help a person learn to relax by monitoring muscle tension, heart rate, brainwave activity, or other body activities.


a social interaction in which one person suggests to another that certain perceptions, feelings, thoughts, or behaviors will spontaneously occur


being abnormally tolerant to and dependent on something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming (especially alcohol or narcotic drugs)


drugs (such as alcohol, barbiturates, and opiates) that reduce neural activity and slow body functions.


excitement and elation beyond the bounds of sobriety


specific drugs that are obtainable only by prescription and are used to relieve pain


a drug that temporarily quickens some vital process


a central nervous system stimulant that increases energy and decreases appetite


delusion; false idea; false perception of objects with a compelling sense of their reality


false belief; hallucination; deluding; Ex. delusions of grandeur


a substance capable of producing a sensory effect in the absence of real external sensory stimuli


a treatment for addiction to drugs or alcohol intended to remove the physiological effects of the addictive substances


the power of retaining and recalling past experience

episodic memory

memory for episodes in your own life

semantic memory

your memory for meanings and general (impersonal) facts

explicit memory

memory of facts and experiences that one can consciously know and "declare"

implicit memory

retention independent of conscious recollection


the activity of converting from plain text into code


The process by which information is maintained over a period of time

maintenance rehearsal

A system for remembering involving repeating information to oneself without attempting to find meaning in it

elaborative rehearsal

Rehearsal in which meaning is added to the material to be remembered


the act of regaining or saving something lost (or in danger of becoming lost)

context-dependent memories

information that is more easily retrieved in the context in which it was encoded and stored

state- dependent memories

memories in which information is more easily retrieved when one is in the same physiological or emotional state as when the memory was originally encoded or learned

sensory memory

the immediate, very brief recording of sensory information in the memory system

iconic memory

a momentary sensory memory of visual stimuli; a photographic or picture-image memory lasting no more than a few tenths of a second

eidetic imagery

A form of memory, often called photographic memory, which consists of especially vivid visual recollections of material.

echoic memory

a momentary sensory memory of auditory stimuli; if attention is elsewhere, sounds and words can still be recalled within 3 or 4 seconds

short term memory

activated memory that holds a few items briefly, such as the seven digits of a phone number while dialing, before the information is stored or forgotten

primacy effect

The tendency to show greater memory for information that comes first in a sequence.

recency effect

The tendency to show greater memory for information that comes last in a sequence.


the configuration of smaller units of information into large coordinated units


electrical or acoustic activity that can disturb communication

long term memory

the relatively permanent and limitless storehouse of the memory system


conceptual frameworks a person uses to make sense of the world


designation by the chair granting a person the right to speak in a deliberative body


cause one's (or someone else's) thoughts or attention to return from a reverie or digression


A memory measure that assesses the amount of time saved when learning material for a second time


Fading away of memory over time

retrograde amnesia

loss of memory for events immediately preceding a trauma

anterograde amnesia

loss of memory for events immediately following a trauma

infantile amnesia

the inability to remember events that occurred during one's early years (before age three)

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