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our awareness of ourselves and our environment

Biological rhythms

periodic physiological fluctuations

Circadian rhythm

the biological clock; regular bodily rhythms that occur on a 24-hr cycle

Suprachiasmatic nucleus

cluster in pineal gland that releases light-sensitive retinal proteins


neurotransmitter that delays sleep

alpha waves

relatively slow brain waves of a relaxed, awake state (conscious)


periodic, natural, reversible loss of consciousness - as distinct from unconsciousness resulting from a coma, general anesthesia, or hibernation


false sensory experiences, such as seeing something in the absence of an external visual stimulus

Hypnagogic sensations

feeling of falling and jerking awake or floating weightlessly

Sleep spindles

bursts of rapid, rhythmic brainwave activity

Delta waves

large, slow brain waves associated with deep sleep in stage 4 sleep

REM sleep

rapid eye movement sleep, a recurring sleep stage during which vivid dreams commonly occur; aka paradoxical sleep


recurring problems in falling or staying asleep


a sleep disorder characterized by uncontrollable sleep attacks. The sufferer may lapse directly into REM sleep at inopportune times

Sleep apnea

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

Night terrors

a sleep disorder characterized bt high arousal and an appearance of being terrified; unlike nightmares, they occur during stage 4 sleep, w/i 2-3 hrs of falling asleep, and are seldom remembered


a sequence of images, emotions, and thoughts passing thru a sleeping person's mind

Manifest content

according to Freud, the remembered storyline of a dream

Latent content

underlying meaning of a dream

Information processing theory

sifts, sorts, and fixes the day's experiences into our memory

Physiological function

dreams may provide brain with periodic stimulation to develop and preserve neural pathways

Activation-synthesis theory

neural activity is random, and dreams are brain's attempt to make sense of it

REM rebound

tendency for REM sleep to increase following REM sleep deprivation (repeated awakenings in REM)


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

Posthypnotic suggestion

a suggestion, made during a hypnosis session, to be carried out after the subject is no longer hypnotized; used by some clinicians to help control undesired symptoms and behaviors


a split in consciousness, which allows some thoughts and behaviors to occur simultaneously with others

Near-death experience

an altered state of consciousness reported after a close brush with death; often similar to drug-induced hallucinations


the presumption that mind are body are two distinct entities that interact


the presumption that mind and body are different aspects of the same thing

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