WorldWideScience

Sample records for consciousness disorders

  1. Music in disorders of consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jens Dieter Rollnik

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available This review presents an overview of the use of music therapy in neurological early rehabilitation of patients with coma and other disorders of consciousness (DOC such as unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (UWS or minimally conscious state (MCS. There is evidence that patients suffering from UWS show emotional processing of auditory information, such as listening to speech. Thus, it seems reasonable to believe that music listening – as part of an enriched environment setting – may be of therapeutic value in these patients. There is, however, a considerable lack of evidence. The authors strongly encourage further studies to evaluate the efficacy of music listening in patients with DOC in neurological early rehabilitation. These studies should consider a precise clinical definition and homogeneity of the patient cohort with respect to the quality (coma vs. UWS vs. MCS, duration (rather weeks to months than days and cause (traumatic vs. non-traumatic of DOC, a standardised intervention protocol, valid clinical outcome parameters over a longer observation period (weeks to months, monitoring of neurophysiological and vegetative parameters and, if available, neuroimaging to confirm diagnosis and to demonstrate responses and functional changes in the patients` brains.

  2. Music in disorders of consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rollnik, Jens D.; Altenmüller, Eckart

    2014-01-01

    This review presents an overview of the use of music therapy in neurological early rehabilitation of patients with coma and other disorders of consciousness (DOC) such as unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (UWS) or minimally conscious state (MCS). There is evidence that patients suffering from UWS show emotional processing of auditory information, such as listening to speech. Thus, it seems reasonable to believe that music listening—as part of an enriched environment setting—may be of therapeutic value in these patients. There is, however, a considerable lack of evidence. The authors strongly encourage further studies to evaluate the efficacy of music listening in patients with DOC in neurological early rehabilitation. These studies should consider a precise clinical definition and homogeneity of the patient cohort with respect to the quality (coma vs. UWS vs. MCS), duration (rather weeks to months than days) and cause (traumatic vs. non-traumatic) of DOC, a standardized intervention protocol, valid clinical outcome parameters over a longer observation period (weeks to months), monitoring of neurophysiological and vegetative parameters and, if available, neuroimaging to confirm diagnosis and to demonstrate responses and functional changes in the patients' brains. PMID:25071434

  3. Consciousness in Non-Epileptic Attack Disorder

    OpenAIRE

    Reuber, M.; Kurthen, M.

    2011-01-01

    Non-epileptic attack disorder (NEAD) is one of the most important differential diagnoses of epilepsy. Impairment of\\ud consciousness is the key feature of non-epileptic attacks (NEAs). The first half of this review summarises the clinical research\\ud literature featuring observations relating to consciousness in NEAD. The second half places this evidence in the wider context\\ud of the recent discourse on consciousness in neuroscience and the philosophy of mind. We argue that studies of consci...

  4. Consciousness in non-epileptic attack disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reuber, Markus; Kurthen, M

    2011-01-01

    Non-epileptic attack disorder (NEAD) is one of the most important differential diagnoses of epilepsy. Impairment of consciousness is the key feature of non-epileptic attacks (NEAs). The first half of this review summarises the clinical research literature featuring observations relating to consciousness in NEAD. The second half places this evidence in the wider context of the recent discourse on consciousness in neuroscience and the philosophy of mind. We argue that studies of consciousness should not only distinguish between the 'level' and `content' of consciousness but also between 'phenomenal consciousness' (consciousness of states it somehow "feels to be like") and 'access consciousness' (having certain 'higher' cognitive processes at one's disposal). The existing evidence shows that there is a great intra- and interindividual variability of NEA experience. However, in most NEAs phenomenal experience - and, as a precondition for that experience, vigilance or wakefulness - is reduced to a lesser degree than in those epileptic seizures involving impairment of consciousness. In fact, complete loss of "consciousness" is the exception rather than the rule in NEAs. Patients, as well as external observers, may have a tendency to overestimate impairments of consciousness during the seizures.

  5. Neural plasticity lessons from disorders of consciousness

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    Athena eDemertzi

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Communication and intentional behavior are supported by the brain’s integrity at a structural and a functional level. When widespread loss of cerebral connectivity is brought about as a result of a severe brain injury, in many cases patients are not capable of conscious interactive behavior and are said to suffer from disorders of consciousness (e.g., coma, vegetative state /unresponsive wakefulness syndrome, minimally conscious states. This lesion paradigm has offered not only clinical insights, as how to improve diagnosis, prognosis and treatment, but also put forward scientific opportunities to study the brain’s plastic abilities. We here review interventional and observational studies performed in severely brain-injured patients with regards to recovery of consciousness. The study of the recovered conscious brain (spontaneous and/or after surgical or pharmacologic interventions, suggests a link between some specific brain areas and the capacity of the brain to sustain conscious experience, challenging at the same time the notion of fixed temporal boundaries in rehabilitative processes. Altered functional connectivity, cerebral structural reorganization as well as behavioral amelioration after invasive treatments will be discussed as the main indices for plasticity in these challenging patients. The study of patients with chronic disorders of consciousness may, thus, provide further insights not only at a clinical level (i.e., medical management and rehabilitation but also from a scientific-theoretical perspective (i.e., the brain’s plastic abilities and the pursuit of the neural correlate of consciousness.

  6. Functional neuroanatomy of disorders of consciousness.

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    Di Perri, Carol; Stender, Johan; Laureys, Steven; Gosseries, Olivia

    2014-01-01

    Our understanding of the mechanisms of loss and recovery of consciousness, following severe brain injury or during anesthesia, is changing rapidly. Recent neuroimaging studies have shown that patients with chronic disorders of consciousness and subjects undergoing general anesthesia present a complex dysfunctionality in the architecture of brain connectivity. At present, the global hallmark of impaired consciousness appears to be a multifaceted dysfunctional connectivity pattern with both within-network loss of connectivity in a widespread frontoparietal network and between-network hyperconnectivity involving other regions such as the insula and ventral tegmental area. Despite ongoing efforts, the mechanisms underlying the emergence of consciousness after severe brain injury are not thoroughly understood. Important questions remain unanswered: What triggers the connectivity impairment leading to disorders of consciousness? Why do some patients recover from coma, while others with apparently similar brain injuries do not? Understanding these mechanisms could lead to a better comprehension of brain function and, hopefully, lead to new therapeutic strategies in this challenging patient population. © 2013.

  7. Understanding visual consciousness in autism spectrum disorders.

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    Yatziv, Tal; Jacobson, Hilla

    2015-01-01

    The paper focuses on the question of what the (visual) perceptual differences are between individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and typically developing (TD) individuals. We argue against the view that autistic subjects have a deficiency in the most basic form of perceptual consciousness-namely, phenomenal consciousness. Instead, we maintain, the perceptual atypicality of individuals with autism is of a more conceptual and cognitive sort-their perceptual experiences share crucial aspects with TD individuals. Our starting point is Ben Shalom's (2005, 2009) three-level processing framework for explaining atypicality in several domains of processing among autistics, which we compare with two other tripartite models of perception-Jackendoff's (1987) and Prinz's (2000, 2005a, 2007) Intermediate Level Hypothesis and Lamme's (2004, 2006, 2010) neural account of consciousness. According to these models, whereas the second level of processing is concerned with viewer-centered visual representations of basic visual properties and incorporates some early forms of integration, the third level is more cognitive and conceptual. We argue that the data suggest that the atypicality in autism is restricted mainly to the third level. More specifically, second-level integration, which is the mark of phenomenal consciousness, is typical, yet third-level integration of perceptual objects and concepts is atypical. Thus, the basic experiences of individuals with autism are likely to be similar to typical subjects' experiences; the main difference lies in the sort of cognitive access the subjects have to their experiences. We conclude by discussing implications of the suggested analysis of experience in autism for conceptions of phenomenal consciousness.

  8. Music therapy with disorders of consciousness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Magee, Wendy L.; O'Kelly, Julian

    , evidence-based therapeutic methods are developed from an understanding of music perception and cognition. However, there are several key challenges. First, developing a theory-based clinical and research approach is necessary to deepen understandings of the complex interactions between music stimulus......Music therapy is a clinical healthcare discipline that draws its evidence base from a number of theoretical frameworks, including psychology and music neuroscience to improve the health and well-being in individuals from varied clinical populations. Working with individuals across the lifespan...... is to present the latest developments in music therapy intervention and measurement with people with disorders of consciousness stemming from acquired profound brain injury. We will share a standardized clinical protocol and examine recent research findings that illustrate the benefits of music-based methods...

  9. The schizophrenias as disorders of self consciousness

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Adele

    2004-12-29

    Dec 29, 2004 ... across cultures, and the variations in outcome corresponding with these differences, are proposed ... The problem of consciousness, autonomy and the self ..... prognosis in more individualist, materialist, free-enterprise socio-.

  10. Divergent neural responses to narrative speech in disorders of consciousness.

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    Iotzov, Ivan; Fidali, Brian C; Petroni, Agustin; Conte, Mary M; Schiff, Nicholas D; Parra, Lucas C

    2017-11-01

    Clinical assessment of auditory attention in patients with disorders of consciousness is often limited by motor impairment. Here, we employ intersubject correlations among electroencephalography responses to naturalistic speech in order to assay auditory attention among patients and healthy controls. Electroencephalographic data were recorded from 20 subjects with disorders of consciousness and 14 healthy controls during of two narrative audio stimuli, presented both forwards and time-reversed. Intersubject correlation of evoked electroencephalography signals were calculated, comparing responses of both groups to those of the healthy control subjects. This analysis was performed blinded and subsequently compared to the diagnostic status of each patient based on the Coma Recovery Scale-Revised. Subjects with disorders of consciousness exhibit significantly lower intersubject correlation than healthy controls during narrative speech. Additionally, while healthy subjects had higher intersubject correlation values in forwards versus backwards presentation, neural responses did not vary significantly with the direction of playback in subjects with disorders of consciousness. Increased intersubject correlation values in the backward speech condition were noted with improving disorder of consciousness diagnosis, both in cross-sectional analysis and in a subset of patients with longitudinal data. Intersubject correlation of neural responses to narrative speech audition differentiates healthy controls from patients and appears to index clinical diagnoses in disorders of consciousness.

  11. Disorders of consciousness and communication. Ethical motivations and communication-enabling attributes of consciousness.

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    Tamburrini, Guglielmo; Mattia, Donatella

    2011-01-01

    Envisaged extensions of a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technique allowing communication with patients affected by disorders of consciousness are here examined in connection with subjective symptom reporting, informed consent, and continued medical care decision-making. The principles of medical beneficence, personal autonomy protection, and the right to participate in social life are isolated as appropriate sources of ethical motivations for the use of fMRI-enabled communication. Consciousness requirements for each communication context are identified on the basis of qualitative distinctions between the access, phenomenal, and narrative varieties of consciousness. Ethically motivated uses of fMRI-enabled communication are hierarchically organized in terms of progressively more demanding consciousness requirements for successful communication. The outcomes of this analysis can be used to curb unrealistic expectations of these new scientific developments, and to promote mutual trust between medical doctors, patient surrogates and families.

  12. Abnormal corticospinal excitability in patients with disorders of consciousness.

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    Lapitskaya, Natallia; Gosseries, Olivia; De Pasqua, Victor; Pedersen, Asger Roer; Nielsen, Joergen Feldbaek; de Noordhout, Alain Maertens; Laureys, Steven

    2013-07-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has been frequently used to explore changes in the human motor cortex in different conditions, while the extent of motor cortex reorganization in patients in vegetative state (VS) (now known as unresponsive wakefulness syndrome, UWS) and minimally conscious (MCS) states due to severe brain damage remains largely unknown. It was hypothesized that cortical motor excitability would be decreased and would correlate to the level of consciousness in patients with disorders of consciousness. Corticospinal excitability was assessed in 47 patients (24 VS/UWS and 23 MCS) and 14 healthy controls. The test parameters included maximal peak-to-peak M-wave (Mmax), F-wave persistence, peripheral and central motor conduction times, sensory (SEP) and motor evoked (MEP) potential latencies and amplitudes, resting motor threshold (RMT), stimulus/response curves, and short latency afferent inhibition (SAI). TMS measurements were correlated to the level of consciousness (assessed using the Coma Recovery Scale-Revised). On average, the patient group had lower Mmax, lower MEP and SEP amplitudes, higher RMTs, narrower stimulus/response curves, and reduced SAI compared to the healthy controls (P < 0.05). The SAI alterations were correlated to the level of consciousness (P < 0.05). The findings demonstrated the impairment of the cortical inhibitory circuits in patients with disorders of consciousness. Moreover, the significant relationship was found between cortical inhibition and clinical consciousness dysfunction. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Boosting Cognition With Music in Patients With Disorders of Consciousness.

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    Castro, Maïté; Tillmann, Barbara; Luauté, Jacques; Corneyllie, Alexandra; Dailler, Frédéric; André-Obadia, Nathalie; Perrin, Fabien

    2015-09-01

    Music listening conveys beneficial effects on cognitive processes in both normal and pathologic cerebral functioning. Surprisingly, no quantitative study has evaluated the potential effects of music on cognition and consciousness in patients with disorders of consciousness. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of music on cerebral processing in patients with disorders of consciousness. Using bedside electroencephalographic recording, we acquired in 13 patients with disorders of consciousness event-related potentials to the patient's first name after either an excerpt of the patient's preferred music (music condition) or a continuous sound (control condition). The cerebral response to the patient's first name was more often observed in the music condition, than in the control condition. Furthermore, the presence or absence of a discriminative response in the music condition seemed to be associated with a favorable or unfavorable outcome, respectively. These findings demonstrate for the first time that music has a beneficial effect on cognitive processes of patients with disorders of consciousness. The autobiographical characteristics of music, that is, its emotional and personal relevance, probably increase arousal and/or awareness. © The Author(s) 2015.

  14. SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER AND THE PSYCHOBIOLOGY OF SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dan J Stein

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Individuals with social anxiety disorder (SAD are characterized by fear or anxiety about social situations, but also by important alterations in self-referential processing. Given advances in our understanding of the neurocircuitry and neurochemistry of SAD, the question arises of the relationship between this research and an emergent literature on the psychobiology of self and self-consciousness. A number of investigations of SAD have highlighted altered activity in the medial prefrontal cortex (involved in self-representation, insula (involved in interoceptive processing, and other structures that play a role in bodily self-consciousness, as well as the potential value of interventions such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and self-focused reappraisal in normalizing such changes. Future studies to more closely investigate associations between psychobiological alterations and changes in self-related processing in SAD, may be useful in shedding additional light on both SAD and self-consciousness.

  15. Consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sejnowski, Terrence J

    2015-01-01

    No one did more to draw neuroscientists' attention to the problem of consciousness in the twentieth century than Francis Crick, who may be better known as the co-discoverer (with James Watson) of the structure of DNA. Crick focused his research on visual awareness and based his analysis on the progress made over the last fifty years in uncovering the neural mechanisms underlying visual perception. Because much of what happens in our brains occurs below the level of consciousness and many of our intuitions about unconscious processing are misleading, consciousness remains an elusive problem. In the end, when all of the brain mechanisms that underlie consciousness have been identified, will we still be asking: "What is consciousness?" Or will the question shift, just as the question "What is life?" is no longer the same as it was before Francis Crick?

  16. The schizophrenias as disorders of self consciousness

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Adele

    2004-12-29

    Dec 29, 2004 ... mindlessness3, whereas the social dimension has been relatively neglected. This article ... ous forms of thought disorder, social withdrawal, emotional .... the self becomes differentiated from the world and develops the capacity .... ated with perceptual abnormalities, the hippocampus with memory formation ...

  17. Technology-based assessment in patients with disorders of consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carol Di Perri

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. A number of studies highlight the difficulty in forming a diagnosis for patients with disorders of consciousness when this is established merely on behavioral assessments. Background. Positron emission tomography (PET, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI, and electroencephalography combined with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS-EEG techniques are promoting the clinical characterization of this challenging population. With such technology-based "objective" tools, patients are also differentially able to follow simple commands and in some cases even communicate through modified brain activity. Consequently, the vegetative state and minimally conscious state have been revised and new nosologies have been proposed, namely the unresponsive wakefulness syndrome, the minimally conscious state plus and minus, and the functional locked-in syndrome. Aim. To our mind, an integration of different technical modalities is important to gain a holistic vision of the underlying pathophysiology of disorders of consciousness in general and to promote single-patient medical management in particular.

  18. Consciousness Indexing and Outcome Prediction with Resting-State EEG in Severe Disorders of Consciousness.

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    Stefan, Sabina; Schorr, Barbara; Lopez-Rolon, Alex; Kolassa, Iris-Tatjana; Shock, Jonathan P; Rosenfelder, Martin; Heck, Suzette; Bender, Andreas

    2018-04-17

    We applied the following methods to resting-state EEG data from patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC) for consciousness indexing and outcome prediction: microstates, entropy (i.e. approximate, permutation), power in alpha and delta frequency bands, and connectivity (i.e. weighted symbolic mutual information, symbolic transfer entropy, complex network analysis). Patients with unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (UWS) and patients in a minimally conscious state (MCS) were classified into these two categories by fitting and testing a generalised linear model. We aimed subsequently to develop an automated system for outcome prediction in severe DOC by selecting an optimal subset of features using sequential floating forward selection (SFFS). The two outcome categories were defined as UWS or dead, and MCS or emerged from MCS. Percentage of time spent in microstate D in the alpha frequency band performed best at distinguishing MCS from UWS patients. The average clustering coefficient obtained from thresholding beta coherence performed best at predicting outcome. The optimal subset of features selected with SFFS consisted of the frequency of microstate A in the 2-20 Hz frequency band, path length obtained from thresholding alpha coherence, and average path length obtained from thresholding alpha coherence. Combining these features seemed to afford high prediction power. Python and MATLAB toolboxes for the above calculations are freely available under the GNU public license for non-commercial use ( https://qeeg.wordpress.com ).

  19. State of consciousness and ERP (event-related potential measures. Diagnostic and prognostic value of electrophysiology for disorders of consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michela Balconi

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Disorders of consciousness were amply studied in the recent years. At this regards new methodologies and technologies were applied to explore the diagnostic and prognostic criteria that may be applied to the patients. Specifically electrophysiological measures were used to verify the degree of awareness and responsiveness in coma, vegetative states (VS, minimal consciousness state (MC, and locked-in syndrome (LI. Recently, ERPs (event-related potentials were adopted to integrate the classical neuroimaging measures. Between the others, MMN (mismatch negativity and P300 deflections were found to represent a consistent index of the present state of consciousness and to be predictive of successive modifications of this state. Also frequency-based EEG measures, such as brain oscillations, were revealed to be relevant marker of consciousness and awareness, able to predict the future evolution of pathology.

  20. TDCS modulates cortical excitability in patients with disorders of consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Bai

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS has been reported to be a promising technique for consciousness improvement for patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC. However, there has been no direct electrophysiological evidence to demonstrate the efficacy of tDCS on patients with DOC. Therefore, we aim to measure the cortical excitability changes induced by tDCS in patients with DOC, to find electrophysiological evidence supporting the therapeutic efficacy of tDCS on patients with DOC. In this study, we enrolled sixteen patients with DOC, including nine vegetative state (VS and seven minimally conscious state (MCS (six females and ten males. TMS-EEG was applied to assess cortical excitability changes after twenty minutes of anodal tDCS of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Global cerebral excitability were calculated to quantify cortical excitability in the temporal domain: four time intervals (0–100, 100–200, 200–300, 300-400 ms. Then local cerebral excitability in the significantly altered time windows were investigated (frontal, left/right hemispheres, central, and posterior. Compared to baseline and sham stimulation, we found that global cerebral excitability increased in early time windows (0–100 and 100-200 ms for patients with MCS; for the patients with VS, global cerebral excitability increased in the 0-100 ms interval but decreased in the 300-400 ms interval. The local cerebral excitability was significantly different between MCS and VS. The results indicated that tDCS can effectively modulate the cortical excitability of patients with DOC; and the changes in excitability in temporal and spatial domains are different between patients with MCS and those with VS.

  1. Music interventions in disorders of consciousness (DOC) - a systematic review.

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    Grimm, Teresa; Kreutz, Gunter

    2018-03-22

    The effects of music interventions including active and receptive music therapy for people living with neurogenic disorders of consciousness (DOC) have been subject to empirical studies in the past. The aim of this systematic review was to find and analyse the current research about the effects of musical interventions on people with DOC. For this purpose, studies with music interventions and patients with DOC from the year 1900 to 2017 were searched in English, German, and French in different databases. Risk-of-bias-analyses were conducted for each study that fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Twenty-two quantitative studies (three randomised controlled trials with more than 10 participants) were found eligible for review. They include a total of 329 participants living with either coma, unresponsive wakefulness syndrome, or minimally conscious state. Music interventions were associated with favourable behavioural and physiological responses in several studies, but methodological quality and outcomes were heterogeneous. More studies with a larger number of participants are needed as well as a consensus on key characteristics of effective short-term and long-term music interventions for DOC.

  2. Disorders of consciousness: outcomes, comorbidities, and care needs.

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    Whyte, John; Nakase-Richardson, Risa

    2013-10-01

    Over the last decade, research on patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC) has suggested that their prognosis for functional recovery early after injury is surprisingly positive, particularly for those with traumatic etiologies; that meaningful recovery proceeds for longer intervals than previously appreciated; and that such individuals are often medically complex and challenging to manage. However, access to intensive specialty rehabilitation is limited for most individuals with DOC in the United States. The evolving understanding of DOC calls for a reconsideration of appropriate models of care. This collection of articles provides insight into the functional recovery of individuals with DOC, new tools for assessing prognosis, and the patterns of comorbidity that complicate the recovery process. In addition, models of care from the United States and Europe that attempt to address the needs of patients as well as their caregivers are presented. Copyright © 2013 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Dissociative stupor mimicking consciousness disorder in an advanced lung cancer patient.

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    Tada, Yukio; Okano, Tetsuya; Kaga, Akiko; Yamazaki, Susumu; Kawada, Satoshi; Ishida, Mayumi; Kobayashi, Kunihiko; Onishi, Hideki

    2012-06-01

    Although there are three kinds of stupor in psychiatry, dissociative stupor is the most commonly recognized. In psychiatric clinics or emergency rooms, dissociative stupor is common, but in an oncology setting it is hardly known. Therefore, distinguishing dissociative stupor from consciousness disorder is occasionally difficult, especially in the advanced or terminal phase. We report an advanced lung cancer patient who presented dissociative stupor mimicking consciousness disorder. It is necessary to distinguish between consciousness disorder and dissociative stupor. In addition, consultation with a psychiatrist should be taken into consideration.

  4. Current clinical approach to patients with disorders of consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robson Luis Oliveira de Amorim

    Full Text Available Summary In clinical practice, hospital admission of patients with altered level of consciousness, sleepy or in a non-responsive state is extremely common. This clinical condition requires an effective investigation and early treatment. Performing a focused and objective evaluation is critical, with quality history taking and physical examination capable to locate the lesion and define conducts. Imaging and laboratory exams have played an increasingly important role in supporting clinical research. In this review, the main types of changes in consciousness are discussed as well as the essential points that should be evaluated in the clinical management of these patients.

  5. Understanding schizophrenia as a disorder of consciousness: biological correlates and translational implications from quantum theory perspectives.

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    Venkatasubramanian, Ganesan

    2015-04-30

    From neurophenomenological perspectives, schizophrenia has been conceptualized as "a disorder with heterogeneous manifestations that can be integrally understood to involve fundamental perturbations in consciousness". While these theoretical constructs based on consciousness facilitate understanding the 'gestalt' of schizophrenia, systematic research to unravel translational implications of these models is warranted. To address this, one needs to begin with exploration of plausible biological underpinnings of "perturbed consciousness" in schizophrenia. In this context, an attractive proposition to understand the biology of consciousness is "the orchestrated object reduction (Orch-OR) theory" which invokes quantum processes in the microtubules of neurons. The Orch-OR model is particularly important for understanding schizophrenia especially due to the shared 'scaffold' of microtubules. The initial sections of this review focus on the compelling evidence to support the view that "schizophrenia is a disorder of consciousness" through critical summary of the studies that have demonstrated self-abnormalities, aberrant time perception as well as dysfunctional intentional binding in this disorder. Subsequently, these findings are linked with 'Orch-OR theory' through the research evidence for aberrant neural oscillations as well as microtubule abnormalities observed in schizophrenia. Further sections emphasize the applicability and translational implications of Orch-OR theory in the context of schizophrenia and elucidate the relevance of quantum biology to understand the origins of this puzzling disorder as "fundamental disturbances in consciousness".

  6. Clinical standard of neurosurgical disorder. (9) Disturbance of consciousness

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ohta, Tomio

    2009-01-01

    Functional diagnosis of consciousness disturbance (CD) in acute and chronic stages is becoming more important along with the progress of morphological diagnosis by CT and MRI at the stroke and brain lesion. Here described and discussed are the definition of consciousness and unconsciousness, cause and scoring of CD by various scaling and clinical significance of the scale for therapy. The author's definition for consciousness is based on patients' self identity and orientation. The above CD is essentially caused by the increased intracranial pressure, which is evaluable by imaging as the increase is derived from the herniation by tumor or edema mainly through transtentorial (uncal, hippocampal) and/or foraminal (cerebellar tonsillar) pathways. Scaling of CD stands on three factors of validity, reliability and feasibility, of which standards of JCS (Japan coma scale) and GCS (Glasgow coma scale) have been widely employed. In discussion of merit/demerit of JCS and GCS, the author et al. have proposed a new scale ECS (emergency coma scale) with 3 levels of digit code for patient's response and behavior under CD. Therapeutic outcome is greatly affected by acute CD levels evaluable by scaling, in which awakening/alertness relates with mortality, and local symptom/consciousness, with morbidity. ECS is now globally getting around. (K.T.)

  7. Is Schizophrenia a Disorder of Consciousness? Experimental and Phenomenological Support for Anomalous Unconscious Processing

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    Anne Giersch

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Decades ago, several authors have proposed that disorders in automatic processing lead to intrusive symptoms or abnormal contents in the consciousness of people with schizophrenia. However, since then, studies have mainly highlighted difficulties in patients’ conscious experiencing and processing but rarely explored how unconscious and conscious mechanisms may interact in producing this experience. We report three lines of research, focusing on the processing of spatial frequencies, unpleasant information, and time-event structure that suggest that impairments occur at both the unconscious and conscious level. We argue that focusing on unconscious, physiological and automatic processing of information in patients, while contrasting that processing with conscious processing, is a first required step before understanding how distortions or other impairments emerge at the conscious level. We then indicate that the phenomenological tradition of psychiatry supports a similar claim and provides a theoretical framework helping to understand the relationship between the impairments and clinical symptoms. We base our argument on the presence of disorders in the minimal self in patients with schizophrenia. The minimal self is tacit and non-verbal and refers to the sense of bodily presence. We argue this sense is shaped by unconscious processes, whose alteration may thus affect the feeling of being a unique individual. This justifies a focus on unconscious mechanisms and a distinction from those associated with consciousness.

  8. Dissociable endogenous and exogenous attention in disorders of consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chennu, Srivas; Finoia, Paola; Kamau, Evelyn; Monti, Martin M; Allanson, Judith; Pickard, John D; Owen, Adrian M; Bekinschtein, Tristan A

    2013-01-01

    Recent research suggests that despite the seeming inability of patients in vegetative and minimally conscious states to generate consistent behaviour, some might possess covert awareness detectable with functional neuroimaging. These findings motivate further research into the cognitive mechanisms that might support the existence of consciousness in these states of profound neurological dysfunction. One of the key questions in this regard relates to the nature and capabilities of attention in patients, known to be related to but distinct from consciousness. Previous assays of the electroencephalographic P300 marker of attention have demonstrated its presence and potential clinical value. Here we analysed data from 21 patients and 8 healthy volunteers collected during an experimental task designed to engender exogenous or endogenous attention, indexed by the P3a and P3b components, respectively, in response to a pair of word stimuli presented amongst distractors. Remarkably, we found that the early, bottom-up P3a and the late, top-down P3b could in fact be dissociated in a patient who fitted the behavioural criteria for the vegetative state. In juxtaposition with healthy volunteers, the patient's responses suggested the presence of a relatively high level of attentional abilities despite the absence of any behavioural indications thereof. Furthermore, we found independent evidence of covert command following in the patient, as measured by functional neuroimaging during tennis imagery. Three other minimally conscious patients evidenced non-discriminatory bottom-up orienting, but no top-down engagement of selective attentional control. Our findings present a persuasive case for dissociable attentional processing in behaviourally unresponsive patients, adding to our understanding of the possible levels and applications of consequent conscious awareness.

  9. EEG entropy measures indicate decrease of cortical information processing in Disorders of Consciousness.

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    Thul, Alexander; Lechinger, Julia; Donis, Johann; Michitsch, Gabriele; Pichler, Gerald; Kochs, Eberhard F; Jordan, Denis; Ilg, Rüdiger; Schabus, Manuel

    2016-02-01

    Clinical assessments that rely on behavioral responses to differentiate Disorders of Consciousness are at times inapt because of some patients' motor disabilities. To objectify patients' conditions of reduced consciousness the present study evaluated the use of electroencephalography to measure residual brain activity. We analyzed entropy values of 18 scalp EEG channels of 15 severely brain-damaged patients with clinically diagnosed Minimally-Conscious-State (MCS) or Unresponsive-Wakefulness-Syndrome (UWS) and compared the results to a sample of 24 control subjects. Permutation entropy (PeEn) and symbolic transfer entropy (STEn), reflecting information processes in the EEG, were calculated for all subjects. Participants were tested on a modified active own-name paradigm to identify correlates of active instruction following. PeEn showed reduced local information content in the EEG in patients, that was most pronounced in UWS. STEn analysis revealed altered directed information flow in the EEG of patients, indicating impaired feed-backward connectivity. Responses to auditory stimulation yielded differences in entropy measures, indicating reduced information processing in MCS and UWS. Local EEG information content and information flow are affected in Disorders of Consciousness. This suggests local cortical information capacity and feedback information transfer as neural correlates of consciousness. The utilized EEG entropy analyses were able to relate to patient groups with different Disorders of Consciousness. Copyright © 2015 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Disorders of consciousness and disordered care: families, caregivers, and narratives of necessity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fins, Joseph J

    2013-10-01

    By their nature, care decisions for patients with severe disorders of consciousness must involve surrogates. Patients, so impaired, have lost their decision-making capacity and the ability to direct their own care. Surrogates-family members, friends, or other intimates-must step in and make decisions about ongoing care or its withdrawal. This article shares the narrative experiences of these surrogate decision makers as they encounter the American health care system and accompany patients from injury through rehabilitation. Through their perspectives, the article considers challenges to ongoing care and rehabilitation that are a function of a prevailing medical infrastructure and reimbursement framework better suited to patients with acute care needs. Specific attention is paid to the ethical challenges posed by reimbursement strategies such as "medical necessity" as well as those proposed for the Affordable Care Act. The argument concludes that when it comes to care for a disorder related to consciousness, its provision is not discretionary, and its receipt is not an entitlement but a civil right. Copyright © 2013 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Advances in the neurorehabilitation of severe disorder of consciousness

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    Giuliano Dolce

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. The paper describes the evolution of knowledge concerning severe brain injury which determines the Vegetative State/Unresponsive Wakefulness Syndrome. Background. The term Vegetative State was proposed by Jennet and Plum in 1972. Later on, the Intensive Care Units progresses increased the survival of these patients and, contemporary, decreased their characteristic conditions of cachexia and severe dystonia. In 1994, the disease was conceived as a disconnection syndrome of the hemispheres from the brainstem, mainly due to a temporary or permanent deficit of the functions of the white matter. From 2005 on, the psychophysiological parameters relative to an emotional consciousness, albeit submerged, were described. Since then, it has been recognized that the brain of these patients was not only to be considered living but also working. Conclusion. The latest studies that have greatly improved the knowledge of the physiopathology of this particular state of consciousness. These new insights have led to the formation of a European Union Task Force, which has proposed in 2009 to change the name from a Vegetative State to Unresponsive Wakefulness Syndrome, outlining the character of syndrome and not that of state, as forms of even late recovery in consciousness levels have been observed and described.

  12. Conscious knowledge influences decision making differently in substance use disorder adults with or without co-morbid antisocial personality disorder

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    Mellentin, Angelina; Skot, Lotte; Teasdale, Thomas William

    2013-01-01

    Decision-making impairment, as measured by the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), is a consistent finding among individuals with substance use disorder (SUD). We studied how this impairment is influenced by co-morbid antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) and conscious knowledge of the task. Three groups...

  13. Large-Scale Brain Simulation and Disorders of Consciousness. Mapping Technical and Conceptual Issues

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    Michele Farisco

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Modeling and simulations have gained a leading position in contemporary attempts to describe, explain, and quantitatively predict the human brain’s operations. Computer models are highly sophisticated tools developed to achieve an integrated knowledge of the brain with the aim of overcoming the actual fragmentation resulting from different neuroscientific approaches. In this paper we investigate the plausibility of simulation technologies for emulation of consciousness and the potential clinical impact of large-scale brain simulation on the assessment and care of disorders of consciousness (DOCs, e.g., Coma, Vegetative State/Unresponsive Wakefulness Syndrome, Minimally Conscious State. Notwithstanding their technical limitations, we suggest that simulation technologies may offer new solutions to old practical problems, particularly in clinical contexts. We take DOCs as an illustrative case, arguing that the simulation of neural correlates of consciousness is potentially useful for improving treatments of patients with DOCs.

  14. Night and day variations of sleep in patients with disorders of consciousness.

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    Wislowska, Malgorzata; Del Giudice, Renata; Lechinger, Julia; Wielek, Tomasz; Heib, Dominik P J; Pitiot, Alain; Pichler, Gerald; Michitsch, Gabriele; Donis, Johann; Schabus, Manuel

    2017-03-21

    Brain injuries substantially change the entire landscape of oscillatory dynamics and render detection of typical sleep patterns difficult. Yet, sleep is characterized not only by specific EEG waveforms, but also by its circadian organization. In the present study we investigated whether brain dynamics of patients with disorders of consciousness systematically change between day and night. We recorded ~24 h EEG at the bedside of 18 patients diagnosed to be vigilant but unaware (Unresponsive Wakefulness Syndrome) and 17 patients revealing signs of fluctuating consciousness (Minimally Conscious State). The day-to-night changes in (i) spectral power, (ii) sleep-specific oscillatory patterns and (iii) signal complexity were analyzed and compared to 26 healthy control subjects. Surprisingly, the prevalence of sleep spindles and slow waves did not systematically vary between day and night in patients, whereas day-night changes in EEG power spectra and signal complexity were revealed in minimally conscious but not unaware patients.

  15. The complementary role of music therapy in the detection of awareness in disorders of consciousness

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    O'Kelly, Julian; Magee, Wendy L.

    2013-01-01

    for Awareness in Disorders of Consciousness (MATADOC) to explore the relationship between diagnosis and behavioural characteristics of the cohort. Whilst the two tools produced a high level of agreement in diagnostic outcome (Spearman Rho .80), divergent diagnosis and weaker correlations between behavioural...

  16. How should functional imaging of patients with disorders of consciousness contribute to their clinical rehabilitation needs?

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    Laureys, Steven; Giacino, Joseph T.; Schiff, Nicholas D.; Schabus, Manuel; Owen, Adrian M.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose of review We discuss the problems of evidence-based neurorehabilitation in disorders of consciousness, and recent functional neuroimaging data obtained in the vegetative state and minimally conscious state. Recent findings Published data are insufficient to make recommendations for or against any of the neurorehabilitative treatments in vegetative state and minimally conscious state patients. Electrophysiological and functional imaging studies have been shown to be useful in measuring residual brain function in noncommunicative brain-damaged patients. Despite the fact that such studies could in principle allow an objective quantification of the putative cerebral effect of rehabilitative treatment in the vegetative state and minimally conscious state, they have so far not been used in this context. Summary Without controlled studies and careful patient selection criteria it will not be possible to evaluate the potential of therapeutic interventions in disorders of consciousness. There also is a need to elucidate the neurophysiological effects of such treatments. Integration of multimodal neuroimaging techniques should eventually improve our ability to disentangle differences in outcome on the basis of underlying mechanisms and better guide our therapeutic options in the challenging patient populations encountered following severe acute brain damage. PMID:17102688

  17. A neuroscientific account of how vestibular disorders impair bodily self-consciousness

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    Christophe eLopez

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The consequences of vestibular disorders on balance, oculomotor control and self-motion perception have been extensively described in humans and animals. More recently, vestibular disorders have been related to cognitive deficits in spatial navigation and memory tasks. Less frequently, abnormal bodily perceptions have been described in patients with vestibular disorders. Altered forms of bodily self-consciousness include distorted body image and body schema, disembodied self-location (out-of-body experience, altered sense of agency, as well as more complex experiences of dissociation and detachment from the self (depersonalization. In this article, I suggest that vestibular disorders create sensory conflict or mismatch in multisensory brain regions, producing perceptual incoherence and abnormal body and self perceptions. This hypothesis is based on recent functional mapping of the human vestibular cortex, showing vestibular projections to the primary and secondary somatosensory cortex and in several multisensory areas found to be crucial for bodily self-consciousness.

  18. Assessment and Communication for People with Disorders of Consciousness.

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    Ortner, Rupert; Allison, Brendan Z; Pichler, Gerald; Heilinger, Alexander; Sabathiel, Nikolaus; Guger, Christoph

    2017-08-01

    In this experiment, we demonstrate a suite of hybrid Brain-Computer Interface (BCI)-based paradigms that are designed for two applications: assessing the level of consciousness of people unable to provide motor response and, in a second stage, establishing a communication channel for these people that enables them to answer questions with either 'yes' or 'no'. The suite of paradigms is designed to test basic responses in the first step and to continue to more comprehensive tasks if the first tests are successful. The latter tasks require more cognitive functions, but they could provide communication, which is not possible with the basic tests. All assessment tests produce accuracy plots that show whether the algorithms were able to detect the patient's brain's response to the given tasks. If the accuracy level is beyond the significance level, we assume that the subject understood the task and was able to follow the sequence of commands presented via earphones to the subject. The tasks require users to concentrate on certain stimuli or to imagine moving either the left or right hand. All tasks are designed around the assumption that the user is unable to use the visual modality, and thus, all stimuli presented to the user (including instructions, cues, and feedback) are auditory or tactile.

  19. A hierarchy of event-related potential markers of auditory processing in disorders of consciousness

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    Steve Beukema

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Functional neuroimaging of covert perceptual and cognitive processes can inform the diagnoses and prognoses of patients with disorders of consciousness, such as the vegetative and minimally conscious states (VS;MCS. Here we report an event-related potential (ERP paradigm for detecting a hierarchy of auditory processes in a group of healthy individuals and patients with disorders of consciousness. Simple cortical responses to sounds were observed in all 16 patients; 7/16 (44% patients exhibited markers of the differential processing of speech and noise; and 1 patient produced evidence of the semantic processing of speech (i.e. the N400 effect. In several patients, the level of auditory processing that was evident from ERPs was higher than the abilities that were evident from behavioural assessment, indicating a greater sensitivity of ERPs in some cases. However, there were no differences in auditory processing between VS and MCS patient groups, indicating a lack of diagnostic specificity for this paradigm. Reliably detecting semantic processing by means of the N400 effect in passively listening single-subjects is a challenge. Multiple assessment methods are needed in order to fully characterise the abilities of patients with disorders of consciousness.

  20. The Right to Die in Chronic Disorders of Consciousness: Can We Avoid the Slippery Slope Argument?

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    Calabrò, Rocco Salvatore; Naro, Antonino; De Luca, Rosaria; Russo, Margherita; Caccamo, Lory; Manuli, Alfredo; Bramanti, Alessia; Bramanti, Placido

    2016-01-01

    Managing individuals with chronic disorders of consciousness raises ethical questions about the appropriateness of maintaining life-sustaining treatments and end-of-life decisions for those who are unable to make decisions for themselves. For many years, the positions fostering the "sanctity" of human life (i.e., life is inviolable in any case) have led to maintaining life-sustaining treatments (including artificial nutrition and hydration) in patients with disorders of consciousness, allowing them to live for as long as possible. Seldom have positions that foster "dignity" of human life (i.e., everyone has the right to a worthy death) allowed for the interruption of life-sustaining treatments in some patients with disorders of consciousness. Indeed, most ethical analyses conclude that the decision to interrupt life-sustaining therapies, including artificial nutrition and hydration, should be guided by reliable information about how the patient wants or wanted to be treated and/or whether the patient wants or wanted to live in such a condition. This would be in keeping with the principles of patient-centered medicine, and would conciliate the duty of respecting both the dignity and sanctity of life and the right to a worthy death. This "right to die" has been recognized in some countries, which have legalized euthanasia and/or physician-assisted suicide, but some groups fear that legalizing end-of-life decisions for some patients may result in the inappropriate use of euthanasia, both voluntary and nonvoluntary forms (slippery slope argument) in other patients. This review describes the current opinions and ethical issues concerning end-of-life decisions in patients with disorders of consciousness, with a focus on the impact misdiagnoses of disorders of consciousness may have on end-of-life decisions, the concept of "dignity" and "sanctity" of human life in view of end-of-life decisions, and the risk of the slippery slope argument when dealing with euthanasia and

  1. Promoting the use of personally relevant stimuli for investigating patients with disorders of consciousness.

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    Perrin, Fabien; Castro, Maïté; Tillmann, Barbara; Luauté, Jacques

    2015-01-01

    Sensory stimuli are used to evaluate and to restore cognitive functions and consciousness in patients with a disorder of consciousness (DOC) following a severe brain injury. Although sophisticated protocols can help assessing higher order cognitive functions and awareness, one major drawback is their lack of sensitivity. The aim of the present review is to show that stimulus selection is crucial for an accurate evaluation of the state of patients with disorders of consciousness as it determines the levels of processing that the patient can have with stimulation from his/her environment. The probability to observe a behavioral response or a cerebral response is increased when her/his personal history and/or her/his personal preferences are taken into account. We show that personally relevant stimuli (i.e., with emotional, autobiographical, or self-related characteristics) are associated with clearer signs of perception than are irrelevant stimuli in patients with DOC. Among personally relevant stimuli, music appears to be a promising clinical tool as it boosts perception and cognition in patients with DOC and could also serve as a prognostic tool. We suggest that the effect of music on cerebral processes in patients might reflect the music's capacity to act both on the external and internal neural networks supporting consciousness.

  2. Promoting the use of personally-relevant stimuli for investigating patients with disorders of consciousness

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    Fabien ePerrin

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Sensory stimuli are used to evaluate and to restore cognitive functions and consciousness in patients with a disorder of consciousness (DOC following a severe brain injury. Although sophisticated protocols can help assessing higher order cognitive functions and awareness, one major drawback is their lack of sensitivity. The aim of the present review is to show that stimulus selection is crucial for an accurate evaluation of the state of patients with disorders of consciousness as it determines the levels of processing that the patient can have with stimulation from his/her environment. The probability to observe a behavioral response or a cerebral response is increased when her/his personal history and/or her/his personal preferences are taken into account. We show that personally-relevant stimuli (i.e. with emotional, autobiographical or self-related characteristics are associated with clearer signs of perception than are irrelevant stimuli in patients with DOC. Among personally-relevant stimuli, music appears to be a promising clinical tool as it boosts perception and cognition in patients with DOC and could also serve as a prognostic tool. We suggest that the effect of music on cerebral processes in patients might reflect the music’s capacity to act both on the external and internal neural networks supporting consciousness.

  3. Visual cognition in disorders of consciousness: from V1 to top-down attention.

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    Monti, Martin M; Pickard, John D; Owen, Adrian M

    2013-06-01

    What is it like to be at the lower boundaries of consciousness? Disorders of consciousness such as coma, the vegetative state, and the minimally conscious state are among the most mysterious and least understood conditions of the human brain. Particularly complicated is the assessment of residual cognitive functioning and awareness for diagnostic, rehabilitative, legal, and ethical purposes. In this article, we present a novel functional magnetic resonance imaging exploration of visual cognition in a patient with a severe disorder of consciousness. This battery of tests, first developed in healthy volunteers, assesses increasingly complex transformations of visual information along a known caudal to rostral gradient from occipital to temporal cortex. In the first five levels, the battery assesses (passive) processing of light, color, motion, coherent shapes, and object categories (i.e., faces, houses). At the final level, the battery assesses the ability to voluntarily deploy visual attention in order to focus on one of two competing stimuli. In the patient, this approach revealed appropriate brain activations, undistinguishable from those seen in healthy and aware volunteers. In addition, the ability of the patient to focus one of two competing stimuli, and switch between them on command, also suggests that he retained the ability to access, to some degree, his own visual representations. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Is Period3 Genotype Associated With Sleep and Recovery in Patients With Disorders of Consciousness?

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    Bedini, Gloria; Bersano, Anna; Sebastiano, Davide Rossi; Sattin, Davide; Ciaraffa, Francesca; Tosetti, Valentina; Brenna, Greta; Franceschetti, Silvana; Ciusani, Emilio; Leonardi, Matilde; Vela-Gomez, Jesus; Boncoraglio, Giorgio B; Parati, Eugenio A

    2016-06-01

    Background Sleep evaluation is increasingly being used as prognostic tool in patients with disorders of consciousness, but, surprisingly, the role of Period3 (Per3) gene polymorphism has never been evaluated. Objective The aim of this study was to investigate the contribution of Per3 genotype on sleep quantity and consciousness recovery level in patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC). Methods In this observational study, we evaluated 71 patients with DOC classified as vegetative state/unresponsive wakefulness syndrome or minimally conscious state. Demographic and clinical data were collected and a standardised diagnostic workup, including a polysomnographic record, was applied. After informed consent provided by proxy, genomic DNA was obtained and Per3 polymorphism was analysed by polymerase chain reaction to identify 5/5, 4/5, or 4/4 genotype. Results Per3(5/5) genotype was found in 12.7% of our DOC patients. The median total Coma Recovery Scale-revised score in Per3(5/5) carriers was significantly higher than 4/4 genotype (10, range 5-16 vs 7, range 4-11; post hoc P = .036). Moreover, total sleep time seemed to be higher in 5/5 genotype (5/5, 221 minutes, range 88-515 minutes; 4/4, 151.5 minutes, range 36-477 minutes; and 4/5, 188 minutes, range 44-422 minutes). Conclusion For the first time we have shown a possible association between Per3 polymorphism and consciousness recovery level in DOC patients. Even though the exact molecular mechanism has not been defined, we speculate that its effect is mediated by higher total sleep time and slow wave sleep, which would improve the preservation of main cerebral connections. © The Author(s) 2015.

  5. Disorders of Consciousness: Painless or Painful Conditions?—Evidence from Neuroimaging Studies

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    Francesca Pistoia

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The experience of pain in disorders of consciousness is still debated. Neuroimaging studies, using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI, Positron Emission Tomography (PET, multichannel electroencephalography (EEG and laser-evoked potentials, suggest that the perception of pain increases with the level of consciousness. Brain activation in response to noxious stimuli has been observed in patients with unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (UWS, which is also referred to as a vegetative state (VS, as well as those in a minimally conscious state (MCS. However, all of these techniques suggest that pain-related brain activation patterns of patients in MCS more closely resemble those of healthy subjects. This is further supported by fMRI findings showing a much greater functional connectivity within the structures of the so-called pain matrix in MCS as compared to UWS/VS patients. Nonetheless, when interpreting the results, a distinction is necessary between autonomic responses to potentially harmful stimuli and conscious experience of the unpleasantness of pain. Even more so if we consider that the degree of residual functioning and cortical connectivity necessary for the somatosensory, affective and cognitive-evaluative components of pain processing are not yet clear. Although procedurally challenging, the particular value of the aforementioned techniques in the assessment of pain in disorders of consciousness has been clearly demonstrated. The study of pain-related brain activation and functioning can contribute to a better understanding of the networks underlying pain perception while addressing clinical and ethical questions concerning patient care. Further development of technology and methods should aim to increase the availability of neuroimaging, objective assessment of functional connectivity and analysis at the level of individual cases as well as group comparisons. This will enable neuroimaging to truly become a clinical tool to

  6. Long-lasting repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation modulates electroencephalography oscillation in patients with disorders of consciousness.

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    Xia, Xiaoyu; Liu, Yang; Bai, Yang; Liu, Ziyuan; Yang, Yi; Guo, Yongkun; Xu, Ruxiang; Gao, Xiaorong; Li, Xiaoli; He, Jianghong

    2017-10-18

    Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has been applied for the treatment of patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC). Timely and accurate assessments of its modulation effects are very useful. This study evaluated rTMS modulation effects on electroencephalography (EEG) oscillation in patients with chronic DOC. Eighteen patients with a diagnosis of DOC lasting more than 3 months were recruited. All patients received one session of 10-Hz rTMS at the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and then 12 of them received consecutive rTMS treatment everyday for 20 consecutive days. Resting-state EEGs were recorded before the experiment (T0) after one session of rTMS (T1) and after the entire treatment (T2). The JFK Coma Recovery Scale-Revised scale scores were also recorded at the time points. Our data showed that application of 10-Hz rTMS to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex decreased low-frequency band power and increased high-frequency band power in DOC patients, especially in minimal conscious state patients. Considering the correlation of the EEG spectrum with the consciousness level of patients with DOC, quantitative EEG might be useful for assessment of the effect of rTMS in DOC patients.

  7. Borderline personality disorder and self-conscious affect: Too much shame but not enough guilt?

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    Peters, Jessica R; Geiger, Paul J

    2016-07-01

    Shame has emerged as a particularly relevant emotion to the maintenance and exacerbation of borderline personality disorder (BPD) features; however, little attention has been paid to the potentially differing effects of other forms of self-conscious affect. While guilt has been demonstrated to have adaptive functions in the social psychology literature, it has not been previously explored whether a lack of socially adaptive guilt might also contribute to BPD-related dysfunction. The present study examined the relationship between BPD features and self-conscious emotions in a sample of undergraduate students (n = 839). Increased shame and decreased guilt independently accounted for significant variance in the association between BPD features and anger, hostility, and externalization of blame. Only increased shame significantly mediated the association between BPD features and anger rumination, and only decreased guilt significantly mediated the relationship between BPD features and aggression. These findings suggest BPD and its associated problems with anger and externalizing may be characterized not only by high levels of shame, but also by lower levels of guilt. Clinical implications include the need to differentiate between self-conscious emotions and teach adaptive responses to warranted guilt. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  8. Detecting number processing and mental calculation in patients with disorders of consciousness using a hybrid brain-computer interface system.

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    Li, Yuanqing; Pan, Jiahui; He, Yanbin; Wang, Fei; Laureys, Steven; Xie, Qiuyou; Yu, Ronghao

    2015-12-15

    For patients with disorders of consciousness such as coma, a vegetative state or a minimally conscious state, one challenge is to detect and assess the residual cognitive functions in their brains. Number processing and mental calculation are important brain functions but are difficult to detect in patients with disorders of consciousness using motor response-based clinical assessment scales such as the Coma Recovery Scale-Revised due to the patients' motor impairments and inability to provide sufficient motor responses for number- and calculation-based communication. In this study, we presented a hybrid brain-computer interface that combines P300 and steady state visual evoked potentials to detect number processing and mental calculation in Han Chinese patients with disorders of consciousness. Eleven patients with disorders of consciousness who were in a vegetative state (n = 6) or in a minimally conscious state (n = 3) or who emerged from a minimally conscious state (n = 2) participated in the brain-computer interface-based experiment. During the experiment, the patients with disorders of consciousness were instructed to perform three tasks, i.e., number recognition, number comparison, and mental calculation, including addition and subtraction. In each experimental trial, an arithmetic problem was first presented. Next, two number buttons, only one of which was the correct answer to the problem, flickered at different frequencies to evoke steady state visual evoked potentials, while the frames of the two buttons flashed in a random order to evoke P300 potentials. The patients needed to focus on the target number button (the correct answer). Finally, the brain-computer interface system detected P300 and steady state visual evoked potentials to determine the button to which the patients attended, further presenting the results as feedback. Two of the six patients who were in a vegetative state, one of the three patients who were in a minimally conscious state, and

  9. Music in Research and Rehabilitation of Disorders of Consciousness: Psychological and Neurophysiological Foundations.

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    Kotchoubey, Boris; Pavlov, Yuri G; Kleber, Boris

    2015-01-01

    According to a prevailing view, the visual system works by dissecting stimuli into primitives, whereas the auditory system processes simple and complex stimuli with their corresponding features in parallel. This makes musical stimulation particularly suitable for patients with disorders of consciousness (DoC), because the processing pathways related to complex stimulus features can be preserved even when those related to simple features are no longer available. An additional factor speaking in favor of musical stimulation in DoC is the low efficiency of visual stimulation due to prevalent maladies of vision or gaze fixation in DoC patients. Hearing disorders, in contrast, are much less frequent in DoC, which allows us to use auditory stimulation at various levels of complexity. The current paper overviews empirical data concerning the four main domains of brain functioning in DoC patients that musical stimulation can address: perception (e.g., pitch, timbre, and harmony), cognition (e.g., musical syntax and meaning), emotions, and motor functions. Music can approach basic levels of patients' self-consciousness, which may even exist when all higher-level cognitions are lost, whereas music induced emotions and rhythmic stimulation can affect the dopaminergic reward-system and activity in the motor system respectively, thus serving as a starting point for rehabilitation.

  10. Music in research and rehabilitation of disorders of consciousness: Psychological and neurophysiological foundations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boris eKotchoubey

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available According to a prevailing view, the visual system works by dissecting stimuli into primitives, whereas the auditory system processes simple and complex stimuli with their corresponding features in parallel. This makes musical stimulation particularly suitable for patients with disorders of consciousness (DoC, because the processing pathways related to complex stimulus features can be preserved even when those related to simple features are no longer available. An additional factor speaking in favor of musical stimulation in DoC is the low efficiency of visual stimulation due to prevalent maladies of vision or gaze fixation in DOC patients. Hearing disorders, in contrast, are much less frequent in DoC, which allows us to use auditory stimulation at various levels of complexity. The current paper overviews empirical data concerning the four main domains of brain functioning in DoC patients that musical stimulation can address: perception (e.g., pitch, timbre, and harmony, cognition (e.g., musical syntax and meaning, emotions, and motor functions. Music can approach basic levels of patients’ self-consciousness, which may even exist when all higher-level cognitions are lost, whereas music induced emotions and rhythmic stimulation can affect the dopaminergic reward-system and activity in the motor system respectively, thus serving as a starting point for rehabilitation.

  11. Tilt Table Therapies for Patients with Severe Disorders of Consciousness: A Randomized, Controlled Trial.

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    Krewer, Carmen; Luther, Marianne; Koenig, Eberhard; Müller, Friedemann

    2015-01-01

    One major aim of the neurological rehabilitation of patients with severe disorders of consciousness (DOC) is to enhance patients' arousal and ability to communicate. Mobilization into a standing position by means of a tilt table has been shown to improve their arousal and awareness. However, due to the frequent occurrence of syncopes on a tilt table, it is easier to accomplish verticalization using a tilt table with an integrated stepping device. The objective of this randomized controlled clinical trial was to evaluate the effectiveness of a tilt table therapy with or without an integrated stepping device on the level of consciousness. A total of 50 participants in vegetative or minimally conscious states 4 weeks to 6 month after injury were treated with verticalization during this randomized controlled trial. Interventions involved ten 1-hour sessions of the specific treatment over a 3-week period. Blinded assessors made measurements before and after the intervention period, as well as after a 3-week follow-up period. The coma recovery scale-revised (CRS-R) showed an improvement by a median of 2 points for the group receiving tilt table with integrated stepping (Erigo). The rate of recovery of the group receiving the conventional tilt table therapy significantly increased by 5 points during treatment and by an additional 2 points during the 3-week follow-up period. Changes in spasticity did not significantly differ between the two intervention groups. Compared to the conventional tilt table, the tilt table with integrated stepping device failed to have any additional benefit for DOC patients. Verticalization itself seems to be beneficial though and should be administered to patients in DOC in early rehabilitation. Trial Registration: Current Controlled Trials Ltd (www.controlled-trials.com), identifier number ISRCTN72853718.

  12. Tilt Table Therapies for Patients with Severe Disorders of Consciousness: A Randomized, Controlled Trial.

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    Carmen Krewer

    Full Text Available One major aim of the neurological rehabilitation of patients with severe disorders of consciousness (DOC is to enhance patients' arousal and ability to communicate. Mobilization into a standing position by means of a tilt table has been shown to improve their arousal and awareness. However, due to the frequent occurrence of syncopes on a tilt table, it is easier to accomplish verticalization using a tilt table with an integrated stepping device. The objective of this randomized controlled clinical trial was to evaluate the effectiveness of a tilt table therapy with or without an integrated stepping device on the level of consciousness. A total of 50 participants in vegetative or minimally conscious states 4 weeks to 6 month after injury were treated with verticalization during this randomized controlled trial. Interventions involved ten 1-hour sessions of the specific treatment over a 3-week period. Blinded assessors made measurements before and after the intervention period, as well as after a 3-week follow-up period. The coma recovery scale-revised (CRS-R showed an improvement by a median of 2 points for the group receiving tilt table with integrated stepping (Erigo. The rate of recovery of the group receiving the conventional tilt table therapy significantly increased by 5 points during treatment and by an additional 2 points during the 3-week follow-up period. Changes in spasticity did not significantly differ between the two intervention groups. Compared to the conventional tilt table, the tilt table with integrated stepping device failed to have any additional benefit for DOC patients. Verticalization itself seems to be beneficial though and should be administered to patients in DOC in early rehabilitation. Trial Registration: Current Controlled Trials Ltd (www.controlled-trials.com, identifier number ISRCTN72853718.

  13. Exploration of Functional Connectivity During Preferred Music Stimulation in Patients with Disorders of Consciousness.

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    Heine, Lizette; Castro, Maïté; Martial, Charlotte; Tillmann, Barbara; Laureys, Steven; Perrin, Fabien

    2015-01-01

    Preferred music is a highly emotional and salient stimulus, which has previously been shown to increase the probability of auditory cognitive event-related responses in patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC). To further investigate whether and how music modifies the functional connectivity of the brain in DOC, five patients were assessed with both a classical functional connectivity scan (control condition), and a scan while they were exposed to their preferred music (music condition). Seed-based functional connectivity (left or right primary auditory cortex), and mean network connectivity of three networks linked to conscious sound perception were assessed. The auditory network showed stronger functional connectivity with the left precentral gyrus and the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during music as compared to the control condition. Furthermore, functional connectivity of the external network was enhanced during the music condition in the temporo-parietal junction. Although caution should be taken due to small sample size, these results suggest that preferred music exposure might have effects on patients auditory network (implied in rhythm and music perception) and on cerebral regions linked to autobiographical memory.

  14. Exploration of functional connectivity during preferred music stimulation in patients with disorders of consciousness

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    Lizette eHeine

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Preferred music is a highly emotional and salient stimulus, which has previously been shown to increase the probability of auditory cognitive event-related responses in patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC. To further investigate whether and how music modifies the functional connectivity of the brain in DOC, five patients were assessed with both a classical functional connectivity scan (control condition, and a scan while they were exposed to their preferred music (music condition. Seed-based functional connectivity (left or right primary auditory cortex, and mean network connectivity of three networks linked to conscious sound perception were assessed. The auditory network showed stronger functional connectivity with the left precentral gyrus and the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during music as compared to the control condition. Furthermore, functional connectivity of the external network was enhanced during the music condition in the temporo-parietal junction. Although caution should be taken due to small sample size, these results suggest that preferred music exposure might have effects on patients auditory network (implied in rhythm and music perception and on cerebral regions linked to autobiographical memory.

  15. Deontological and utilitarian ethics: a brief introduction in the context of disorders of consciousness.

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    Playford, Richard C; Roberts, Tom; Playford, E Diane

    2015-01-01

    The aims of this paper are to discuss three different ethical frameworks; to briefly consider some of the philosophical positions concerning the nature of personhood. Clear consideration of these issues demonstrates the complexity of decision making in persisting disorders of consciousness. Three different ethical frameworks, Kantian deontology, act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism, are described and three different accounts of personhood are presented and analysed. These result in very different approaches to the management of patients in permanent vegetative states (PVSs), making it possible to argue for withdrawal of clinically assisted nutrition and hydration in all cases, considering the issues on a case by case basis or continuing to treat all patients whatever their wishes. These results explain why doctors often have different views on how to treat patients in PVS, particularly with regard to the withdrawal of clinically assisted nutrition and hydration. Understanding such issues may help clinicians articulate more clearly the reasons for their intuitions surrounding the management of patients in PVSs. Implications for Rehabilitation Patients with persisting disorders of consciousness pose significant dilemmas for clinicians and family members. Utilitarianism is a consequentialist theory, that is, it is concerned with the outcome of our actions to determine their morality. It is the concept that the right action is the one that will result in "the greatest amount of good for the greatest number". Deontological ethics suggests that there are certain sorts of acts that are wrong in themselves independent of the result of such actions. Personhood can be approached from a variety of perspectives including biological, relational, religious and psychological. Understanding different ethical frameworks, and the nature of personhood, may help clinicians articulate more clearly the reasons for their intuitions.

  16. Physical therapy in patients with disorders of consciousness: Impact on spasticity and muscle contracture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thibaut, A; Wannez, S; Deltombe, T; Martens, G; Laureys, S; Chatelle, C

    2018-01-01

    Spasticity is a frequent complication after severe brain injury, which may prevent the rehabilitation process and worsen the patients' quality of life. In this study, we investigated the correlation between spasticity, muscle contracture, and the frequency of physical therapy (PT) in subacute and chronic patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC). 109 patients with subacute and chronic disorders of consciousness (Vegetative state/Unresponsive wakefulness syndrome - VS/UWS; minimally conscious state - MCS and patients who emerged from MCS - EMCS) were included in the study (39 female; mean age: 40±13.5y; 60 with traumatic etiology; 35 VS/UWS, 68 MCS, 6 EMCS; time since insult: 38±42months). The number of PT sessions (i.e., 20 to 30 minutes of conventional stretching of the four limbs) was collected based on patients' medical record and varied between 0 to 6 times per week (low PT = 0-3 and high PT = 4-6 sessions per week). Spasticity was measured with the Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS) on every segment for both upper (UL) and lower limbs (LL). The presence of muscle contracture was assessed in every joint. We tested the relationship between spasticity and muscle contracture with the frequency of PT as well as other potential confounders such as time since injury or anti-spastic medication intake. We identified a negative correlation between the frequency of PT and MAS scores as well as the presence of muscle contracture. We also identified that patients who received less than four sessions per week were more likely to be spastic and suffer from muscle contracture than patients receiving 4 sessions or more. When separating subacute (3 to 12 months post-insult) and chronic (>12months post-insult) patients, these negative correlations were only observed in chronic patients. A logit regression model showed that frequency of PT influenced spasticity, whereas neither time since insult nor medication had a significant impact on the presence of spasticity. On

  17. A survey on pain assessment in patients with disorders of consciousness in Dutch hospitals and nursing homes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vink, Peter; Verweij, Lotte; van Erp, Willemijn Sabien; Lucas, Cees; Vermeulen, Hester

    2015-01-01

    The extent of variation in the use of behavioural pain observation tools, documentation and pain protocols in patients with acquired brain injury (ABI) and with disorders of consciousness (DOC) is unknown. A national survey was undertaken in Dutch hospitals with neurology and neurosurgery nursing

  18. Morfeo Study II: Clinical Course and Complications in Patients With Long-Term Disorders of Consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romaniello, Caterina; Bertoletti, Erik; Matera, Nunzio; Farinelli, Marina; Pedone, Vincenzo

    2016-06-01

    The life expectancy of patients with disorders of consciousness (DOCs) is ever-increasing, but little is known about their clinical course over late stages. Several issues (premorbid conditions, complications and pressure sores) are to be considered for their effect on clinical outcome, risk of death and recovery of functional performance. Unfortunately, in late stages of long-term rehabilitation, these aspects are still more neglected than in acute and postacute stages. The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical course and the complications of patients in the late stages of DOCs and to explore the relationship between mortality and specific biomarkers. A total of 112 patients, admitted over 10 years in a dedicated ward, were retrospectively studied. Sociodemographic data, preadmission and inpatient clinical features were collected. Disability Rating Scale scores, complications including pressure sores and blood markers were assessed monthly. Data were analyzed through descriptive statistics and correlations using SPSS. Most patients were men older than 50 years with a nontraumatic etiology and a history of hypertension (42.86%). The most common complication was pneumonia (76.79%). No association was found between sex and mortality or between etiology and mortality (P > 0.05). Mortality correlated significantly with sepsis (ρ = 0.253), albumin (ρ = -0.558), hemoglobin (ρ = -0.354) and white blood cells (ρ = 0.243). Only 42% of patients remained unchanged at Disability Rating Scale evaluation. These data confirmed that DOCs are not static conditions and they require ongoing monitoring and assessment of clinical status, level of consciousness and laboratory biomarkers. Copyright © 2016 Southern Society for Clinical Investigation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Detection of mental imagery and attempted movements in patients with disorders of consciousness using EEG

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    Petar eHorki

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Further development of an EEG based communication device for patients with disorders of consciousness (DoC could benefit from addressing the following gaps in knowledge – first, an evaluation of different types of motor imagery; second, an evaluation of passive feet movement as a mean of an initial classifier setup; and third, rapid delivery of biased feedback. To that end we investigated whether complex and / or familiar mental imagery, passive, and attempted feet movement can be reliably detected in patients with DoC using EEG recordings, aiming to provide them with a means of communication. Six patients in a minimally conscious state (MCS took part in this study. The patients were verbally instructed to perform different mental imagery tasks (sport, navigation, as well as attempted feet movements, to induce distinctive event-related (desynchronization (ERD/S patterns in the EEG. Offline classification accuracies above chance level were reached in all three tasks (i.e. attempted feet, sport, and navigation, with motor tasks yielding significant (p<0.05 results more often than navigation (sport: 10 out of 18 sessions; attempted feet: 7 out of 14 sessions; navigation: 4 out of 12 sessions. The passive feet movements, evaluated in one patient, yielded mixed results: whereas time-frequency analysis revealed task-related EEG changes over neurophysiological plausible cortical areas, the classification results were not significant enough (p<0.05 to setup an initial classifier for the detection of attempted movements. Concluding, the results presented in this study are consistent with the current state of the art in similar studies, to which we contributed by comparing different types of mental tasks, notably complex motor imagery and attempted feet movements, within patients. Furthermore, we explored new venues, such as an evaluation of passive feet movement as a mean of an initial classifier setup, and rapid delivery of biased feedback.

  20. Enhancing clinical communication assessments using an audiovisual BCI for patients with disorders of consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Fei; He, Yanbin; Qu, Jun; Xie, Qiuyou; Lin, Qing; Ni, Xiaoxiao; Chen, Yan; Pan, Jiahui; Laureys, Steven; Yu, Ronghao; Li, Yuanqing

    2017-08-01

    Objective. The JFK coma recovery scale-revised (JFK CRS-R), a behavioral observation scale, is widely used in the clinical diagnosis/assessment of patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC). However, the JFK CRS-R is associated with a high rate of misdiagnosis (approximately 40%) because DOC patients cannot provide sufficient behavioral responses. A brain-computer interface (BCI) that detects command/intention-specific changes in electroencephalography (EEG) signals without the need for behavioral expression may provide an alternative method. Approach. In this paper, we proposed an audiovisual BCI communication system based on audiovisual ‘yes’ and ‘no’ stimuli to supplement the JFK CRS-R for assessing the communication ability of DOC patients. Specifically, patients were given situation-orientation questions as in the JFK CRS-R and instructed to select the answers using the BCI. Main results. Thirteen patients (eight vegetative state (VS) and five minimally conscious state (MCS)) participated in our experiments involving both the BCI- and JFK CRS-R-based assessments. One MCS patient who received a score of 1 in the JFK CRS-R achieved an accuracy of 86.5% in the BCI-based assessment. Seven patients (four VS and three MCS) obtained unresponsive results in the JFK CRS-R-based assessment but responsive results in the BCI-based assessment, and 4 of those later improved scores in the JFK CRS-R-based assessment. Five patients (four VS and one MCS) obtained usresponsive results in both assessments. Significance. The experimental results indicated that the audiovisual BCI could provide more sensitive results than the JFK CRS-R and therefore supplement the JFK CRS-R.

  1. Detailed Behavioral Assessment Promotes Accurate Diagnosis in Patients with Disorders of Consciousness

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    Yael eGilutz

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Assessing the awareness level in patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC is made on the basis of exhibited behaviors. However, since motor signs of awareness (i.e. non-reflex motor responses can be very subtle, differentiating the vegetative from minimally conscious states (which is in itself not clear-cut is often challenging. Even the careful clinician relying on standardized scales may arrive at a wrong diagnosis. Aim: To report our experience in tackling this problem by using two in-house use assessment procedures developed at Reuth Rehabilitation Hospital, and demonstrate their clinical significance by reviewing two cases. Methods: 1.Reuth DOC Response Assessment (RDOC-RA –administered in addition to the standardized tools, and emphasizes the importance of assessing a wide range of motor responses. In our experience, in some patients the only evidence for awareness may be a private specific movement that is not assessed by standard assessment tools. 2. Reuth DOC Periodic Intervention Model (RDOC-PIM - Current literature regarding assessment and diagnosis in DOC refers mostly to the acute phase of up to one year post injury. However, we have found major changes in responsiveness occurring one year or more post-injury in many patients. Therefore, we conduct periodic assessments at predetermined times points to ensure patients are not misdiagnosed or neurological changes overlooked. Results: In the first case the RDOC-RA promoted a more accurate diagnosis than that based on standardized scales alone. The second case shows how the RDOC-PIM allowed us to recognize late recovery and promoted reinstatement of treatment with good results. Conclusions: Adding a detailed periodic assessment of DOC patients to existing scales can yield critical information, promoting better diagnosis, treatment and clinical outcomes. We discuss the implications of this observation for the future development and validation of assessment tools in

  2. Emotional dysfunction in avoidant compared to borderline personality disorder: a study of affect consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansen, Merete Selsbakk; Normann-Eide, Eivind; Normann-Eide, Tone; Wilberg, Theresa

    2013-12-01

    Knowledge of emotional dysfunction in patients with avoidant personality disorder (APD) is much needed. The present study examined affect consciousness (AC) in patients with APD compared to borderline personality disorder (BPD). AC, defined as capacity to perceive, reflect on, tolerate, and express emotional experiences, is assumed to be central to structure-building in personality. The study tested the hypotheses that patients with APD have lower general AC and lower AC for pleasant affects compared to BPD. Fifty-nine patients, 26 with APD and 33 with BPD were rated on several aspects of AC using the specialized AC interview. The structured interview SCID-II was applied for diagnostic evaluations. The APD group had significantly lower levels of global AC and conceptual expressivity compared to the BPD group. Among 11 specific affects the APD group had significantly lower AC for interest and contempt. Emotional dysfunction is an important feature of APD and the findings indicate that psychotherapies for APD patients should focus on emotional experiences, aiming to improve emotional awareness, tolerance, and expressivity. The notion of a general avoidance of positive emotions in APD needs further exploration, including a possible dysfunction in the evolutionary based neuro-affective Seeking system. © 2013 The Scandinavian Psychological Associations.

  3. Biomedical research involving patients with disorders of consciousness: ethical and legal dimensions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michele Farisco

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The directive 2001/20/UE and the research involving patients with docs. Research involving patients with disorders of consciousness (DOCs deserves special ethical and legal attention because of its Janus-faced nature. On the one hand, it raises concerns about the risk to expose the involved subjects to disproportionate risks not respecting their individual dignity, particularly their right to be cared for; on the other hand, research is an essential tool in order to improve the clinical condition of patients with DOCs. The present paper concerns the ethical and legal dimensions of biomedical research involving patients with disorders of consciousness. In particular, it focuses on informed consent to experimental treatments, which is a challenging issue both from an ethical and legal point of view. The first part reads the Directive 2001/20/EU in the light of the experimentation of patients with DOCs, and suggests a revision in order to better assess the issue of informed consent. The particular case of informed consent for observational studies of non-communicative patients. The second part presents an informed consent form for studies through video-recording of patients unable to communicate their own consent. This form has been elaborated by the bioethics unit of the project "Review of the nosography of vegetative states: application of methods of behavioral analysis to individuals in coma or vegetative state" developed at the Italian National Institute of Health. Relevance of the suggested form. The paper describes the conceptual framework of the form for informed consent to studies through video-recoding, which is a relevant example of what issues should be included in an informed consent for any type of studies through video-recording of patients unable to express their own consent. The article has been sent on November the 7th 2013, before the adoption of the Regulation (EU no. 536/2014 (and consequent abrogation of the Directive 2001

  4. Neuroscientific and neuroanthropological perspectives in music therapy research and practice with patients with disorders of consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogl, Julia; Heine, Astrid M; Steinhoff, Nikolaus; Weiss, Konrad; Tucek, Gerhard

    2015-01-01

    A growing understanding of music therapy with patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC) has developed from observing behavioral changes and using these to gain new ways of experiencing this research environment and setting. Neuroscience provides further insight into the effects of music therapy; however, various studies with similar protocols show different results. The neuroanthropological approach is informed by anthropological and philosophical frameworks. It puts emphasis on a research with and not just on human beings concerning the subject/object question within a research process. It examines relational aspects and outcomes in the context of working in an interdisciplinary team. This allows a broader view of music therapy in a reflective process and leads to a careful interpretation of behavioral reactions and imaging results. This article discusses the importance of the neuroanthropological perspective on our way of obtaining knowledge and its influence on therapeutic practice. It is important to consider how knowledge is generated as it influences the results. Data from two cases will be presented to illustrate the neuroanthropological approach by comparing quantitative PET data with qualitative results of video analyses.

  5. Neuroscientific and neuroanthropological perspectives in music therapy research and practice with patients with disorders of consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia eVogl

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available A growing understanding of music therapy with patients with disorders of consciousness has developed from observing behavioral changes and using these to gain new ways of experiencing this research environment and setting. Neuroscience provides further insight into the effects of music therapy; however, various studies with similar protocols show different results.The neuroanthropological approach is informed by anthropological and philosophical frameworks. It puts emphasis on a research with and not just on human beings concerning the subject/object question within a research process. It examines relational aspects and outcomes in the context of working in an interdisciplinary team. This allows a broader view of music therapy in a reflective process and leads to a careful interpretation of behavioral reactions and imaging results.This article discusses the importance of the neuroanthropological perspective on our way of obtaining knowledge and its influence on therapeutic practice. It is important to consider how knowledge is generated as it influences the results. Data from two cases will be presented to illustrate the neuroanthropological approach by comparing quantitative PET data with qualitative results of video analyses.

  6. Pragmatic neuroethics: the social aspects of ethics in disorders of consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Racine, Eric

    2013-01-01

    In this chapter, evolution of ethics and bioethics is traced to show how an abstract and individualistic paradigm was at the core of mainstream ethics prior to the advent of bioethics and applied ethics. Bioethics has transformed this individualistic paradigm because of its inherent interdisciplinarity and real-world connection. This evolution has raised questions regarding how nonabstract (e.g., experiential) and nonindividualistic (e.g., social, relational) components of ethics could be married to normative theory and ethics reflection, the latter usually not amenable to empiric research. In the first part of this chapter, pragmatism is introduced as an approach offering perspectives on the integration of social, nonindividualistic aspects of ethics, supporting the use of social science methods within ethics and neuroethics. In the second part of this chapter, using the example of disorders of consciousness, a pragmatic perspective is explored to reframe questions and help foster nonreductionistic understandings of ethical questions and ethical dilemmas. This chapter aims to generate reflections on a set of specific clinical contexts that will also stimulate a discussion on the nature of ethical approaches. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Neuroscientific and neuroanthropological perspectives in music therapy research and practice with patients with disorders of consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogl, Julia; Heine, Astrid M.; Steinhoff, Nikolaus; Weiss, Konrad; Tucek, Gerhard

    2015-01-01

    A growing understanding of music therapy with patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC) has developed from observing behavioral changes and using these to gain new ways of experiencing this research environment and setting. Neuroscience provides further insight into the effects of music therapy; however, various studies with similar protocols show different results. The neuroanthropological approach is informed by anthropological and philosophical frameworks. It puts emphasis on a research with and not just on human beings concerning the subject/object question within a research process. It examines relational aspects and outcomes in the context of working in an interdisciplinary team. This allows a broader view of music therapy in a reflective process and leads to a careful interpretation of behavioral reactions and imaging results. This article discusses the importance of the neuroanthropological perspective on our way of obtaining knowledge and its influence on therapeutic practice. It is important to consider how knowledge is generated as it influences the results. Data from two cases will be presented to illustrate the neuroanthropological approach by comparing quantitative PET data with qualitative results of video analyses. PMID:26300720

  8. Neurobehavioural assessment and diagnosis in disorders of consciousness: a preliminary study of the Sensory Tool to Assess Responsiveness (STAR).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stokes, Verity; Gunn, Sarah; Schouwenaars, Katie; Badwan, Derar

    2018-09-01

    The Sensory Tool to Assess Responsiveness (STAR) is an interdisciplinary neurobehavioural diagnostic tool for individuals with prolonged disorders of consciousness. It utilises current diagnostic criteria and is intended to improve upon the high misdiagnosis rate in this population. This study assesses the inter-rater reliability of the STAR and its diagnostic validity in comparison with the Coma Recovery Scale-Revised (CRS-R) and the Wessex Head Injury Matrix (WHIM). Participants were patients with severe acquired brain injury resulting in a disorder of consciousness, who were admitted to the Royal Leamington Spa Rehabilitation Hospital between 1999 and 2009. Patients underwent sensory stimulation sessions during their period of admission, which were recorded on video. Using this footage, patients were re-assessed for this study using the STAR, WHIM and CRS-R criteria. The STAR demonstrated "moderate" inter-rater reliability, "substantial" diagnostic agreement with the CRS-R, and "moderate" agreement with the WHIM. There were no significant differences between diagnoses assigned by the different assessments. The STAR demonstrated a good degree of inter-rater reliability in identification of diagnoses for patients with disorders of consciousness. The diagnostic outcomes of the STAR agreed at a good level with the CRS-R, moderately with the WHIM, and did not significantly differ from either. This demonstrates the reliability and validity of the STAR, showing its appropriateness for clinical use. Future longitudinal studies and research into the STAR's applicability in long-stay rehabilitation are indicated.

  9. Conscious knowledge influences decision-making differently in substance abusers with and without co-morbid antisocial personality disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mellentin, Angelina I; Skøt, Lotte; Teasdale, Thomas W; Habekost, Thomas

    2013-08-01

    Decision-making impairment, as measured by the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), is a consistent finding among individuals with substance use disorder (SUD). We studied how this impairment is influenced by co-morbid antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) and conscious knowledge of the task. Three groups were investigated: SUD individuals without co-morbid ASPD (n = 30), SUD individuals with co-morbid ASPD (n = 16), and healthy controls (n = 17). Both SUD and SUD+ASPD participants had poor overall IGT performance. A block-by-block analysis revealed that SUD participants exhibited slow but steady improvement across the IGT, whereas SUD+ASPD participants exhibited initial normal improvement, but dropped off during the last 40 trials. Conscious knowledge of the task was significantly correlated to performance for controls and SUD participants, but not for SUD+ASPD participants. Our findings suggest that decision-making proceeds differently in SUD and SUD+ASPD individuals due to differences in acquisition and application of conscious knowledge. © 2013 The Scandinavian Psychological Associations.

  10. Functional magnetic resonance imaging in disorders of consciousness: preliminary results of an innovative analysis of brain connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Pasquale, Francesco; Caravasso, Chiara Falletta; Péran, Patrice; Catani, Sheila; Tuovinen, Noora; Sabatini, Umberto; Formisano, Rita

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this preliminary study was to present a new approach for connectivity analysis in patients with severe acquired brain injury (ABI) that overcomes some of the difficulties created by anatomical abnormalities due to the brain injury. Using a data-driven approach, resting-state structural MRI (sMRI) and functional MRI (fMRI) data from three severe ABI patients - two with disorders of consciousness (DOC) and one who had recovered consciousness (non-DOC) - were integrated and analyzed. Parameters extracted from the distribution of the connectivity values, such as mean, standard deviation and skeweness, were considered. The distribution parameters estimated seem to provide an accurate multivariate classification of the considered cases that can be summarized as follows: connectivity in the severe ABI patients with DOC was on average lower than in the severe ABI non-DOC patient and healthy subjects. The dispersion of connectivity values of the severe ABI patients, non-DOC and DOC, was comparable, however the shape of the distribution was different in the non-DOC patient. Eventually, seed-based connectivity maps of the default mode Functional magnetic resonance imaging in disorders of consciousness: preliminary results of an innovative analysis of brain connectivity network show a pattern of increasing disruption of this network from the healthy subjects to non-DOC and DOC patients. Consistent results are obtained using an ICA-based approach..

  11. Brain networks predict metabolism, diagnosis and prognosis at the bedside in disorders of consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chennu, Srivas; Annen, Jitka; Wannez, Sarah; Thibaut, Aurore; Chatelle, Camille; Cassol, Helena; Martens, Géraldine; Schnakers, Caroline; Gosseries, Olivia; Menon, David; Laureys, Steven

    2017-08-01

    Recent advances in functional neuroimaging have demonstrated novel potential for informing diagnosis and prognosis in the unresponsive wakeful syndrome and minimally conscious states. However, these technologies come with considerable expense and difficulty, limiting the possibility of wider clinical application in patients. Here, we show that high density electroencephalography, collected from 104 patients measured at rest, can provide valuable information about brain connectivity that correlates with behaviour and functional neuroimaging. Using graph theory, we visualize and quantify spectral connectivity estimated from electroencephalography as a dense brain network. Our findings demonstrate that key quantitative metrics of these networks correlate with the continuum of behavioural recovery in patients, ranging from those diagnosed as unresponsive, through those who have emerged from minimally conscious, to the fully conscious locked-in syndrome. In particular, a network metric indexing the presence of densely interconnected central hubs of connectivity discriminated behavioural consciousness with accuracy comparable to that achieved by expert assessment with positron emission tomography. We also show that this metric correlates strongly with brain metabolism. Further, with classification analysis, we predict the behavioural diagnosis, brain metabolism and 1-year clinical outcome of individual patients. Finally, we demonstrate that assessments of brain networks show robust connectivity in patients diagnosed as unresponsive by clinical consensus, but later rediagnosed as minimally conscious with the Coma Recovery Scale-Revised. Classification analysis of their brain network identified each of these misdiagnosed patients as minimally conscious, corroborating their behavioural diagnoses. If deployed at the bedside in the clinical context, such network measurements could complement systematic behavioural assessment and help reduce the high misdiagnosis rate reported

  12. The use of the concept of Bobath in improving patients of quantitative disorders of consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Nicpoń-Nożewska

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Patients reduced states of consciousness, because of excessive duration and severity of illness require particular care effects in all aspects of medical applications. The process of medical rehabilitation in these cases comes up against difficulties related to the lack or limitation of the interaction between the therapist and the patient. For these reasons, always seek individual respiratory effects on the brain of the patient in order to most effectively induce Neuroplastic processes. It appears that the concept of Bobath may be a method of realization of the therapeutic agents in patients who are limited consciousness. It is understood that the method in accordance with the concept of physiotherapy Bobath comes down more to learn the patient feel performed passively or actively moving, not only to indicate to him how this movement should look like. Patients remaining in the states of limited consciousness are a unique group in which the interpretation of receipt by them of external stimuli is problematic and often impossible to determine. Regardless of whether the consciousness of the patient is under the control of, or is disabled, body position and movement patterns performed in the framework of rehabilitation allow to receive mechanical stimuli, thus contributing to the implementation of the appropriate movement patterns or even - to eliminate abnormal patterns. Possibly the quick implementation of rehabilitation Bobath method seems to be particularly important in patients who have suffered injuries of the central nervous system were in a coma or minimal consciousness.

  13. Could combined sleep and pain evaluation be useful in the diagnosis of disorders of consciousness (DOC)? Preliminary findings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aricò, Irene; Naro, Antonino; Pisani, Laura Rosa; Leo, Antonino; Muscarà, Nunzio; De Salvo, Simona; Silvestri, Rosalia; Bramanti, Placido; Calabrò, Rocco Salvatore

    2016-01-01

    The diagnosis of Disorders of Consciousness (DOC) is still challenging. Indeed, ~ 40% of patients in vegetative state (VS) are misdiagnosed, suggesting the need of more appropriate diagnostic tools. Emerging data are showing that EEG, including sleep structure evaluation and multimodal evoked potential recording could be helpful in DOC diagnosis. Moreover, pain perception evaluation could further increase diagnosis accuracy in such individuals. Fourteen individuals with DOC, due to severe brain injury, were enrolled and admitted to the Intensive Neurorehabilitation Unit of the Research Institute. All patients were evaluated by means of the Coma Recovery Scale-Revised, a 24(hh)-polysomnography and a Laser Evoked Potential (LEP) paradigm. Clinically-defined patients in Minimally Consciousness State showed a more preserved sleep structure, physiologic hypnic figures and preserved REM/NREM sleep distribution than subjects in VS. LEP showed increased latencies and reduced amplitudes and were also detectable in patients with more structured sleep. The data support previous findings concerning the importance of sleep study in DOC diagnosis, with more specific neurophysiological paradigms. Interestingly, the findings shed some light on the possible correlations among global brain connectivity, sleep structure and pain perception, which are related to the activity of the wide thalamo-cortical and cortico-cortical networks underlying consciousness.

  14. The value of midbrain morphology in predicting prognosis in chronic disorders of consciousness: A preliminary ultrasound study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chillura, Antonino; Naro, Antonino; Micchia, Katia; Bramanti, Alessia; Bramanti, Placido; Calabrò, Rocco Salvatore

    2017-09-15

    Transcranial sonography (TCS) of the brainstem is currently used to support the clinical diagnosis of movement disorders. The aim of the study was to assess the usefulness of midbrain TCS in assessing outcome in patients with Chronic Disorders of Consciousness (DOC). Eleven patients with Minimally Conscious State (MCS) and Unresponsive Wakefulness Syndrome (UWS) were included in the study. We measured the area and echogenicity of the midbrain by encoding and digitally analyzing the corresponding images from the orbitomeatal plane, the morphology of brain parenchyma from the thalamic and cella media plane, and the intracranial circulation. All the patients showed an increase of pulsatility index and numerous morphological alterations on all the scan planes. In particular, we found a loss of the characteristic butterfly-shape of the midbrain, which appeared hypoechoic in the UWS but not in the MCS patients. After six months, the patients were clinically assessed by using Glasgow Outcome Scale Extended (GOSE). We found that a higher increase in GOSE scoring at follow-up was correlated with larger area and higher echogenicity of the midbrain at baseline. The present study suggests that TCS data of the midbrain may support clinical assessment of patients with chronic DOC to estimate their outcome. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Diagnostic precision of PET imaging and functional MRI in disorders of consciousness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stender, Johan; Gosseries, Olivia; Bruno, Marie-Aurélie

    2014-01-01

    a validation study of two neuroimaging-based diagnostic methods: PET imaging and functional MRI (fMRI). METHODS: For this clinical validation study, we included patients referred to the University Hospital of Liège, Belgium, between January, 2008, and June, 2012, who were diagnosed by our unit...... with unresponsive wakefulness syndrome, locked-in syndrome, or minimally conscious state with traumatic or non-traumatic causes. We did repeated standardised clinical assessments with the Coma Recovery Scale-Revised (CRS-R), cerebral (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET, and fMRI during mental activation tasks. We...... state (48=traumatic, 78=non-traumatic; 110=chronic, 16=subacute). (18)F-FDG PET had high sensitivity for identification of patients in a minimally conscious state (93%, 95% CI 85-98) and high congruence (85%, 77-90) with behavioural CRS-R scores. The active fMRI method was less sensitive at diagnosis...

  16. Volitional action as perceptual detection: predictors of conscious intention in adolescents with tic disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganos, Christos; Asmuss, Luisa; Bongert, Jens; Brandt, Valerie; Münchau, Alexander; Haggard, Patrick

    2015-03-01

    Voluntary actions are accompanied by a distinctive subjective experience, so that they feel quite different from physically similar involuntary movements. However, the nature and origin of this experience of volition remain unclear. Voluntary actions emerge during early childhood, in parallel with reduction of involuntary movements. However, the available markers of the experience of volition, notably Libet's mental chronometry of intention, cannot readily be used in young children. In Gilles de la Tourette syndrome (GTS), however, involuntary tic movements may coexist with voluntary control into adulthood. Therefore, adolescents with GTS could potentially confuse the two classes of movement. We have measured the temporal experience of voluntary action in a well-characterised group of adolescents with GTS, and age-matched controls. We replicated previous reports of a conscious intention occurring a few hundred milliseconds prior to voluntary keypress actions. Multiple regression across 25 patients' results showed that age and trait tic severity did not influence the experience of conscious intention. However, patients with stronger premonitory urges prior to tics showed significantly later conscious intentions, suggesting that the anticipatory experience of one's own volition involves a perceptual discrimination between potentially competing pre-movement signals. Patients who were more able to voluntarily suppress their tics showed significantly earlier conscious intention, suggesting that the perceptual discrimination between different action classes may also contribute to voluntary control of tics. We suggest that the brain learns voluntary control by perceptually discriminating a special class of internal 'intentional' signals, allowing them to emerge from motor noise. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  17. Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Patients with Prolonged Disorders of Consciousness: Combined Behavioral and Event-Related Potential Evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ye Zhang

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available BackgroundThe electrophysiological evidence supporting the therapeutic efficacy of multiple transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS sessions on consciousness improvement in patients with prolonged disorders of consciousness (DOCs has not been firmly established.ObjectivesTo assess the effects of repeated tDCS in patients with prolonged DOCs by Coma Recovery Scale-Revised (CRS-R score and event-related potential (ERP.MethodUsing a sham-controlled randomized double-blind design, 26 patients were randomly assigned to either a real [five vegetative state (VS and eight minimally conscious state (MCS patients] or sham (six VS and seven MCS patients stimulation group. The patients in the real stimulation group underwent 20 anodal tDCS sessions of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC over 10 consecutive working days. The CRS-R score and P300 amplitude and latency in a hierarchical cognitive assessment were recorded to evaluate the consciousness level before tDCS and immediately after the 20 sessions.ResultsThe intra-group CRS-R analysis revealed a clinically significant improvement in the MCS patients in the real stimulation group. The inter-group CRS-R analysis showed a significant difference in CRS-R between VS and MCS patients at baseline in both the real and sham stimulation groups. The intra-group ERP analysis revealed a significant increase in P300 amplitude after tDCS in the MCS patients in the real stimulation group, but no significant differences in P300 latency. For the inter-group ERP analysis, we observed significant differences regarding the presence of P300 at baseline between the VS and MCS patients in both groups.ConclusionThe repeated anodal tDCS of the left DLPFC could produce clinically significant improvements in MCS patients. The observed tDCS-related consciousness improvements might be related to improvements in attention resource allocation (reflected by the P300 amplitude. The findings support the use of tDCS in

  18. ICF-DOC: the ICF dedicated checklist for evaluating functioning and disability in people with disorders of consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonardi, Matilde; Covelli, Venusia; Giovannetti, Ambra M; Raggi, Alberto; Sattin, Davide

    2014-09-01

    Clinicians need a comprehensive description of patients' functioning state to capture the complex interaction between symptoms and environmental factors, and to determine the actual level of functioning in patients in a vegetative state or a minimally conscious state. The aim of this study is to develop an International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) checklist for patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC) so as to capture and describe, with a tailored list of categories, the most common health, disability, and functioning issues of adult patients with DOC. The WHO ICF checklist was used as a basis for collecting data. This was an observational, cross-sectional, multicenter study conducted in 69 Italian centers. Specific methodological procedures were used to identify the most appropriate categories for DOC patients to be added to or deleted from the ICF checklist so as to develop the ICF-DOC checklist. A total of 566 adult patients were enrolled: 398 in a vegetative state and 168 in a minimally conscious state. A total of 127 ICF categories reached the threshold of 20% concerning the presence of a problem: 37 categories from the body functions chapter, 13 from the body structures chapter, 46 from the activities and participations chapter, and 31 from the environmental factors chapter. ICF categories identified in this study can be useful guidelines for clinicians and researchers to collect data on functioning and disability of adult patients with DOC. The new ICF-DOC checklist allows monitoring of the effects of interventions on functional areas and possible changes in each patient in follow-up studies.

  19. Feasibility of the music therapy assessment tool for awareness in disorders of consciousness (MATADOC) for use with pediatric populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magee, Wendy L.; Ghetti, Claire M.; Moyer, Alvin

    2015-01-01

    Measuring responsiveness to gain accurate diagnosis in populations with disorders of consciousness (DOC) is of central concern because these patients have such complex clinical presentations. Due to the uncertainty of accuracy for both behavioral and neurophysiological measures in DOC, combined assessment approaches are recommended. A number of standardized behavioral measures can be used with adults with DOC with minor to moderate reservations relating to the measures’ psychometric properties and clinical applicability. However, no measures have been standardized for use with pediatric DOC populations. When adapting adult measures for children, confounding factors include developmental considerations for language-based items included in all DOC measures. Given the lack of pediatric DOC measures, there is a pressing need for measures that are sensitive to the complex clinical presentations typical of DOC and that can accommodate the developmental levels of pediatric populations. The music therapy assessment tool for awareness in disorders of consciousness (MATADOC) is a music-based measure that has been standardized for adults with DOC. Given its emphasis on non-language based sensory stimuli, it is well-suited to pediatric populations spanning developmental stages. In a pre-pilot exploratory study, we examined the clinical utility of this measure and explored trends for test-retest and inter-rater agreement as well as its performance against external reference standards. In several cases, MATADOC items in the visual and auditory domains produced outcomes suggestive of higher level functioning when compared to outcomes provided by other DOC measures. Preliminary findings suggest that the MATADOC provides a useful protocol and measure for behavioral assessment and clinical treatment planning with pediatric DOC. Further research with a larger sample is warranted to test a version of the MATADOC that is refined to meet developmental needs of pediatric DOC

  20. 'Is she alive? Is she dead?' Representations of chronic disorders of consciousness in Douglas Coupland's Girlfriend in a Coma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colbeck, Matthew

    2016-09-01

    Depictions of coma have come to dominate literary and filmic texts over the last half century, a phenomenon coinciding with advancements in medical technology that have led to remarkable increases in the survival rates of patients with chronic disorders of consciousness. Authors of coma fiction are preoccupied with the imagined subjective experience of coma, often creating complex, dream-like worlds from which the protagonist must escape if survival is to be achieved. However, such representations appear to conflict with medical case studies and patient narratives that reveal that most often survivors of coma have no recollection of the coma itself. Providing a close reading of Douglas Coupland's Girlfriend in a Coma (1998) against the context of medical literature and diagnoses, this article examines how the coma patient is represented, often depicting the realities of a prolonged vegetative state, in contrast with other popular representations of coma. It explores how the author develops a work of 'fantastic' fiction (a genre defined by the structuralist critic Tzvetan Todorov), using the condition of coma as a metaphor for a postmodern existential crisis, while simultaneously employing mimetic techniques that raise important medical, ethical and philosophical questions surrounding the ontological status of the comatose patient. It is argued that coma fiction, even in its misrepresentation of the condition, can help us to engage with and interrogate how we think about chronic disorders of consciousness, thereby providing a valuable insight into our attitudes towards illness and mortality. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/

  1. Feasibility of the music therapy assessment tool for awareness in disorders of consciousness (MATADOC) for use with pediatric populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magee, Wendy L; Ghetti, Claire M; Moyer, Alvin

    2015-01-01

    Measuring responsiveness to gain accurate diagnosis in populations with disorders of consciousness (DOC) is of central concern because these patients have such complex clinical presentations. Due to the uncertainty of accuracy for both behavioral and neurophysiological measures in DOC, combined assessment approaches are recommended. A number of standardized behavioral measures can be used with adults with DOC with minor to moderate reservations relating to the measures' psychometric properties and clinical applicability. However, no measures have been standardized for use with pediatric DOC populations. When adapting adult measures for children, confounding factors include developmental considerations for language-based items included in all DOC measures. Given the lack of pediatric DOC measures, there is a pressing need for measures that are sensitive to the complex clinical presentations typical of DOC and that can accommodate the developmental levels of pediatric populations. The music therapy assessment tool for awareness in disorders of consciousness (MATADOC) is a music-based measure that has been standardized for adults with DOC. Given its emphasis on non-language based sensory stimuli, it is well-suited to pediatric populations spanning developmental stages. In a pre-pilot exploratory study, we examined the clinical utility of this measure and explored trends for test-retest and inter-rater agreement as well as its performance against external reference standards. In several cases, MATADOC items in the visual and auditory domains produced outcomes suggestive of higher level functioning when compared to outcomes provided by other DOC measures. Preliminary findings suggest that the MATADOC provides a useful protocol and measure for behavioral assessment and clinical treatment planning with pediatric DOC. Further research with a larger sample is warranted to test a version of the MATADOC that is refined to meet developmental needs of pediatric DOC populations.

  2. Feasibility of the Music Therapy Assessment Tool for Awareness in Disorders Of Consciousness (MATADOC for use with Pediatric Populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wendy L Magee

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Measuring responsiveness to gain accurate diagnosis in populations with disorders of consciousness (DOC is of central concern because these patients have such complex clinical presentations. Due to the uncertainty of accuracy for both behavioral and neurophysiological measures in DOC, combined assessment approaches are recommended. A number of standardized behavioral measures can be used with adults with DOC with minor to moderate reservations relating to the measures’ psychometric properties and clinical applicability. However, no measures have been standardized for use with pediatric DOC populations. When adapting adult measures for children, confounding factors include developmental considerations for language-based items included in all DOC measures. Given the lack of pediatric DOC measures, there is a pressing need for measures that are sensitive to the complex clinical presentations typical of DOC and that can accommodate the developmental levels of pediatric populations. The Music Therapy Assessment Tool for Awareness in Disorders of Consciousness (MATADOC is a music-based measure that has been standardized for adults with DOC. Given its emphasis on non-language based sensory stimuli, it is well-suited to pediatric populations spanning developmental stages. In a pre-pilot exploratory study, we examined the clinical utility of this measure and explored trends for test-retest and inter-rater agreement as well as its performance against external reference standards. In several cases, MATADOC items in the visual and auditory domains produced outcomes suggestive of higher level functioning when compared to outcomes provided by other DOC measures. Preliminary findings suggest that the MATADOC provides a useful protocol and measure for behavioral assessment and clinical treatment planning with pediatric DOC. Further research with a larger sample is warranted to test a version of the MATADOC that is refined to meet developmental needs of

  3. Impact of functional MRI data preprocessing pipeline on default-mode network detectability in patients with disorders of consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrian eAndronache

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available An emerging application of resting-state functional MRI is the study of patients with disorders of consciousness (DoC, where integrity of default-mode network (DMN activity is associated to the clinical level of preservation of consciousness. Due to the inherent inability to follow verbal instructions, arousal induced by scanning noise and postural pain, these patients tend to exhibit substantial levels of movement. This results in spurious, non-neural fluctuations of the blood-oxygen level-dependent (BOLD signal, which impair the evaluation of residual functional connectivity. Here, the effect of data preprocessing choices on the detectability of the DMN was systematically evaluated in a representative cohort of 30 clinically and etiologically heterogeneous DoC patients and 33 healthy controls. Starting from a standard preprocessing pipeline, additional steps were gradually inserted, namely band-pass filtering, removal of co-variance with the movement vectors, removal of co-variance with the global brain parenchyma signal, rejection of realignment outlier volumes and ventricle masking. Both independent-component analysis (ICA and seed-based analysis (SBA were performed, and DMN detectability was assessed quantitatively as well as visually. The results of the present study strongly show that the detection of DMN activity in the sub-optimal fMRI series acquired on DoC patients is contingent on the use of adequate filtering steps. ICA and SBA are differently affected but give convergent findings for high-grade preprocessing. We propose that future studies in this area should adopt the described preprocessing procedures as a minimum standard to reduce the probability of wrongly inferring that DMN activity is absent.

  4. Anterior prefrontal hemodynamic connectivity in conscious 3- to 7-year-old children with typical development and autism spectrum disorder.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mitsuru Kikuchi

    Full Text Available Socio-communicative impairments are salient features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD from a young age. The anterior prefrontal cortex (aPFC, or Brodmann area 10, is a key processing area for social function, and atypical development of this area is thought to play a role in the social deficits in ASD. It is important to understand these brain functions in developing children with ASD. However, these brain functions have not yet been well described under conscious conditions in young children with ASD. In the present study, we focused on the brain hemodynamic functional connectivity between the right and the left aPFC in children with ASD and typically developing (TD children and investigated whether there was a correlation between this connectivity and social ability. Brain hemodynamic fluctuations were measured non-invasively by near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS in 3- to 7-year-old children with ASD (n = 15 and gender- and age-matched TD children (n = 15. The functional connectivity between the right and the left aPFC was assessed by measuring the coherence for low-frequency spontaneous fluctuations (0.01-0.10 Hz during a narrated picture-card show. Coherence analysis demonstrated that children with ASD had a significantly higher inter-hemispheric connectivity with 0.02-Hz fluctuations, whereas a power analysis did not demonstrate significant differences between the two groups in terms of low frequency fluctuations (0.01-0.10 Hz. This aberrant higher connectivity in children with ASD was positively correlated with the severity of social deficit, as scored with the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule. This is the first study to demonstrate aberrant brain functional connectivity between the right and the left aPFC under conscious conditions in young children with ASD.

  5. Functional near infrared spectroscopy as a probe of brain function in people with prolonged disorders of consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agnieszka M. Kempny

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS is a non-invasive technique which measures changes in brain tissue oxygenation. NIRS has been used for continuous monitoring of brain oxygenation during medical procedures carrying high risk of iatrogenic brain ischemia and also has been adopted by cognitive neuroscience for studies on executive and cognitive functions. Until now, NIRS has not been used to detect residual cognitive functions in patients with prolonged disorders of consciousness (pDOC. In this study we aimed to evaluate the brain function of patients with pDOC by using a motor imagery task while recording NIRS. We also collected data from a group of age and gender matched healthy controls while they carried out both real and imagined motor movements to command. We studied 16 pDOC patients in total, split into two groups: five had a diagnosis of Vegetative state/Unresponsive Wakefulness State, and eleven had a diagnosis of Minimally Conscious State. In the control subjects we found a greater oxy-haemoglobin (oxyHb response during real movement compared with imagined movement. For the between group comparison, we found a main effect of hemisphere, with greater depression of oxyHb signal in the right > left hemisphere compared with rest period for all three groups. A post-hoc analysis including only the two pDOC patient groups was also significant suggesting that this effect was not just being driven by the control subjects. This study demonstrates for the first time the feasibility of using NIRS for the assessment of brain function in pDOC patients using a motor imagery task.

  6. Functional near infrared spectroscopy as a probe of brain function in people with prolonged disorders of consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kempny, Agnieszka M; James, Leon; Yelden, Kudret; Duport, Sophie; Farmer, Simon; Playford, E Diane; Leff, Alexander P

    2016-01-01

    Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a non-invasive technique which measures changes in brain tissue oxygenation. NIRS has been used for continuous monitoring of brain oxygenation during medical procedures carrying high risk of iatrogenic brain ischemia and also has been adopted by cognitive neuroscience for studies on executive and cognitive functions. Until now, NIRS has not been used to detect residual cognitive functions in patients with prolonged disorders of consciousness (pDOC). In this study we aimed to evaluate the brain function of patients with pDOC by using a motor imagery task while recording NIRS. We also collected data from a group of age and gender matched healthy controls while they carried out both real and imagined motor movements to command. We studied 16 pDOC patients in total, split into two groups: five had a diagnosis of Vegetative state/Unresponsive Wakefulness State, and eleven had a diagnosis of Minimally Conscious State. In the control subjects we found a greater oxy-haemoglobin (oxyHb) response during real movement compared with imagined movement. For the between group comparison, we found a main effect of hemisphere, with greater depression of oxyHb signal in the right > left hemisphere compared with rest period for all three groups. A post-hoc analysis including only the two pDOC patient groups was also significant suggesting that this effect was not just being driven by the control subjects. This study demonstrates for the first time the feasibility of using NIRS for the assessment of brain function in pDOC patients using a motor imagery task.

  7. The nature of sleep in 10 bedridden elderly patients with disorders of consciousness in a Japanese hospital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsumoto, Masaru; Sugama, Junko; Nemoto, Tetsu; Kurita, Toshiharu; Matsuo, Junko; Dai, Misako; Ueta, Miyuki; Okuwa, Mayumi; Nakatani, Toshio; Tabata, Keiko; Sanada, Hiromi

    2015-01-01

    No previous study has satisfactorily clarified the nature of sleep in elderly bedridden people with disorders of consciousness (DOC). The objective of the present study was to clarify the sleep states of 10 elderly bedridden patients with DOC in a Japanese hospital to facilitate provision of evidence-based nursing care and appropriate adjustment of patients' environments. Nocturnal polysomnography recordings were analyzed according to the standard scoring criteria, and the patients' sleep stages and quality were investigated. Of the 10 patients, 9 showed slow wave sleep (SWS), 4 showed very high values for sleep efficiency (96-100%), and in 3 of these patients, the percentage of SWS was ≥ 20%. Furthermore, three of these four patients had 200 or more changes in sleep stage. Although the mechanism is unknown, the amount of SWS combined with the value of sleep efficiency suggests that the quality of sleep is poor in elderly bedridden patients with DOC. Further study is needed to determine better indicators of good sleep in this population. © The Author(s) 2014.

  8. Using best interests meetings for people in a prolonged disorder of consciousness to improve clinical and ethical management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wade, Derick T

    2018-05-01

    Current management of people with prolonged disorders of consciousness is failing patients, families and society. The causes include a general lack of concern, knowledge and expertise; a legal and professional framework which impedes timely and appropriate decision-making and/or enactment of the decision; and the exclusive focus on the patient, with no legitimate means to consider the broader consequences of healthcare decisions. This article argues that a clinical pathway based on the principles of (a) the English Mental Capacity Act 2005 and (b) using time-limited treatment trials could greatly improve patient management and reduce stress on families. There needs to be early and continuing use of formal best interests meetings, starting between 7 and 21 days after onset of unconsciousness (from any cause, including progressive disorders). The treatment options need to evolve as the clinical state and prognosis becomes more certain. A formal discussion of treatment withdrawal should occur when the upper bound of predicted recovery falls below a level the patient would have considered acceptable, and it should always be discussed when the condition is considered permanent. Any decision to stop treatment should be contingent on a formal second opinion from an independent expert who should review the clinical situation and expected prognosis, but not the best interests decision. The article also asks how, if at all, the adverse effects on the family and the resource implications of long-term care of people left in a prolonged state of unconsciousness should be incorporated in the process. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2018. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.

  9. Organizational consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pees, Richard C; Shoop, Glenda Hostetter; Ziegenfuss, James T

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual understanding of organizational consciousness that expands the discussion of organizational analysis, and use a case study to apply it in the analysis of a merger between an academic health center and a regional medical center. The paper draws on the experiences and insights of scholars who have been exploring complex organizational issues in relationship with consciousness. Organizational consciousness is the organization's capacity for reflection; a centering point for the organization to "think" and find the degree of unity across systems; and a link to the organization's identity and self-referencing attributes. It operates at three stages: reflective, social, and collective consciousness. Translating abstract concepts such as consciousness to an organizational model is complex and interpretive. For now, the idea of organizational consciousness remains mostly a theoretical concept. Empirical evidence is needed to support the theory. Faced with complicated and compelling issues for patient care, health care organizations must look beyond the analysis of structure and function, and be vigilant in their decisions on where important issues sit on the ladder of competing priorities. Organizational consciousness keeps the organization's attention focused on purpose and unifies the collective will to succeed. If the paper can come to understand how consciousness operates in organizations, and learn how to apply it in organizational decisions, the pay-off could be big in terms of leading initiatives for change. The final goal is to use what is learned to improve organizational outcomes.

  10. Conscious Belief

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Pitt

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Tim Crane maintains that beliefs cannot be conscious because they persist in the absence of consciousness. Conscious judgments can share their contents with beliefs, and their occurrence can be evidence for what one believes; but they cannot be beliefs, because they don’t persist. I challenge Crane’s premise that belief attributions to the temporarily unconscious are literally true. To say of an unconscious agent that she believes that p is like saying that she sings well. To say she sings well is to say that when she sings, her singing is good. To say that she believes that p is (roughly to say that when she consciously considers the content that p she consciously affirms (believes it. I also argue that the phenomenal view of intentional content Crane appears to endorse prima facie commits him to the view, at least controversial, perhaps incoherent, that there is unconscious phenomenology (the intentional contents of unconscious beliefs.

  11. Neuroimaging of consciousness

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    Cavanna, Andrea Eugenio [Birmingham Univ. (United Kingdom). Dept. of Neuropsychiatry; UCL Institute of Neurology, London (United Kingdom). Sobell Dept. of Motor, Neuroscience and Movement Disorders; Nani, Andrea [Birmingham Univ. (United Kingdom). Research Group BSMHFT; Blumenfeld, Hal [Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT (United States). Depts. of Neurology, Neurobiology and Neurosurgery; Laureys, Steven (ed.) [Liege Univ. (Belgium). Cyclotron Research Centre

    2013-07-01

    An important reference work on a multidisciplinary and rapidly expanding area. Particular focus on the relevance of neuroimaging for the diagnosis and treatment of common neuropsychiatric disorders affecting consciousness. Written by world-class experts in the field. Relevant for clinicians, researchers, and scholars across different specialties. Within the field of neuroscience, the past few decades have witnessed an exponential growth of research into the brain mechanisms underlying both normal and pathological states of consciousness in humans. The development of sophisticated imaging techniques (above all fMRI and PET) to visualize and map brain activity in vivo has opened new avenues in our understanding of the pathological processes involved in common neuropsychiatric disorders affecting consciousness, such as epilepsy, coma, vegetative states, dissociative disorders, and dementia. This book presents the state of the art in neuroimaging exploration of the brain correlates of the alterations in consciousness across these conditions, with a particular focus on the potential applications for diagnosis and management. Although the book has a practical approach and is primarily targeted at neurologists, neuroradiologists, and psychiatrists, a wide range of researchers and health care professionals will find it an essential reference that explains the significance of neuroimaging of consciousness for clinical practice. Within the field of neuroscience, the past few decades have witnessed an exponential growth of research into the brain mechanisms underlying both normal and pathological states of consciousness in humans. The development of sophisticated imaging techniques (above all fMRI and PET) to visualize and map brain activity in vivo has opened new avenues in our understanding of the pathological processes involved in common neuropsychiatric disorders affecting consciousness, such as epilepsy, coma, vegetative states, dissociative disorders, and dementia. This

  12. Neuroimaging of consciousness

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cavanna, Andrea Eugenio; UCL Institute of Neurology, London; Nani, Andrea; Blumenfeld, Hal; Laureys, Steven

    2013-01-01

    An important reference work on a multidisciplinary and rapidly expanding area. Particular focus on the relevance of neuroimaging for the diagnosis and treatment of common neuropsychiatric disorders affecting consciousness. Written by world-class experts in the field. Relevant for clinicians, researchers, and scholars across different specialties. Within the field of neuroscience, the past few decades have witnessed an exponential growth of research into the brain mechanisms underlying both normal and pathological states of consciousness in humans. The development of sophisticated imaging techniques (above all fMRI and PET) to visualize and map brain activity in vivo has opened new avenues in our understanding of the pathological processes involved in common neuropsychiatric disorders affecting consciousness, such as epilepsy, coma, vegetative states, dissociative disorders, and dementia. This book presents the state of the art in neuroimaging exploration of the brain correlates of the alterations in consciousness across these conditions, with a particular focus on the potential applications for diagnosis and management. Although the book has a practical approach and is primarily targeted at neurologists, neuroradiologists, and psychiatrists, a wide range of researchers and health care professionals will find it an essential reference that explains the significance of neuroimaging of consciousness for clinical practice. Within the field of neuroscience, the past few decades have witnessed an exponential growth of research into the brain mechanisms underlying both normal and pathological states of consciousness in humans. The development of sophisticated imaging techniques (above all fMRI and PET) to visualize and map brain activity in vivo has opened new avenues in our understanding of the pathological processes involved in common neuropsychiatric disorders affecting consciousness, such as epilepsy, coma, vegetative states, dissociative disorders, and dementia. This

  13. Personality Disorder and Changes in Affect Consciousness: A 3-Year Follow-Up Study of Patients with Avoidant and Borderline Personality Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Normann-Eide, Eivind; Johansen, Merete Selsbakk; Normann-Eide, Tone; Egeland, Jens; Wilberg, Theresa

    2015-01-01

    Personality disorders (PDs) are highly prevalent in patients receiving psychiatric services, and are associated with significant personal and social costs. Over the past two decades, an increasing number of treatment studies have documented the effectiveness of treatment for patients with PDs, especially when it comes to reduction of symptom distress, risk taking behavior, self-harm, or suicide attempts. However, less is known about the more complex aims of improving the personality structure itself, such as identity- and interpersonal disturbances. Emotional dysfunction is closely associated with PD pathology. The present study investigated changes in affect consciousness (AC) in patients with avoidant or borderline PD, and how these changes were associated with clinical status after 3 years of follow-up. The study included 52 individuals; 79 percent were females, and mean age was 30 years. The evaluations included the Affect Consciousness Interview, Symptom Checklist-90-R, Circumplex of Interpersonal Problems, the Index of Self-Esteem, and three domains (Identity Integration, Relational Capacities, and Self-Control) of the Severity Indices of Personality Problems (SIPP-118). There was a significant increase in the Global AC and AC scores for most of the specific affects from baseline to follow-up. As the present study did not include a control group, it cannot be concluded that changes in AC are effects of psychotherapy, and the possibility of age-related maturation processes cannot be excluded. The change in Global AC contributed significantly to explained variance in the follow-up levels of Circumplex of Interpersonal Problems, and the two SIPP-118 domains Relational Capacities and Identity Integration. Improved AC was not associated with change in the Self-Control domain or the Global Severity Index of Symptom Checklist-90-R. The results suggest that AC may be altered for patients with borderline and avoidant PDs, and this is the first study to report that

  14. Personality Disorder and Changes in Affect Consciousness: A 3-Year Follow-Up Study of Patients with Avoidant and Borderline Personality Disorder.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eivind Normann-Eide

    Full Text Available Personality disorders (PDs are highly prevalent in patients receiving psychiatric services, and are associated with significant personal and social costs. Over the past two decades, an increasing number of treatment studies have documented the effectiveness of treatment for patients with PDs, especially when it comes to reduction of symptom distress, risk taking behavior, self-harm, or suicide attempts. However, less is known about the more complex aims of improving the personality structure itself, such as identity- and interpersonal disturbances. Emotional dysfunction is closely associated with PD pathology. The present study investigated changes in affect consciousness (AC in patients with avoidant or borderline PD, and how these changes were associated with clinical status after 3 years of follow-up. The study included 52 individuals; 79 percent were females, and mean age was 30 years. The evaluations included the Affect Consciousness Interview, Symptom Checklist-90-R, Circumplex of Interpersonal Problems, the Index of Self-Esteem, and three domains (Identity Integration, Relational Capacities, and Self-Control of the Severity Indices of Personality Problems (SIPP-118. There was a significant increase in the Global AC and AC scores for most of the specific affects from baseline to follow-up. As the present study did not include a control group, it cannot be concluded that changes in AC are effects of psychotherapy, and the possibility of age-related maturation processes cannot be excluded. The change in Global AC contributed significantly to explained variance in the follow-up levels of Circumplex of Interpersonal Problems, and the two SIPP-118 domains Relational Capacities and Identity Integration. Improved AC was not associated with change in the Self-Control domain or the Global Severity Index of Symptom Checklist-90-R. The results suggest that AC may be altered for patients with borderline and avoidant PDs, and this is the first study to

  15. Personality Disorder and Changes in Affect Consciousness: A 3-Year Follow-Up Study of Patients with Avoidant and Borderline Personality Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansen, Merete Selsbakk; Normann-Eide, Tone; Egeland, Jens

    2015-01-01

    Personality disorders (PDs) are highly prevalent in patients receiving psychiatric services, and are associated with significant personal and social costs. Over the past two decades, an increasing number of treatment studies have documented the effectiveness of treatment for patients with PDs, especially when it comes to reduction of symptom distress, risk taking behavior, self-harm, or suicide attempts. However, less is known about the more complex aims of improving the personality structure itself, such as identity- and interpersonal disturbances. Emotional dysfunction is closely associated with PD pathology. The present study investigated changes in affect consciousness (AC) in patients with avoidant or borderline PD, and how these changes were associated with clinical status after 3 years of follow-up. The study included 52 individuals; 79 percent were females, and mean age was 30 years. The evaluations included the Affect Consciousness Interview, Symptom Checklist-90-R, Circumplex of Interpersonal Problems, the Index of Self-Esteem, and three domains (Identity Integration, Relational Capacities, and Self-Control) of the Severity Indices of Personality Problems (SIPP-118). There was a significant increase in the Global AC and AC scores for most of the specific affects from baseline to follow-up. As the present study did not include a control group, it cannot be concluded that changes in AC are effects of psychotherapy, and the possibility of age-related maturation processes cannot be excluded. The change in Global AC contributed significantly to explained variance in the follow-up levels of Circumplex of Interpersonal Problems, and the two SIPP-118 domains Relational Capacities and Identity Integration. Improved AC was not associated with change in the Self-Control domain or the Global Severity Index of Symptom Checklist-90-R. The results suggest that AC may be altered for patients with borderline and avoidant PDs, and this is the first study to report that

  16. Conscious Leadership.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Suzanne F; Haase, Beth

    2016-11-01

    Health care leaders need to use leadership methodologies that support safe patient care, satisfy employees, and improve the bottom line. Conscious leaders help create desirable personal and professional life experiences for themselves using specific tools that include mindfulness, context, and the observer-self, and they strive to help their employees learn to use these tools as well. In perioperative nursing, conscious leaders create an environment in which nurses are supported in their aim to provide the highest level of patient care and in which transformations are encouraged to take place; this environment ultimately promotes safety, contributes to fulfilling and meaningful work, and enhances a facility's financial viability. This article discusses some of the key concepts behind conscious leadership, how perioperative leaders can reach and maintain expanded consciousness, and how they can best assist their staff members in their own evolution to a more mindful state. Copyright © 2016 AORN, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. [Secondary benefits of cognitive rehabilitation for a chronic ethylic patient: effects on disorder consciousness, motivation, and global therapeutic cooperation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siccardi, L; Vautel-Pons, D; dos Santos, M Teixera; Camus, N; Louchart de la Chapelle, S

    2014-06-01

    Alcoholism causes psychological, behavioral and cognitive symptoms that need to be addressed together. The neuropsychological alterations among alcohol-dependent people are considered to make the therapeutic work complex and longer. A cognitive rehabilitation program is sometimes difficult to achieve with these patients. Functional results are often difficult to anticipate. However, the consequences of this therapeutic approach are multiple and there are many interactions between psycho-affective, behavioral and cognitive components. A neuropsychological approach can be used like a tool to improve metacognition. A bad contribution to treatment programs is often secondary to the illusion of a satisfying intellectual functioning. Patients' motivation for the therapeutic work is very changeable. A complete consciousness of impairments can help them to stay involved. The following case shows the cognitive effects and secondary benefits associated with a neuropsychological work, which was carried out by a chronic ethylic patient with severe physical and cognitive symptoms. The patient aged 50, with a good qualification level (scientific section in the final year of secondary school, with no diploma, then attended a training program to become a croupier) was suffering from chronic alcoholism since his adolescence. He arrived in the closed unit after many hospitalizations in psychiatric and hepato-gastroenterology units. He had been showing mental confusion. He presented a frontal and subcortical profile of alcohol-related dementia according to Oslin's criteria. MRI revealed global cerebral atrophy, more pronounced on the fronto-parietal cortex with cerebellar leukoencephalopathy, but no pontine central myelinolysis. The neurocognitive program had two main lines: reducing attentional, executive and graphical deficits with training exercises (individual and group sessions) and compensating memory, and executive disorders with an external aid. The cognitive program had been

  18. Shame on Me! Self-Conscious Emotions and Big Five Personality Traits and Their Relations to Anxiety Disorders Symptoms in Young, Non-Clinical Adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muris, Peter; Meesters, Cor; van Asseldonk, Mike

    2018-04-01

    This study explored the relations between self-conscious emotions, personality traits, and anxiety disorders symptoms in non-clinical youths. One-hundred-and-eighteen adolescents aged 12-15 years completed the brief shame and guilt questionnaire for children (BSGQ-C) and items of the youth self-report (YSR) to measure shame and guilt, the big five personality questionnaire for children, and the youth anxiety measure for DSM-5. Results for shame indicated that this self-conscious emotion-either measured by the BSGQ-C or the YSR-was uniquely and positively associated with a broad range of anxiety disorders symptoms, and correlated positively with neuroticism and negatively with extraversion. Guilt did not show significant associations with anxiety disorders symptoms once controlling for the influence of shame, and links with personality traits varied dependent on the assessment instrument that was used (BSGQ-C or YSR). Finally, when controlling for neuroticism and extraversion, shame consistently remained a significant correlate of anxiety disorders symptoms. Altogether, these results add to the growing body of evidence indicating that high levels of shame are clearly associated with anxiety pathology.

  19. Consciousness extended

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carrara-Augustenborg, Claudia

    2012-01-01

    There is no consensus yet regarding a conceptualization of consciousness able to accommodate all the features of such complex phenomenon. Different theoretical and empirical models lend strength to both the occurrence of a non-accessible informational broadcast, and to the mobilization of specific...... brain areas responsible for the emergence of the individual´s explicit and variable access to given segments of such broadcast. Rather than advocating one model over others, this chapter proposes to broaden the conceptualization of consciousness by letting it embrace both mechanisms. Within...... such extended framework, I propose conceptual and functional distinctions between consciousness (global broadcast of information), awareness (individual´s ability to access the content of such broadcast) and unconsciousness (focally isolated neural activations). My hypothesis is that a demarcation in terms...

  20. Creative Consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashok Natarajan

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Consciousness is creative. That creativity expresses in myriad ways – as moments in time in which decades of progress can be achieved overnight, as organizational innovations of immense power for social accomplishment; as creative social values that further influence the evolution of organizations and society; as the creativity of individuality in the leader, genius, artist and inventor; as social creativity that converts raw human experience into civilization; as cultural creativity that transforms human relationships into sources of rich emotional capacity; and as value-based educational creativity that can awaken and nurture young minds to develop and discover their own inherent capacity for knowledge in freedom. Through such moments do society and humanity evolve. Education is society’s most advanced institution for conscious social evolution. Values are the essence of society’s knowledge for highest accomplishment. Education that imparts values is an evolutionary social organization that can hasten the emergence of that creative consciousness.

  1. Online public reactions to fMRI communication with patients with disorders of consciousness: Quality of life, end-of-life decision making, and concerns with misdiagnosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandler, Jennifer A; Sun, Jeffrey A; Racine, Eric

    2017-01-01

    Recently, the news media have reported on the discovery of covert awareness and the establishment of limited communication using a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) neuroimaging technique with several brain-injured patients thought to have been in a vegetative state. This discovery has raised many ethical, legal, and social questions related to quality of life, end-of-life decision making, diagnostic and prognostic accuracy in disorders of consciousness, resource allocation, and other issues. This project inquires into the public responses to these discoveries. We conducted a thematic analysis of online comments (n = 779) posted in response to 15 news articles and blog posts regarding the case of a Canadian patient diagnosed for 12 years as in a vegetative state, but who was reported in 2012 as having been able to communicate via fMRI. The online comments were coded using an iteratively refined codebook structured around 14 main themes. Among the most frequent public reactions revealed in the online comments were discussions of the quality of life of patients with disorders of consciousness, whether life-sustaining treatment should be withdrawn (and whether the fMRI communication technique should be used to ask patients about this), and misgivings about the accuracy of diagnosis in disorders of consciousness and brain death. These public perspectives are relevant to the obligations of clinicians, lawyers, and public policymakers to patients, families, and the public. Future work should consider how best to alleviate families' concerns as this type of research shakes their faith in diagnostic accuracy, to clarify the legal rules relating to advance directives in this context, and to address the manner in which public messaging might help to alleviate any indirect impact on confidence in the organ donation system.

  2. The conscious access hypothesis: Explaining the consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prakash, Ravi

    2008-01-01

    The phenomenon of conscious awareness or consciousness is complicated but fascinating. Although this concept has intrigued the mankind since antiquity, exploration of consciousness from scientific perspectives is not very old. Among myriad of theories regarding nature, functions and mechanism of consciousness, off late, cognitive theories have received wider acceptance. One of the most exciting hypotheses in recent times has been the "conscious access hypotheses" based on the "global workspace model of consciousness". It underscores an important property of consciousness, the global access of information in cerebral cortex. Present article reviews the "conscious access hypothesis" in terms of its theoretical underpinnings as well as experimental supports it has received.

  3. Creative Consciousness

    OpenAIRE

    Ashok Natarajan

    2013-01-01

    Consciousness is creative. That creativity expresses in myriad ways – as moments in time in which decades of progress can be achieved overnight, as organizational innovations of immense power for social accomplishment; as creative social values that further influence the evolution of organizations and society; as the creativity of individuality in the leader, genius, artist and inventor; as social creativity that converts raw human experience into civilization; as cultural creativity that tra...

  4. Agential Self-consciousness : beyond conscious agency

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bos, G.H.

    2013-01-01

    Although we perform many of our actions without much consciousness of these, occasionally we are explicitly conscious that we are doing something for a reason. Such consciousness I call ‘agential self-consciousness’. Since ages we have understood such agential self-consciousness in terms of the

  5. [Functional pathophysiology of consciousness].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jellinger, Kurt A

    2009-01-01

    from important somatic and sensory pathways and acts as a control system of neuronal activities of the cerebral cortex. The principal function of the ARAS is to focus our alertness on specific stimuli or internal processes, which run via complex neuronal cell groups and numerous neurotransmitters that influence various aspects of consciousness and wakefulness. Stimulation of the ARAS produces an arousal reaction as the electric correlate of consciousness; its destruction causes coma and related states. The highest level are cortical (prefrontal and association) networks for recognition, motor activity, longterm memory and attention, the left hemisphere being considered as the dominant one. Different levels of consciousness are distinguished: 1. hyperalertness, 2. alertness (normal state of wakefulness), 3. somnolence or lethargy, 4. obtundation with tendency to fall asleep, 5. stupor, 6. coma and its subtypes, like akinetic mutism, apallic syndrome or persistent vegative state, locked-in syndrome, delirium, and catatonia. They are caused by damages in various functional levels of the brain, by psychogenic factors or experimentally, and are accompanied by characteristic neurological and psychiatric disorders. The relevant morphological lesions can be detected by electrophysiological and imaging studies. The bases of functional anatomy and pathophysiology of consciousness, its cognitive aspects and its major disorders, their causes and functional substrates with reference to sleep and both spontaneous and iatrogenic disorders of consciousness are critically summarized.

  6. The conscious access hypothesis: Explaining the consciousness

    OpenAIRE

    Prakash, Ravi

    2008-01-01

    The phenomenon of conscious awareness or consciousness is complicated but fascinating. Although this concept has intrigued the mankind since antiquity, exploration of consciousness from scientific perspectives is not very old. Among myriad of theories regarding nature, functions and mechanism of consciousness, off late, cognitive theories have received wider acceptance. One of the most exciting hypotheses in recent times has been the ?conscious access hypotheses? based on the ?global workspac...

  7. Clinically significant response to zolpidem in disorders of consciousness secondary to anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor encephalitis in a teenager: a case report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appu, Merveen; Noetzel, Michael

    2014-03-01

    Anti-N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor encephalitis has been associated with a prolonged neuropsychiatric phase that may last for months to years. We report the case of a 16-year-old girl who was diagnosed with anti-N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor encephalitis resulting from left ovarian mature teratoma 2 weeks after presentation with psychosis. Following tumor removal and immunotherapy, recovery from a minimally conscious state was accelerated significantly by zolpidem that was used for her sleep disturbance. Our patient was discharged home 8 weeks after admission with marked improvement in her neurological function. Zolpidem has been reported to improve arousal in disorders of consciousness but there are no previous reports of its benefit among patients with anti-N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor encephalitis. Zolpidem would be a reasonable consideration as an adjunctive treatment in anti-N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor encephalitis after tumor removal and immunotherapy to accelerate recovery and rehabilitation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Evidence of altered pressure pain thresholds in persons with disorders of consciousness as measured by the Nociception Coma Scale-Italian version.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sattin, Davide; Schnakers, Caroline; Pagani, Marco; Arenare, Francesca; Devalle, Guya; Giunco, Fabrizio; Guizzetti, GianBattista; Lanfranchi, Maurizio; Giovannetti, Ambra M; Covelli, Venusia; Bersano, Anna; Nigri, Anna; Minati, Ludovico; Rossi Sebastiano, Davide; Parati, Eugenio; Bruzzone, MariaGrazia; Franceschetti, Silvana; Leonardi, Matilde

    2017-02-28

    Pain assessment in patients with disorders of consciousness (DoC) is a controversial issue for clinicians, who require tools and standardised procedures for testing nociception in non-communicative patients. The aims of the present study were, first, to analyse the psychometric properties of the Italian version of the Nociception Coma Scale and, second, to evaluate pressure pain thresholds in a group of patients with DoC. The authors conducted a multi-centre study on 40 healthy participants and 60 DoC patients enrolled from six hospitals in Italy. For each group an electronic algometer was used to apply all nociceptive pressure stimuli. Our results show that the Italian version of the NCS retains the good psychometric properties of the original version and is therefore suitable for standardised pain assessment in clinical practice. In our study, pressure pain thresholds measured in a group of patients in vegetative and minimally conscious state were relatively lower than pain threshold values found in a group of healthy participants. Such findings motivate additional investigation on possible pain sensitisation in patients with severe brain injury and multiple co-morbidities, and on application of tailored therapeutic approaches useful for pain management in patients unable verbally to communicate their feelings.

  9. Influence of inter-stimulus interval of spinal cord stimulation in patients with disorders of consciousness: A preliminary functional near-infrared spectroscopy study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yujin; Yang, Yi; Si, Juanning; Xia, Xiaoyu; He, Jianghong; Jiang, Tianzi

    2018-01-01

    Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is a promising treatment for disorders of consciousness (DOC), but the underlying mechanism and most effective procedures remain uncertain. To optimize the protocol, previous studies evaluated the frequency-specific effects of SCS on neurophysiological activities. However, whether and how the inter-stimulus interval (ISI) parameter affects the SCS neuromodulation in DOC remains unknown. We enrolled nine DOC patients who had implanted SCS devices and conducted three different durations of ISIs. Using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), we monitored the blood volume fluctuations in the prefrontal and occipital cortices during the SCS. The results showed that short stimuli (30 s) induced significant cerebral blood volume changes, especially in the prefrontal cortex, an important area in the consciousness system. By comparing the mean value of the responses from the first and the last block in each session, a shorter ISI was found to improve the blood volume in the prefrontal cortex. This phenomenon was more significant for the subgroup of patients with a favorable prognosis. These preliminary results imply that the ISI may be an important factor for SCS. The research paradigm proposed here also provides insights for further quantitative evaluations of the therapeutic effects of neuromodulation.

  10. Is low affect consciousness related to the severity of psychopathology? A cross-sectional study of patients with avoidant and borderline personality disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Normann-Eide, Eivind; Johansen, Merete Selsbakk; Normann-Eide, Tone; Egeland, Jens; Wilberg, Theresa

    2013-02-01

    This study examined the relationships between affect consciousness (AC) and symptom distress, interpersonal problems, low self-esteem, and the number of PD traits in patients with avoidant personality disorder (APD) and borderline personality disorder (BPD). Within the setting of a treatment trial, 52 patients with APD or BPD were examined with structured interviews and self-report questionnaires before treatment and at 3-year follow-up. The evaluations included the Affect Consciousness Interview, the SCID-II interview, the Symptom Checklist 90-R, the Circumplex of Interpersonal Problems, and the Index of Self-esteem. A low global level of AC was expected to be associated with the severity of psychopathology; a low AC for interest, joy, and tenderness was expected to be associated with social detachment; and a low AC for anger, contempt, and disgust was expected to be associated with nonassertiveness. A low AC was associated with interpersonal problems and low self-esteem, but not symptom distress or the number of fulfilled SCID-II criteria. Despite a significant reduction in the psychopathology based on most clinical variables, the associations measured at baseline were maintained after 3years. Examination of specific affect categories showed a pattern of convergent and discriminative relationships with different types of interpersonal problems. A low AC for pleasant affects was specifically related to communion problems, like cold, detached behavior, both at baseline and follow-up. In contrast, a low AC for self-boundary affects was specifically related to agency problems, like non-assertiveness, at follow-up. Our results showed that a low AC was associated with central domains of psychopathology in patients with PDs. This suggested that AC would be an important focus for treatment and further research in PDs. Future studies are needed to examine how AC is related to various forms of personality pathology. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. EEG epileptiform abnormalities at admission to a rehabilitation department predict the risk of seizures in disorders of consciousness following a coma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagnato, Sergio; Boccagni, Cristina; Sant'Angelo, Antonino; Prestandrea, Caterina; Virgilio, Vittorio; Galardi, Giuseppe

    2016-03-01

    Seizures affect about a quarter of patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC) after a coma. We investigated whether the presence of epileptiform abnormalities (EAs) in the electroencephalogram (EEG) of patients with DOC may predict the occurrence of seizures. Moreover, we evaluated whether EAs have a prognostic role in these patients. This was a retrospective single-center cohort study of patients hospitalized between January 2005 and December 2014 in a rehabilitation department (mean time from acute brain injury: 46.1 days). We analyzed 30-minute EEGs at admittance for 112 patients with unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (UWS) or in a minimally conscious state (MCS), then compared occurrence of seizures over the following three months across patients with absent, unilateral, and bilateral EAs (generalized or bilateral independent). Outcomes at three months were assessed in the same groups using the Coma Recovery Scale Revised. Epileptiform abnormalities were observed in 38 patients (33.9%). Of these, 25 were unilateral, and 13 were bilateral. Seizures occurred in 84.6% of patients with bilateral EAs, which was significantly higher than in patients without EAs (10.8%, p<0.001) or with unilateral EAs (24%, p=0.001). The presence of EAs was not related to etiology or different DOC and did not significantly affect outcomes at three months. Patients with EAs at admission to a rehabilitation department have an increased risk of seizures. Specifically, most patients with bilateral EAs had seizures within the following 3 months. Evaluation of EAs in EEGs of patients with DOC may give valuable information in the management of antiepileptic drug treatment. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. A matter of life and death: controversy at the interface between clinical and legal decision-making in prolonged disorders of consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner-Stokes, Lynne

    2017-07-01

    Best interests decision-making and end-of-life care for patients in permanent vegetative or minimally conscious states (VS/MCS) is a complex area of clinical and legal practice, which is poorly understood by most clinicians, lawyers and members of the public. In recent weeks, the Oxford Shrieval lecture by Mr Justice Baker ('A Matter of Life and Death', 11 October 2016) and its subsequent reporting in the public press has sparked debate on the respective roles of clinicians, the Court of Protection and the Mental Capacity Act 2005 in decisions to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatments from patients with disorders of consciousness. The debate became polarised and confused by misquotation and inaccurate terminology, and highlighted a lack of knowledge about how patients in VS/MCS die in the absence of court approval. This article sets out the background and discussion and attempts to give a more accurate representation of the facts. In the spirit of transparency, I present a mortality review of all the patients in VS/MCS who have died under the care of my own unit in the last decade-with or without referral to the court, but always in accordance with the law. These data demonstrate that clinicians regularly undertake best interests decision-making in conjunction with families that may include life and death decisions (sometimes even the withdrawal or withholding of clinically assisted nutrition and hydration); and that these can be made within the current legal framework without necessarily involving the court in all cases. This is the first published case series of its kind. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/.

  13. Conscious sensation, conscious perception and sensorimotor theories of consciousness

    OpenAIRE

    Gamez, David

    2014-01-01

    This article explores the hypothesis that the differences between our conscious sensations (color, sound, smell, etc.) could be linked to the different ways in which our senses process and structure information. It is also proposed that the organization of our conscious sensations into a conscious perception of a three-dimensional world could be linked to our mastery of sensorimotor contingencies. These hypotheses are supported by a number of observations, including the appearance of consciou...

  14. ICU脓毒症患者合并意识障碍的流行病学研究%Epidemiologic study of consciousness disorder in sepsis patients in intensive care unit

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    赵鸿雁

    2012-01-01

    Objective To discuss the causes, clinical features, risk factors and outcome of sepsis patients with consciousness disorder. Methods A retrospective study including 232 sepsis patients from 2008 to 2011 was conducted in our ICU. The baseline data of patients, the causes for consciousness disorder, vital signs, biochemical indicators, risk factors and outcome were analyzed in the study. Results The incidence of consciousness disorder in sepsis was 47. 4%. The causes led to consciousness disorder were internal environment disorder encephalopathy (41. 8%) , sepsis - related encephalopathy( 37. 3% ) , pancreatic encephalopathy (11. 8% ) , hepatic encephalopathy (3. 6% ) , uremia - related encephalopathy(0. 9% ) , cerebral hemorrhage( 1. 8% ) , cerebral infarction(0. 9% ) , alcohol encephalopathy ( 0. 9% ) and immune - related encephalopathy ( 0. 9% ) . The main clinical feature was inhibition performance(77/110). APACHE II score and mortality rate were obviously higher in consciousness disorder group than in normal consciousness group. Conclusion The main causes for consciousness disorder in sepsis are internal environment disorder and sepsis - related encephalopathy. Disorder of consciousness increases the mortality rate of sepsis patients, and APACHE II score is the only risk factor.%目的 探讨脓毒症患者合并意识障碍的原因、临床表现、危险因素及预后.方法 回顾性分析2008~2011年大庆油田总医院ICU收治的232例严重脓毒症患者的临床资料,分析其合并意识障碍的原因、临床表现、危险因素及预后.结果 脓毒症患者出现意识障碍的发生率为47.4%,原因分别为内环境紊乱性脑病(41.8%)、脓毒性脑病(37.3%)、胰性脑病(11.8%)、肝性脑病(3.6%)、尿毒症相关性脑病(0.9%)、脑出血(1.8%)、脑梗死(0.9%)、酒精性脑病(0.9%)、免疫相关性脑病(SLE脑病)(0.9%).意识障碍的临床表现以抑制症状表现为主(77/110).脓毒症合并意识障碍组与非意

  15. Hyperactive external awareness against hypoactive internal awareness in disorders of consciousness using resting-state functional MRI: highlighting the involvement of visuo-motor modulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Jiang-Hong; Yang, Yi; Zhang, Yi; Qiu, Si-You; Zhou, Zhen-Yu; Dang, Yuan-Yuan; Dai, Yi-Wu; Liu, Yi-Jun; Xu, Ru-Xiang

    2014-08-01

    Resting-state functional MRI (fMRI) has emerged as a valuable tool to characterize the complex states encompassing disorders of consciousness (DOC). Awareness appears to comprise two coexistent, anticorrelated components named the external and internal awareness networks. The present study hypothesizes that DOC interrupts the balance between the internal and external awareness networks. To gain more understanding of this phenomenon, the present study analyzed resting-state fMRI data from 12 patients with DOC versus 12 healthy age-matched controls. The data were explored using independent component analysis and amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF) analysis. The results indicated that DOC deactivated midline areas associated with internal awareness. In addition, external awareness was strengthened in DOC because of increased activation in the insula, lingual gyrus, paracentral and supplementary motor area. The activity patterns suggested strengthened external awareness against weakened internal awareness in DOC. In particular, increased activity found in the insula, lingual gyrus, paracentral and supplementary motor area of patients with DOC implied possible involvement of augmented visuo-motor modulation in these patients. DOC is probably related to hyperactive external awareness opposing hypoactive internal awareness. This unique pattern of brain activity may potentially be a prognostic marker for DOC. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  16. Attention and Olfactory Consciousness

    OpenAIRE

    Keller, Andreas

    2011-01-01

    Understanding the relation between attention and consciousness is an important part of our understanding of consciousness. Attention, unlike consciousness, can be systematically manipulated in psychophysical experiments and a law-like relation between attention and consciousness is waiting to be discovered. Most attempts to discover the nature of this relation are focused on a special type of attention: spatial visual attention. In this review I want to introduce another type of attention to ...

  17. Nonneurocognitive Extended Consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wojcik, Kevin; Chemero, Anthony

    2012-01-01

    One of the attributes necessary for Watson to be considered human is that it must be conscious. From Rachlin's (2012) point of view, that of teleological behaviorism, consciousness refers to the organization of behavioral complexity in which overt behavior is distributed widely over time. Consciousness is something that humans do, or achieve, in…

  18. Consciousness and neural plasticity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    changes or to abandon the strong identity thesis altogether. Were one to pursue a theory according to which consciousness is not an epiphenomenon to brain processes, consciousness may in fact affect its own neural basis. The neural correlate of consciousness is often seen as a stable structure, that is...

  19. Period3 gene in disorder of consciousness: The role of neuroimaging in understanding the relationship between genotype and sleep. A brief communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bedini, Gloria; Bersano, Anna; D'Incerti, Ludovico; Marotta, Giorgio; Rosazza, Cristina; Rossi Sebastiano, Davide; Franceschetti, Silvana; Sattin, Davide; Leonardi, Matilde; Nigri, Anna; Ferraro, Stefania; Parati, Eugenio Agostino

    2017-10-15

    Several methodologies including neuroimaging and sleep evaluation are being developed to complement the clinical bedside examinations in patients with disorder of consciousness (DOC). Recently, we demonstrated a possible association between Period3 (Per3) variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) polymorphism and functional impairment of DOC patients, speculating a possible role of this gene in sleep regulation. To assess whether the degree of structural and metabolic damage of the main brain areas involved in the sleep generation and homeostasis may influence the different outcome of DOC patients carrying the Per3 5/5 genotype in comparison to Per3 4/4 ones. For the present study, we reviewed 44 DOC patients from the Coma Research Centre of the Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico "C. Besta" of Milan. All patients underwent to polysomnographic sleep evaluation, cerebral structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and 18 F-fluoro-2-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) analysis. Our DOC patients presented a moderate anatomical (median score 2) and metabolic damage (median value 2.36 SUVmean) of the sleep areas at both MRI and FDG-PET evaluation. Total sleep time seemed to be higher in 5/5 genotype DOC patients (median value Per3 5/5 , 221min, range 126-323min; median value Per3 4/4 , 167min, range 36-477min; and median value Per3 4/5 , 187min, range 29-422min). However, the MRI scores and FDG-PET values of whole brain, overall sleep areas, hypothalamus, midbrain and thalamus did not differ by genotype distribution. Although limited by the small sample size, our data might support the idea that Per3 genetic predisposition in DOC patients could affect impairment and residual cognitive functions through sleep homeostasis independently from structural and/or metabolic integrity of sleep areas. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Non-invasive monitoring of core body temperature rhythms over 72 h in 10 bedridden elderly patients with disorders of consciousness in a Japanese hospital: a pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsumoto, Masaru; Sugama, Junko; Okuwa, Mayumi; Dai, Misako; Matsuo, Junko; Sanada, Hiromi

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to elucidate the body core temperature rhythms of bedridden elderly patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC) in a Japanese hospital using a simple, non-invasive, deep-body thermometer. We measured body core temperature on the surface of abdomen in 10 bedridden elderly patients with DOC continuously over 72 h. A non-heated core body temperature thermometer was used. The cycle of the body core temperature rhythm was initially derived by using the least squares method. Then, based on that rhythm, the mean, amplitude, and times of day of the highest and lowest body temperatures during the optimum cycle were determined using the cosinor method. We found a 24-h cycle in seven of the 10 patients. One patient had a 6-h, one a 12-h, and one a 63-h cycle. The mean value of the cosine curve in the respective optimum cycles was 36.48 ± 0.34 °C, and the amplitude was 0.22 ± 0.09 °C. Of the seven subjects with 24-h cycles, the highest body temperature occurred between 12:58 and 14:44 h in four. In addition to 24-h cycles of core temperature rhythm, short cycles of 12 and 6-h and a long cycle of 63-h were seen. In order to understand the temperature rhythms of bedridden elderly patients with DOC, it is necessary to monitor their core body temperatures, ideally using a simple, non-invasive device. In the future, it will be important to investigate the relationship of the core temperature rhythm to nursing care and living environment. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Correlation between resting state fMRI total neuronal activity and PET metabolism in healthy controls and patients with disorders of consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soddu, Andrea; Gómez, Francisco; Heine, Lizette; Di Perri, Carol; Bahri, Mohamed Ali; Voss, Henning U; Bruno, Marie-Aurélie; Vanhaudenhuyse, Audrey; Phillips, Christophe; Demertzi, Athena; Chatelle, Camille; Schrouff, Jessica; Thibaut, Aurore; Charland-Verville, Vanessa; Noirhomme, Quentin; Salmon, Eric; Tshibanda, Jean-Flory Luaba; Schiff, Nicholas D; Laureys, Steven

    2016-01-01

    The mildly invasive 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) is a well-established imaging technique to measure 'resting state' cerebral metabolism. This technique made it possible to assess changes in metabolic activity in clinical applications, such as the study of severe brain injury and disorders of consciousness. We assessed the possibility of creating functional MRI activity maps, which could estimate the relative levels of activity in FDG-PET cerebral metabolic maps. If no metabolic absolute measures can be extracted, our approach may still be of clinical use in centers without access to FDG-PET. It also overcomes the problem of recognizing individual networks of independent component selection in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) resting state analysis. We extracted resting state fMRI functional connectivity maps using independent component analysis and combined only components of neuronal origin. To assess neuronality of components a classification based on support vector machine (SVM) was used. We compared the generated maps with the FDG-PET maps in 16 healthy controls, 11 vegetative state/unresponsive wakefulness syndrome patients and four locked-in patients. The results show a significant similarity with ρ = 0.75 ± 0.05 for healthy controls and ρ = 0.58 ± 0.09 for vegetative state/unresponsive wakefulness syndrome patients between the FDG-PET and the fMRI based maps. FDG-PET, fMRI neuronal maps, and the conjunction analysis show decreases in frontoparietal and medial regions in vegetative patients with respect to controls. Subsequent analysis in locked-in syndrome patients produced also consistent maps with healthy controls. The constructed resting state fMRI functional connectivity map points toward the possibility for fMRI resting state to estimate relative levels of activity in a metabolic map.

  2. The Science of Consciousness

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN. Geneva

    2015-01-01

    We not only act in the world but we consciously perceive it. The interactions of myriad of neuronal and sub-neuronal processes that are responsible for visual behaviors also give rise to the daily movie screened for our benefit in the privacy of our own skull. I will discuss the empirical progress that has been achieved over the past several decades in characterizing the behavioral and the neuronal correlates of consciousness in human and non-human animals and in dissociating selective visual attention from visual consciousness. I will introduce Tononi’s integrated Information Theory (IIT) that explains in a principled manner which physical systems are capable of conscious, subjective experience. The theory explains many empirical facts about consciousness and its pathologies in humans. It can also be extrapolated to more difficult cases, such as fetuses, mice, or bees. The theory predicts that many, seemingly complex, systems are not conscious, in particular digital computers running software, even if thes...

  3. Intentionality and Consciousness

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ierna, Carlo; Jacquette, Dale

    2018-01-01

    In this chapter I concentrate on the notion of intentionality and its relation to consciousness. Ever since its re-introduction into contemporary philosophy in the works of Franz Brentano, intentionality has been associated in various ways with consciousness. In the continental and analytic

  4. Consciousness: function and definition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niedermeyer, E

    1994-07-01

    The term "consciousness" plays an enormous role in the clinical assessment of patients and also in psychophysiological considerations. It has often been said that consciousness is a term that defies definition. This lack of definability, however, might be more apparent than real. In the multitude of facets, three main components can be singled out: a) vigilance, b) mental contents and c) selective attention. Vigilance, not to be equated with consciousness, is most amenable to electrophysiological studies. The stages of sleep have fairly well standardized EEG correlates, unlike the comatose states. The overflowing wealth of mental contents is constantly adjusted to momentary needs by the mechanism of selective attention. Awareness is a subcomponent and differs from both vigilance and consciousness. Emotionality is particularly important among the variety of further subcomponents. The time factor must be taken into account in order to understand the dynamics and fluctuations of consciousness.

  5. Neural Darwinism and consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seth, Anil K; Baars, Bernard J

    2005-03-01

    Neural Darwinism (ND) is a large scale selectionist theory of brain development and function that has been hypothesized to relate to consciousness. According to ND, consciousness is entailed by reentrant interactions among neuronal populations in the thalamocortical system (the 'dynamic core'). These interactions, which permit high-order discriminations among possible core states, confer selective advantages on organisms possessing them by linking current perceptual events to a past history of value-dependent learning. Here, we assess the consistency of ND with 16 widely recognized properties of consciousness, both physiological (for example, consciousness is associated with widespread, relatively fast, low amplitude interactions in the thalamocortical system), and phenomenal (for example, consciousness involves the existence of a private flow of events available only to the experiencing subject). While no theory accounts fully for all of these properties at present, we find that ND and its recent extensions fare well.

  6. Inner Consciousness Tindakan Nabi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moh. Helmi Umam

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The article is written to examine deeds and actions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him within inner consciousness analysis of Husserl’s phenomenology. The article is formulated to explore the significance of phenomenology of religious study, Prophet’s deeds as well as his inner consciousness, and inner consciousness analysis of Prophet’s deeds. This article is written using phenomenological method, i.e. a comprehensive interpretation about the source of information or object’s phenomenon as long as it can be traced. Inner consciousness of Prophet’s actions sees that his deeds in deciding important religious pronouncements were results of long-term memory based on divine and social argumentations, which have came into Prophet’s consciousness as a human.

  7. [Recovery of consciousness: process-oriented approach].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gusarova, S B

    2014-01-01

    Traditionally psychological neurorehabilitation of neurosurgical patients is provided subject to availability of clear consciousness and minimal potential to communicate verbally. Cognitive and emotional disorders, problems in social adaptation, neurotic syndromes are normally targets in such cases. We work with patients having survived severe brain damage being in different states of consciousness: vegetative state, minimal state of consciousness, mutism, confusion, posttraumatic Korsaroff syndrom. Psychologist considers recovery of consciousness as the target besides traditional tasks. Construction of communication with patient is central part of such job, where the patient remains unable to contact verbally, yet it is impossible to consider potential aphasia. This is a non-verbal "dialogue" with patient created by psychologist with gradual development and involving other people and objects of environment. Inline with modern neuroscientific achievements demonstrating ability to recognize by patients with severe brain injury (A. Owen, S. Laureys, M. Monti, M. Coleman, A. Soddu, M. Boly and others) we base upon psychological science, on psychotherapeutic approaches containing instruments inevitable to work with patients in altered states of consciousness and creation of non-verbal communication with patient (Jung, Reich, Alexander, Lowen, Keleman, Arnold and Amy Mindell, S. Tomandl, D. Boadella, A. Längle, P. Levin etc). This article will include 15 years of experience to apply Process-oriented approach by A. Mindell to recovery of consciousness of neurosurgical patients based on work with "minimal signals" (micro moves, breath, mimic reactions etc.), principle of feedback, psychosomatic resonance, empathy.

  8. Science, conscience, consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hennig, Boris

    2010-01-01

    Descartes' metaphysics lays the foundation for the special sciences, and the notion of consciousness ("conscientia") belongs to metaphysics rather than to psychology. I argue that as a metaphysical notion, "consciousness" refers to an epistemic version of moral conscience. As a consequence, the activity on which science is based turns out to be conscientious thought. The consciousness that makes science possible is a double awareness: the awareness of what one is thinking, of what one should be doing, and of the possibility of a gap between the two.

  9. Homing in on consciousness: Why is a dream conscious?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porte, Helene Sophrin

    2016-01-01

    Morsella et al. argue convincingly that consciousness is for adaptive voluntary action. What, then, is consciousness in a dream for? Two prior questions present themselves. In a dream, how do contents get into the conscious field? What are the properties of consciousness in a dream?

  10. Logical Evaluation of Consciousness: For Incorporating Consciousness into Machine Architecture

    OpenAIRE

    Padhy, C. N.; Panda, R. R.

    2010-01-01

    Machine Consciousness is the study of consciousness in a biological, philosophical, mathematical and physical perspective and designing a model that can fit into a programmable system architecture. Prime objective of the study is to make the system architecture behave consciously like a biological model does. Present work has developed a feasible definition of consciousness, that characterizes consciousness with four parameters i.e., parasitic, symbiotic, self referral and reproduction. Prese...

  11. Attention Networks and Consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael ePosner

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The term consciousness is an important one in the vernacular of the western literature in many fields. It is no wonder that scientists have assumed that consciousness will be found as a component of the human brain and that we will come to understand its neural basis. However, there is rather little in common between consciousness as the neurologist would use it to diagnose the vegetative state, how the feminist would use it to support raising male consciousness of the economic plight of women and as the philosopher would use it when defining the really hard question of the subjective state of awareness induced by sensory qualities. When faced with this kind of problem it is usual to subdivide the term into more manageable perhaps partly operational definitions. Three meanings that capture aspects of consciousness are: (1 the neurology of the state of mind allowing coherent orientation to time and place (2 the selection of sensory or memorial information for awareness and (3 the voluntary control over overt responses. In each of these cases the mechanisms of consciousness overlap with one or more of the attentional networks that have been studied with the methods of cognitive neuroscience. In this paper we explore t

  12. [Consciousness and the electroencephalogram].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faber, J; Vladyka, V; Subrt, O

    1991-08-01

    In the course of 12 years the authors subjected to clinical EEG and stereo-EEG (SEEG) 72 patients (66 epileptics with the diagnosis of psychomotor epilepsy and grand mal) and six psychotic patients suffering from schizophrenia. With the exception of five epileptics and two psychotic patients all subjects had epileptic foci in the amygdalohippocampal complex (AHK). After coagulation of these foci marked improvement of the fits and the mental state occurred in half the patients. During EEG and SEEG recording the authors used different activation methods (hyperventilation through the nose and mouth, sleep, listening to music) and above all direct electric stimulation (ES) of one of the AHK. Secondary epileptic foci had, as a rule, more spikes and a lower threshold for ES than primary ones which contained more delta and slow theta waves. The ES led as a rule to an emotional response, such as anxiety and fear, more rarely to illusions, depersonalization and oneiroid hallucinations and twice to a hedonic response of non-sexual character. The purpose of ES was to assess the site from where it is possible to start the original aura or typical parox. The authors considered these foci, consistent with data in the literature, as the leading focus and it was subsequently coagulated. The authors investigated the reactivity and vigility by the patient's response to sound (the patient had to press a button) and by an interview with the patient. It was revealed that in isolated discharges of the spikes and waves in the scalp electrodes, i.e. in the neocortex, reactivity is lacking. In isolated discharges in the AHK the reactivity was satisfactory, but as a rule anxiety developed. It is thus possible to divide consciousness into emotional consciousness with its site in the AHK, i.e. in the limbic system, and rational consciousness which is a function of the neocrotical system. Congenital changes of consciousness such as vigility or sleep are described as "states" of consciousness

  13. Consciousness and the "Causal Paradox"

    OpenAIRE

    Velmans, Max

    1996-01-01

    Viewed from a first-person perspective consciousness appears to be necessary for complex, novel human activity - but viewed from a third-person perspective consciousness appears to play no role in the activity of brains, producing a "causal paradox". To resolve this paradox one needs to distinguish consciousness of processing from consciousness accompanying processing or causing processing. Accounts of consciousness/brain causal interactions switch between first- and third-person perspectives...

  14. Disruption of Conscious Access in Schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berkovitch, Lucie; Dehaene, Stanislas; Gaillard, Raphaël

    2017-11-01

    Schizophrenia is a severe and complex psychiatric disorder resulting in delusions, hallucinations, and cognitive impairments. Across a variety of paradigms, an elevated threshold for conscious perception has been repeatedly observed in persons with schizophrenia. Remarkably, even subtle measures of subliminal processing appear to be preserved. We argue here that the dissociation between impaired conscious access and intact unconscious processing may be due to a specific disruption of top-down attentional amplification. This proposal is compatible with the neurophysiological disturbances observed in schizophrenia, including dysconnectivity, abnormal neural oscillations, and glutamatergic and cholinergic dysregulation. Therefore, placing impaired conscious access as a central feature of schizophrenia can help researchers develop a coherent and parsimonious pathophysiological framework of the disease. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Environmentally conscious patent histories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crouch, Dennis D.; Crouch, Henry L.

    2004-02-01

    There is a need for investigators, legislators, and business leaders to understand the magnitude of innovation and discovery in the field of environmentally conscious technologies (ECTs). Knowledge of the "big picture" is important to providing a national and global account of actual environmental stewardship over the last twenty-five years. A recitation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) supported Acts which have been enacted into law reveals one facet of the multifaceted dynamic of environmental consciousness. The popular discussion and debate, as well as partisan lobbying, which created the political forces leading to environmentally conscious legislation is another facet. A third facet is the corporate response to the threats and opportunities predicted by CEO"s and others through environmental scanning. This paper examines changes in environmentally conscious inventive effort by comparing data from United States Patents issued from 1976 through 2003. Patents are useful tool for measuring technological innovation because they are publicly available records of innovative activity. Although not all inventions result in patent applications, the monopoly rights granted on the invention give the inventor a strong incentive to obtain patents on any viable product or process. Among the results, we found a significant increase in patents relating to environmentally conscious products and processes during the period in question. Specifically, a dramatic increase in patent activity was seen for the decade of the 1990"s. Surprisingly, the patenting rate from 2000 to 2003 seems to have stabilized. Additionally public discussion of ECTs appears to have a positive impact on patent filings.

  16. Cajal and consciousness. Introduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marijuán, P C

    2001-04-01

    One hundred years after Santiago Ramón Cajal established the bases of modern neuroscience in his masterpiece Textura del sistema nervioso del hombre y de los vertebrados, the question is stated again: What is the status of consciousness today? The responses in this book, by contemporary leading figures of neuroscience, evolution, molecular biology, computer science, and quantum physics, collectively compose a fascinating conceptual landscape. Both the evolutionary emergence of consciousness and its development towards the highest level may be analyzed by a wealth of new theories and hypotheses, including Cajal's prescient ones. Some noticeable gaps remain, however. Celebrating the centennial of Textura is a timely occasion to reassess how close--and how far--our system of the sciences is to explaining consciousness.

  17. Objects of consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donald David Hoffman

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Current models of visual perception typically assume that human vision estimates true properties of physical objects, properties that exist even if unperceived. However, recent studies of perceptual evolution, using evolutionary games and genetic algorithms, reveal that natural selection often drives true perceptions to extinction when they compete with perceptions tuned to fitness rather than truth: Perception guides adaptive behavior; it does not estimate a preexisting physical truth. Moreover, shifting from evolutionary biology to quantum physics, there is reason to disbelieve in preexist-ing physical truths: Certain interpretations of quantum theory deny that dynamical properties of physical objects have defi-nite values when unobserved. In some of these interpretations the observer is fundamental, and wave functions are com-pendia of subjective probabilities, not preexisting elements of physical reality. These two considerations, from evolutionary biology and quantum physics, suggest that current models of object perception require fundamental reformulation. Here we begin such a reformulation, starting with a formal model of consciousness that we call a conscious agent. We develop the dynamics of interacting conscious agents, and study how the perception of objects and space-time can emerge from such dynamics. We show that one particular object, the quantum free particle, has a wave function that is identical in form to the harmonic functions that characterize the asymptotic dynamics of conscious agents; particles are vibrations not of strings but of interacting conscious agents. This allows us to reinterpret physical properties such as position, momentum, and energy as properties of interacting conscious agents, rather than as preexisting physical truths. We sketch how this approach might extend to the perception of relativistic quantum objects, and to classical objects of macroscopic scale.

  18. Consciousness in the Universe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khalil Chamcham

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available So far we can identify at least three concepts within modern cosmology that bring into debate the question of consciousness in the universe: 1 Fine Tuning; 2 The Anthropic Principle and 3 The Multiverse. This does not exclude the question of the role of observer (i.e. consciousness in cosmology as developed within Quantum Physics: we observe the universe through quanta and any breakthrough in understanding the origin and nature of the universe will come only through a quantum theory of gravity […

  19. A framework for consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crick, Francis; Koch, Christof

    2003-02-01

    Here we summarize our present approach to the problem of consciousness. After an introduction outlining our general strategy, we describe what is meant by the term 'framework' and set it out under ten headings. This framework offers a coherent scheme for explaining the neural correlates of (visual) consciousness in terms of competing cellular assemblies. Most of the ideas we favor have been suggested before, but their combination is original. We also outline some general experimental approaches to the problem and, finally, acknowledge some relevant aspects of the brain that have been left out of the proposed framework.

  20. Neural correlates of consciousness

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    neural cells.1 Under this approach, consciousness is believed to be a product of the ... possible only when the 40 Hz electrical hum is sustained among the brain circuits, ... expect the brain stem ascending reticular activating system. (ARAS) and the ... related synchrony of cortical neurons.11 Indeed, stimulation of brainstem ...

  1. The mystery of consciousness

    CERN Document Server

    Searle, John R

    1997-01-01

    It has long been one of the most fundamental problems of philosophy, and it is now, John Searle writes, "the most important problem in the biological sciences": What is consciousness? Is my inner awareness of myself something separate from my body? In what began as a series of essays in The New York Review of Books, John Searle evaluates the positions on consciousness of such well-known scientists and philosophers as Francis Crick, Gerald Edelman, Roger Penrose, Daniel Dennett, David Chalmers, and Israel Rosenfield. He challenges claims that the mind works like a computer, and that brain functions can be reproduced by computer programs. With a sharp eye for confusion and contradiction, he points out which avenues of current research are most likely to come up with a biological examination of how conscious states are caused by the brain. Only when we understand how the brain works will we solve the mystery of consciousness, and only then will we begin to understand issues ranging from artificial intelligence...

  2. The Problem of Consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crick, Francis; Koch, Christof

    1992-01-01

    Discusses approaches to the problem presented in understanding consciousness as a yet undiscovered process of interacting neuron activity. Presents the historical context of research in the area of human awareness and identifies research necessary to scientifically explain how the brain relates to the mind. (MCO)

  3. Cybernetics and consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trabka, J

    1999-01-01

    This paper is a review of hypotheses of consciousness which arose from application of the theory of information and regulation and the cybernetic theory of mathematical machines in medicine. The author presents these hypotheses on the examples of his own works.

  4. Consciousness and biological evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindahl, B I

    1997-08-21

    It has been suggested that if the preservation and development of consciousness in the biological evolution is a result of natural selection, it is plausible that consciousness not only has been influenced by neural processes, but has had a survival value itself; and it could only have had this, if it had also been efficacious. This argument for mind-brain interaction is examined, both as the argument has been developed by William James and Karl Popper and as it has been discussed by C.D. Broad. The problem of identifying mental phenomena with certain neural phenomena is also addressed. The main conclusion of the analysis is that an explanation of the evolution of consciousness in Darwinian terms of natural selection does not rule out that consciousness may have evolved as a mere causally inert effect of the evolution of the nervous system, or that mental phenomena are identical with certain neural phenomena. However, the interactionistic theory still seems, more plausible and more fruitful for other reasons brought up in the discussion.

  5. Kafka, paranoic doubles and the brain: hypnagogic vs. hyper-reflexive models of disrupted self in neuropsychiatric disorders and anomalous conscious states

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mishara Aaron L

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Kafka's writings are frequently interpreted as representing the historical period of modernism in which he was writing. Little attention has been paid, however, to the possibility that his writings may reflect neural mechanisms in the processing of self during hypnagogic (i.e., between waking and sleep states. Kafka suffered from dream-like, hypnagogic hallucinations during a sleep-deprived state while writing. This paper discusses reasons (phenomenological and neurobiological why the self projects an imaginary double (autoscopy in its spontaneous hallucinations and how Kafka's writings help to elucidate the underlying cognitive and neural mechanisms. I further discuss how the proposed mechanisms may be relevant to understanding paranoid delusions in schizophrenia. Literature documents and records cognitive and neural processes of self with an intimacy that may be otherwise unavailable to neuroscience. To elucidate this approach, I contrast it with the apparently popularizing view that the symptoms of schizophrenia result from what has been called an operative (i.e., pre-reflective hyper-reflexivity. The latter approach claims that pre-reflective self-awareness (diminished in schizophrenia pervades all conscious experience (however, in a manner that remains unverifiable for both phenomenological and experimental methods. This contribution argues the opposite: the "self" informs our hypnagogic imagery precisely to the extent that we are not self-aware.

  6. Comparing the measured basal metabolic rates in patients with chronic disorders of consciousness to the estimated basal metabolic rate calculated from common predictive equations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Guizhen; Xie, Qiuyou; He, Yanbin; Wang, Ziwen; Chen, Yan; Jiang, Mengliu; Ni, Xiaoxiao; Wang, Qinxian; Murong, Min; Guo, Yequn; Qiu, Xiaowen; Yu, Ronghao

    2017-10-01

    Accurately predicting the basal metabolic rate (BMR) of patients in a vegetative state (VS) or minimally conscious state (MCS) is critical to proper nutritional therapy, but commonly used equations have not been shown to be accurate. Therefore, we compared the BMR measured by indirect calorimetry (IC) to BMR values estimated using common predictive equations in VS and MCS patients. Body composition variables were measured using the bioelectric impedance analysis (BIA) technique. BMR was measured by IC in 82 patients (64 men and 18 women) with VS or MCS. Patients were classified by body mass index as underweight (BMR was estimated for each group using the Harris-Benedict (H-B), Schofield, or Cunningham equations and compared to the measured BMR using Bland-Altman analyses. For the underweight group, there was a significant difference between the measured BMR values and the estimated BMR values calculated using the H-B, Schofield, and Cunningham equations (p BMR values estimated using the H-B and Cunningham equations were different significantly from the measured BMR (p BMR in the normal-weight group. The Schofield equation showed the best concordance (only 41.5%) with the BMR values measured by IC. None of the commonly used equations to estimate BMR were suitable for the VS or MCS populations. Indirect calorimetry is the preferred way to avoid either over or underestimate of BMR values. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  7. Kafka, paranoic doubles and the brain: hypnagogic vs. hyper-reflexive models of disrupted self in neuropsychiatric disorders and anomalous conscious states.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishara, Aaron L

    2010-08-20

    Kafka's writings are frequently interpreted as representing the historical period of modernism in which he was writing. Little attention has been paid, however, to the possibility that his writings may reflect neural mechanisms in the processing of self during hypnagogic (i.e., between waking and sleep) states. Kafka suffered from dream-like, hypnagogic hallucinations during a sleep-deprived state while writing. This paper discusses reasons (phenomenological and neurobiological) why the self projects an imaginary double (autoscopy) in its spontaneous hallucinations and how Kafka's writings help to elucidate the underlying cognitive and neural mechanisms. I further discuss how the proposed mechanisms may be relevant to understanding paranoid delusions in schizophrenia. Literature documents and records cognitive and neural processes of self with an intimacy that may be otherwise unavailable to neuroscience. To elucidate this approach, I contrast it with the apparently popularizing view that the symptoms of schizophrenia result from what has been called an operative (i.e., pre-reflective) hyper-reflexivity. The latter approach claims that pre-reflective self-awareness (diminished in schizophrenia) pervades all conscious experience (however, in a manner that remains unverifiable for both phenomenological and experimental methods). This contribution argues the opposite: the "self" informs our hypnagogic imagery precisely to the extent that we are not self-aware.

  8. Pain and consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Larrea, Luis; Bastuji, Hélène

    2017-10-12

    The aversive experience we call "pain" results from the coordinated activation of multiple brain areas, commonly described as a "pain matrix". This is not a fixed arrangement of structures but rather a fluid system composed of several interacting networks: A 'nociceptive matrix' includes regions receiving input from ascending nociceptive systems, and ensures the bodily characteristics of physical pain. A further set of structures receiving secondary input supports the 'salience' attributes of noxious stimuli, triggers top-down cognitive controls, and -most importantly- ensures the passage from pre-conscious nociception to conscious pain. Expectations and beliefs can still modulate the conscious experience via activity in supramodal regions with widespread cortical projections such as the ventral tegmental area. Intracortical EEG responses in humans show that nociceptive cortical processing is initiated in parallel in sensory, motor and limbic areas; it progresses rapidly to the recruitment of anterior insular and fronto-parietal networks, and finally to the activation of perigenual, posterior cingulate and hippocampal structures. Functional connectivity between sensory and high-level networks increases during the first second post-stimulus, which may be determinant for access to consciousness. A model is described, progressing from unconscious sensori-motor and limbic processing of spinothalamic and spino-parabrachial input, to an immediate sense of awareness supported by coordinated activity in sensorimotor and fronto-parieto-insular networks, and leading to full declarative consciousness through integration with autobiographical memories and self-awareness, involving posterior cingulate and medial temporal areas. This complete sequence is only present during full vigilance states. We contend, however, that even in unconscious subjects, repeated limbic and vegetative activation by painful stimuli via spino-amygdalar pathways can generate implicit memory traces and

  9. Psychotherapy, consciousness, and brain plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel eCollerton

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Purely psychological treatments for emotional distress produce lasting, measureable, and reproducible changes in cognitive and emotional consciousness and brain function. How these changes come about illustrates the interplay between brain and consciousness. Studies of the effects of psychotherapy highlight the holistic nature of consciousness. Pre and post treatment functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging localises the brain changes following psychotherapy to frontal, cingulate, and limbic circuits, but emphasise that these areas support a wide range of conscious experiences. Multivoxel Pattern Analysis of distributed changes in function across these brain areas may be able to provide the ability to distinguish between different states of consciousness.

  10. Perception, Action, and Consciousness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    What is the relationship between perception and action, between an organism and its environment, in explaining consciousness? These are issues at the heart of philosophy of mind and the cognitive sciences. This book explores the relationship between perception and action from a variety of interdi......What is the relationship between perception and action, between an organism and its environment, in explaining consciousness? These are issues at the heart of philosophy of mind and the cognitive sciences. This book explores the relationship between perception and action from a variety...... of interdisciplinary perspectives, ranging from theoretical discussion of concepts to findings from recent scientific studies. It incorporates contributions from leading philosophers, psychologists, neuroscientists, and an artificial intelligence theorist. The contributions take a range of positions with respect...

  11. [Self-consciousness, consciousness of the other and dementias].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gil, Roger

    2007-06-01

    Studies of self-consciousness in dementia concern essentially anosognosia or the loss of insight. However, Self-consciousness is multifaceted: it includes awareness of the body, perceptions, one's own history, identity, and one's own projects. Self-consciousness is linked to consciousness of others i.e. to social cognition supported by identification of others, but also by comprehension of facial expression of emotions, comprehension and expression of emotional prosody, pragmatic abilities, ability to infer other's people's mental states, thoughts, and feelings (theory of mind and empathy), knowledge of social norms and rules, social reasoning. The subtypes of dementias (and namely Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal dementia) affect heterogeneously the different aspects of the self-and other-consciousness. Further studies are needed for a better knowledge of the complex relationship between Self-consciousness, social cognition, decision making and neuropsychiatric symptoms and behavioral disturbances occurring in demented patients.

  12. Preserved consciousness in vegetative and minimal conscious states

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kondziella, Daniel; Nielsen, Christian Thomas Friberg; Frokjaer, Vibe G

    2016-01-01

    Active, passive and resting state paradigms using functional MRI (fMRI) or EEG may reveal consciousness in the vegetative (VS) and the minimal conscious state (MCS). A meta-analysis was performed to assess the prevalence of preserved consciousness in VS and MCS as revealed by fMRI and EEG.......0001)) and to show preserved functional cortical connectivity during passive paradigms (55% vs 26%; OR 3.53 (95% CI 2.49 to 4.99; ppreserved consciousness more often than active paradigms (38% vs 24%; OR 1.98 (95% CI 1.54 to 2.54; p... were insufficient for statistical evaluation. In conclusion, active paradigms may underestimate the degree of consciousness as compared to passive paradigms. While MCS patients show signs of preserved consciousness more frequently in both paradigms, roughly 15% of patients with a clinical diagnosis...

  13. The biological function of consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian eEarl

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available This research is an investigation of whether consciousness—one’s ongoing experience—influences one’s behavior and, if so, how. Analysis of the components, structure, properties, and temporal sequences of consciousness has established that, (1 contrary to one’s intuitive understanding, consciousness does not have an active, executive role in determining behavior; (2 consciousness does have a biological function; and (3 consciousness is solely information in various forms. Consciousness is associated with a flexible response mechanism (FRM for decision-making, planning, and generally responding in nonautomatic ways. The FRM generates responses by manipulating information and, to function effectively, its data input must be restricted to task-relevant information. The properties of consciousness correspond to the various input requirements of the FRM; and when important information is missing from consciousness, functions of the FRM are adversely affected; both of which indicate that consciousness is the input data to the FRM. Qualitative and quantitative information (shape, size, location, etc., is incorporated into the input data by a qualia array of colors, sounds, and so on, which makes the input conscious. This view of the biological function of consciousness provides an explanation why we have experiences; why we have emotional and other feelings, and why their loss is associated with poor decision-making; why blindsight patients do not spontaneously initiate responses to events in their blind field; why counter-habitual actions are only possible when the intended action is in mind; and the reason for inattentional blindness.

  14. Moral significance of phenomenal consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Neil; Savulescu, Julian

    2009-01-01

    Recent work in neuroimaging suggests that some patients diagnosed as being in the persistent vegetative state are actually conscious. In this paper, we critically examine this new evidence. We argue that though it remains open to alternative interpretations, it strongly suggests the presence of consciousness in some patients. However, we argue that its ethical significance is less than many people seem to think. There are several different kinds of consciousness, and though all kinds of consciousness have some ethical significance, different kinds underwrite different kinds of moral value. Demonstrating that patients have phenomenal consciousness--conscious states with some kind of qualitative feel to them--shows that they are moral patients, whose welfare must be taken into consideration. But only if they are subjects of a sophisticated kind of access consciousness--where access consciousness entails global availability of information to cognitive systems--are they persons, in the technical sense of the word employed by philosophers. In this sense, being a person is having the full moral status of ordinary human beings. We call for further research which might settle whether patients who manifest signs of consciousness possess the sophisticated kind of access consciousness required for personhood.

  15. The Neurogenetic Correlates of Consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grandy, John K.

    2013-09-01

    The neurogenetic correlates of consciousness (NgCC) is a new field of consciousness studies that focuses on genes that have an effect on or are involved in the continuum of neuron-based consciousness. A framework of consciousness based on the neural correlates of consciousness (NCC) has already been established by Francis Crick and Christof Kock. In this work I propose that there are NgCC underlying the NCC which are both active during the conscious experience. So how are genes involved? There are two significant connections between DNA and neurons that are involved in the conscious experience. First, any brain system can be adversely affected by underlying genetic abnormalities which can be expressed in an individual at birth, in adulthood, or later in life. Second, the DNA molecule does not lay dormant while the neuron runs on autopilot. DNA is active in translating and transcribing RNA and protein products that are utilized during neuron functioning. Without these products being continuously produced by the DNA during a conscious experience the neurons would cease to function correctly and be rendered unable to provide a continuum of human consciousness. Consequently, in addition to NCC, NgCC must be factored in when appreciating a conscious event. In this work I will discuss and explain some NgCC citing several examples.

  16. Impact of emotion on consciousness: positive stimuli enhance conscious reportability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristine Rømer Thomsen

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Emotion and reward have been proposed to be closely linked to conscious experience, but empirical data are lacking. The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC plays a central role in the hedonic dimension of conscious experience; thus potentially a key region in interactions between emotion and consciousness. Here we tested the impact of emotion on conscious experience, and directly investigated the role of the ACC. We used a masked paradigm that measures conscious reportability in terms of subjective confidence and objective accuracy in identifying the briefly presented stimulus in a forced-choice test. By manipulating the emotional valence (positive, neutral, negative and the presentation time (16 ms, 32 ms, 80 ms we measured the impact of these variables on conscious and subliminal (i.e. below threshold processing. First, we tested normal participants using face and word stimuli. Results showed that participants were more confident and accurate when consciously seeing happy versus sad/neutral faces and words. When stimuli were presented subliminally, we found no effect of emotion. To investigate the neural basis of this impact of emotion, we recorded local field potentials (LFPs directly in the ACC in a chronic pain patient. Behavioural findings were replicated: the patient was more confident and accurate when (consciously seeing happy versus sad faces, while no effect was seen in subliminal trials. Mirroring behavioural findings, we found significant differences in the LFPs after around 500 ms (lasting 30 ms in conscious trials between happy and sad faces, while no effect was found in subliminal trials. We thus demonstrate a striking impact of emotion on conscious experience, with positive emotional stimuli enhancing conscious reportability. In line with previous studies, the data indicate a key role of the ACC, but goes beyond earlier work by providing the first direct evidence of interaction between emotion and conscious experience in the human

  17. Identifying phenomenal consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schier, Elizabeth

    2009-03-01

    This paper examines the possibility of finding evidence that phenomenal consciousness is independent of access. The suggestion reviewed is that we should look for isomorphisms between phenomenal and neural activation spaces. It is argued that the fact that phenomenal spaces are mapped via verbal report is no problem for this methodology. The fact that activation and phenomenal space are mapped via different means does not mean that they cannot be identified. The paper finishes by examining how data addressing this theoretical question could be obtained.

  18. Animal Mind and Consciousness

    OpenAIRE

    Richterová, Klaudie

    2017-01-01

    Název diplomové práce: Mysl a vědomí u zvířat Vedoucí práce: prof. Karel Thein, Ph.D. Vypracovala: Bc. Klaudie Richterová Abstract This thesis examines the issue of cognition, mind and consciousness of living beings other than humans. It starts with the attitudes of two contemporary thinkers: Thomas Nagel and Daniel C. Dennett. In connection with their opinions, this thesis examines a certain number of questions: Might there be something like a subjective experience of life or being? How can ...

  19. Study of Consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel Lee

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The human brain is a powerful organ that controls most of the body. Researchers around the world have long tried to uncover how the brain operates, how memories are formed and stored. Our understanding of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease has been rapidly improving, yet much remains to be done. In this work, we attempt to study changes in intracranial pressure (ICP for a 12-hour period and discuss whether the resulting estimates could be used as a measure of consciousness.

  20. Impact of Emotion on Consciousness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, Kristine Rømer; Lou, Hans Olav Christensen; Jønsson, Morten

    2011-01-01

    Emotion and reward have been proposed to be closely linked to conscious experience, but empirical data are lacking. The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) plays a central role in the hedonic dimension of conscious experience; thus potentially a key region in interactions between emotion...... and consciousness. Here we tested the impact of emotion on conscious experience, and directly investigated the role of the ACC. We used a masked paradigm that measures conscious reportability in terms of subjective confidence and objective accuracy in identifying the briefly presented stimulus in a forced......-choice test. By manipulating the emotional valence (positive, neutral, negative) and the presentation time (16 ms, 32 ms, 80 ms) we measured the impact of these variables on conscious and subliminal (i.e. below threshold) processing. First, we tested normal participants using face and word stimuli. Results...

  1. Electrophysiological evidence for phenomenal consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Revonsuo, Antti; Koivisto, Mika

    2010-09-01

    Abstract Recent evidence from event-related brain potentials (ERPs) lends support to two central theses in Lamme's theory. The earliest ERP correlate of visual consciousness appears over posterior visual cortex around 100-200 ms after stimulus onset. Its scalp topography and time window are consistent with recurrent processing in the visual cortex. This electrophysiological correlate of visual consciousness is mostly independent of later ERPs reflecting selective attention and working memory functions. Overall, the ERP evidence supports the view that phenomenal consciousness of a visual stimulus emerges earlier than access consciousness, and that attention and awareness are served by distinct neural processes.

  2. Affects and Affect Consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    MONSEN, JON T.; EILERTSEN, DAG ERIK; MELGÅRD, TROND; ØDEGÅRD, PÅL

    1996-01-01

    Affect consciousness (AC) was operationalized as degrees of awareness, tolerance, nonverbal expression, and conceptual expression of nine specific affects. A semistructured interview (ACI) and separate scales were developed to assess these aspects of affect integration. Their psychometric properties were preliminarily explored by having 20 former psychiatric outpatients complete the interview. Concurrent validity was assessed by using DSM-III-R Axis I and II diagnoses, the Health-Sickness Rating Scale, SCL-90-R, and several indexes from the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. Satisfactory interrater reliability and high levels of internal consistency supported the construct validity of the measure. Results suggest the most meaningful use of this instrument is in measuring specific affect and overall AC. Clinically, the ACI has provided highly specific and relevant qualitative data for use in planning psychotherapeutic interventions. PMID:22700292

  3. Conscience and consciousness: a definition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vithoulkas, G; Muresanu, D F

    2014-03-15

    While consciousness has been examined extensively in its different aspects, like in philosophy, psychiatry, neurophysiology, neuroplasticity, etc., conscience though it is an equal important aspect of the human existence, which remains an unknown to a great degree as an almost transcendental aspect of the human mind. It has not been examined as thoroughly as consciousness and largely remains a "terra incognita" for its neurophysiology, brain topography, etc. Conscience and consciousness are part of a system of information that governs our experience and decision making process. The intent of this paper is to define these terms, to discuss about consciousness from both neurological and quantum physics point of view, the relationship between the dynamics of consciousness and neuroplasticity and to highlight the relationship between conscience, stress and health.

  4. The Emerging Physics of Consciousness

    CERN Document Server

    Tuszynski, Jack A

    2006-01-01

    Consciousness remains one of the major unsolved problems in science. How do the feelings and sensations making up conscious experience arise from the concerted actions of nerve cells and their associated synaptic and molecular processes? Can such feelings be explained by modern science, or is there an entirely different kind of explanation needed? And how can this seemingly intractable problem be approached experimentally? How do the operations of the conscious mind emerge out of the specific interactions involving billions of neurons? This book seeks answers to these questions on the underlying assumption that consciousness can be understood using the intellectual potential of modern physics and other sciences. There are a number of theories of consciousness, some based on classical physics while others require the use of quantum concepts. The latter ones have drawn criticism from the parts of the scientific establishment while simultaneously claiming that classical approaches are doomed to failure. The cont...

  5. Perceptual consciousness overflows cognitive access.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Block, Ned

    2011-12-01

    One of the most important issues concerning the foundations of conscious perception centers on the question of whether perceptual consciousness is rich or sparse. The overflow argument uses a form of 'iconic memory' to argue that perceptual consciousness is richer (i.e., has a higher capacity) than cognitive access: when observing a complex scene we are conscious of more than we can report or think about. Recently, the overflow argument has been challenged both empirically and conceptually. This paper reviews the controversy, arguing that proponents of sparse perception are committed to the postulation of (i) a peculiar kind of generic conscious representation that has no independent rationale and (ii) an unmotivated form of unconscious representation that in some cases conflicts with what we know about unconscious representation. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Perceptual integration without conscious access.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fahrenfort, Johannes J; van Leeuwen, Jonathan; Olivers, Christian N L; Hogendoorn, Hinze

    2017-04-04

    The visual system has the remarkable ability to integrate fragmentary visual input into a perceptually organized collection of surfaces and objects, a process we refer to as perceptual integration. Despite a long tradition of perception research, it is not known whether access to consciousness is required to complete perceptual integration. To investigate this question, we manipulated access to consciousness using the attentional blink. We show that, behaviorally, the attentional blink impairs conscious decisions about the presence of integrated surface structure from fragmented input. However, despite conscious access being impaired, the ability to decode the presence of integrated percepts remains intact, as shown through multivariate classification analyses of electroencephalogram (EEG) data. In contrast, when disrupting perception through masking, decisions about integrated percepts and decoding of integrated percepts are impaired in tandem, while leaving feedforward representations intact. Together, these data show that access consciousness and perceptual integration can be dissociated.

  7. Culture and weight consciousness

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Nasser, Mervat

    1997-01-01

    ... of eating disorders. This review is used to highlight the problematic areas in cross-cultural methodologies and to suggest directions for future research. The author also relates the feminist theories that have been put forward to explain the phenomenon of eating disorders in the West to the condition of modern women in many non-western cultures...

  8. Consciousness: The flipside of anaesthesia

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Adele

    This option includes “perfect” simulation of conscious- ness, without it actually ... in particular, the search for molecular mechanisms has been greatly hindered by our .... q-bits in a distributed array of cytoskeletal proteins through- out the cell.

  9. Neurobiology of consciousness: an overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delacour, J

    1997-05-01

    The aim of this review is to connect the phenomenology of consciousness to its neurobiology. A survey of the recent literature revealed the following points. (1) Comprehensive descriptions of consciousness, of its subjective as well as of its objective aspects, are both possible and necessary for its scientific study. An intentionality-modeling structure (an unified and stable ego refers to objects or to itself in the framework of a stable, reproducible, predictable world) accounts for the main features. (2) The material basis of consciousness can be clarified without recourse to new properties of matter or to quantum physics. Current neurobiology appears to be able to handle the problem. In fact, the neurobiology of consciousness is already in progress, and has achieved substantial results. At the system level, its main sources of data are: the neurophysiology of sleep-wakefulness, brain imaging of mental representations, attention and working memory, the neuropsychology of frontal syndrome, and awareness-unawareness dissociations in global amnesia and different forms of agnosia. At an intermediate level of organization, the mechanisms of consciousness may be the formation of a certain kind of neural assembly. (3) Further research may focus on neuropsychology and neurophysiology of object perception and recognition as a natural model of intentionality, perception of time, body schema, interhemispheric communications, 'voluntary' acts and mental images. The synthetic and dynamic views provided by brain imaging may be decisive for discovering the neural correlates of the integrative aspects of consciousness. (4) The neurobiological approach may, beyond the finding of cellular and molecular mechanisms, improve the general concepts of consciousness, overcome their antinomies and, against epiphenomenalism, definitely establish the reality of consciousness.

  10. Consciousness, Psychology, and Education: A Speculative Essay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1980

    This monograph explores implications of the psychology of consciousness for education. The psychology of consciousness encompasses the relationships among behavior, experience, and states of consciousness. It is interpreted to include different states of consciousness, paranormal phenomena, mystical experiences, dreams, psychic healing, and other…

  11. Is There a Relationship between Consciousness and Epilepsy?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhittin Bayram

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this article is to describe the relationship between consciousness and epilepsy. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder which can be seen all over the world. It can be diagnosed by the brain’s electrical activity (EEG. The determination of epileptic attacks by EEG signals is quite common in both clinical and research fields. During epileptic seizures, the brain dynamics that make up the graph consist of abnormalities in EEG signals. In this study, the relation between epilepsy and consciousness will be investigated by using wavelet entropy and artificial neural networks.

  12. Artificial consciousness and the consciousness-attention dissociation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haladjian, Harry Haroutioun; Montemayor, Carlos

    2016-10-01

    Artificial Intelligence is at a turning point, with a substantial increase in projects aiming to implement sophisticated forms of human intelligence in machines. This research attempts to model specific forms of intelligence through brute-force search heuristics and also reproduce features of human perception and cognition, including emotions. Such goals have implications for artificial consciousness, with some arguing that it will be achievable once we overcome short-term engineering challenges. We believe, however, that phenomenal consciousness cannot be implemented in machines. This becomes clear when considering emotions and examining the dissociation between consciousness and attention in humans. While we may be able to program ethical behavior based on rules and machine learning, we will never be able to reproduce emotions or empathy by programming such control systems-these will be merely simulations. Arguments in favor of this claim include considerations about evolution, the neuropsychological aspects of emotions, and the dissociation between attention and consciousness found in humans. Ultimately, we are far from achieving artificial consciousness. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. What Explains Consciousness? Or…What Consciousness Explains?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dulany, Donelson E.

    2014-01-01

    In this invited commentary I focus on the topic addressed in three papers: De Sousa's (2013[1617]) Toward an Integrative Theory of Consciousness, a monograph with Parts 1 & 2, as well as commentaries by Pereira (2013a[59]) and Hirstein (2013[42]). All three are impressively scholarly and can stand—and shout—on their own. But theory of consciousness? My aim is to slice that topic into the two fundamentally different kinds of theories of consciousness, say what appears to be an ideology, out of behaviourism into cognitivism, now also influencing the quest for an “explanation of consciousness” in cognitive neuroscience. I will then say what can be expected given what we know of the complexity of brain structure, the richness of a conscious “vocabulary”, and current technological limits of brain imaging. This will then turn to the strategy for examining “what consciousness explains”—metatheory, theories, mappings, and a methodology of competitive support, a methodology especially important where there are competing commitments. There are also increasingly common identifications of methodological bias in, along with failures to replicate, studies reporting unconscious controls in decision, social priming—as there have been in perception, learning, problem solving, etc. The literature critique has provided evidence taken as reducing, and in some cases eliminating, a role for conscious controls—a position consistent with that ideology out of behaviourism into cognitivism. It is an ideological position that fails to recognize the fundamental distinction between theoretical and metaphysical assertions. PMID:24891796

  14. Philosophical foundations of artificial consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chrisley, Ron

    2008-10-01

    Consciousness is often thought to be that aspect of mind that is least amenable to being understood or replicated by artificial intelligence (AI). The first-personal, subjective, what-it-is-like-to-be-something nature of consciousness is thought to be untouchable by the computations, algorithms, processing and functions of AI method. Since AI is the most promising avenue toward artificial consciousness (AC), the conclusion many draw is that AC is even more doomed than AI supposedly is. The objective of this paper is to evaluate the soundness of this inference. The results are achieved by means of conceptual analysis and argumentation. It is shown that pessimism concerning the theoretical possibility of artificial consciousness is unfounded, based as it is on misunderstandings of AI, and a lack of awareness of the possible roles AI might play in accounting for or reproducing consciousness. This is done by making some foundational distinctions relevant to AC, and using them to show that some common reasons given for AC scepticism do not touch some of the (usually neglected) possibilities for AC, such as prosthetic, discriminative, practically necessary, and lagom (necessary-but-not-sufficient) AC. Along the way three strands of the author's work in AC--interactive empiricism, synthetic phenomenology, and ontologically conservative heterophenomenology--are used to illustrate and motivate the distinctions and the defences of AC they make possible.

  15. Consciousness, biology and quantum hypotheses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baars, Bernard J; Edelman, David B

    2012-09-01

    Natural phenomena are reducible to quantum events in principle, but quantum mechanics does not always provide the best level of analysis. The many-body problem, chaotic avalanches, materials properties, biological organisms, and weather systems are better addressed at higher levels. Animals are highly organized, goal-directed, adaptive, selectionist, information-preserving, functionally redundant, multicellular, quasi-autonomous, highly mobile, reproducing, dissipative systems that conserve many fundamental features over remarkably long periods of time at the species level. Animal brains consist of massive, layered networks of specialized signaling cells with 10,000 communication points per cell, and interacting up to 1000 Hz. Neurons begin to divide and differentiate very early in gestation, and continue to develop until middle age. Waking brains operate far from thermodynamic equilibrium under delicate homeostatic control, making them extremely sensitive to a range of physical and chemical stimuli, highly adaptive, and able to produce a remarkable range of goal-relevant actions. Consciousness is "a difference that makes a difference" at the level of massive neuronal interactions in the most parallel-interactive anatomical structure of the mammalian brain, the cortico-thalamic (C-T) system. Other brain structures are not established to result in direct conscious experiences, at least in humans. However, indirect extra-cortical influences on the C-T system are pervasive. Learning, brain plasticity and major life adaptations may require conscious cognition. While brains evolved over hundreds of millions of years, and individual brains grow over months, years and decades, conscious events appear to have a duty cycle of ∼100 ms, fading after a few seconds. They can of course be refreshed by inner rehearsal, re-visualization, or attending to recurrent stimulus sources. These very distinctive brain events are needed when animals seek out and cope with new

  16. Consciousness, biology and quantum hypotheses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baars, Bernard J.; Edelman, David B.

    2012-09-01

    Natural phenomena are reducible to quantum events in principle, but quantum mechanics does not always provide the best level of analysis. The many-body problem, chaotic avalanches, materials properties, biological organisms, and weather systems are better addressed at higher levels. Animals are highly organized, goal-directed, adaptive, selectionist, information-preserving, functionally redundant, multicellular, quasi-autonomous, highly mobile, reproducing, dissipative systems that conserve many fundamental features over remarkably long periods of time at the species level. Animal brains consist of massive, layered networks of specialized signaling cells with 10,000 communication points per cell, and interacting up to 1000 Hz. Neurons begin to divide and differentiate very early in gestation, and continue to develop until middle age. Waking brains operate far from thermodynamic equilibrium under delicate homeostatic control, making them extremely sensitive to a range of physical and chemical stimuli, highly adaptive, and able to produce a remarkable range of goal-relevant actions. Consciousness is “a difference that makes a difference” at the level of massive neuronal interactions in the most parallel-interactive anatomical structure of the mammalian brain, the cortico-thalamic (C-T) system. Other brain structures are not established to result in direct conscious experiences, at least in humans. However, indirect extra-cortical influences on the C-T system are pervasive. Learning, brain plasticity and major life adaptations may require conscious cognition. While brains evolved over hundreds of millions of years, and individual brains grow over months, years and decades, conscious events appear to have a duty cycle of ∼100 ms, fading after a few seconds. They can of course be refreshed by inner rehearsal, re-visualization, or attending to recurrent stimulus sources. These very distinctive brain events are needed when animals seek out and cope with new

  17. Magnetic correlates in electromagnetic consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liboff, A R

    2016-01-01

    We examine the hypothesis that consciousness is a manifestation of the electromagnetic field, finding supportive factors not previously considered. It is not likely that traditional electrophysiological signaling modes can be readily transmitted throughout the brain to properly enable this field because of electric field screening arising from the ubiquitous distribution of high dielectric lipid membranes, a problem that vanishes for low-frequency magnetic fields. Many reports over the last few decades have provided evidence that living tissue is robustly sensitive to ultrasmall (1-100 nT) ELF magnetic fields overlapping the γ-frequency range often associated with awareness. An example taken from animal behavior (coherent bird flocking) lends support to the possibility of a disembodied electromagnetic consciousness. In contrast to quantum consciousness hypotheses, the present approach is open to experimental trial.

  18. Reading embodied consciousness in "Emma".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harbus, Antonina

    2011-01-01

    The language of Emma (1815) reflects Jane Austen's developing view of embodied consciousness and her particular interest in this novel in the physical manifestations of emotions, such as blushes and nervous responses. The discursive exploration of the inner life in Emma is the product of a cultural context that features emerging brain science and Austen's own conceptualization of the psychophysical nature of emotions. This article analyzes the language of mind and emotion in Emma, to contend that Austen grapples with the implications of the idea of embodied consciousness in a narrative that contrasts mind reading with interpreting the body.

  19. Interactive communication and political consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pikula Mykola Mykolayovych

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The article presents the research of the new communication technologies’ influence on the political consciousness formation. According to the author, today the Internet has become a kind of environment where people spend a lot of time and where the huge flow of information streams, unlimited with national borders and language barriers. This gives the Internet communication a mediating role in the display of the real world in people's minds. Such forms of interactive communication like social networks, blogs, forums and chats have a particularly important role in development of the society political consciousness.

  20. "Conscious Consumption": Ecocapitalism as Ideology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria das Graças e Silva

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this article is to raise a set of questions about “conscious consumption.” It is an essay of a bibliographic nature whose central thesis consists in affirming that in a capitalist society conscious consumption cannot be instituted as an affirmation of the principle of socioenvironmental sustainability. The paper presents the ideological nature of this formulation, which associates consumerism and the possibility of overcoming it only to the need for behavioral changes, without explaining its socioeconomic dimensions and its functionality as a mechanism for the reproduction of the destructive logic of capital.

  1. Intentionality, consciousness, and creating community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malinski, Violet M

    2009-01-01

    Intentionality is briefly explored from the perspective of seminal written works on therapeutic touch and recorded conversations with Martha E. Rogers. This overview hints at possible interrelationships among intentionality, consciousness, and creating community, along with conceptual ambiguities, which are explored in detail by Zahourek and Larkin in this column.

  2. Behavioral Methods in Consciousness Research

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    that the research literature has expanded greatly, particularly in cognitive neuroscience and cognitive science. Interestingly, this scientific work has made use of a wide variety of different methods without much consensus on how one might in fact measure subjective consciousness. This situation makes...

  3. Perceptual integration without conscious access

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fahrenfort, Johannes J.; Van Leeuwen, Jonathan; Olivers, Christian N.L.; Hogendoorn, Hinze

    2017-01-01

    The visual system has the remarkable ability to integrate fragmentary visual input into a perceptually organized collection of surfaces and objects, a process we refer to as perceptual integration. Despite a long tradition of perception research, it is not known whether access to consciousness is

  4. A mathematical model of embodied consciousness

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rudrauf, D.; Bennequin, D.; Granic, I.; Landini, G.; Friston, K.; Williford, K.

    2017-01-01

    We introduce a mathematical model of embodied consciousness, the Projective Consciousness Model (PCM), which is based on the hypothesis that the spatial field of consciousness (FoC) is structured by a projective geometry and under the control of a process of active inference. The FoC in the PCM

  5. 8 Questions About the Conscious Mind

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dooremalen, A.J.P.W.

    Can the mind function separately from the brain? Can machines have conscious minds? Is Google Maps part of the conscious mind? Hans Dooremalen provides answers to these three and five other questions about the conscious mind in an easy to read introduction to the philosophy of mind.

  6. Minimally conscious state or cortically mediated state?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naccache, Lionel

    2018-04-01

    Durable impairments of consciousness are currently classified in three main neurological categories: comatose state, vegetative state (also recently coined unresponsive wakefulness syndrome) and minimally conscious state. While the introduction of minimally conscious state, in 2002, was a major progress to help clinicians recognize complex non-reflexive behaviours in the absence of functional communication, it raises several problems. The most important issue related to minimally conscious state lies in its criteria: while behavioural definition of minimally conscious state lacks any direct evidence of patient's conscious content or conscious state, it includes the adjective 'conscious'. I discuss this major problem in this review and propose a novel interpretation of minimally conscious state: its criteria do not inform us about the potential residual consciousness of patients, but they do inform us with certainty about the presence of a cortically mediated state. Based on this constructive criticism review, I suggest three proposals aiming at improving the way we describe the subjective and cognitive state of non-communicating patients. In particular, I present a tentative new classification of impairments of consciousness that combines behavioural evidence with functional brain imaging data, in order to probe directly and univocally residual conscious processes.

  7. Consciousness without a cortex, but what kind of consciousness is this? [Open Peer Commentary

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Coenen, A.M.L.

    2007-01-01

    Merker suggests that the thalamocortical system is not an essential system for consciousness, but, instead, that the midbrain reticular system is responsible for consciousness. Indeed, the latter is a crucial system for consciousness, when consciousness is regarded as the waking state. However, when

  8. Self-Consciousness and Body Image Issues Among College Females

    OpenAIRE

    Doty, Mary E.

    1990-01-01

    This study examined some of the procedures used in eating disorder research. Body size estimation procedures, in light of their similarity to procedures in social psychology, were used to create self-focus and selfconsciousness conditions. If the procedures in the present study create self-consciousness effects, it is possible that the results of those studies have been affected by a heightened state of self-awareness. The present research also explored the relationships between self-consciou...

  9. An information integration theory of consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tononi Giulio

    2004-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Consciousness poses two main problems. The first is understanding the conditions that determine to what extent a system has conscious experience. For instance, why is our consciousness generated by certain parts of our brain, such as the thalamocortical system, and not by other parts, such as the cerebellum? And why are we conscious during wakefulness and much less so during dreamless sleep? The second problem is understanding the conditions that determine what kind of consciousness a system has. For example, why do specific parts of the brain contribute specific qualities to our conscious experience, such as vision and audition? Presentation of the hypothesis This paper presents a theory about what consciousness is and how it can be measured. According to the theory, consciousness corresponds to the capacity of a system to integrate information. This claim is motivated by two key phenomenological properties of consciousness: differentiation – the availability of a very large number of conscious experiences; and integration – the unity of each such experience. The theory states that the quantity of consciousness available to a system can be measured as the Φ value of a complex of elements. Φ is the amount of causally effective information that can be integrated across the informational weakest link of a subset of elements. A complex is a subset of elements with Φ>0 that is not part of a subset of higher Φ. The theory also claims that the quality of consciousness is determined by the informational relationships among the elements of a complex, which are specified by the values of effective information among them. Finally, each particular conscious experience is specified by the value, at any given time, of the variables mediating informational interactions among the elements of a complex. Testing the hypothesis The information integration theory accounts, in a principled manner, for several neurobiological observations

  10. Value definitions and consumer consciousness

    OpenAIRE

    Wakenshaw, Susan Y. L.; Phillips, Laura; Ng, Irene C. L.

    2014-01-01

    This paper contributes to the understanding of value within the service science and management literature, a literature that currently defines and measures value in various ways, making assumptions about how value is created and judged. We present this paper in two parts: in the first, we reprise six core themes of value understanding in the management literature, highlighting their implicit philosophical, chronological and consciousness assumptions; in the second, we elaborate on consciousne...

  11. Consistency between recognition and behavior creates consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keita Inaba

    2004-08-01

    Full Text Available What is consciousness? Is it possible to create consciousness mechanically? Various studies have been performed in the fields of psychology and cerebral science to answer these questions. As of yet, however, no researchers have proposed a model capable of explaining the mind-body problem described by Descartes or replicating a consciousness as advanced as that of human beings. Ancient people believed that the consciousness resided in a Homunculus, a human in miniature who lived in the brain. It is no mystery that the ancients came up with such an idea; for consciousness has always been veiled in mystery, beyond the reach of our explorative powers. We can assert, however, that consciousness does not "live" in us, but "exists" in us. Insofar as the processes occurring inside the human brain are a product of the physical activity of the neurons that reside there, we believe that it should be possible to define consciousness systematically.

  12. Phenomenal and access consciousness in olfaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson, Richard J

    2009-12-01

    Contemporary literature on consciousness, with some exceptions, rarely considers the olfactory system. In this article the characteristics of olfactory consciousness, viewed from the standpoint of the phenomenal (P)/access (A) distinction, are examined relative to the major senses. The review details several qualitative differences in both olfactory P consciousness (shifts in the felt location, universal synesthesia-like and affect-rich experiences, and misperceptions) and A consciousness (recovery from habituation, capacity for conscious processing, access to semantic and episodic memory, learning, attention, and in the serial-unitary nature of olfactory percepts). The basis for these differences is argued to arise from the functions that the olfactory system performs and from the unique neural architecture needed to instantiate them. These data suggest, at a minimum, that P and A consciousness are uniquely configured in olfaction and an argument can be made that the P and A distinction may not hold for this sensory system.

  13. Consciousness cannot be separated from function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Michael A; Dennett, Daniel C

    2011-08-01

    Numerous theories of consciousness hold that there are separate neural correlates of conscious experience and cognitive function, aligning with the assumption that there are 'hard' and 'easy' problems of consciousness. Here, we argue that any neurobiological theory based on an experience/function division cannot be empirically confirmed or falsified and is thus outside the scope of science. A 'perfect experiment' illustrates this point, highlighting the unbreachable boundaries of the scientific study of consciousness. We describe a more nuanced notion of cognitive access that captures personal experience without positing the existence of inaccessible conscious states. Finally, we discuss the criteria necessary for forming and testing a falsifiable theory of consciousness. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Consciousness and the Invention of Morel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lampros ePerogamvros

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available A scientific study of consciousness should take into consideration both objective and subjective measures of conscious experiences. To this date, very few studies have tried to integrate third-person data, or data about the neurophysiological correlates of conscious states, with first-person data, or data about subjective experience. Inspired by Morel’s invention (Casares, 1940, a literary machine capable of reproducing sensory-dependent external reality, this article suggests that combination of virtual reality techniques and brain reading technologies, that is, decoding of conscious states by brain activity alone, can offer this integration. It is also proposed that the multimodal, simulating and integrative capacities of the dreaming brain render it an 'endogenous' Morel's machine, which can potentially be used in studying consciousness, but not always in a reliable way. Both the literary machine and dreaming could contribute to a better understanding of conscious states.

  15. On the evolution of conscious attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haladjian, Harry Haroutioun; Montemayor, Carlos

    2015-06-01

    This paper aims to clarify the relationship between consciousness and attention through theoretical considerations about evolution. Specifically, we will argue that the empirical findings on attention and the basic considerations concerning the evolution of the different forms of attention demonstrate that consciousness and attention must be dissociated regardless of which definition of these terms one uses. To the best of our knowledge, no extant view on the relationship between consciousness and attention has this advantage. Because of this characteristic, this paper presents a principled and neutral way to settle debates concerning the relationship between consciousness and attention, without falling into disputes about the meaning of these terms. A decisive conclusion of this approach is that extreme views on the relationship between consciousness and attention must be rejected, including identity and full dissociation views. There is an overlap between the two within conscious attention, but developing a full understanding of this mechanism requires further empirical investigations.

  16. Psychopathy and a Model for Disturbed Affective Consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khetrapal, Neha

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available This article deals with the interaction of emotion and consciousness. It focuses on the perception of fearful stimuli and how such a perception can have implications for psychopathy. Amygdala has been found to be lesioned in the disorder and this compromise of integrity leads to deficits in fear perception, moral socialization and curtailing of aggression. This in turn leads to deficits in adaptive behavior as amygdala is responsible for influencing motor and perceptual responses in response to a fearful stimulus. Amygdala also plays an important role in bringing a fearful stimulus, detected at the attentional periphery, to the focus of attention and awareness so that it can receive enhanced processing which is found to be eficient in psychopathy. This role is supported by its connectivity to different cortical and subcortical areas. Hence this article provides an emphasis on the disturbed affective consciousness of psychopathy and its role in adaptive behavior deficits

  17. Instruments for evalutation of altered states of consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matteo Sozzi

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available In recent years an increase of interest concerning the altered states of consciousness was observed. In particular literature provided a wide amount of contribution about the scales for measurement of level of responsivity. Our aim is to describe the principale scales used in diagnosis of Disorder of Consciousness (DOC trying to illustrate administation procedures, specifically assessed aspects, modality of stimulation, reliability, and validity. We divided them in four main different groups: the first one in which descriptive scales are included, that is those scales basically used after a clinical observation; the second group which concerns scales requiring defined stimulation sets; in the third group we considered the scale which refer to diagnostic criteria stated by the Aspen Work Group (Giacino et al., 2002; whilst in the fourth group we describe a battery aimed to assess patients with severe cognitive deficits which are not yet evaluable with neuropsychological tests.

  18. Is Phenomenal Consciousness a Complex Structure?

    OpenAIRE

    Stieg, Chuck

    2004-01-01

    Evolutionary explanations of psychological phenomena have become widespread. This paper examines a recent attempt by Nichols and Grantham (2000) to circumvent the problem of epiphenomenalism in establishing the selective status of consciousness. Nichols and Grantham (2000) argue that a case can be made for the view that consciousness is an adaptation based on its complexity. I set out this argument and argue that it fails to establish that phenomenal consciousness is a complex system. It ...

  19. Consciousness and Attention: On sufficiency and necessity

    OpenAIRE

    Jeroen J A Van Boxtel; Naotsugu Tsuchiya; Naotsugu Tsuchiya; Christof Koch; Christof Koch; Christof Koch

    2010-01-01

    Recent research has slowly corroded a belief that selective attention and consciousness are so tightly entangled that they cannot be individually examined. In this review, we summarize psychophysical and neurophysiological evidence for a dissociation between top-down attention and consciousness. The evidence includes recent findings that show subjects can attend to perceptually invisible objects. More contentious is the finding that subjects can become conscious of an isolated object, or the...

  20. Brain, conscious experience and the observing self

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baars, Bernard J.; Ramsøy, Thomas; Laureys, Steven

    2003-01-01

    Conscious perception, like the sight of a coffee cup, seems to involve the brain identifying a stimulus. But conscious input activates more brain regions than are needed to identify coffee cups and faces. It spreads beyond sensory cortex to frontoparietal association areas, which do not serve...... as properties of the subject, rather than the object, of experience - the 'observing self' that appears to be needed to maintain the conscious state...

  1. A framework for investigating animal consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Droege, Paula; Braithwaite, Victoria A

    2015-01-01

    An assessment of consciousness in nonverbal animals requires a framework for research that extends testing methods beyond subjective report. This chapter proposes a working definition of consciousness in terms of temporal representation that provides the critical link between internal phenomenology and external behavior and neural structure. Our claim is that consciousness represents the present moment as distinct from the past and the future in order to flexibly respond to stimuli. We discuss behavioral and neural evidence that indicates the capacity for both flexible response and temporal representation, and we illustrate these capacities in fish, a taxonomic group that challenges human intuitions about consciousness.

  2. Consciousness Is a Thing, Not a Process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan Pockett

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The central dogma of cognitive psychology is ‘consciousness is a process, not a thing’. Hence, the main task of cognitive neuroscientists is generally seen as working out what kinds of neural processing are conscious and what kinds are not. I argue here that the central dogma is simply wrong. All neural processing is unconscious. The illusion that some of it is conscious results largely from a failure to separate consciousness per se from a number of unconscious processes that normally accompany it—most particularly focal attention. Conscious sensory experiences are not processes at all. They are things: specifically, spatial electromagnetic (EM patterns, which are presently generated only by ongoing unconscious processing at certain times and places in the mammalian brain, but which in principle could be generated by hardware rather than wetware. The neurophysiological mechanisms by which putatively conscious EM patterns are generated, the features that may distinguish conscious from unconscious patterns, the general principles that distinguish the conscious patterns of different sensory modalities and the general features that distinguish the conscious patterns of different experiences within any given sensory modality are all described. Suggestions for further development of this paradigm are provided.

  3. Science of consciousness and the hard problem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stapp, H.P.

    1996-05-22

    Quantum theory is essentially a rationally coherent theory of the interaction of mind and matter, and it allows our conscious thoughts to play a causally efficacious and necessary role in brain dynamics. It therefore provides a natural basis, created by scientists, for the science of consciousness. As an illustration it is explained how the interaction of brain and consciousness can speed up brain processing, and thereby enhance the survival prospects of conscious organisms, as compared to similar organisms that lack consciousness. As a second illustration it is explained how, within the quantum framework, the consciously experienced {open_quotes}I{close_quotes} directs the actions of a human being. It is concluded that contemporary science already has an adequate framework for incorporating causally efficacious experimential events into the physical universe in a manner that: (1) puts the neural correlates of consciousness into the theory in a well defined way, (2) explains in principle how the effects of consciousness, per se, can enhance the survival prospects of organisms that possess it, (3) allows this survival effect to feed into phylogenetic development, and (4) explains how the consciously experienced {open_quotes}I{close_quotes} can direct human behaviour.

  4. Consciousness and Attention: On sufficiency and necessity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeroen J A Van Boxtel

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Recent research has slowly corroded a belief that selective attention and consciousness are so tightly entangled that they cannot be individually examined. In this review, we summarize psychophysical and neurophysiological evidence for a dissociation between top-down attention and consciousness. The evidence includes recent findings that show subjects can attend to perceptually invisible objects. More contentious is the finding that subjects can become conscious of an isolated object, or the gist of the scene in the near absence of top-down attention; we critically re-examine the possibility of ‘complete’ absence of top-down attention. We also cover the recent flurry of studies that utilized independent manipulation of attention and consciousness. These studies have shown paradoxical effects of attention, including examples where top-down attention and consciousness have opposing effects, leading us to strengthen and revise our previous views. Neuroimaging studies with EEG, MEG and fMRI are uncovering the distinct neuronal correlates of selective attention and consciousness in dissociative paradigms. These findings point to a functional dissociation: attention as analyzer and consciousness as synthesizer. Separating the effects of selective visual attention from those of visual consciousness is of paramount importance to untangle the neural substrates of consciousness from those for attention.

  5. On the character of consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arto eAnnila

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The human brain is a particularly demanding system to infer its nature from observations. Thus, there is on one hand plenty of room for theorizing and on the other hand a pressing need for a rigorous theory. We apply statistical mechanics of open systems to describe the brain as a hierarchical system in consuming free energy in least time. This holistic tenet accounts for cellular metabolism, neuronal signaling, cognitive processes all together or any other process by a formal equation of motion that extends down to the ultimate precision of one quantum of action. According to this general thermodynamic theory cognitive processes are no different by their operational and organizational principle from other natural processes. Cognition too will emerge and evolve along path-dependent and non-determinate trajectories by consuming free energy in least time to attain thermodynamic balance within the nervous system itself and with its surrounding systems. Specifically, consciousness can be ascribed to a natural process that integrates various neural networks for coherent consumption of free energy, i.e., for meaningful deeds. The whole hierarchy of integrated systems can be formally summed up to thermodynamic entropy. The holistic tenet provides insight to the character of consciousness also by acknowledging awareness in other systems at other levels of nature’s hierarchy.

  6. Embodied mind and phenomenal consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria VENIERI

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, a central debate in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science concerns the role of the body in perception and cognition. For many contemporary philosophers, not only cognition but also perception is connected mainly with the brain, where the processing of input from the senses takes place; whereas for the proponents of ‘embodied cognition’ other aspects of the body beyond the brain, including the environment, play a constitutive role in cognitive processes. In terms of perception, a new theory has emerged which stresses percep‑ tion’s active character and claims that the embodied subject and the environment, with which it interacts, form a dynamic system. Supporters of ‘enactive perception’ such as Susan Hurley and Alva Noë maintain that the physical substrate or the supervenience basis of perceptual experience and phenomenal consciousness may include besides the brain and the nervous system other bodily and environmental features. Yet, it will be argued in this paper that the interaction between the subject and the environment forms a system of causal relations, so we can theoretically interfere in the causal chains and create hallucinations, which cannot be distinguished from veridical perception, or a virtual reality as in the film Matrix (1999. This kind of argument and its related thought experiments aim to stress the primacy of the brain in determining phenomenal states, and show that the body and certain interactions with the environment have a causal, but not a constitutive or essential role, in forming phenomenal consciousness.

  7. States of consciousness experimental insights into meditation, waking, sleep and dreams

    CERN Document Server

    Cvetkovic, Dean

    2011-01-01

    In this accessible overview of current knowledge, an expert team of editors and authors describe experimental approaches to consciousness. These approaches are shedding light on some of the hitherto unknown aspects of the distinct states of human consciousness, including the waking state, different states of sleep and dreaming, meditation and more. The book presents the latest research studies by the contributing authors, whose specialities span neuroscience, neurology, biomedical engineering, clinical psychology and psychophysiology, psychosocial medicine and anthropology. Overall this anthology provides the reader with a clear picture of how different states of consciousness can be defined, experimentally measured and analysed. A future byproduct of this knowledge may be anticipated in the development of systematic corrective treatments for many disorders and pathological problems of consciousness.

  8. Paradigm shift in consciousness research: the child's self-awareness and abnormalities in autism, ADHD and schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lou, Hans C

    2012-02-01

    Self-awareness is a pivotal component of any conscious experience and conscious self-regulation of behaviour. A paralimbic network is active, specific and causal in self-awareness. Its regions interact by gamma synchrony. Gamma synchrony develops throughout infancy, childhood and adolescence into adulthood and is regulated by dopamine and other neurotransmitters via GABA interneurons. Major derailments of this network and self-awareness occur in developmental disorders of conscious self-regulation like autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and schizophrenia. Recent research on conscious experience is no longer limited to the study of neural 'correlations' but is increasingly lending itself to the study of causality. This paradigm shift opens new perspectives for understanding the neural mechanisms of the developing self and the causal effects of their disturbance in developmental disorders. © 2011 The Author(s)/Acta Paediatrica © 2011 Foundation Acta Paediatrica.

  9. Interference Control Modulations Over Conscious Perception

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Itsaso Colás

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The relation between attention and consciousness has been a controversial topic over the last decade. Although there seems to be an agreement on their distinction at the functional level, no consensus has been reached about attentional processes being or not necessary for conscious perception. Previous studies have explored the relation of alerting and orienting systems of attention and conscious perception, but the impact of the anterior executive attention system on conscious access remains unexplored. In the present study, we investigated the behavioral interaction between executive attention and conscious perception, testing control mechanisms both at stimulus-level representation and after error commission. We presented a classical Stroop task, manipulating the proportion of congruent and incongruent trials, and analyzed the effect of reactive and proactive control on the conscious perception of near-threshold stimuli. Reactive control elicited under high proportion congruent conditions influenced participants’ decision criterion, whereas proactive control elicited under low proportion congruent conditions was ineffective in modulating conscious perception. In addition, error commission affected both perceptual sensitivity to detect near-threshold information and response criterion. These results suggest that reactivation of task goals through reactive control strategies in conflict situations impacts decision stages of conscious processing, whereas interference control elicited by error commission impacts both perceptual sensitivity and decision stages of conscious processing. We discuss the implications of our results for the gateway hypothesis about attention and consciousness, as they showed that interference control (both at stimulus-level representation and after error commission can modulate the conscious access of near-threshold stimuli.

  10. Neurochemical enhancement of conscious error awareness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hester, Robert; Nandam, L Sanjay; O'Connell, Redmond G; Wagner, Joe; Strudwick, Mark; Nathan, Pradeep J; Mattingley, Jason B; Bellgrove, Mark A

    2012-02-22

    How the brain monitors ongoing behavior for performance errors is a central question of cognitive neuroscience. Diminished awareness of performance errors limits the extent to which humans engage in corrective behavior and has been linked to loss of insight in a number of psychiatric syndromes (e.g., attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, drug addiction). These conditions share alterations in monoamine signaling that may influence the neural mechanisms underlying error processing, but our understanding of the neurochemical drivers of these processes is limited. We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over design of the influence of methylphenidate, atomoxetine, and citalopram on error awareness in 27 healthy participants. The error awareness task, a go/no-go response inhibition paradigm, was administered to assess the influence of monoaminergic agents on performance errors during fMRI data acquisition. A single dose of methylphenidate, but not atomoxetine or citalopram, significantly improved the ability of healthy volunteers to consciously detect performance errors. Furthermore, this behavioral effect was associated with a strengthening of activation differences in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and inferior parietal lobe during the methylphenidate condition for errors made with versus without awareness. Our results have implications for the understanding of the neurochemical underpinnings of performance monitoring and for the pharmacological treatment of a range of disparate clinical conditions that are marked by poor awareness of errors.

  11. Feminist consciousness and assertiveness in Ifeoma Okoye's ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Okoye is an African feminist who advocates feminist consciousness as a concept through which women can be enlightened for consciousness-raising, empowerment and assertiveness in her novels, Behind the Clouds and Chimere, while emphasizing education, economic independence and sisterhood as avenues for ...

  12. Unitary and Dual Models of Phenomenal Consciousness

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Marvan, Tomáš; Polák, M.

    -, č. 56 (2017), s. 1-12 ISSN 1053-8100 Institutional support: RVO:67985955 Keywords : phenomenal consciousness * David Rosenthal * what it is like * unconscious mind * theories fo consciousness Subject RIV: AA - Philosophy ; Religion OBOR OECD: Philosophy, History and Philosophy of science and technology Impact factor: 2.144, year: 2016

  13. Toward a computational theory of conscious processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dehaene, Stanislas; Charles, Lucie; King, Jean-Rémi; Marti, Sébastien

    2014-04-01

    The study of the mechanisms of conscious processing has become a productive area of cognitive neuroscience. Here we review some of the recent behavioral and neuroscience data, with the specific goal of constraining present and future theories of the computations underlying conscious processing. Experimental findings imply that most of the brain's computations can be performed in a non-conscious mode, but that conscious perception is characterized by an amplification, global propagation and integration of brain signals. A comparison of these data with major theoretical proposals suggests that firstly, conscious access must be carefully distinguished from selective attention; secondly, conscious perception may be likened to a non-linear decision that 'ignites' a network of distributed areas; thirdly, information which is selected for conscious perception gains access to additional computations, including temporary maintenance, global sharing, and flexible routing; and finally, measures of the complexity, long-distance correlation and integration of brain signals provide reliable indices of conscious processing, clinically relevant to patients recovering from coma. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Does perceptual learning require consciousness or attention?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meuwese, J.D.I.; Post, R.A.G.; Scholte, H.S.; Lamme, V.A.F.

    2013-01-01

    It has been proposed that visual attention and consciousness are separate [Koch, C., & Tsuchiya, N. Attention and consciousness:Two distinct brain processes. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 11, 16-22, 2007] and possibly even orthogonal processes [Lamme, V. A. F. Why visual attention and awareness are

  15. An integrative view on consciousness and introspection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Overgaard, Morten; Mogensen, Jesper

    2017-01-01

    The relation between first and higher order mental states is currently unknown. In particular, the relation between conscious experience and introspection is difficult as the same methods are used to investigate them. In order to make progress in the scientific understanding of consciousness...

  16. Music and Consciousness: A Continuing Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, David; Clarke, Eric

    2014-01-01

    If there is a topic on which the humanities might make a distinctive claim, it is that of consciousness--an essential aspect of human being. And within the humanities, music might make its own claims in relation to both consciousness and being human. To investigate this connection, David Clarke and Eric Clarke brought together a wide variety of…

  17. Insights on consciousness from taste memory research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallo, Milagros

    2016-01-01

    Taste research in rodents supports the relevance of memory in order to determine the content of consciousness by modifying both taste perception and later action. Associated with this issue is the fact that taste and visual modalities share anatomical circuits traditionally related to conscious memory. This challenges the view of taste memory as a type of non-declarative unconscious memory.

  18. Making CSB + -Trees Processor Conscious

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Samuel, Michael; Pedersen, Anders Uhl; Bonnet, Philippe

    2005-01-01

    of the CSB+-tree. We argue that it is necessary to consider a larger group of parameters in order to adapt CSB+-tree to processor architectures as different as Pentium and Itanium. We identify this group of parameters and study how it impacts the performance of CSB+-tree on Itanium 2. Finally, we propose......Cache-conscious indexes, such as CSB+-tree, are sensitive to the underlying processor architecture. In this paper, we focus on how to adapt the CSB+-tree so that it performs well on a range of different processor architectures. Previous work has focused on the impact of node size on the performance...... a systematic method for adapting CSB+-tree to new platforms. This work is a first step towards integrating CSB+-tree in MySQL’s heap storage manager....

  19. Neurodynamics of Cognition and Consciousness

    CERN Document Server

    Perlovsky, Leonid I

    2007-01-01

    This book addresses dynamical aspects of brain functions and cognition. Experimental evidence in humans and other mammalians indicates that complex neurodynamics is crucial for the emergence of higher-level cognition and consciousness. Dynamical neural systems with encoding in limit cycle and non-convergent attractors have gained increasing popularity in the past decade. The role of synchronization, desynchronization, and intermittent synchronization on cognition has been studied extensively by various authors, in particular by authors contributing to the present volume. This volume gives an overview of recent advances in this interdisciplinary field of cognitive and computer science related to dynamics of cognition, including experimental studies, dynamical modelling and interpretation of cognitive experiments, and theoretical approaches. The following topics are covered in this book: spatio-temporal dynamics of neural correlates of higher-level cognition; dynamical neural memories, including continuous and ...

  20. Tourette Syndrome and Consciousness of Action

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea E. Cavanna

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: Tourette syndrome (TS is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by the chronic presence of multiple motor tics and at least one vocal/phonic tic since childhood. Tics typically change and vary in both intensity and severity over time, with remission and exacerbation common. In the vast majority of patients, tic expression is characteristically accompanied by discomforting bodily sensations, known as sensory phenomena or premonitory urges.Methods: We reviewed the existing literature on premonitory urges associated with the sense of voluntariness of action in TS.Results: Although the wish to move is perceived by the patient as involuntary, the decision to release the tic is often perceived by the patient as a voluntary capitulation to the subjective urge. Most patients with TS can exert a degree of control over the urge and constantly try to inhibit the movement. Based on these features, it has been suggested that tics performed in response to an urge to move should be classified as ‘unvoluntary’, as opposed to voluntary or involuntary acts. However, recent experimental data suggest that the brain areas involved in the generation of the wish to act show considerable overlap between healthy subjects and patients with TS.Discussion: The simultaneous presence of both voluntary and involuntary aspects in the expression of tic symptoms by patients with TS is consistent with the hypothesis that tics can have the same neurophysiologic substrate as voluntary acts, even though they are misperceived as being involuntary. This reinforces the view of TS as a hyperkinetic movement disorder primarily affecting the conscious experience of action.

  1. Publication trends in neuroimaging of minimally conscious states

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alex Garnett

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available We used existing and customized bibliometric and scientometric methods to analyze publication trends in neuroimaging research of minimally conscious states and describe the domain in terms of its geographic, contributor, and content features. We considered publication rates for the years 2002–2011, author interconnections, the rate at which new authors are added, and the domains that inform the work of author contributors. We also provided a content analysis of clinical and ethical themes within the relevant literature. We found a 27% growth in the number of papers over the period of study, professional diversity among a wide range of peripheral author contributors but only few authors who dominate the field, and few new technical paradigms and clinical themes that would fundamentally expand the landscape. The results inform both the science of consciousness as well as parallel ethics and policy studies of the potential for translational challenges of neuroimaging in research and health care of people with disordered states of consciousness.

  2. INTERACTION OF EUROPEAN AND RUSSIAN LEGAL CONSCIOUSNESS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Tyrtyshny

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available This article provides an overview of certain ideologemes of Western (European and Russian legal consciousness – prominent works of Ivan Ilyin and Duncan Kennedy are taken as examples. The article analyzes the tabula rasa principle and its place in legal consciousness. We use legal scholarship, judicial practice and opinion polls to examine the relationship between legal consciousness and the lack of trust in Russian courts, as well as their inefficiency from the point of view of public opinion. There are a number of shocking cases of torture of innocent people by the Russian police. Why is this so? The answer lies in the legal consciousness of police officers and of judges. This is something that has been inherited from the Soviet period. It is completely different from the Western legal consciousness, one of the key features of which is denial of authority. The critical legal studies branch of American legal realism almost denies the very existence of law, and, perhaps for this reason, American culture is less open to abuses like torture. At the same time, there is no possibility to shift legal consciousness immediately, the tabula rasa principle does not work. The final objective of the article is to provide a perspective on the reform of higher legal education and its relation to legal consciousness and legal anthropology. We propose that a greater part of the university curriculum is devoted to legal anthropology.

  3. A narrative method for consciousness research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz, José-Luis

    2013-01-01

    Some types of first-person narrations of mental processes that constitute phenomenological accounts and texts, such as internal monolog statements, epitomize the best expressions and representations of human consciousness available and therefore may be used to model phenomenological streams of consciousness. The type of autonomous monolog in which an author or narrator declares actual mental processes in a think aloud manner seems particularly suitable for modeling streams of consciousness. A narrative method to extract and depict conscious processes, operations, contents, and states from an acceptable phenomenological text would require three subsequent steps: operational criteria for producing and/or selecting a phenomenological text, a system for detecting text items that are indicative of conscious contents and processes, and a procedure for representing such items in formal dynamic system devices such as Petri nets. The requirements and restrictions of each of these steps are presented, analyzed, and applied to phenomenological texts in the following manner: (1) the relevance of introspective language and narrative analyses to consciousness research and the idea that specific narratives are of paramount interest for such investigation is justified; (2) some of the obstacles and constraints to attain plausible consciousness inferences from narrative texts and the methodological requirements to extract and depict items relevant to consciousness contents and operations from a suitable phenomenological text are examined; (3) a preliminary exercise of the proposed method is used to analyze and chart a classical interior monolog excerpted from James Joyce’s Ulysses, a masterpiece of the stream-of-consciousness literary technique and, finally, (4) an inter-subjective evaluation for inter-observer agreement of mental attributions of another phenomenological text (an excerpt from the Intimate Journal of Miguel de Unamuno) is presented using some mathematical tools

  4. Consciousness: a unique way of processing information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchetti, Giorgio

    2018-02-08

    In this article, I argue that consciousness is a unique way of processing information, in that: it produces information, rather than purely transmitting it; the information it produces is meaningful for us; the meaning it has is always individuated. This uniqueness allows us to process information on the basis of our personal needs and ever-changing interactions with the environment, and consequently to act autonomously. Three main basic cognitive processes contribute to realize this unique way of information processing: the self, attention and working memory. The self, which is primarily expressed via the central and peripheral nervous systems, maps our body, the environment, and our relations with the environment. It is the primary means by which the complexity inherent to our composite structure is reduced into the "single voice" of a unique individual. It provides a reference system that (albeit evolving) is sufficiently stable to define the variations that will be used as the raw material for the construction of conscious information. Attention allows for the selection of those variations in the state of the self that are most relevant in the given situation. Attention originates and is deployed from a single locus inside our body, which represents the center of the self, around which all our conscious experiences are organized. Whatever is focused by attention appears in our consciousness as possessing a spatial quality defined by this center and the direction toward which attention is focused. In addition, attention determines two other features of conscious experience: periodicity and phenomenal quality. Self and attention are necessary but not sufficient for conscious information to be produced. Complex forms of conscious experiences, such as the various modes of givenness of conscious experience and the stream of consciousness, need a working memory mechanism to assemble the basic pieces of information selected by attention.

  5. A narrative method for consciousness research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José-Luis eDíaz

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Some types of first person narrations of mental processes that constitute phenomenological parliaments and texts, such as internal monologue statements, epitomize the best expressions and representations of human consciousness available and therefore may be used to model phenomenological streams of consciousness. The type of autonomous monologue in which an author or narrator declares actual mental processes in a think aloud manner seems particularly suitable for modeling streams of consciousness. A narrative method to extract and depict conscious processes, operations, contents, and states from an acceptable phenomenological text would require three subsequent steps: operational criteria for producing and/or selecting a phenomenological text, a system for detecting text items that are indicative of conscious contents and processes, and a procedure for representing such items in formal dynamic system devices such as Petri nets. The requirements and restrictions of each of these steps are presented, analyzed, and applied to phenomenological texts in the following manner: (1 The relevance of introspective language and narrative analyses to consciousness research and the idea that specific narratives are of paramount interest for such investigation is justified; (2 Some of the obstacles and constraints to attain plausible consciousness inferences from narrative texts and the methodological requirements to extract and depict items relevant to consciousness contents and operations from a suitable phenomenological text are examined; (3 A preliminary exercise of the proposed method is used to analyze and chart a classical interior monologue excerpted from James Joyce’s Ulysses, a masterpiece of the stream-of-consciousness literary technique and, finally, an inter-subjective evaluation for inter-observer agreement of mental attributions of another phenomenological text (an excerpt from the Intimate Journal of Miguel de Unamuno is presented using some

  6. A narrative method for consciousness research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz, José-Luis

    2013-01-01

    Some types of first-person narrations of mental processes that constitute phenomenological accounts and texts, such as internal monolog statements, epitomize the best expressions and representations of human consciousness available and therefore may be used to model phenomenological streams of consciousness. The type of autonomous monolog in which an author or narrator declares actual mental processes in a think aloud manner seems particularly suitable for modeling streams of consciousness. A narrative method to extract and depict conscious processes, operations, contents, and states from an acceptable phenomenological text would require three subsequent steps: operational criteria for producing and/or selecting a phenomenological text, a system for detecting text items that are indicative of conscious contents and processes, and a procedure for representing such items in formal dynamic system devices such as Petri nets. The requirements and restrictions of each of these steps are presented, analyzed, and applied to phenomenological texts in the following manner: (1) the relevance of introspective language and narrative analyses to consciousness research and the idea that specific narratives are of paramount interest for such investigation is justified; (2) some of the obstacles and constraints to attain plausible consciousness inferences from narrative texts and the methodological requirements to extract and depict items relevant to consciousness contents and operations from a suitable phenomenological text are examined; (3) a preliminary exercise of the proposed method is used to analyze and chart a classical interior monolog excerpted from James Joyce's Ulysses, a masterpiece of the stream-of-consciousness literary technique and, finally, (4) an inter-subjective evaluation for inter-observer agreement of mental attributions of another phenomenological text (an excerpt from the Intimate Journal of Miguel de Unamuno) is presented using some mathematical tools.

  7. Conscious motor processing and movement self-consciousness: two dimensions of personality that influence laparoscopic training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malhotra, Neha; Poolton, Jamie M; Wilson, Mark R; Fan, Joe K M; Masters, Rich S W

    2014-01-01

    Identifying personality factors that account for individual differences in surgical training and performance has practical implications for surgical education. Movement-specific reinvestment is a potentially relevant personality factor that has a moderating effect on laparoscopic performance under time pressure. Movement-specific reinvestment has 2 dimensions, which represent an individual's propensity to consciously control movements (conscious motor processing) or to consciously monitor their 'style' of movement (movement self-consciousness). This study aimed at investigating the moderating effects of the 2 dimensions of movement-specific reinvestment in the learning and updating (cross-handed technique) of laparoscopic skills. Medical students completed the Movement-Specific Reinvestment Scale, a psychometric assessment tool that evaluates the conscious motor processing and movement self-consciousness dimensions of movement-specific reinvestment. They were then trained to a criterion level of proficiency on a fundamental laparoscopic skills task and were tested on a novel cross-handed technique. Completion times were recorded for early-learning, late-learning, and cross-handed trials. Propensity for movement self-consciousness but not conscious motor processing was a significant predictor of task completion times both early (p = 0.036) and late (p = 0.002) in learning, but completion times during the cross-handed trials were predicted by the propensity for conscious motor processing (p = 0.04) rather than movement self-consciousness (p = 0.21). Higher propensity for movement self-consciousness is associated with slower performance times on novel and well-practiced laparoscopic tasks. For complex surgical techniques, however, conscious motor processing plays a more influential role in performance than movement self-consciousness. The findings imply that these 2 dimensions of movement-specific reinvestment have a differential influence in the learning and updating

  8. Body conscious? Interoceptive awareness, measured by heartbeat perception, is negatively correlated with self-objectification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ainley, Vivien; Tsakiris, Manos

    2013-01-01

    'Self-objectification' is the tendency to experience one's body principally as an object, to be evaluated for its appearance rather than for its effectiveness. Within objectification theory, it has been proposed that self-objectification accounts for the poorer interoceptive awareness observed in women, as measured by heartbeat perception. Our study is, we believe, the first specifically to test this relationship. Using a well-validated and reliable heartbeat perception task, we measured interoceptive awareness in women and compared this with their scores on the Self-Objectification Questionnaire, the Self-Consciousness Scale and the Body Consciousness Questionnaire. Interoceptive awareness was negatively correlated with self-objectification. Interoceptive awareness, public body consciousness and private body consciousness together explained 31% of the variance in self-objectification. However, private body consciousness was not significantly correlated with interoceptive awareness, which may explain the many nonsignificant results in self-objectification studies that have used private body consciousness as a measure of body awareness. We propose interoceptive awareness, assessed by heartbeat perception, as a measure of body awareness in self-objectification studies. Our findings have implications for those clinical conditions, in women, which are characterised by self-objectification and low interoceptive awareness, such as eating disorders.

  9. Body conscious? Interoceptive awareness, measured by heartbeat perception, is negatively correlated with self-objectification.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vivien Ainley

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: 'Self-objectification' is the tendency to experience one's body principally as an object, to be evaluated for its appearance rather than for its effectiveness. Within objectification theory, it has been proposed that self-objectification accounts for the poorer interoceptive awareness observed in women, as measured by heartbeat perception. Our study is, we believe, the first specifically to test this relationship. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using a well-validated and reliable heartbeat perception task, we measured interoceptive awareness in women and compared this with their scores on the Self-Objectification Questionnaire, the Self-Consciousness Scale and the Body Consciousness Questionnaire. Interoceptive awareness was negatively correlated with self-objectification. Interoceptive awareness, public body consciousness and private body consciousness together explained 31% of the variance in self-objectification. However, private body consciousness was not significantly correlated with interoceptive awareness, which may explain the many nonsignificant results in self-objectification studies that have used private body consciousness as a measure of body awareness. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We propose interoceptive awareness, assessed by heartbeat perception, as a measure of body awareness in self-objectification studies. Our findings have implications for those clinical conditions, in women, which are characterised by self-objectification and low interoceptive awareness, such as eating disorders.

  10. Industrial Application Of Environmentally Conscious Design

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    McAloone, Timothy Charles

    in the design process is key to environmentally conscious design;- the environmental profile of a product is affected the most in the very early stages of the design process, particularly in the pre-specification stage, where tools for environmentally conscious design decision-making are lacking...... when companies have integrated environmental considerations into the design process.In the context of advanced practitioners of environmentally conscious design in the Western European and North American electrical/electronics industry sector, it is shown that:- the timing of environmental decisions...... into their product development processes. This starts with motivation, leading to widening communication and information flows and finally to whole-life thinking....

  11. The cognitive approach to conscious machines

    CERN Document Server

    Haikonen, Pentti O

    2003-01-01

    Could a machine have an immaterial mind? The author argues that true conscious machines can be built, but rejects artificial intelligence and classical neural networks in favour of the emulation of the cognitive processes of the brain-the flow of inner speech, inner imagery and emotions. This results in a non-numeric meaning-processing machine with distributed information representation and system reactions. It is argued that this machine would be conscious; it would be aware of its own existence and its mental content and perceive this as immaterial. Novel views on consciousness and the mind-

  12. Nabokov's impressionistic expression of free consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lončar-Vujnović Mirjana

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The most interesting thing about Nabokov's narrative technique is the way in which he always manages to impress the presence of the implied author on the reader's consciousness without making direct intrusion intonation. Narration through the confined consciousness of an individual is really, it seems, only a springboard for Nabokov. He takes an impressionistic device (consciously or unconsciously, it makes no difference and pushes it to its limits without technically violating the point of view to which he has committed himself.

  13. Science of the conscious mind.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ascoli, Giorgio A; Samsonovich, Alexei V

    2008-12-01

    Human beings have direct access to their own mental states, but can only indirectly observe cosmic radiation and enzyme kinetics. Why then can we measure the temperature of far away galaxies and the activation constant of kinases to the third digit, yet we only gauge our happiness on a scale from 1 to 7? Here we propose a radical research paradigm shift to embrace the subjective conscious mind into the realm of objective empirical science. Key steps are the axiomatic acceptance of first-person experiences as scientific observables; the definition of a quantitative, reliable metric system based on natural language; and the careful distinction of subjective mental states (e.g., interpretation and intent) from physically measurable sensory and motor behaviors (input and output). Using this approach, we propose a series of reproducible experiments that may help define a still largely unexplored branch of science. We speculate that the development of this new discipline will be initially parallel to, and eventually converging with, neurobiology and physics.

  14. Self-consciousness and binge eating in college women : an escape from rumination?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dalley, Simon; Donofrio, Stacey

    2014-01-01

    Background: Binge-eating is a highly distressing symptom that has been found to co-occur with other symptoms of eating disorders such as bulimia nervosa. One perspective of binge eating is that it is an attempt to escape high levels of aversive self-consciousness. A primary aim of this study is to

  15. Proneness to Self-Conscious Emotions in Adults with and without Autism Traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, Denise; Vanegas, Sandra B.; Hilvert, Elizabeth

    2017-01-01

    Self-conscious emotions, such as shame, guilt and pride, facilitate our social interactions by motivating us to adhere to social norms and external standards. In this study, we examined proneness to shame, guilt, hubristic pride and authentic pride in adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder traits (ASD-T) and in neurotypical (NT) adults. Relations…

  16. Automated EEG entropy measurements in coma, vegetative state/unresponsive wakefulness syndrome and minimally conscious state

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gosseries, Olivia; Schnakers, Caroline; Ledoux, Didier; Vanhaudenhuyse, Audrey; Bruno, Marie-Aurélie; Demertzi, Athéna; Noirhomme, Quentin; Lehembre, Rémy; Damas, Pierre; Goldman, Serge; Peeters, Erika; Moonen, Gustave; Laureys, Steven

    Summary Monitoring the level of consciousness in brain-injured patients with disorders of consciousness is crucial as it provides diagnostic and prognostic information. Behavioral assessment remains the gold standard for assessing consciousness but previous studies have shown a high rate of misdiagnosis. This study aimed to investigate the usefulness of electroencephalography (EEG) entropy measurements in differentiating unconscious (coma or vegetative) from minimally conscious patients. Left fronto-temporal EEG recordings (10-minute resting state epochs) were prospectively obtained in 56 patients and 16 age-matched healthy volunteers. Patients were assessed in the acute (≤1 month post-injury; n=29) or chronic (>1 month post-injury; n=27) stage. The etiology was traumatic in 23 patients. Automated online EEG entropy calculations (providing an arbitrary value ranging from 0 to 91) were compared with behavioral assessments (Coma Recovery Scale-Revised) and outcome. EEG entropy correlated with Coma Recovery Scale total scores (r=0.49). Mean EEG entropy values were higher in minimally conscious (73±19; mean and standard deviation) than in vegetative/unresponsive wakefulness syndrome patients (45±28). Receiver operating characteristic analysis revealed an entropy cut-off value of 52 differentiating acute unconscious from minimally conscious patients (sensitivity 89% and specificity 90%). In chronic patients, entropy measurements offered no reliable diagnostic information. EEG entropy measurements did not allow prediction of outcome. User-independent time-frequency balanced spectral EEG entropy measurements seem to constitute an interesting diagnostic – albeit not prognostic – tool for assessing neural network complexity in disorders of consciousness in the acute setting. Future studies are needed before using this tool in routine clinical practice, and these should seek to improve automated EEG quantification paradigms in order to reduce the remaining false

  17. The entropic brain: a theory of conscious states informed by neuroimaging research with psychedelic drugs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carhart-Harris, Robin L.; Leech, Robert; Hellyer, Peter J.; Shanahan, Murray; Feilding, Amanda; Tagliazucchi, Enzo; Chialvo, Dante R.; Nutt, David

    2014-01-01

    Entropy is a dimensionless quantity that is used for measuring uncertainty about the state of a system but it can also imply physical qualities, where high entropy is synonymous with high disorder. Entropy is applied here in the context of states of consciousness and their associated neurodynamics, with a particular focus on the psychedelic state. The psychedelic state is considered an exemplar of a primitive or primary state of consciousness that preceded the development of modern, adult, human, normal waking consciousness. Based on neuroimaging data with psilocybin, a classic psychedelic drug, it is argued that the defining feature of “primary states” is elevated entropy in certain aspects of brain function, such as the repertoire of functional connectivity motifs that form and fragment across time. Indeed, since there is a greater repertoire of connectivity motifs in the psychedelic state than in normal waking consciousness, this implies that primary states may exhibit “criticality,” i.e., the property of being poised at a “critical” point in a transition zone between order and disorder where certain phenomena such as power-law scaling appear. Moreover, if primary states are critical, then this suggests that entropy is suppressed in normal waking consciousness, meaning that the brain operates just below criticality. It is argued that this entropy suppression furnishes normal waking consciousness with a constrained quality and associated metacognitive functions, including reality-testing and self-awareness. It is also proposed that entry into primary states depends on a collapse of the normally highly organized activity within the default-mode network (DMN) and a decoupling between the DMN and the medial temporal lobes (which are normally significantly coupled). These hypotheses can be tested by examining brain activity and associated cognition in other candidate primary states such as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and early psychosis and comparing

  18. The merit of synesthesia for consciousness research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tessa Marije Van Leeuwen

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Synesthesia is a phenomenon in which additional perceptual experiences are elicited by sensory stimuli or cognitive concepts. Synesthetes possess a unique type of phenomenal experiences not directly triggered by sensory stimulation. Therefore, for better understanding of consciousness it is relevant to identify the mental and physiological processes that subserve synesthetic experience. In the present work we suggest several reasons why synesthesia has merit for research on consciousness. We first review the research on the dynamic and rapidly growing field of the studies of synesthesia. We particularly draw attention to the role of semantics in synesthesia, which is important for establishing synesthetic associations in the brain. We then propose that the interplay between semantics and sensory input in synesthesia can be helpful for the study of the neural correlates of consciousness, especially when making use of ambiguous stimuli for inducing synesthesia. Finally, synesthesia-related alterations of brain networks and functional connectivity can be of merit for the study of consciousness.

  19. The merit of synesthesia for consciousness research

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leeuwen, T.M. van; Singer, W.; Nikolic, D.

    2015-01-01

    Synesthesia is a phenomenon in which additional perceptual experiences are elicited by sensory stimuli or cognitive concepts. Synesthetes possess a unique type of phenomenal experiences not directly triggered by sensory stimulation. Therefore, for better understanding of consciousness it is relevant

  20. Reflective self-awareness and conscious states

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjaer, Troels W; Nowak, Markus; Lou, Hans C

    2002-01-01

    A recent meta-analysis has shown precuneus, angular gyri, anterior cingulate gyri, and adjacent structures to be highly metabolically active in support of resting consciousness. We hypothesize that these regions constitute a functional network of reflective self-awareness thought to be a core...... function of consciousness. Seven normal volunteers were asked to think intensely on how they would describe the personality traits and physical appearance of themselves and a neutral reference person known to all the subjects (the Danish Queen). During each of the four conditions cerebral blood flow...... during reflective self-awareness. The commonality between the neural networks of the resting conscious state and self-awareness reflects the phenomenological concept of a fundamental contribution of reflective self-awareness to the contents and coherence of the conscious state....

  1. Converging intracranial markers of conscious access.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raphaël Gaillard

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available We compared conscious and nonconscious processing of briefly flashed words using a visual masking procedure while recording intracranial electroencephalogram (iEEG in ten patients. Nonconscious processing of masked words was observed in multiple cortical areas, mostly within an early time window (<300 ms, accompanied by induced gamma-band activity, but without coherent long-distance neural activity, suggesting a quickly dissipating feedforward wave. In contrast, conscious processing of unmasked words was characterized by the convergence of four distinct neurophysiological markers: sustained voltage changes, particularly in prefrontal cortex, large increases in spectral power in the gamma band, increases in long-distance phase synchrony in the beta range, and increases in long-range Granger causality. We argue that all of those measures provide distinct windows into the same distributed state of conscious processing. These results have a direct impact on current theoretical discussions concerning the neural correlates of conscious access.

  2. Concepts are not represented by conscious imagery

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    D. Pecher (Diane); S. van Dantzig (Saskia); H.N.J. Schifferstien (Hendrik)

    2009-01-01

    textabstractAccording to theories of grounded cognition, conceptual representation and perception share processing mechanisms. We investigated whether this overlap is due to conscious perceptual imagery. Participants filled out questionnaires to assess the vividness of their imagery (Questionnaire

  3. Brain Endogenous Feedback and Degrees of Consciousness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carrara-Augustenborg, Claudia; Pereira Jr., Alfredo

    2012-01-01

    dependent on the previous state of their interaction domain. We also explain complex processes occurring below the threshold of awareness as those that deploy the brain’s computational resources, although without producing resonant states of sufficient magnitude to determine the individual´s overt...... acknowledgment. Finally, our model affords a plausible account of phenomenal and self-consciousness which, by resting at the outskirts of reportable cognitive activity, traditionally compound the 'hard problem' of consciousness....

  4. The Measurement of Consciousness: A Framework for the Scientific Study of Consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David eGamez

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Scientists studying consciousness are attempting to identify correlations between measurements of consciousness and the physical world. Consciousness can only be measured through first-person reports, which raises problems about the accuracy of first-person reports, the possibility of non-reportable consciousness and the causal closure of the physical world. Many of these issues could be resolved by assuming that consciousness is entirely physical or functional. However, this would sacrifice the theory-neutrality that is a key attraction of a correlates-based approach to the study of consciousness. This paper puts forward a different solution that uses a framework of definitions and assumptions to explain how consciousness can be measured. This addresses the problems associated with first-person reports and avoids the issues with the causal closure of the physical world. This framework is compatible with most of the current theories of consciousness and it leads to a distinction between two types of correlates of consciousness.

  5. Intuitive decisions on the fringes of consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark C. Price

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Decision making research often dichotomises between more deliberative, cognitive processes and more heuristic, intuitive and emotional processes. We argue that within this two-systems framework (e.g., Kahneman, 2002 there is ambiguity over how to map the System 1/System 2 axis, and the notion of intuitive processing, onto the distinction between conscious and non-conscious processes. However the convergent concepts of experience-based metacognitive judgements (Koriat, 2007 and of fringe consciousness (Mangan, 1993 can clarify intuitive processing as an informative extit{conscious feeling} without conscious access to the antecedents of the feeling. We stress that these intuitive feelings can be used to guide behaviour in a controlled and contextually sensitive manner that would not be permitted by purely non-conscious influences on behaviour. An outline is provided for how to empirically recognise these intuitive feelings. This is illustrated with an example from research on implicit learning where intuitive feelings may play an important role in peoples' decisions and judgements. Finally we suggest that our approach to understanding intuitive feelings softens rather than reinforces the two-systems dichotomy.

  6. Environmentalism and typological characteristics of globalistion consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roman M. Kolisnichenko

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Analyzed anthropo-saving and environmental-depth approaches to understanding the essence environmentalism. The definition of environmentalism as global environmental trends that recognizes the intrinsic value of the natural world, all its elements and aims to rescue mankind from global environmental threats by achieving a sustainable balance of planetary ecosystems, the proper state of the environment and harmonious development of man and nature. Developed the typology of globalization consciousness attitude to solving global problems in the relationship between man and nature. The main types globalistion consciousness, as the growth of thrift in relation to nature, located in the following sequence: ecodestructive, anthropocentric, ecoconsumerist, ecotraditional, environmental, sacred-ethical, naturecentric and antropofobiastic. Developing a typology of globalistion consciousness above criteria also highlighted its neutral type. Proved that environmental globalistion consciousness is environmentally oriented system of ideas that reflect solutions to global environmental problems in accordance with the principles environmentalism. This type of consciousness globalistion a high degree of awareness of global environmental problems, persistent desire to implement effective methods of humane solution, the optimal it is due, the need to maximize the spread of population. It is concluded that the formation environmental globalistion consciousness as a prerequisite for saving humanity from self created global environmental threats can be greatly accelerated by the terms of the assistance of governments, the media, educational institutions, political parties, public organizations and other institutions of political socialization.

  7. Is Your Gut Conscious? Is an Extraterrestrial?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vos Post, Jonathan

    2011-10-01

    This paper speculates on questions intending to be taken scientifically rather than metaphysically: "Can the human gut (enteric nervous system) be conscious?"; "Can your immune system think?"; "Could consciousness be coded in DNA?"; "What do we mean when asserting that an Extraterrestrial is Thinking, or is Conscious? We explore through reference to theory, experiment, and computational models by Christof Koch (Caltech), Barbara Wold (Caltech), and Stuart Kauffman (University of Calgary, Tampere University of Technology, Santa Fe Institute). We use a tentative new definition of thinking, designed to be applicable for humans, cetecea, corvids, artificial intelligences, and extraterrestrial intelligences of any substrate (i.e. Life as We Do Not Know It): "Thinking is the occurrence, transformation, and storage in a mind or brain (or simulation thereof) of information-bearing structures (representations) of one kind or another, such as thoughts, concept, percepts, ideas, impressions, notions, rules, schemas, images, phantasms, or subpersonal representations." We use the framework for Consciousness developed by Francis Crick and Christof Koch. We try to describe scientific goals, but discuss Philosophy sufficient to avoid naïve philosophical category errors (thus are careful not to conflate thought, consciousness, and language) Penrose, Hameroff, and Kauffman speculate (differently) that CNS consciousness is a macroscopic quantum phenomenon. Might intestinal, immune system, or genetic regulatory network dynamics exhibit emergent cooperative quantum effects? The speculations are in the context of Evolution by Natural Selection, presumed to operate throughout the Cosmos, and recent work in the foundations of Computational Biology and Quantum Mechanics.

  8. George Herbert Mead on consciousness: antidote to Cartesian absurdities?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Willert, Søren

    The article explicates George Herbert Mead's theory of consciousness as presented in Mind, Self and Society. According to Mead, the term consciousness may refer to three different sets of phenomena: (1) the environment as implied by our goal-directed action; Mead names this consciousness aspect...... experience; it is shared by humans and subhuman animals alike; (2) consciousness of environmental experience; Mead names this consciousness aspect awareness; it is exclusively human; (3) the peculiar sensed qualities attaching to consciousness, equalling what is today named qualia. Descartes......-inspired psychology makes the third consciousness aspect all-important. Within Mead's framework for a darwinistically inspired psycholgy, it becomes theoretically insignificant....

  9. Does perceptual learning require consciousness or attention?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meuwese, Julia D I; Post, Ruben A G; Scholte, H Steven; Lamme, Victor A F

    2013-10-01

    It has been proposed that visual attention and consciousness are separate [Koch, C., & Tsuchiya, N. Attention and consciousness: Two distinct brain processes. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 11, 16-22, 2007] and possibly even orthogonal processes [Lamme, V. A. F. Why visual attention and awareness are different. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 7, 12-18, 2003]. Attention and consciousness converge when conscious visual percepts are attended and hence become available for conscious report. In such a view, a lack of reportability can have two causes: the absence of attention or the absence of a conscious percept. This raises an important question in the field of perceptual learning. It is known that learning can occur in the absence of reportability [Gutnisky, D. A., Hansen, B. J., Iliescu, B. F., & Dragoi, V. Attention alters visual plasticity during exposure-based learning. Current Biology, 19, 555-560, 2009; Seitz, A. R., Kim, D., & Watanabe, T. Rewards evoke learning of unconsciously processed visual stimuli in adult humans. Neuron, 61, 700-707, 2009; Seitz, A. R., & Watanabe, T. Is subliminal learning really passive? Nature, 422, 36, 2003; Watanabe, T., Náñez, J. E., & Sasaki, Y. Perceptual learning without perception. Nature, 413, 844-848, 2001], but it is unclear which of the two ingredients-consciousness or attention-is not necessary for learning. We presented textured figure-ground stimuli and manipulated reportability either by masking (which only interferes with consciousness) or with an inattention paradigm (which only interferes with attention). During the second session (24 hr later), learning was assessed neurally and behaviorally, via differences in figure-ground ERPs and via a detection task. Behavioral and neural learning effects were found for stimuli presented in the inattention paradigm and not for masked stimuli. Interestingly, the behavioral learning effect only became apparent when performance feedback was given on the task to measure learning

  10. Parameters of measuring of european political consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. M. Pikula

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available In the article the author analyzes the parameters of European political consciousness, i.e. European research field of political consciousness in qualitative and quantitative terms, which may be based on different indicators. The issue of emergence and development of European political consciousness becomes topical because firstly, its formation as the subjective dimension of European integration policy is not a spontaneous process and, secondly, European integration is carried out not only from the top but from the bottom, requiring deliberate interference of the public with the process; the public possesses the formed European political consciousness. Since the latter is a specific mental construct, the author offers to apply the triad «criteria ­ parameters – indicators». The characteristic that makes it possible to evaluate certain processes or phenomena in the system of Europeanness / Europeanism and specifies the quality system of views and opinions, which are realized in European behavior, is considered to be the criterion of European political consciousness. The European political consciousness parameters are seen to include the relevant historical memory, trends of public opinion and awareness regarding the European Union and position of its members in the European integration process, including the assessment of the existence and development of the EU; knowledge and views on the main EU institutions, assessing the importance of the main institutions of the EU and trust in them; a positive vision for the future of the European Union etc. The author considers the performance and objective characteristics and dimensions, including positive correlation of national and European levels of identity (European identity and European behavior to be the indicatiors of European political awareness. On the basis of these indicators the control of the condition and trends of European political consciousness development will be carried out.

  11. Phenomenology without conscious access is a form of consciousness without top-down attention

    OpenAIRE

    Koch, Christof; Tsuchiya, Naotsugu

    2007-01-01

    We agree with Block's basic hypothesis postulating the existence of phenomenal consciousness without cognitive access. We explain such states in terms of consciousness without top-down, endogenous attention and speculate that their correlates may be a coalition of neurons that are consigned to the back of cortex, without access to working memory and planning in frontal cortex.

  12. Coherence in consciousness: paralimbic gamma synchrony of self-reference links conscious experiences

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lou, Hans C; Gross, Joachim; Biermann-Ruben, Katja

    2010-01-01

    . In minimal self-reference subjective experiences are self-aware in the weak sense that there is something it feels like for the subject to experience something. In autonoetic consciousness, consciousness emerges, by definition, by retrieval of memories of personally experienced events (episodic memory...

  13. The neurochemical correlate of consciousness: exploring neurotransmitter systems underlying conscious vision

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Loon, A.M.

    2014-01-01

    How and where does our brain integrated the information that we get into our eyes into a unifying percept and into a conscious experience? Although different neural correlates of consciousness (NCC) have been proposed, depending on the kind of neural signals recorded, the type of manipulation used,

  14. Proneness to Self-Conscious Emotions in Adults With and Without Autism Traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, Denise; Vanegas, Sandra B; Hilvert, Elizabeth

    2017-11-01

    Self-conscious emotions, such as shame, guilt and pride, facilitate our social interactions by motivating us to adhere to social norms and external standards. In this study, we examined proneness to shame, guilt, hubristic pride and authentic pride in adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder traits (ASD-T) and in neurotypical (NT) adults. Relations between proneness to self-conscious emotions and theory of mind (ToM), fear of negative evaluation, and social functioning were also assessed. Adults with ASD-T showed greater proneness to shame, and less proneness to guilt and pride than NT adults. Both ToM and fear of negative evaluation predicted proneness to self-conscious emotions in ASD-T. These findings are discussed in terms of understanding complex emotion processing in adults with ASD-T.

  15. Investigating the correlation between computerized tomography changes and quantitative consciousness disturbances in stroke patients

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Toneva, Yu.; Manchev, I.; Tsolova, M.

    1997-01-01

    One-hundred and nine patients undergo computerized tomographic (CT) and clinical investigations. The correlation between CT finding and quantitative consciousness disturbances has been studied. The somatic, neurologic and mental states are evaluated, and the changes in consciousness are classified according to a 4-degree rating system adopted in this country, namely: obnubilation, somnolence, sopor and coma. For the purpose a computerized tomograph CE 10000 is used. Cerebral infarctions in the right middle cerebral artery pool predominate. Here the disturbances are of a milder degree - obnubilation and somnolence. In stroke syndrome cases the states of sopor and coma are more frequent which may be explained with the rather severely manifested brain edema. In either form of cerebrovascular disease the quantitative disorders of consciousness are not dependent on the location of the accident in the dominant hemisphere. They are directly related to the CT documented size of pathological focus

  16. Measuring the level and content of consciousness during epileptic seizures: the Ictal Consciousness Inventory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavanna, A E; Mula, M; Servo, S; Strigaro, G; Tota, G; Barbagli, D; Collimedaglia, L; Viana, M; Cantello, R; Monaco, F

    2008-07-01

    Ictal alterations of the level of general awareness and subjective content of consciousness play a pivotal role in the clinical phenomenology of epilepsy, and reflect the pathological involvement of different neurobiological substrates. However, no self-reported measures have been proposed for patients experiencing altered conscious states during seizures. This study describes the development and validation of a new scale for the quantitative assessment of the level and content of ictal consciousness, the Ictal Consciousness Inventory (ICI). The ICI is a 20-item questionnaire generated on the basis of interviews with patients, literature review, and consultation with experts. It was tested on a sample of 110 patients attending three different epilepsy clinics in Northern Italy, who also completed standardized clinical scales. Standard psychometric methods were used to demonstrate that this scale satisfies criteria for acceptability, reliability, and validity. The ICI is proposed as a user-friendly and clinically sound instrument for the measurement of ictal alterations of consciousness in patients with epilepsy.

  17. Consciousness: physiological dependence on rapid memory access.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, Arthur J

    2009-01-01

    Consciousness develops from birth during the early months as the senses and other nervous system functions mature sufficiently to receive, process and store information. Among these is the ascending reticular activating (arousal) system in the brain stem that is responsible for wakefulness and was proposed by Penfield and Jasper more than 50 years ago as the "controlling mechanism for states of consciousness". This concept has remained the most advanced physiological interpretation of consciousness although recent developments offer greater insights into its nature. The ascending arousal system is the source of activation of the thalamocortical and cortical mechanisms for sensory input and facilitates the rapid matching of sensory input and the binding of memory during cognitive processing. Nonetheless, it is proposed that memory is the critical element through which our connection with the world exists without which, despite a fully functional arousal system, consciousness as we know it could not exist. Evidence is presented in support of this concept in addition to the physiological difficulties that must be resolved if consciousness is to be understood.

  18. The entropic brain:A theory of conscious states informed by neuroimaging research with psychedelic drugs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robin Lester Carhart-Harris

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Entropy is a dimensionless quantity that is used for measuring uncertainty about the state of a system but it can also imply physical qualities, where high entropy is synonymous with high disorder. Entropy is applied here in the context of states of consciousness and their associated neural dynamics, with a particular focus on the psychedelic state. The psychedelic state is considered an exemplar of a primitive or primary state of consciousness that preceded the development of modern, adult, human, normal waking consciousness. Based on neuroimaging data with psilocybin, a classic psychedelic drug, it is argued that the defining feature of ‘primary states’ is elevated entropy in certain aspects of brain function, such as the repertoire of functional connectivity motifs that form and fragment across time. It is noted that elevated entropy in this sense, is a characteristic of systems exhibiting ‘self-organised criticality’, i.e., a property of systems that gravitate towards a ‘critical’ point in a transition zone between order and disorder in which certain phenomena such as power-law scaling appear. This implies that entropy is suppressed in normal waking consciousness, meaning that the brain operates just below criticality. It is argued that this entropy suppression furnishes consciousness with a constrained quality and associated metacognitive functions, including reality-testing and self-awareness. It is also proposed that entry into primary states depends on a collapse of the normally highly organised activity within the default-mode network (DMN and a decoupling between the DMN and the medial temporal lobes (which are normally significantly coupled. These hypotheses can be tested by examining brain activity and associated cognition in other candidate primary states such as REM sleep and early psychosis and comparing these with non-primary states such as normal waking consciousness and the anaesthetised state.

  19. Impact of aphasia on consciousness assessment: a cross-sectional study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnakers, Caroline; Bessou, Helene; Rubi-Fessen, Ilona; Hartmann, Alexander; Fink, Gereon R; Meister, Ingo; Giacino, Joseph T; Laureys, Steven; Majerus, Steve

    2015-01-01

    Previous findings suggest that language disorders may occur in severely brain-injured patients and could interfere with behavioral assessments of consciousness. However, no study investigated to what extent language impairment could affect patients' behavioral responses. Objective. To estimate the impact of receptive and/or productive language impairments on consciousness assessment. Twenty-four acute and subacute stroke patients with different types of aphasia (global, n = 11; Broca, n = 4; Wernicke, n = 3; anomic, n = 4; mixed, n = 2) were recruited in neurology and neurosurgery units as well as in rehabilitation centers. The Coma Recovery Scale-Revised (CRS-R) was administered. We observed that 25% (6 out of 24) of stroke patients with a diagnosis of aphasia and 54% (6 out of 11) of patients with a diagnosis of global aphasia did not reach the maximal CRS-R total score of 23. An underestimation of the consciousness level was observed in 3 patients with global aphasia who could have been misdiagnosed as being in a minimally conscious state, even in the absence of any documented period of coma. More precisely, lower subscores were observed on the communication, motor, oromotor, and arousal subscales. Consciousness assessment may be complicated by the co-occurrence of severe language deficits. This stresses the importance of developing new tools or identifying items in existing scales, which may allow the detection of language impairment in severely brain-injured patients. © The Author(s) 2014.

  20. Dreams and the temporality of consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDuffie, Katherine; Mashour, George A

    2010-01-01

    Understanding dreams has long been considered fundamental to the development of a theory of consciousness. Evidence from neurobiology and neuroimaging research has paved the way for new theories of dreaming that are empirically supported. In this article we argue that dreaming is a unique state of consciousness that incorporates 3 temporal dimensions: experience of the present, processing of the past, and preparation for the future. The temporal complexity of dreams is made possible in part by the unique neurobiological environment of sleep, in which stimuli are internally generated and many of the restrictions associated with waking thought are absent. Because dream consciousness is not determined by sensory stimuli, a flexible integration of past experiences and the forging of novel connections are possible. We argue that disparate dream theories may not be mutually exclusive but rather relate to different temporal domains of the dream state.

  1. Object of desire self-consciousness theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogaert, Anthony F; Brotto, Lori A

    2014-01-01

    In this article, the authors discuss the construct of object of desire self-consciousness, the perception that one is romantically and sexually desirable in another's eyes. The authors discuss the nature of the construct, variations in its expression, and how it may function as part of a self-schemata or script related to romance and sexuality. The authors suggest that object of desire self-consciousness may be an adaptive, evolved psychological mechanism allowing sexual and romantic tactics suitable to one's mate value. The authors also suggest that it can act as a signal that one has high mate value in the sexual marketplace. The authors then review literature (e.g., on fantasies, on sexual activity preferences, on sexual dysfunctions, on language) suggesting that object of desire self-consciousness plays a particularly important role in heterosexual women's sexual/romantic functioning and desires.

  2. Bosman and self-conscious fiction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Meihuizen

    1991-05-01

    Full Text Available Bosman, in a number of ways, underlines his fascination with his medium. In this article, an attempt is made to indicate some of the ways in which he does this. Particular attention is paid to Bosman’s use of commentary, his own self-conscious reflections on the text before the reader. Using two stories, “Unto Dust”, and “Old Transvaal Story”, I present the ways in which Bosman’s self-consciousness manifests itself in his art. If he is so adept at undermining illusion, what yet entertains us in the most self-conscious of his texts? It is argued that his fascination with his medium is buttressed by his ability to delude us, which displaces our reliance on illusion.

  3. [An existential-phenomenological approach to consciousness].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langle, A

    2014-01-01

    The human beings are characterized as subjects. Their essence is understood as Person. A treatment which does not consider the subjective and the Person would not correspond their essence. For a feeling and autonomous being, consciousness plays a role but cannot fully correspond the being a person. This has a therapeutic impact on the treatment of unconscious patients and gives the treatment a specific access. Some instructions for the therapeutic application of the phenomenological-existential concept and the phenomenological attitude towards unconscious or brain traumatized patients are given. The role of consciousness for being human is briefly reflected from an existential perspective.

  4. Impaired consciousness is linked to changes in effective connectivity of the posterior cingulate cortex within the default mode network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crone, Julia Sophia; Schurz, Matthias; Höller, Yvonne; Bergmann, Jürgen; Monti, Martin; Schmid, Elisabeth; Trinka, Eugen; Kronbichler, Martin

    2015-04-15

    The intrinsic connectivity of the default mode network has been associated with the level of consciousness in patients with severe brain injury. Especially medial parietal regions are considered to be highly involved in impaired consciousness. To better understand what aspect of this intrinsic architecture is linked to consciousness, we applied spectral dynamic causal modeling to assess effective connectivity within the default mode network in patients with disorders of consciousness. We included 12 controls, 12 patients in minimally conscious state and 13 in vegetative state in this study. For each subject, we first defined the four key regions of the default mode network employing a subject-specific independent component analysis approach. The resulting regions were then included as nodes in a spectral dynamic causal modeling analysis in order to assess how the causal interactions across these regions as well as the characteristics of neuronal fluctuations change with the level of consciousness. The resulting pattern of interaction in controls identified the posterior cingulate cortex as the main driven hub with positive afferent but negative efferent connections. In patients, this pattern appears to be disrupted. Moreover, the vegetative state patients exhibit significantly reduced self-inhibition and increased oscillations in the posterior cingulate cortex compared to minimally conscious state and controls. Finally, the degree of self-inhibition and strength of oscillation in this region is correlated with the level of consciousness. These findings indicate that the equilibrium between excitatory connectivity towards posterior cingulate cortex and its feedback projections is a key aspect of the relationship between alterations in consciousness after severe brain injury and the intrinsic functional architecture of the default mode network. This impairment might be principally due to the disruption of the mechanisms underlying self-inhibition and neuronal

  5. Mysterianism about Consciousness and the Trinity

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vohánka, Vlastimil

    -, č. 14 (2013), s. 69-90 ISSN 1212-9038 Institutional support: RVO:67985955 Keywords : mysterianism * the hard problem of consciousness * the logical problem of the Trinity * McGinn * Colin (*1950) * Šanda, Vojtěch (1873–1953) Subject RIV: AA - Philosophy ; Religion

  6. Rising Political Consciousness: Transformational Learning in Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamis, Mazalan; Muhamad, Mazanah

    As part of a larger study (not discussed) ten educated Malaysian citizens were interviewed to find whether their rising political consciousness, over a ten year period (1988-1999), indicated that their transformation was influenced by their culture. The subjects were between 35-45 years old, married, with an average of four children. All were…

  7. Conscious visual memory with minimal attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinto, Yair; Vandenbroucke, Annelinde R; Otten, Marte; Sligte, Ilja G; Seth, Anil K; Lamme, Victor A F

    2017-02-01

    Is conscious visual perception limited to the locations that a person attends? The remarkable phenomenon of change blindness, which shows that people miss nearly all unattended changes in a visual scene, suggests the answer is yes. However, change blindness is found after visual interference (a mask or a new scene), so that subjects have to rely on working memory (WM), which has limited capacity, to detect the change. Before such interference, however, a much larger capacity store, called fragile memory (FM), which is easily overwritten by newly presented visual information, is present. Whether these different stores depend equally on spatial attention is central to the debate on the role of attention in conscious vision. In 2 experiments, we found that minimizing spatial attention almost entirely erases visual WM, as expected. Critically, FM remains largely intact. Moreover, minimally attended FM responses yield accurate metacognition, suggesting that conscious memory persists with limited spatial attention. Together, our findings help resolve the fundamental issue of how attention affects perception: Both visual consciousness and memory can be supported by only minimal attention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  8. Improving spelling performance and spelling consciousness

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cordewener, K.A.H.; Verhoeven, L.T.W.; Bosman, A.M.T.

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the immediate and sustained effects of three training conditions on both spelling performance and spelling consciousness of 72 third-grade low- and high-skilled spellers. Spellers were assigned to a strategy-instruction, self-correction, or no-correction condition. The role of

  9. Improving Spelling Performance and Spelling Consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordewener, Kim A. H.; Verhoeven, Ludo; Bosman, Anna M. T.

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the immediate and sustained effects of three training conditions on both spelling performance and spelling consciousness of 72 third-grade low- and high-skilled spellers. Spellers were assigned to a strategy-instruction, self-correction, or no-correction condition. The role of spelling ability and word characteristic were also…

  10. Anthropomorphic Networks as Representatives of Global Consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergii Yahodzinskyi

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available There has been analyzed a phenomenon of global consciousness, and its cultural and historical, civilizational dimensions have been substantiated. There has been demonstrated that the concept of planetary consciousness, global thinking, noosphere was described for the first time in the philosophy of cosmism. However, in modern conditions ideas of representatives of the naturalistic philosophical direction of cosmism have not lost their heuristic potential. They can be reconsidered in a new fashion within the context of emerging anthropomorphic (human dimension networks. There has been proved that global consciousness is a component of the social and cultural potential of global information networks defining vectors to prospects of humanity progress in the 21st century. Relying on methodology of the structural and functional analysis, the author arrives at a conclusion about global networks obtaining the status of representatives of global consciousness. This is the area of networks where all relevant information is concentrated – from statistical data to scientific and technical information. Access to these data is limited by human abilities and is realized in the form of discrete requests with using heuristic algorithms of information procession. A suggestion is introduced considering the fact that modern society being a self-organized system seeks to gain stable condition. Anthropomorphic networks are means of decreasing social entropy, which is growing as a result of any kind of human intervention into social processes. Thus, for the first time a human is challenged by their intellect, ability to create, discover and control.

  11. Postmodern consumers' consciousness of climate change and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Postmodern consumers' consciousness of climate change and actions that could mitigate unsustainable consumption. ... This is believed to be due to consumers experiencing a deficit of adequate knowledge, skills and/or access to possible avenues that could assist them in being more sustainable, which is often a result of ...

  12. Women's Feminist Consciousness, Anger, and Psychological Distress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Ann R.; Good, Glenn E.

    2004-01-01

    The goal of this study was to bring together several lines of research and theory on women's feminist consciousness from psychology, sociology, and philosophy. Past literatures had suggested bivariate links between feminist identity development and psychological distress, feminist identity and anger, feminist identity and interpersonal conflict,…

  13. Inflight loss of consciousness : a case report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1963-09-01

    A case of inflight vertigo and loss of consciousness in a private pilot, flying alone, is presented. The differential diagnosis and the significance of the findings of 5-7 per second theta waves in his resting EEG and high voltage slow waves during c...

  14. Self-conscious emotions and social functioning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hooge, de I.E.; Zeelenberg, M.; Breugelmans, S.M.

    2011-01-01

    Introduction Have you ever felt guilty about hurting a loved one, or been proud after achieving something that you always dreamed of? These emotions, but also embarrassment, shame, and hubris, are called self-conscious emotions. They are a special kind of emotions that cannot be described solely by

  15. Virtual reality and consciousness inference in dreaming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hobson, J Allan; Hong, Charles C-H; Friston, Karl J

    2014-01-01

    This article explores the notion that the brain is genetically endowed with an innate virtual reality generator that - through experience-dependent plasticity - becomes a generative or predictive model of the world. This model, which is most clearly revealed in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep dreaming, may provide the theater for conscious experience. Functional neuroimaging evidence for brain activations that are time-locked to rapid eye movements (REMs) endorses the view that waking consciousness emerges from REM sleep - and dreaming lays the foundations for waking perception. In this view, the brain is equipped with a virtual model of the world that generates predictions of its sensations. This model is continually updated and entrained by sensory prediction errors in wakefulness to ensure veridical perception, but not in dreaming. In contrast, dreaming plays an essential role in maintaining and enhancing the capacity to model the world by minimizing model complexity and thereby maximizing both statistical and thermodynamic efficiency. This perspective suggests that consciousness corresponds to the embodied process of inference, realized through the generation of virtual realities (in both sleep and wakefulness). In short, our premise or hypothesis is that the waking brain engages with the world to predict the causes of sensations, while in sleep the brain's generative model is actively refined so that it generates more efficient predictions during waking. We review the evidence in support of this hypothesis - evidence that grounds consciousness in biophysical computations whose neuronal and neurochemical infrastructure has been disclosed by sleep research.

  16. VIRTUAL REALITY IN WAKING AND DREAMING CONSCIOUSNESS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allan eHobson

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available This article explores the notion that the brain is genetically endowed with an innate virtual reality generator that – through experience-dependent plasticity –becomes a generative or predictive model of the world. This model, which is most clearly revealed in rapid eye movement (REM sleep dreaming, may provide the theatre for conscious experience. Functional neuroimaging evidence for brain activations that are time-locked to rapid eye movements endorses the view that waking consciousness emerges from REM sleep – and dreaming lays the foundations for waking perception. In this view, the brain is equipped with a virtual model of the world that generates predictions of its sensations. This model is continually updated and entrained by sensory prediction errors in wakefulness to ensure veridical perception, but not in dreaming. In contrast, dreaming plays an essential role in maintaining and enhancing the capacity to model the world by minimizing model complexity and thereby maximizing both statistical and thermodynamic efficiency. This perspective suggests that consciousness corresponds to the embodied process of inference, realized through the generation of virtual realities (in both sleep and wakefulness. In short, our premise or hypothesis is that the waking brain engages with the sensorium to predict the causes of sensations, while in sleep the brain's generative model is actively refined so that it generates more efficient predictions during waking. We review the evidence in support of this hypothesis – evidence that grounds consciousness in biophysical computations whose neuronal and neurochemical infrastructure has been disclosed by sleep research.

  17. Review: Neural correlates of consciousness | Negrao | African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In this paper it is shown that consciousness is dependent on the brainstem and thalamus for arousal; that basic cognition is supported by recurrent electrical activity between the cortex and the thalamus at gamma band frequencies; and that some kind of working memory must, at least fleetingly, be present for awareness to ...

  18. Conscious visual memory with minimal attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pinto, Y.; Vandenbroucke, A.R.; Otten, M.; Sligte, I.G.; Seth, A.K.; Lamme, V.A.F.

    2017-01-01

    Is conscious visual perception limited to the locations that a person attends? The remarkable phenomenon of change blindness, which shows that people miss nearly all unattended changes in a visual scene, suggests the answer is yes. However, change blindness is found after visual interference (a mask

  19. Body consciousness and somaesthetics in music education

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holgersen, Sven-Erik

    2010-01-01

    Artiklen diskuterer aspekter af Richard Shusterman (2008) Body Consciousness: A Philosophy of Mindfulness and Somaesthetics herunder bogens relevans for musikpædagogik og specielt Shustermans læsning af Merleau-Pontys fænomenologi. Shustermans definitioner af fire former for intentionalitet samme...

  20. Consciousness, Representation, Action : The Importance of Being Goal-Directed

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pennartz, C.M.A.

    2018-01-01

    Recent years have witnessed fierce debates on the dependence of consciousness on interactions between a subject and the environment. Reviewing neuroscientific, computational, and clinical evidence, I will address three questions. First, does conscious experience necessarily depend on acute

  1. Is Consciousness Reality or Illusion ? A Non-Dualist Interpretation of Consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarz, Eric

    2004-08-01

    This paper proposes a way to approach the "hard problem" of consciousness. First, we present a typology of the main models developed in the litterature to understand consciousness. Most of them adopt a physicalist ontology and a functionalist epistemology. We then present the main features of a metamodel we have elaborated to interpret nonlinear systems evolving toward complexity and autonomy. This systemic metamodel is a general framework that can later be used to make models of specific systems. As an extension of the mechanist paradigm, it is based on three primordial categories objects, relations and wholes or systems. In the last part, we apply it to the cases of the logic of life and the nature of consciousness. Both can be interpreted by the metamodel, in particular, by the autopoiesis proposed by Maturana and Varela for life and self-reference for consciousness.

  2. Conscious Anxiety, Conscious Repression and Ego-strength as Related to Dream Recall, Content and Vividness

    OpenAIRE

    Newbold, David

    1980-01-01

    Subjects' reported dream recall frequency, dream content and vividness or recall were discussed and examined in relation to sex of the subject and MMPI Conscious Anxiety, Conscious Repression and Ego-strength scores. Fifty-three Utah State University students, who volunteered to participate in a study of dreaming behavior, were administered the MMPI and asked to complete a dream log diary. The dream log required a daily recording of total number of dreams recalled, the number of vividly an...

  3. Results of Research about Consciousness of Foodstuff Consumers in Hungary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ibolya Bravacz

    2013-10-01

    How self-restrictive and self-conscious are we when purchasing and consuming foodstuff? – with every foodstuff purchase we make decisions about our environment, which indirectly has an effect on the producers, manufacturers and dealers. I will briefly review the foodstuff consumers segments in Hungary, which first have been identified using factor analysis followed by cluster analysis. I have identified the following consumer groups based on health consciousness: Conscious majority, Conscious by commitment, Economist “housewife”, Youthfully eclectic and Passives.

  4. How neuroscience will change our view on consciousness: discussion paper

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lamme, V.A.F.

    2010-01-01

    Is there consciousness in machines? Or in animals? What happens to consciousness when we are asleep, or in vegetative state? These are just a few examples of the many questions about consciousness that are troubling scientists and laypersons alike. Moreover, these questions share a striking feature:

  5. Zolpidem efficacy and safety in disorders of consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machado, Calixto; Estévez, Mario; Rodriguez-Rojas, Rafael

    2018-01-01

    Sutton and Clauss presented a detailed review about the effectiveness of zolpidem, discussing recoveries from brain damage due to strokes, trauma and hypoxia. A significant finding has been the unexpected and paradoxical increment of brain activity in vegetative state/unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (VS/UWS). On the contrary, zolpidem is considered one of the best sleep inducers in normal subjects. We have studied series of VS/UWS cases after zolpidem intake. We have demonstrated EEG activation, increment of BOLD signal in different brain regions, and an autonomic influence, mainly characterized by a vagolytic chronotropic effect without a significant increment of the vasomotor sympathetic tone. As this autonomic imbalance might induce cardio- circulatory complications, which we didn't find in any of our patients, we suggest developing future trials under control of physiological indices by bedside monitoring. However, considering that the paradoxical arousing zolpidem effect might be certainly related to brain function improvement, we agree with Sutton and Clauss that future multicentre and multinational clinical trials should be developed, but under control of physiological indices.

  6. Music therapy with disorders of consciousness and neuroscience

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    O'Kelly, Julian; Magee, Wendy L.

    2013-01-01

    , there is little evidence to support music therapy in rehabilitation programmes. In contrast, advances in neuroscience have improved our understanding of both brain damage and brain/music interactions. There is increasing support for the role of musical activity in promoting neuroplasticity and functional...... improvements for people with neuro-disabilities, although music therapy specific studies are lacking. Collaborations between the fields of neuroscience and music therapy may yield fruitful progress for both disciplines as well as for patient populations. By outlining the key findings and the remaining...... questions offered by the neuroscience literature, this paper sets out the future challenges to address for clinicians and researchers in developing evidence-based approaches to their work....

  7. Pain Assessment Scale for Patients With Disorders of Consciousness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Ingrid; Brix, Pia; Andersen, Sylvia

    2016-01-01

    and after repositioning in bed and before and after administration of analgesics. We used Cohen's kappa test for interrater reliability. Sensitivity to change was tested by Wilcoxon signed rank test. RESULTS: Cohen's kappa for the presence or absence of each item was above 0.8 for 13 items, between 0...... of four domains: physiological/autonomic, body language, verbal communication, and behavior. The domains consist of 27 items. Interrater reliability was tested through three experienced nurses who rated 26 patients with acquired brain injury. The patients were rated in two different situations: before.......6 and 0.8 for eight items, and less than 0.6 for only three items. The sensitivity test showed a significant change from before to after repositioning (p = .004). CONCLUSION: It appeared that many of the pain assessment scale items held potential for inclusion in a new, more comprehensively developed...

  8. Sensitivity and Specificity of the Coma Recovery Scale--Revised Total Score in Detection of Conscious Awareness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodien, Yelena G; Carlowicz, Cecilia A; Chatelle, Camille; Giacino, Joseph T

    2016-03-01

    To describe the sensitivity and specificity of Coma Recovery Scale-Revised (CRS-R) total scores in detecting conscious awareness. Data were retrospectively extracted from the medical records of patients enrolled in a specialized disorders of consciousness (DOC) program. Sensitivity and specificity analyses were completed using CRS-R-derived diagnoses of minimally conscious state (MCS) or emerged from minimally conscious state (EMCS) as the reference standard for conscious awareness and the total CRS-R score as the test criterion. A receiver operating characteristic curve was constructed to demonstrate the optimal CRS-R total cutoff score for maximizing sensitivity and specificity. Specialized DOC program. Patients enrolled in the DOC program (N=252, 157 men; mean age, 49y; mean time from injury, 48d; traumatic etiology, n=127; nontraumatic etiology, n=125; diagnosis of coma or vegetative state, n=70; diagnosis of MCS or EMCS, n=182). Not applicable. Sensitivity and specificity of CRS-R total scores in detecting conscious awareness. A CRS-R total score of 10 or higher yielded a sensitivity of .78 for correct identification of patients in MCS or EMCS, and a specificity of 1.00 for correct identification of patients who did not meet criteria for either of these diagnoses (ie, were diagnosed with vegetative state or coma). The area under the curve in the receiver operating characteristic curve analysis is .98. A total CRS-R score of 10 or higher provides strong evidence of conscious awareness but resulted in a false-negative diagnostic error in 22% of patients who demonstrated conscious awareness based on CRS-R diagnostic criteria. A cutoff score of 8 provides the best balance between sensitivity and specificity, accurately classifying 93% of cases. The optimal total score cutoff will vary depending on the user's objective. Copyright © 2016 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Predicting the conscious experience of other people

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sandberg, Kristian; Bahrami, Bahador; Kanai, Ryota

    it has not been shown possible to generalize the decoding of brain signals from one individual to another. This limits the potential utility of such approaches. Here we used a different approach that circumvented these difficulties by using magnetoencephalographic (MEG) signals to decode the contents......There has been considerable interest recently in using multivariate decoding techniques applied to functional MRI signals in order to decode the contents of a person’s consciousness. The use of such signals has inherent disadvantages due to the delay of the hemodynamic response. Moreover to date...... of consciousness, and to test whether such correlates generalized reliably across individuals. We used a 274 channel MEG system to record signals from 8 healthy participants while they viewed an intermittently presented binocular rivalry stimulus consisting of a face and a grating. Using a leave-one-out cross...

  10. Self-conscious emotions and criminal offending.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tibbetts, Stephen G

    2003-08-01

    This study examined the relation of personality traits--shame-proneness, guilt-proneness, and pride--on offending behavior. Using survey data from a sample of 224 college students, the construct and criterion-related validity of scales of the Shame Proneness Scale, the Test of Self-conscious Affect, and the Personality Feelings Questionnaire-2 were assessed. Regression analyses showed that self-conscious emotions are important in the etiology of criminal offending. Specifically, rated pride was positively correlated with self-reported criminal activity, whereas ratings of guilt were negatively associated with offending. The relation of shame with criminality varied depending on the type of measure used to indicate proneness to shame.

  11. Akratic Feelings, Empathy and Self-Consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dina Mendonça

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The present article is an analysis of the role of akratic feelings on empathy and self-consciousness. It argues that akratic feelings create a meta-emotional platform that allows the installation of a type of empathic process, which simultaneously contributes for self-consciousness. The article shows in what way akratic feelings are crucial to further understand both ourselves and others.The article begins by describing the nature of akratic feelings and the way in which we can find them at various emotional levels. The second part points out how akratic feelings contribute to empathetic processes and their role in the formation of a meta-emotional platform in which people recognize their opacity. Finally, the article points out how this also contributes for self-awareness, and ultimately for a better understanding of emotional processes.

  12. Theoretical Controversies—Terminological Biases: Consciousness Revisited

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kondor Zsuzsanna

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Although scientific practice sometimes encounters philosophical difficulties, it cannot shoulder the burden of resolving them. This can lead to controversies. An unavoidable difficulty is rooted in the linguistic attitude, i.e., in the fact that to a considerable extent we express our thoughts in words. I will attempt to illuminate some important characteristics of linguistic expression which lead to paradoxical situations, identifiable thanks to philosophy. In my argument, I will investigate how the notion of consciousness has altered over the course of philosophical investigation and how it relates to recent scientific practice. In conclusion, I will focus on a few recent so-called radical positions in philosophy with regard to a framework within which consciousness and more generally mental phenomena can be regarded in a new light, as well as on the barriers we face when trying to unify scientific results.

  13. Aberrant Functional Connectivity of the Amygdala Complexes in PTSD during Conscious and Subconscious Processing of Trauma-Related Stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Rabellino

    Full Text Available Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD is characterized by altered functional connectivity of the amygdala complexes at rest. However, amygdala complex connectivity during conscious and subconscious threat processing remains to be elucidated. Here, we investigate specific connectivity of the centromedial amygdala (CMA and basolateral amygdala (BLA during conscious and subconscious processing of trauma-related words among individuals with PTSD (n = 26 as compared to non-trauma-exposed controls (n = 20. Psycho-physiological interaction analyses were performed using the right and left amygdala complexes as regions of interest during conscious and subconscious trauma word processing. These analyses revealed a differential, context-dependent responses by each amygdala seed during trauma processing in PTSD. Specifically, relative to controls, during subconscious processing, individuals with PTSD demonstrated increased connectivity of the CMA with the superior frontal gyrus, accompanied by a pattern of decreased connectivity between the BLA and the superior colliculus. During conscious processing, relative to controls, individuals with PTSD showed increased connectivity between the CMA and the pulvinar. These findings demonstrate alterations in amygdala subregion functional connectivity in PTSD and highlight the disruption of the innate alarm network during both conscious and subconscious trauma processing in this disorder.

  14. The conscious of Nightmares in ancient China

    OpenAIRE

    西林, 眞紀子

    2006-01-01

    The analaysis concerns Nightmares in ancient China. People in ancient China were very afraid of Nightmares. Nightmares are described in the『春秋左氏傳』etc. The exocis Nightmares is described in the『周禮』. The ceremony "難" of exocis Nightmares in the『禮記』. In the characters Meng (夢) had the conscious of Nightmares in ancient China. The analaysis is about the characters 'Meng', about the characters of the relationship 'Meng'

  15. Mass culture and manipulation with consciousness

    OpenAIRE

    Simukanova Guldariga Serikovna

    2015-01-01

    The article gives the definition of such concepts as mass society, mass culture and mass consciousness. Specific examples indicate positive and negative effects of globalization on national culture. Particular attention is paid to the interest of independent states for the conservation, protection and development of national values in the context of globalization. The conclusion about the relevance of stability provision and protection of the state raised by globalization has been drawn.

  16. The changing consciousness of the consumer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hewett, G.

    1989-01-01

    There has been a growing world-wide shift in consumer consciousness during the 1980s. More and more, consumers are challenging the conclusions and assurances of authorities and demanding to be better informed so that they can draw their own conclusions and make their choices accordingly. The viewpoint of these consumers is articulated, so that the specialists involved in the radurization of food can have a better understanding of what they are dealing with

  17. Recognition of an Independent Self-Consciousness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bjerre, Henrik Jøker

    2009-01-01

    Hegel's concept in the Phenomenology of the Spirit of the "recognition of an independent self-consciousness" is investigated as a point of separation for contemporary philosophy of recognition. I claim that multiculturalism and the theories of recognition (such as Axel Honneth's) based on empiric...... psychology neglect or deny crucial metaphysical aspects of the Hegelian legacy. Instead, I seek to point at an additional, "spiritual", level of recognition, based on the concept of the subject in Lacanian psychoanalysis....

  18. The neural correlates of consciousness: new experimental approaches needed?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hohwy, Jakob

    2009-06-01

    It appears that consciousness science is progressing soundly, in particular in its search for the neural correlates of consciousness. There are two main approaches to this search, one is content-based (focusing on the contrast between conscious perception of, e.g., faces vs. houses), the other is state-based (focusing on overall conscious states, e.g., the contrast between dreamless sleep vs. the awake state). Methodological and conceptual considerations of a number of concrete studies show that both approaches are problematic: the content-based approach seems to set aside crucial aspects of consciousness; and the state-based approach seems over-inclusive in a way that is hard to rectify without losing sight of the crucial conscious-unconscious contrast. Consequently, the search for the neural correlates of consciousness is in need of new experimental paradigms.

  19. Mythology, Weltanschauung, symbolic universe and states of consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gert Malan

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available This article investigates whether different religious (mythological worldviews can be described as alternative and altered states of consciousness (ASCs. Differences between conscious and unconscious motivations for behaviour are discussed before looking at ASCs, Weltanschauung and symbolic universes. Mythology can be described both as Weltanschauung and symbolic universe, functioning on all levels of consciousness. Different Weltanschauungen constitute alternative states of consciousness. Compared to secular worldviews, religious worldviews may be described as ASCs. Thanks to our globalised modern societies, the issue is even more complex, as alternate modernities lead to a symbolic multiverse, with individuals living in a social multiverse. Keyowrds: mythology; Weltanschauung; worldview; symbolic universe; states of consciousness; altered states of consciousness; alternative states of consciousness; symbolic multiverse; social multiverse

  20. Using Brain Stimulation to Disentangle Neural Correlates of Conscious Vision

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    Tom Alexander de Graaf

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Research into the neural correlates of consciousness (NCCs has blossomed, due to the advent of new and increasingly sophisticated brain research tools. Neuroimaging has uncovered a variety of brain processes that relate to conscious perception, obtained in a range of experimental paradigms. But methods such as fMRI or EEG do not always afford inference on the role these brain processes play in conscious vision. Such empirical neural correlates of consciousness could reflect neural prerequisites, neural consequences, or neural substrates of a conscious experience. Here, we take a closer look at the use of non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS techniques in this context. We discuss and review how NIBS methodology can enlighten our understanding of brain mechanisms underlying conscious vision by disentangling the empirical neural correlates of consciousness.

  1. Safety of Conscious Sedation In Interventional Radiology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arepally, Aravind; Oechsle, Denise; Kirkwood, Sharon; Savader, Scott J.

    2001-01-01

    Purpose: To identify rates of adverse events associated with the use of conscious sedation in interventional radiology.Methods: In a 5-month period, prospective data were collected on patients undergoing conscious sedation for interventional radiology procedures (n = 594). Adverse events were categorized as respiratory, sedative, or major adverse events. Respiratory adverse events were those that required oral airway placement, ambu bag, or jaw thrust. Sedation adverse events were unresponsiveness, oxygen saturation less than 90%, use of flumazenil/naloxone, or agitation. Major adverse events were hypotension, intubation, CPR, or cardiac arrest. The frequency of adverse events for the five most common radiology procedures were determined.Results: The five most common procedures (total n = 541) were biliary tube placement/exchange (n = 182), tunneled catheter placement (n 135), diagnostic arteriography (n = 125), vascular interventions (n = 52), and other catheter insertions (n = 46). Rates for respiratory, sedation, and major adverse events were 4.7%, 4.2%, and 2.0%, respectively. The most frequent major adverse event was hypotension (2.0%). Biliary procedures had the highest rate of total adverse events (p < .05) and respiratory adverse events (p < .05).Conclusion: The frequency of adverse events is low with the use of conscious sedation during interventional procedures. The highest rates occurred during biliary interventions

  2. Narrating consciousness: language, media and embodiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayles, N Katherine; Pulizzi, James J

    2010-01-01

    Although there has long been a division in studies of consciousness between a focus on neuronal processes or conversely an emphasis on the ruminations of a conscious self, the long-standing split between mechanism and meaning within the brain was mirrored by a split without, between information as a technical term and the meanings that messages are commonly thought to convey. How to heal this breach has posed formidable problems to researchers. Working through the history of cybernetics, one of the historical sites where Claude Shannon's information theory quickly became received doctrine, we argue that the cybernetic program as it developed through second-order cybernetics and autopoietic theory remains incomplete. In this article, we return to fundamental questions about pattern and noise, context and meaning, to forge connections between consciousness, narrative and media. The thrust of our project is to reintroduce context and narrative as crucial factors in the processes of meaning-making. The project proceeds along two fronts: advancing a theoretical framework within which context plays its property central role; and demonstrating the importance of context by analyzing two fictions, Stanislaw Lem's "His Master's Voice" and Joseph McElroy's "Plus," in which context has been deformed by being wrenched away from normal human environments, with radical consequences for processes of meaning-making.

  3. Split brain: divided perception but undivided consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinto, Yair; Neville, David A; Otten, Marte; Corballis, Paul M; Lamme, Victor A F; de Haan, Edward H F; Foschi, Nicoletta; Fabri, Mara

    2017-05-01

    In extensive studies with two split-brain patients we replicate the standard finding that stimuli cannot be compared across visual half-fields, indicating that each hemisphere processes information independently of the other. Yet, crucially, we show that the canonical textbook findings that a split-brain patient can only respond to stimuli in the left visual half-field with the left hand, and to stimuli in the right visual half-field with the right hand and verbally, are not universally true. Across a wide variety of tasks, split-brain patients with a complete and radiologically confirmed transection of the corpus callosum showed full awareness of presence, and well above chance-level recognition of location, orientation and identity of stimuli throughout the entire visual field, irrespective of response type (left hand, right hand, or verbally). Crucially, we used confidence ratings to assess conscious awareness. This revealed that also on high confidence trials, indicative of conscious perception, response type did not affect performance. These findings suggest that severing the cortical connections between hemispheres splits visual perception, but does not create two independent conscious perceivers within one brain. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. Functional connectivity substrates for tDCS response in Minimally Conscious State patients

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    Carlo Cavaliere

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS is a non-invasive technique recently employed in disorders of consciousness, and determining a transitory recovery of signs of consciousness in almost half of minimally conscious state (MCS patients. Although the rising evidences about its possible role in the treatment of many neurological and psychiatric conditions, no evidences exist about brain functional connectivity substrates underlying tDCS response. We retrospectively evaluated resting state functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI of 16 sub-acute and chronic MCS patients (6 tDCS responders who successively received a single left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC tDCS in a double-blind randomized cross-over trial. A seed-based approach for regions of left extrinsic control network and default-mode network was performed.TDCS responders showed an increased left intra-network connectivity for regions co-activated with left DLPFC, and significantly with left inferior frontal gyrus. Non-responders MCS patients showed an increased connectivity between left DLPFC and midline cortical structures, including anterior cingulate cortex and precuneus.Our findings suggest that a prior high connectivity with regions belonging to extrinsic control network can facilitate transitory recovery of consciousness in a subgroup of MCS patients that underwent tDCS treatment. Therefore, resting state-fMRI could be very valuable in detecting the neuronal conditions necessary for tDCS to improve behavior in MCS.

  5. The self and its resting state in consciousness: an investigation of the vegetative state.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Zirui; Dai, Rui; Wu, Xuehai; Yang, Zhi; Liu, Dongqiang; Hu, Jin; Gao, Liang; Tang, Weijun; Mao, Ying; Jin, Yi; Wu, Xing; Liu, Bin; Zhang, Yao; Lu, Lu; Laureys, Steven; Weng, Xuchu; Northoff, Georg

    2014-05-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated resting-state abnormalities in midline regions in vegetative state/unresponsive wakefulness syndrome and minimally conscious state patients. However, the functional implications of these resting-state abnormalities remain unclear. Recent findings in healthy subjects have revealed a close overlap between the neural substrate of self-referential processing and the resting-state activity in cortical midline regions. As such, we investigated task-related neural activity during active self-referential processing and various measures of resting-state activity in 11 patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC) and 12 healthy control subjects. Overall, the results revealed that DOC patients exhibited task-specific signal changes in anterior and posterior midline regions, including the perigenual anterior cingulate cortex (PACC) and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC). However, the degree of signal change was significantly lower in DOC patients compared with that in healthy subjects. Moreover, reduced signal differentiation in the PACC predicted the degree of consciousness in DOC patients. Importantly, the same midline regions (PACC and PCC) in DOC patients also exhibited severe abnormalities in the measures of resting-state activity, that is functional connectivity and the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations. Taken together, our results provide the first evidence of neural abnormalities in both the self-referential processing and the resting state in midline regions in DOC patients. This novel finding has important implications for clinical utility and general understanding of the relationship between the self, the resting state, and consciousness. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Philosophy Iceberg of the Universe Consciousness Energy (The Theory of the Universe Consciousness Energy Expression

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    Georgii Chuzhyk

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available We offer an evolutionary and alternative solution to the problem of the Universe. The theory involves the formation of the Universe by means of all the sequences of energies and energy of consciousness with gradual structural wrapping by energy shells recording and accumulating them; formation of the core dispatch centers performing energetic and informational communication with a single rhythm among all space objects that form civilizations. We outline a way of human consciousness formation. The theory explains how the first objectively appeared sparks of human consciousness energy were evolving, accumulating and being recorded, formed the Earth’s noosphere in its core dispatch center. The consciousness energy structure has not yet been discovered and that inhibits the science, which is wary of those who define it as a stream of multi-super large reflection objectively reflecting the highest degree of manifestation of civilization collective creativity, named by John Wheeler as a substance of the information — “It from Bit.” Core dispatching centers of all cosmic objects consciousness energies such as the Earth are combined into the Universe core dispatcher center of which called the Cosmic Consciousness. Many hundreds of billions of years the Cosmic Consciousness absorbed and only recorded the sequences, experience of which ended strictly following the laws of nature, formed a unique quality — for each new sequence by its energetic and informational signal it can highlight, express from its archive the evolution of similar Roadmap, which had been already passed by a similar sequence. The Cosmic Consciousness indirectly provides the most important thing in the Universe — not interfering, it retains all its evolutionary integrity and harmony. All of them constantly and continuously follow and check it through bioinformational communication, without deviation move toward their goal. Life of the Earth civilization is also moving

  7. Distorted temporal consciousness and preserved knowing consciousness in confabulation: a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Corte, Valentina; George, Nathalie; Pradat-Diehl, Pascale; Barba, Gianfranco Dalla

    2011-01-01

    In this study we describe a patient, TA, who developed a chronic amnesic-confabulatory syndrome, following rupture of a right internal carotid siphon aneurysm. Our aim was to elucidate as fully as possible the nature of TA's impairment and to test the hypothesis of confabulation as reflecting a dysfunction of Temporal Consciousness, i.e., to become aware of something as part of a personal past, present or future. TA's confabulations were present in answers to questions tapping Temporal Consciousness, i.e., autobiographical episodic memory, orientation in time and place, and foresight of personal future. In contrast, confabulations were not observed in answers to questions tapping Knowing Consciousness, i.e., to become aware of something as a meaning or as an element of impersonal knowledge. In fact, he had normal access to semantic knowledge, including foresight of impersonal future. TA's brain MRI showed lesions involving the right hippocampus, parahippocampal gyrus, fornix, mammillary bodies, and thalamus. Moreover TA showed sub-cortical lesions involving the caudate and putamen nuclei bilaterally, a lesion site not commonly described in amnesic-confabulatory syndrome. We suggest that this pattern of results is better accounted for within the framework of the Memory, Consciousness and Temporality Theory and reflects a specific distortion of Temporal Consciousness.

  8. Measuring consciousness in dreams: the lucidity and consciousness in dreams scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voss, Ursula; Schermelleh-Engel, Karin; Windt, Jennifer; Frenzel, Clemens; Hobson, Allan

    2013-03-01

    In this article, we present results from an interdisciplinary research project aimed at assessing consciousness in dreams. For this purpose, we compared lucid dreams with normal non-lucid dreams from REM sleep. Both lucid and non-lucid dreams are an important contrast condition for theories of waking consciousness, giving valuable insights into the structure of conscious experience and its neural correlates during sleep. However, the precise differences between lucid and non-lucid dreams remain poorly understood. The construction of the Lucidity and Consciousness in Dreams scale (LuCiD) was based on theoretical considerations and empirical observations. Exploratory factor analysis of the data from the first survey identified eight factors that were validated in a second survey using confirmatory factor analysis: INSIGHT, CONTROL, THOUGHT, REALISM, MEMORY, DISSOCIATION, NEGATIVE EMOTION, and POSITIVE EMOTION. While all factors are involved in dream consciousness, realism and negative emotion do not differentiate between lucid and non-lucid dreams, suggesting that lucid insight is separable from both bizarreness in dreams and a change in the subjectively experienced realism of the dream. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Can Digital Computers Support Ancient Mathematical Consciousness?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron Sloman

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available This paper poses, discusses, but does not definitively answer, the following questions: What sorts of reasoning machinery could the ancient mathematicians, and other intelligent animals, be using for spatial reasoning, before the discovery of modern logical mechanisms? “Diagrams in minds” perhaps? How and why did natural selection produce such machinery? Is there a single package of biological abilities for spatial reasoning, or did different sorts of mathematical competence evolve at different times, forming a “layered” system? Do the layers develop in individuals at different stages? Which components are shared with other intelligent species? Does some or all of the machinery exist at or before birth in humans and if not how and when does it develop, and what is the role of experience in its development? How do brains implement such machinery? Could similar machines be implemented as virtual machines on digital computers, and if not what sorts of non-digital “Super Turing” mechanisms could replicate the required functionality, including discovery of impossibility and necessity? How are impossibility and necessity represented in brains? Are chemical mechanisms required? How could such mechanisms be specified in a genome? Are some not specified in the genome but products of interaction between genome and environment? Does Turing’s work on chemical morphogenesis published shortly before he died indicate that he was interested in this problem? Will the answers to these questions vindicate Immanuel Kant’s claims about the nature of mathematical knowledge, including his claim that mathematical truths are non-empirical, synthetic and necessary? Perhaps it’s time for discussions of consciousness to return to the nature of ancient mathematical consciousness, and related aspects of everyday human and non-human intelligence, usually ignored by consciousness theorists.

  10. The Cosmologic continuum from physics to consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torday, John S; Miller, William B

    2018-04-13

    Reduction of developmental biology to self-referential cell-cell communication offers a portal for understanding fundamental mechanisms of physiology as derived from physics through quantum mechanics. It is argued that self-referential organization is implicit to the Big Bang and its further expression is a recoil reaction to that Singularity. When such a frame is considered, in combination with experimental evidence for the importance of epigenetic inheritance, the unicellular state can be reappraised as the primary object of selection. This framework provides a significant shift in understanding the relationship between physics and biology, providing novel insights to the nature and origin of consciousness. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  11. Natural Fabrications Science, Emergence and Consciousness

    CERN Document Server

    Seager, William

    2012-01-01

    The spectacular success of the scientific enterprise over the last four hundred years has led to the promise of an all encompassing vision of the natural world. In this elegant picture, everything we observe is based upon just a few fundamental processes and entities. The almost infinite variety and complexity of the world is thus the product of emergence. But the concept of emergence is fraught with controversy and confusion. This book ponders the question of how emergence should be understood within the scientific picture, and whether a complete vision of the world can be attained that includes consciousness.

  12. Consciousness and working memory: Current trends and research perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velichkovsky, Boris B

    2017-10-01

    Working memory has long been thought to be closely related to consciousness. However, recent empirical studies show that unconscious content may be maintained within working memory and that complex cognitive computations may be performed on-line. This promotes research on the exact relationships between consciousness and working memory. Current evidence for working memory being a conscious as well as an unconscious process is reviewed. Consciousness is shown to be considered a subset of working memory by major current theories of working memory. Evidence for unconscious elements in working memory is shown to come from visual masking and attentional blink paradigms, and from the studies of implicit working memory. It is concluded that more research is needed to explicate the relationship between consciousness and working memory. Future research directions regarding the relationship between consciousness and working memory are discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. [Cognitive neuroscience of consciousness: from theory to bedside].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naccache, Lionel

    2013-05-01

    The exploration of the neural bases of consciousness (both conscious states and conscious mental contents) has progressed significantly over the last 15 years, in particular concerning the investigation of conscious access during perception. These advancements stem both from original neuropsychological studies, and from the rapid development of functional brain-imaging tools and methods. Only since recently these discoveries lead to medical applications aiming at improving the evaluation and follow-up of patients suffering from impairments of functional communication and/or of consciousness (comatose, vegetative, minimally conscious states, or paralyzed patients such as the "locked in" syndrome or similar conditions). By contributing to possible improvements of diagnosis and prognosis evaluations of these complex medical situations, these new tools open new perspectives associated with noteworthy ethical, social and philosophic implications.

  14. A global workspace model for phenomenal and access consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raffone, Antonino; Pantani, Martina

    2010-06-01

    Both the global workspace theory and Block's distinction between phenomenal and access consciousness, are central in the current debates about consciousness and the neural correlates of consciousness. In this article, a unifying global workspace model for phenomenal and access consciousness is proposed. In the model, recurrent neural interactions take place in distinct yet interacting access and phenomenal brain loops. The effectiveness of feedback signaling onto sensory cortical maps is emphasized for the neural correlates of phenomenal consciousness. Two forms of top-down attention, attention for perception and attention for access, play differential roles for phenomenal and access consciousness. The model is implemented in a neural network form, with the simulation of single and multiple visual object processing, and of the attentional blink. 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Opposing effects of attention and consciousness on afterimages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Boxtel, Jeroen J A; Tsuchiya, Naotsugu; Koch, Christof

    2010-05-11

    The brain's ability to handle sensory information is influenced by both selective attention and consciousness. There is no consensus on the exact relationship between these two processes and whether they are distinct. So far, no experiment has simultaneously manipulated both. We carried out a full factorial 2 x 2 study of the simultaneous influences of attention and consciousness (as assayed by visibility) on perception, correcting for possible concurrent changes in attention and consciousness. We investigated the duration of afterimages for all four combinations of high versus low attention and visible versus invisible. We show that selective attention and visual consciousness have opposite effects: paying attention to the grating decreases the duration of its afterimage, whereas consciously seeing the grating increases the afterimage duration. These findings provide clear evidence for distinctive influences of selective attention and consciousness on visual perception.

  16. Temporal structure of consciousness and minimal self in schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brice eMartin

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The concept of the minimal self refers to the consciousness of oneself as an immediate subject of experience. According to recent studies, disturbances of the minimal self may be a core feature of schizophrenia. They are emphasized in classical psychiatry literature and in phenomenological work. Impaired minimal self experience may be defined as a distortion of one’s first-person experiential perspective as, for example, an ‘altered presence’ during which the sense of the experienced self (‘mineness’ is subtly affected, or ‘altered sense of demarcation’, i.e. a difficulty discriminating the self from the non-self. Little is known, however, about the cognitive basis of these disturbances. In fact, recent work indicates that disorders of the self are not correlated with cognitive impairments commonly found in schizophrenia such as working-memory and attention disorders. In addition, a major difficulty with exploring the minimal self experimentally lies in its definition as being non self-reflexive, and distinct from the verbalized, explicit awareness of an ‘I’.In this paper we shall discuss the possibility that disturbances of the minimal self observed in patients with schizophrenia are related to alterations in time processing. We shall review the literature on schizophrenia and time processing that lends support to this possibility. In particular we shall discuss the involvement of temporal integration windows on different time scales (implicit time processing as well as duration perception disturbances (explicit time processing in disorders of the minimal self. We argue that a better understanding of the relationship between time and the minimal self as well of issues of embodiment require research that looks more specifically at implicit time processing. Some methodological issues will be discussed.

  17. Revision and Re-enchantment of the Legacy of Psychology from a Half Century of Consciousness Research

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    Stanislav Grof

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Drawing on observations from more than fifty years of research into an important subgroup of non-ordinary states of consciousness that he calls holotropic, the author suggests a revision of some basic assumptions of modern psychiatry, psychology, and psychotherapy. The proposed changes involve the nature of consciousness and its relationship to matter, dimensions of the human psyche, the roots of emotional and psychosomatic disorders, and therapeutic strategy. In the light of the new observations, spirituality appears to be an essential attribute of the human psyche and of existence in general. An important and controversial subject that could be only tangentially addressed in the context of this paper is the importance of archetypal psychology and astrology for consciousness research.

  18. The learning organization and the level of consciousness

    OpenAIRE

    Chiva Gómez, Ricardo

    2017-01-01

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyze learning organization by comparing with other types of organizations. This typology is based on the levels of consciousness and relates each type of organization with a level of learning and an organizational structure. Design/methodology/approach – This is a conceptual paper based on the concept of levels of consciousness. Findings – The paper proposes that learning organization requires the highest level of consciousness. O...

  19. Study of Black Consciousness in A Raisin in The Sun

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    Rehana Kousar

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available This work explores Black Consciousness in A Raisin in the Sun by Hansberry. Black Consciousness elaborates an awareness of and pride in one’s identity as a black person. It analyzes A Raisin in the Sun by applying the theory of Black Consciousness under the perspective of Fanon. This study analysis the drama at three levels: sense of pride on black culture and identity, struggle against Apartheid and Blacks’ resolution to accept the challenges of White Community.

  20. On the neural mechanisms subserving consciousness and attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine eTallon-Baudry

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Consciousness, as described in the experimental literature, is a multi-faceted phenomenon, that impinges on other well-studied concepts such as attention and control. Do consciousness and attention refer to different aspects of the same core phenomenon, or do they correspond to distinct functions? One possibility to address this question is to examine the neural mechanisms underlying consciousness and attention. If consciousness and attention pertain to the same concept, they should rely on shared neural mechanisms. Conversely, if their underlying mechanisms are distinct, then consciousness and attention should be considered as distinct entities. This paper therefore reviews neurophysiological facts arguing in favor or against a tight relationship between consciousness and attention. Three neural mechanisms that have been associated with both attention and consciousness are examined (neural amplification, involvement of the fronto-parietal network, and oscillatory synchrony, to conclude that the commonalities between attention and consciousness at the neural level may have been overestimated. Last but not least, experiments in which both attention and consciousness were probed at the neural level point toward a dissociation between the two concepts. It therefore appears from this review that consciousness and attention rely on distinct neural properties, although they can interact at the behavioral level. It is proposed that a "cumulative influence model", in which attention and consciousness correspond to distinct neural mechanisms feeding a single decisional process leading to behavior, fits best with available neural and behavioral data. In this view, consciousness should not be considered as a top-level executive function but should rather be defined by its experiential properties.

  1. Characteristics of environmentally conscious production behaviour in agricultural waste management

    OpenAIRE

    Kormosne-Koch, Krisztina

    2008-01-01

    When measuring environmentally conscious behaviour and determining its variables, focus often lies only on consumers, but environmental conservation requires not only the consumers’ but also the producers’ input. After defining environmentally conscious behaviour, I utilized the market research method to determine how participating in agri-environmental programs and subsidies affects producers’ environmental consciousness and waste management behaviour. The research result indicates tha...

  2. A Neural Marker of Perceptual Consciousness in Infants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kouider, Sid; Stahlhut, Carsten; Gelskov, Sofie V.

    2013-01-01

    Consciousness Arrives Neurophysiological measures in human adults correspond to the transition between very brief, “unnoticeable,” and slightly longer-lived visual stimuli that penetrate deeply enough to leave a conscious imprint that subjects report they can “see.” Kouider et al. (p. 376) have...... performed parallel behavioral and neurophysiological studies in infants to identify a similar neural signal that appears to mark the development of visual consciousness....

  3. The Methodology of Psychological Research of Ecological Consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irina A. Shmeleva

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper examines the methodological principles of the psychological study of ecological consciousness as one of the urgent interdisciplinary problems of XX–XXI century, caused by the aggravation of global ecological problems and the need for the realization of the “sustainable development”ideas. Ecological consciousness is considered as multilayered, dynamic, reflexive element of human consciousness, incorporating multivariate, holistic aspects of interaction of the human being as the H.S. and the Humanity representative with the environment and the Planet. The possibility of the more active introduction of Russian psychology in the process is argued for in connection with the existing conceptual approaches, which compose the methodological basis for ecological consciousness research. Among these approaches are considered: the principles of holistic study of the human being by B. Ananyev, the methodology of system psychological description by V. Gansen and G. Sukhodolsky, the idea of reflexivity of consciousness by S. Rubinstein, the humanitarian- ecological imperative of the development of consciousness by V. Zinchenko, the theory of relations by V. Myasishev, consideration of ecological consciousness as relation to nature by S. Deryabo and V. Yasvin, theories of consciousness by V. Petrenko, V. Allakhverdov and other Russian psychologists. The value component of ecological consciousness is distinguished as the most significant. The possibility of applying the Values’ theory of the by S. Schwartz for studying the ecological values is discussed along with the prognostic potential of the universalism value.

  4. Analysis of Mental Processes Represented in Models of Artificial Consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luana Folchini da Costa

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The Artificial Consciousness concept has been used in the engineering area as being an evolution of the Artificial Intelligence. However, consciousness is a complex subject and often used without formalism. As a main contribution, in this work one proposes an analysis of four recent models of artificial consciousness published in the engineering area. The mental processes represented by these models are highlighted and correlations with the theoretical perspective of cognitive psychology are made. Finally, considerations about consciousness in such models are discussed.

  5. The Role of Consciousness in Human Cognitive Activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victor M. Allakhverdov

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The problem of consciousness is examined in the article. It is argued that all the existing approaches to consciousness do not explain the role consciousness plays in human life. An attempt of revealing and describing the principles of the mind’s work is made. Experimental phenomena observed by the author and his followers, particularly, the tendency of previously non-realized ideas not to be realized subsequently, are reviewed. The discussion of these phenomena allows to formulate a novel view on the nature of consciousness.

  6. THE MANIFESTATIONS OF THE POLITICAL CONSCIOUSNESS BETWEEN PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHERS

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    Guilherme Gil da Silva

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available This text address the phenomenon of consciousness of individuals, performing a brief overview of the key elements to understand the process of political consciousness of Physical Education teachers. This is a larger study, which analyzes how is the teachers formation and political engagement, and in the limits of this article, we present the elements for the understanding of expressions of their political consciousness. It seeks to recover the "movement" of consciousness, since it believes that this is not something given and gravel, which can be seen without relating it to their development process, embedded in the history of its formation.

  7. The consciousness state space (CSS – a unifying model for consciousness and self

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aviva eBerkovich-Ohana

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Every experience, those we are aware of and those we are not, is embedded in a subjective timeline, is tinged with emotion, and inevitably evokes a certain sense of self. Here, we present a phenomenological model for consciousness and selfhood which relates time, awareness, and emotion within one framework. The consciousness state space (CSS model is a theoretical one. It relies on a broad range of literature, hence has high explanatory and integrative strength, and helps in visualizing the relationship between different aspects of experience.Briefly, it is suggested that all phenomenological states fall into two categories of consciousness, core and extended (CC and EC, respectively. CC supports minimal selfhood that is short of temporal extension, its scope being the here and now. EC supports narrative selfhood, which involves personal identity and continuity across time, as well as memory, imagination and conceptual thought. The CSS is a phenomenological space, created by three dimensions: time, awareness and emotion. Each of the three dimensions is shown to have a dual phenomenological composition, falling within CC and EC. The neural spaces supporting each of these dimensions, as well as CC and EC, are laid out based on the neuroscientific literature.The CSS dynamics includes two simultaneous trajectories, one in CC and one in EC, typically antagonistic in normal experiences. However, this characteristic behavior is altered in states in which a person experiences an altered sense of self. Two examples are laid out, flow and meditation. The CSS model creates a broad theoretical framework with explanatory and unificatory power. It constructs a detailed map of the consciousness and selfhood phenomenology, which offers constraints for the science of consciousness. We conclude by outlaying several testable predictions raised by the CSS model.

  8. The consciousness state space (CSS)-a unifying model for consciousness and self.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berkovich-Ohana, Aviva; Glicksohn, Joseph

    2014-01-01

    Every experience, those we are aware of and those we are not, is embedded in a subjective timeline, is tinged with emotion, and inevitably evokes a certain sense of self. Here, we present a phenomenological model for consciousness and selfhood which relates time, awareness, and emotion within one framework. The consciousness state space (CSS) model is a theoretical one. It relies on a broad range of literature, hence has high explanatory and integrative strength, and helps in visualizing the relationship between different aspects of experience. Briefly, it is suggested that all phenomenological states fall into two categories of consciousness, core and extended (CC and EC, respectively). CC supports minimal selfhood that is short of temporal extension, its scope being the here and now. EC supports narrative selfhood, which involves personal identity and continuity across time, as well as memory, imagination and conceptual thought. The CSS is a phenomenological space, created by three dimensions: time, awareness and emotion. Each of the three dimensions is shown to have a dual phenomenological composition, falling within CC and EC. The neural spaces supporting each of these dimensions, as well as CC and EC, are laid out based on the neuroscientific literature. The CSS dynamics include two simultaneous trajectories, one in CC and one in EC, typically antagonistic in normal experiences. However, this characteristic behavior is altered in states in which a person experiences an altered sense of self. Two examples are laid out, flow and meditation. The CSS model creates a broad theoretical framework with explanatory and unificatory power. It constructs a detailed map of the consciousness and selfhood phenomenology, which offers constraints for the science of consciousness. We conclude by outlining several testable predictions raised by the CSS model.

  9. Change of inhabitants consciousness on air pollution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Imai, N; Abe, K; Komuro, K; Oda, M

    1972-11-01

    The consciousness of inhabitants in Isogo Ward, Yokohama City about air pollution was surveyed in 1969 and 1973. A group of industrial factories was partly in operation in 1969 but was in full operation by 1973. Fortunately there was very slight difference in sex ratio, age, occupation, health condition, and smoking habits of the objects between 1969 and 1973. The survey was performed by questionnaires consisting of 43 items. The percentage of positive answers to human impairments in 1969 and 1973 were: 38.7 and 34.2 experience of health damage; 8.1 and 5.4 of eye-irritation; 16.1 and 14.5 of throat-irritation; 5.8 and 13.6 of sneeze; 4.2 and 2.3 of snivel; 9.2 and 10.2 of cough; 3.6 and 17.1 of dyspnea; 5.4 and 7.4 of asthma; and 22.2 and 5.7 of odor. Generally, the largest source of air pollution in this area was auto exhaust followed by factory-exhaust, and the change of inhabitants consciousness about air pollution pointed out the situation. Most inhabitants were pessimistic about the future status of air pollution in the surveys in 1969 and also in 1973.

  10. ECG telemetry in conscious guinea pigs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruppert, Sabine; Vormberge, Thomas; Igl, Bernd-Wolfgang; Hoffmann, Michael

    2016-01-01

    During preclinical drug development, monitoring of the electrocardiogram (ECG) is an important part of cardiac safety assessment. To detect potential pro-arrhythmic liabilities of a drug candidate and for internal decision-making during early stage drug development an in vivo model in small animals with translatability to human cardiac function is required. Over the last years, modifications/improvements regarding animal housing, ECG electrode placement, and data evaluation have been introduced into an established model for ECG recordings using telemetry in conscious, freely moving guinea pigs. Pharmacological validation using selected reference compounds affecting different mechanisms relevant for cardiac electrophysiology (quinidine, flecainide, atenolol, dl-sotalol, dofetilide, nifedipine, moxifloxacin) was conducted and findings were compared with results obtained in telemetered Beagle dogs. Under standardized conditions, reliable ECG data with low variability allowing largely automated evaluation were obtained from the telemetered guinea pig model. The model is sensitive to compounds blocking cardiac sodium channels, hERG K(+) channels and calcium channels, and appears to be even more sensitive to β-blockers as observed in dogs at rest. QT interval correction according to Bazett and Sarma appears to be appropriate methods in conscious guinea pigs. Overall, the telemetered guinea pig is a suitable model for the conduct of early stage preclinical ECG assessment. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Consciousness, cognition and brain networks: New perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldana, E M; Valverde, J L; Fábregas, N

    2016-10-01

    A detailed analysis of the literature on consciousness and cognition mechanisms based on the neural networks theory is presented. The immune and inflammatory response to the anesthetic-surgical procedure induces modulation of neuronal plasticity by influencing higher cognitive functions. Anesthetic drugs can cause unconsciousness, producing a functional disruption of cortical and thalamic cortical integration complex. The external and internal perceptions are processed through an intricate network of neural connections, involving the higher nervous activity centers, especially the cerebral cortex. This requires an integrated model, formed by neural networks and their interactions with highly specialized regions, through large-scale networks, which are distributed throughout the brain collecting information flow of these perceptions. Functional and effective connectivity between large-scale networks, are essential for consciousness, unconsciousness and cognition. It is what is called the "human connectome" or map neural networks. Copyright © 2014 Sociedad Española de Anestesiología, Reanimación y Terapéutica del Dolor. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  12. Conscious experience and episodic memory: hippocampus at the crossroads.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behrendt, Ralf-Peter

    2013-01-01

    If an instance of conscious experience of the seemingly objective world around us could be regarded as a newly formed event memory, much as an instance of mental imagery has the content of a retrieved event memory, and if, therefore, the stream of conscious experience could be seen as evidence for ongoing formation of event memories that are linked into episodic memory sequences, then unitary conscious experience could be defined as a symbolic representation of the pattern of hippocampal neuronal firing that encodes an event memory - a theoretical stance that may shed light into the mind-body and binding problems in consciousness research. Exceedingly detailed symbols that describe patterns of activity rapidly self-organizing, at each cycle of the θ rhythm, in the hippocampus are instances of unitary conscious experience that jointly constitute the stream of consciousness. Integrating object information (derived from the ventral visual stream and orbitofrontal cortex) with contextual emotional information (from the anterior insula) and spatial environmental information (from the dorsal visual stream), the hippocampus rapidly forms event codes that have the informational content of objects embedded in an emotional and spatiotemporally extending context. Event codes, formed in the CA3-dentate network for the purpose of their memorization, are not only contextualized but also allocentric representations, similarly to conscious experiences of events and objects situated in a seemingly objective and observer-independent framework of phenomenal space and time. Conscious perception, creating the spatially and temporally extending world that we perceive around us, is likely to be evolutionarily related to more fleeting and seemingly internal forms of conscious experience, such as autobiographical memory recall, mental imagery, including goal anticipation, and to other forms of externalized conscious experience, namely dreaming and hallucinations; and evidence pointing to

  13. Conscious Experience and Episodic Memory: Hippocampus at the Crossroads

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ralf-Peter eBehrendt

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available If an instance of conscious experience of the seemingly objective world around us could be regarded as a newly formed event memory, much as an instance of mental imagery has the content of a retrieved event memory, and if, therefore, the stream of conscious experience could be seen as evidence for ongoing formation of event memories that are linked into episodic memory sequences, then unitary conscious experience could be defined as a symbolic representation of the pattern of hippocampal neuronal firing that encodes an event memory – a theoretical stance that may shed light into the mind-body and binding problems in consciousness research. Exceedingly detailed symbols that describe patterns of activity rapidly self-organizing, at each cycle of the θ rhythm, in the hippocampus are instances of unitary conscious experience that jointly constitute the stream of consciousness. Integrating object information (derived from the ventral visual stream and orbitofrontal cortex with contextual emotional information (from the anterior insula and spatial environmental information (from the dorsal visual stream, the hippocampus rapidly forms event codes that have the informational content of objects embedded in an emotional and spatiotemporally extending context. Event codes, formed in the CA3-dentate network for the purpose of their memorization, are not only contextualized but also allocentric representations, similarly to conscious experiences of events and objects situated in a seemingly objective and observer-independent framework of phenomenal space and time. Conscious perception is likely to be related to more fleeting and seemingly internal forms of conscious experience, such as autobiographical memory recall, mental imagery, including goal anticipation, and to other forms of externalized conscious experience, namely dreaming and hallucinations; and evidence pointing to an important contribution of the hippocampus to these conscious phenomena will

  14. How neuroscience will change our view on consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamme, Victor A F

    2010-09-01

    Is there consciousness in machines? Or in animals? What happens to consciousness when we are asleep, or in vegetative state? These are just a few examples of the many questions about consciousness that are troubling scientists and laypersons alike. Moreover, these questions share a striking feature: They seem to have been around forever, yet neither science nor philosophy has been able to provide an answer. Why is that? In my view, the main reason is that the study of consciousness is dominated by what we know from introspection and behavior. This has fooled us into thinking that we know what we are conscious of. The scientific equivalent of this is Global Workspace theory. But in fact we don't know what we are conscious of, as I will explain from a simple experiment in visual perception. Once we acknowledge that, it is clear that we need other evidence about the presence or absence of a conscious sensation than introspection or behavior. Assuming the brain has something to do with it, I will demonstrate how arguments from neuroscience, together with theoretical and ontological arguments, can help us resolve what the exact nature of our conscious sensation is. It turns out that we see much more than we think, and that Global Workspace theory is all about access but not about seeing. The exercise is an example of how neuroscience will move us away from psychological intuitions about consciousness, and hence depict a notion of consciousness that may go against our deepest conviction: "My consciousness is mine, and mine alone." It's not.

  15. Color synesthesia. Insight into perception, emotion, and consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safran, Avinoam B; Sanda, Nicolae

    2015-02-01

    Synesthesia is an extraordinary perceptual phenomenon, in which individuals experience unusual percepts elicited by the activation of an unrelated sensory modality or by a cognitive process. Emotional reactions are commonly associated. The condition prompted philosophical debates on the nature of perception and impacted the course of art history. It recently generated a considerable interest among neuroscientists, but its clinical significance apparently remains underevaluated. This review focuses on the recent studies regarding variants of color synesthesia, the commonest form of the condition. Synesthesia is commonly classified as developmental and acquired. Developmental forms predispose to changes in primary sensory processing and cognitive functions, usually with better performances in certain aspects and worse in others, and to heightened creativity. Acquired forms of synesthesia commonly arise from drug ingestion or neurological disorders, including thalamic lesions and sensory deprivation (e.g., blindness). Cerebral exploration using structural and functional imaging has demonstrated distinct patterns in cortical activation and brain connectivity for controls and synesthetes. Artworks of affected painters are most illustrative of the nature of synesthetic experiences. Results of the recent investigations on synesthesia offered a remarkable insight into the mechanisms of perception, emotion and consciousness, and deserve attention both from neuroscientists and from clinicians.

  16. Using brain stimulation to disentangle neural correlates of conscious vision

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Graaf, T.A.; Sack, A.T.

    2014-01-01

    Research into the neural correlates of consciousness (NCCs) has blossomed, due to the advent of new and increasingly sophisticated brain research tools. Neuroimaging has uncovered a variety of brain processes that relate to conscious perception, obtained in a range of experimental paradigms. But

  17. How Consciousness-Raising Affects Intonation and Facilitates Reading Comprehension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shariati, Mohammad

    2007-01-01

    This paper reports on an investigation about the relation between a student's conscious awareness of the structure of a sentence and the degree of his/her intonation accuracy as well as his/her reading comprehension. The research was done based on the hypothesis that: "if the students are made conscious of the infrastructure of lengthy…

  18. The role of instruction for spelling performance and spelling consciousness

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cordewener, K.A.H.; Hasselman, F.W.; Verhoeven, L.T.W.; Bosman, A.M.T.

    2018-01-01

    This study examined the role of instruction for spelling performance and spelling consciousness in the Dutch language. Spelling consciousness is the ability to reflect on one's spelling and correct errors. A sample of 115 third-grade spellers was assigned to a strategy-instruction,

  19. The Role of Instruction for Spelling Performance and Spelling Consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordewener, Kim A. H.; Hasselman, Fred; Verhoeven, Ludo; Bosman, Anna M. T.

    2018-01-01

    This study examined the role of instruction for spelling performance and spelling consciousness in the Dutch language. Spelling consciousness is the ability to reflect on one's spelling and correct errors. A sample of 115 third-grade spellers was assigned to a strategy-instruction, strategic-monitoring, self-monitoring, or control condition…

  20. The possibility of a science of consciousness Critical reflections on ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The opposite goes for Merleau-Ponty whose first-person ontology does not account for third-person epistemology. The question is ultimately how far a science of consciousness is really possible. This paper enquires about the possibility of an approach that allows a scientific account of consciousness, specifically qualia, ...

  1. Ethical consciousness in auditing : a comparison of students and employees

    OpenAIRE

    Rong, Stine Mari Hilmarsen

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this thesis has been to examine the difference in the level of consciousness towards ethics in auditing between students and employees, and further examine if the level of ethical consciousness comply with auditing standards. To examine the level of the different groups, a survey was conducted and distributed. The survey ...

  2. Baseline brain energy supports the state of consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shulman, Robert G; Hyder, Fahmeed; Rothman, Douglas L

    2009-07-07

    An individual, human or animal, is defined to be in a conscious state empirically by the behavioral ability to respond meaningfully to stimuli, whereas the loss of consciousness is defined by unresponsiveness. PET measurements of glucose or oxygen consumption show a widespread approximately 45% reduction in cerebral energy consumption with anesthesia-induced loss of consciousness. Because baseline brain energy consumption has been shown by (13)C magnetic resonance spectroscopy to be almost exclusively dedicated to neuronal signaling, we propose that the high level of brain energy is a necessary property of the conscious state. Two additional neuronal properties of the conscious state change with anesthesia. The delocalized fMRI activity patterns in rat brain during sensory stimulation at a higher energy state (close to the awake) collapse to a contralateral somatosensory response at lower energy state (deep anesthesia). Firing rates of an ensemble of neurons in the rat somatosensory cortex shift from the gamma-band range (20-40 Hz) at higher energy state to energy state. With the conscious state defined by the individual's behavior and maintained by high cerebral energy, measurable properties of that state are the widespread fMRI patterns and high frequency neuronal activity, both of which support the extensive interregional communication characteristic of consciousness. This usage of high brain energies when the person is in the "state" of consciousness differs from most studies, which attend the smaller energy increments observed during the stimulations that form the "contents" of that state.

  3. Simulation and Representation of Body, Emotion, and Core Consciousness

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bosse, T.; Jonker, C.M.; Treur, J.; Henderson-Sellers, B.; Winikoff, M.

    2005-01-01

    This paper contributes an analysis and formalisation of Damasio's theory on core consciousness. Three important concepts in this theory are 'emotion', 'feeling', and 'feeling a feeling' (or core consciousness). In particular, a simulation model is described of the neural dynamics leading via emotion

  4. Social Class Dialogues and the Fostering of Class Consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madden, Meredith

    2015-01-01

    How do critical pedagogies promote undergraduate students' awareness of social class, social class identity, and social class inequalities in education? How do undergraduate students experience class consciousness-raising in the intergroup dialogue classroom? This qualitative study explores undergraduate students' class consciousness-raising in an…

  5. Myth in the structure of national consciousness | Gizatova | Journal ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... multiethnic state, the problem of scientific definition of nations, ethnic groups, national and ethnic consciousness has a special practical significance. In Russia and the post-Soviet space, the activation of mythological thinking has its own specifics. Keywords: Nations, Ethnicity, National consciousness, Myth, Globalization ...

  6. Consciousness as a global property of brain dynamic activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mateos, D. M.; Wennberg, R.; Guevara, R.; Perez Velazquez, J. L.

    2017-12-01

    We seek general principles of the structure of the cellular collective activity associated with conscious awareness. Can we obtain evidence for features of the optimal brain organization that allows for adequate processing of stimuli and that may guide the emergence of cognition and consciousness? Analyzing brain recordings in conscious and unconscious states, we followed initially the classic approach in physics when it comes to understanding collective behaviours of systems composed of a myriad of units: the assessment of the number of possible configurations (microstates) that the system can adopt, for which we use a global entropic measure associated with the number of connected brain regions. Having found maximal entropy in conscious states, we then inspected the microscopic nature of the configurations of connections using an adequate complexity measure and found higher complexity in states characterized not only by conscious awareness but also by subconscious cognitive processing, such as sleep stages. Our observations indicate that conscious awareness is associated with maximal global (macroscopic) entropy and with the short time scale (microscopic) complexity of the configurations of connected brain networks in pathological unconscious states (seizures and coma), but the microscopic view captures the high complexity in physiological unconscious states (sleep) where there is information processing. As such, our results support the global nature of conscious awareness, as advocated by several theories of cognition. We thus hope that our studies represent preliminary steps to reveal aspects of the structure of cognition that leads to conscious awareness.

  7. Gender Consciousness among Urban Adolescents in Osun State ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study attempted to find out whether adolescents express their consciousness about the two dimensions of gender (public and private) and to determine the level ofmanifestations of gender consciousness among early and late adolescents. For the purpose of this study, 100(M=56, F=44) were randomly selected from ...

  8. Experience with Conscious sedation for Oocyte Retrieval in Nigeria

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    elearning

    The aim of this study was to assess clients' pain experience, acceptance of conscious sedation and correlates of pain during oocyte retrieval ... Conscious sedation and analgesia are one of several methods used to relieve pain during oocyte retrieval in. IVF procedures. .... relieves anxiety and reduces the patient's memory.

  9. Functional brain imaging in the clinical assessment of consciousness.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael S Rafii

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Recent findings suggest that functional brain imaging might be used to identify consciousness in patients diagnosed with persistent vegetative state and minimally conscious state. Michael Rafii and James Brewer discuss the potential for fMRI's wider implementation in clinical practice, and associated caveats.

  10. The Role of Gender Consciousness in Challenging Patriarchy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bierema, Laura L.

    2003-01-01

    In an action research project, eight women explored their development of gender consciousness, finding that a hidden curriculum taught subordination to the patriarchal system. Connected learning fostered gender consciousness and led to connected action. Action included teaching others about gender issues, making the invisible visible, and adopting…

  11. Mental states, processes, and conscious intent in Libet's experiments

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The meaning and significance of Benjamin Libet's studies on the timing of conscious will have been widely discussed, especially by those wishing to draw sceptical conclusions about conscious agency and free will. However, certain important correctives for thinking about mental states and processes undermine the ...

  12. Solar energy conscious allotting and building

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moor, R.; Winter, R.

    1992-10-01

    In order to use solar energy now and in the future several measures should be taken in the field of urban development and housing construction. A number of policy instruments is available to the local governments to stimulate the use of solar energy. However, little use is made of these possibilities so far. In many municipalities there are uncertainties about the financial consequences of solar energy conscious building. In practice it appears that there are hardly any extra costs for the infrastructure if building blocks and roofs are designed and built with south orientation. Also possibilities to minimize the investment barrier for the occupants of the houses are available. An overview is presented of the policy instruments and practical examples are given for the Dutch municipalities Gouda, Schiedam, Heerhugowaard, Delft and Haarlemmermeer. 2 tabs., 2 appendices, 6 refs

  13. Sharatchandra’s Caste and Gender Consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Narasingha Sil

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Sharatchandra Chattopadhyay’s attitude to the prevalent caste system and social ethos, especially concerning sex, love, and marriage and chastity of married as well as widowed women, shows a marked ambivalence. On one hand, his work demonstrates his progressive and liberal ideas emanating from Western contact and impact on late colonial India, and on Bengal in particular. On the other hand, and by the same token, his attitude to love, marriage, and sex shows marked affinity with the Victorian morality emanating from the society of colonial India’s metropolitan masters. The upshot of this historical and social context is that Sharatchandra was basically a caste conscious Hindu Brahmin and a firm believer in the patriarchal ethos of his contemporary society, his reputation as a compassionate (daradī or maramī writer exposing the ills of his society notwithstanding.

  14. Fashion design solutions for environmentally conscious consumers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, M.; Chen, Y.; Curteza, A.; Thomassey, S.; Perwuelz, A.; Zeng, X.

    2017-10-01

    This paper intends to give an overview of the design solutions in fashion for environmentally conscious consumers, presenting green and ethical practices in contemporary clothing design. The results introduce the concept of slow fashion and discuss available fashion design solutions, giving most prominent examples of sustainable products and brands, these contain one or more design features. By this, the discussion extracts the main contemporary ideas. The presented examples of current offers are all envisioning less impact on the environment and society. Sustainable design solutions use more environmentally friendly materials such as organic cotton, incorporate circular design or design for recycling, e.g., replacing button closures with alternative closing possibilities or leather labels with printed versions, or ensure long product life through durability, among other methods. There are differing designs due to creators’ individuality. This overview can be beneficial for the future development of new solutions for more environmentally friendly fashion.

  15. The posthuman condition consciousness beyond the brain

    CERN Document Server

    Pepperell, Robert

    1995-01-01

    Synthetic creativity, organic computers, genetic modification, intelligent machines &endash; such ideas are deeply challenging to many of our traditional assumptions about human uniqueness and superiority. But, ironically, it is our very capacity for technological invention that has secured us so dominant a position in the world which may lead ultimately to (as some have put it) 'The End of Man'. If we are really capable of creating entities that exceed our own skills and intellect then the consequences for humanity are almost inconceivable. Nevertheless, we must now face up to the possibility that attributes like intelligence and consciousness may be synthesised in non-human entities &endash; perhaps within our lifetime. Would such entities have human-like emotions; would they have a sense of their own being? The Posthuman Condition argues that such questions are difficult to tackle given the concepts of human existence that we have inherited from humanism, many of which can no longer be sustained. N...

  16. Epileptic consciousness: concept and meaning of aura.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez-Silva, Sergio; Alvarez-Silva, Iria; Alvarez-Rodriguez, Javier; Perez-Echeverria, M J; Campayo-Martinez, Antonio; Rodriguez-Fernandez, F L

    2006-05-01

    This research is based on previous publications that have analyzed certain neuropsychological phenomena that always have the same characteristic clinical features: a vivid experience of sudden onset and automatic development, accompanied by an intense sensation of strangeness. When these automatisms are accompanied by only mental symptoms, the designation paroxysmal psychic automatisms (PPAs) is proposed, and they should be interpreted as partial seizures (PSs) with a psychic content whenever they clearly exhibit the four features of suddenness, passivity, intensity, and strangeness. This interpretation is based on the existence of a wealth of scientific literature indicating an overlap between PPAs and PSs; moreover, bibliographic reviews indicate that the clinical signs just defined as characterizing PPAs are precisely those defining the epileptic consciousness.

  17. On human consciousness: A mathematical perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Grindrod

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available We consider the implications of the mathematical modeling and analysis of large modular neuron-to-neuron dynamical networks. We explain how the dynamical behavior of relatively small-scale strongly connected networks leads naturally to nonbinary information processing and thus to multiple hypothesis decision-making, even at the very lowest level of the brain’s architecture. In turn we build on these ideas to address some aspects of the hard problem of consciousness. These include how feelings might arise within an architecture with a foundational decision-making and classification layer of unit processors. We discuss how a proposed “dual hierarchy model,” made up from both externally perceived, physical elements of increasing complexity, and internally experienced, mental elements (which we argue are equivalent to feelings, may support aspects of a learning and evolving consciousness. We introduce the idea that a human brain ought to be able to reconjure subjective mental feelings at will, and thus these feelings cannot depend on internal chatter or internal instability-driven activity (patterns. An immediate consequence of this model, grounded in dynamical systems and nonbinary information processing, is that finite human brains must always be learning and forgetting and that any possible subjective internal feeling that might be fully idealized with a countable infinity of facets could never be learned completely a priori by zombies or automata. It may be experienced more and more fully by an evolving human brain (yet never in totality, not even in a lifetime. We argue that, within our model, the mental elements and thus internal modes (feelings play a role akin to latent variables in processing and decision-making, and thus confer an evolutionary “fast-thinking” advantage.

  18. Social Media Users’ Legal Consciousness About Privacy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katharine Sarikakis

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available This article explores the ways in which the concept of privacy is understood in the context of social media and with regard to users’ awareness of privacy policies and laws in the ‘Post-Snowden’ era. In the light of presumably increased public exposure to privacy debates, generated partly due to the European “Right to be Forgotten” ruling and the Snowden revelations on mass surveillance, this article explores users’ meaning-making of privacy as a matter of legal dimension in terms of its violations and threats online and users’ ways of negotiating their Internet use, in particular social networking sites. Drawing on the concept of legal consciousness, this article explores through focus group interviews the ways in which social media users negotiate privacy violations and what role their understanding of privacy laws (or lack thereof might play in their strategies of negotiation. The findings are threefold: first, privacy is understood almost universally as a matter of controlling one’s own data, including information disclosure even to friends, and is strongly connected to issues about personal autonomy; second, a form of resignation with respect to control over personal data appears to coexist with a recognized need to protect one’s private data, while respondents describe conscious attempts to circumvent systems of monitoring or violation of privacy, and third, despite widespread coverage of privacy legal issues in the press, respondents’ concerns about and engagement in “self-protecting” tactics derive largely from being personally affected by violations of law and privacy.

  19. How rich is consciousness? The partial awareness hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kouider, Sid; de Gardelle, Vincent; Sackur, Jérôme; Dupoux, Emmanuel

    2010-07-01

    Current theories of consciousness posit a dissociation between 'phenomenal' consciousness (rich) and 'access' consciousness (limited). Here, we argue that the empirical evidence for phenomenal consciousness without access is equivocal, resulting either from a confusion between phenomenal and unconscious contents, or from an impression of phenomenally rich experiences arising from illusory contents. We propose a refined account of access that relies on a hierarchy of representational levels and on the notion of partial awareness, whereby lower and higher levels are accessed independently. Reframing of the issue of dissociable forms of consciousness into dissociable levels of access provides a more parsimonious account of the existing evidence. In addition, the rich phenomenology illusion can be studied and described in terms of testable cognitive mechanisms. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Using brain stimulation to disentangle neural correlates of conscious vision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Graaf, Tom A; Sack, Alexander T

    2014-01-01

    Research into the neural correlates of consciousness (NCCs) has blossomed, due to the advent of new and increasingly sophisticated brain research tools. Neuroimaging has uncovered a variety of brain processes that relate to conscious perception, obtained in a range of experimental paradigms. But methods such as functional magnetic resonance imaging or electroencephalography do not always afford inference on the functional role these brain processes play in conscious vision. Such empirical NCCs could reflect neural prerequisites, neural consequences, or neural substrates of a conscious experience. Here, we take a closer look at the use of non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) techniques in this context. We discuss and review how NIBS methodology can enlighten our understanding of brain mechanisms underlying conscious vision by disentangling the empirical NCCs.

  1. Ethical issues in states of impaired communication with intact consciousness and language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCluskey, Leo

    2013-01-01

    Acute and chronic peripheral and/or central disorders of the voluntary motor system can produce profound paresis or paralysis, at times with ophthalmoplegia, while preserving consciousness and language function. Although at times appearing to be unconscious, these patients are awake and alert but unable to communicate, manipulate their environment, or participate in medical decision-making. Clinicians caring for these patients are ethically tasked with recognizing this clinical reality, enacting measures to facilitate communication, and abiding by ethical and legal principles that support autonomous patient-centered decision-making. This chapter reviews the various disorders that may cause this state while using three exemplary disorders - locked-in syndrome, caused by an anterior pontine lesion; high cervical spinal cord lesion; and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis - to discuss the management of these patients. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Hippocampus is place of interaction between unconscious and conscious memories.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc Alain Züst

    Full Text Available Recent evidence suggests that humans can form and later retrieve new semantic relations unconsciously by way of hippocampus-the key structure also recruited for conscious relational (episodic memory. If the hippocampus subserves both conscious and unconscious relational encoding/retrieval, one would expect the hippocampus to be place of unconscious-conscious interactions during memory retrieval. We tested this hypothesis in an fMRI experiment probing the interaction between the unconscious and conscious retrieval of face-associated information. For the establishment of unconscious relational memories, we presented subliminal (masked combinations of unfamiliar faces and written occupations ("actor" or "politician". At test, we presented the former subliminal faces, but now supraliminally, as cues for the reactivation of the unconsciously associated occupations. We hypothesized that unconscious reactivation of the associated occupation-actor or politician-would facilitate or inhibit the subsequent conscious retrieval of a celebrity's occupation, which was also actor or politician. Depending on whether the reactivated unconscious occupation was congruent or incongruent to the celebrity's occupation, we expected either quicker or delayed conscious retrieval process. Conscious retrieval was quicker in the congruent relative to a neutral baseline condition but not delayed in the incongruent condition. fMRI data collected during subliminal face-occupation encoding confirmed previous evidence that the hippocampus was interacting with neocortical storage sites of semantic knowledge to support relational encoding. fMRI data collected at test revealed that the facilitated conscious retrieval was paralleled by deactivations in the hippocampus and neocortical storage sites of semantic knowledge. We assume that the unconscious reactivation has pre-activated overlapping relational representations in the hippocampus reducing the neural effort for conscious

  3. Human Development IX: A Model of the Wholeness of Man, His Consciousness, and Collective Consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Søren Ventegodt

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we look at the rational and the emotional interpretation of reality in the human brain and being, and discuss the representation of the brain-mind (ego, the body-mind (Id, and the outer world in the human wholeness (the I or “soul”. Based on this we discuss a number of factors including the coherence between perception, attention and consciousness, and the relation between thought, fantasies, visions and dreams. We discuss and explain concepts as intent, will, morals and ethics. The Jungian concept of the human collective conscious and unconscious is also analyzed. We also hypothesis on the nature of intuition and consider the source of religious experience of man. These phenomena are explained based on the concept of deep quantum chemistry and infinite dancing fractal spirals making up the energetic backbone of the world. In this paper we consider man as a real wholeness and debate the concepts of subjectivity, consciousness and intent that can be deduced from such a perspective.

  4. Affect Consciousness in children with internalizing problems: Assessment of affect integration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taarvig, Eva; Solbakken, Ole André; Grova, Bjørg; Monsen, Jon T

    2015-10-01

    Affect integration was operationalized through the Affect Consciousness (AC) construct as degrees of awareness, tolerance, nonverbal expression and conceptual expression of 11 affects. These aspects are assessed through a semi-structured Affect Consciousness Interview (ACI) and separate rating scales (Affect Consciousness Scales (ACSs)) developed for use in research and clinical work with adults with psychopathological disorders. Age-adjusted changes were made in the interview and rating system. This study explored the applicability of the adjusted ACI to a sample of 11-year-old children with internalizing problems through examining inter-rater reliability of the adjusted ACI, along with relationships between the AC aspects and aspects of mental health as symptoms of depression, symptoms of anxiety, social competence, besides general intelligence. Satisfactory inter-rater reliability was found, as well as consistent relationships between the AC aspects and the various aspects of mental health, a finding which coincides with previous research. The finding indicates that the attainment of the capacity to deal adaptively with affect is probably an important contributor to the development of adequate social competence and maybe in the prevention of psychopathology in children. The results indicate that the adjusted ACI and rating scales are useful tools in treatment planning with children at least from the age of 11 years. © The Author(s) 2014.

  5. Xenomelia: a social neuroscience view of altered bodily self-consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter eBrugger

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Xenomelia, the "foreign limb syndrome", is characterized by the non-acceptance of one or more of one’s own extremities and the resulting desire for elective limb amputation or paralysis. Formerly labeled 'body integrity identity disorder' (BIID, the condition was originally considered a psychological or psychiatric disorder, but a brain-centered Zeitgeist and a rapidly growing interest in the neural underpinnings of bodily self-consciousness has shifted the focus towards dysfunctional central nervous system circuits. The present article outlays both mind-based and brain-based views highlighting their shortcomings. We propose that full insight into what should be conceived a xenomelia spectrum disorder will require interpretation of individual symptomatology in a social context. A proper social neuroscience of xenomelia respects the functional neuroanatomy of corporeal awareness, but also acknowledges the brain’s plasticity in response to an individual’s history, which is lived against a cultural background. This integrated view of xenomelia will promote the subfield of consciousness research concerned with the unity of body and self.

  6. Xenomelia: a social neuroscience view of altered bodily self-consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brugger, Peter; Lenggenhager, Bigna; Giummarra, Melita J

    2013-01-01

    Xenomelia, the "foreign limb syndrome," is characterized by the non-acceptance of one or more of one's own extremities and the resulting desire for elective limb amputation or paralysis. Formerly labeled "body integrity identity disorder" (BIID), the condition was originally considered a psychological or psychiatric disorder, but a brain-centered Zeitgeist and a rapidly growing interest in the neural underpinnings of bodily self-consciousness has shifted the focus toward dysfunctional central nervous system circuits. The present article outlays both mind-based and brain-based views highlighting their shortcomings. We propose that full insight into what should be conceived a "xenomelia spectrum disorder" will require interpretation of individual symptomatology in a social context. A proper social neuroscience of xenomelia respects the functional neuroanatomy of corporeal awareness, but also acknowledges the brain's plasticity in response to an individual's history, which is lived against a cultural background. This integrated view of xenomelia will promote the subfield of consciousness research concerned with the unity of body and self.

  7. IN SEARCH OF SENSES (SOCIAL CONSCIOUSNESS IN WORKS OF G. A. KOTELNIKOV)

    OpenAIRE

    Oreshkina M. A.

    2015-01-01

    In the recent past, class-consciousness was considered one of the expression forms of social consciousness and acted as its main form due to close interaction with interests of people. The class-consciousness and the consciousness of classes were two separate matters of consideration. It was supposed that the essence of class-consciousness and of the class-psychology concomitant with it could only be comprehended in consideration of structure of the social consciousness as a whole. The correl...

  8. In Situ Representations and Access Consciousness in Neural Blackboard or Workspace Architectures

    OpenAIRE

    Frank van der Velde

    2018-01-01

    Phenomenal theories of consciousness assert that consciousness is based on specific neural correlates in the brain, which can be separated from all cognitive functions we can perform. If so, the search for robot consciousness seems to be doomed. By contrast, theories of functional or access consciousness assert that consciousness can be studied only with forms of cognitive access, given by cognitive processes. Consequently, consciousness and cognitive access cannot be fully dissociated. Here,...

  9. The ability of juvenile offenders with personality immaturity to conscious leadership by their actions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fedonkina A.A.

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available This article discusses the characteristics of the phenomenon of personality immaturity, stand out its main features, described differences in their quantitative representation of juvenile offenders, clinical features the diagnosis of mental disorders in juvenile offenders with personality immaturity. Special attention is given to how identified characteristics of personality immaturity affects to the ability of juvenile offenders to conscious regulation of their activities, including the potential ability and current ability of minors accused to realize the significance of their actions and control them when they commit socially dangerous acts. The studied parameters are compared in samples of juvenile offenders with personality immaturity and without it.

  10. Social Construction of National Reality: Chinese Consciousness versus Hong Kong Consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fu-Lai Tony Yu

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The struggle to break away from the parent state and claim for independence often results in political unrest, terrorist activities and even ethnic cleansing. In East Asia, the hostilities between people from Hong Kong and mainland China also intensify rapidly in recent years. The late 2000s and early 2010s witness a surge in anti-Mainlander sentiment in Hong Kong and a call for self-determination, resulting in a series of political upheavals. In literatures, irredentist and secessionist advocators generally defend themselves in terms of common blood, race and culture. None of them regards the issue from human agency theory. This paper has two objectives. Firstly, based largely on the works of Max Weber, W.I. Thomas, Alfred Schutz and Peter Berger, this paper constructs a theoretical framework, namely, the social construction of national reality, which allows us to explain the origin of national identity and the reason for people to call for autonomy or secession. It will argue that collective consciousness originates from everyday life experience taken for granted during socialization. Individuals make sense of the external world. Experiences taken for granted become the actor’s stock of knowledge. A common scheme of knowledge shared by the community serves to differentiate in-group (nationals and out-group (foreigners. Collective consciousness thus defines national identity and hence a nation. Unless people (both in-group and out-group interact with and learn from each other, different stocks of knowledge taken for granted will create conflict. This theory is applied to explain growing Sinophobia in Hong Kong. The confrontation between traditional Chinese consciousness and emerging Hong Kong consciousness undermines the peaceful coexistence among Hongkongers and Mainlanders, unless both parties redefine their stock of knowledge via dynamic learning. The paper concludes that in order to reduce the conflicts in the regions, understanding the

  11. Healing Through States of Consciousness: Animal Sacrifice and Christian Prayer Among the Kachin in Southwest China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wenyi

    2016-01-01

    Healing rituals can be understood in terms of configurations of two states of consciousness-a culturally elaborated everyday waking consciousness, and an enhanced and culturally elaborated state of consciousness. Two healing rituals performed by the ethnic Kachin in Southwest China differentiate these two states of consciousness in their theories of life and death. The first ritual, animal sacrifice, employs the ordinary consciousness, including will and expectation, of participants through the enhanced state of consciousness of the ritual officiant. The second, Christian prayer, utilizes the enhanced consciousness of Christian Congregation to achieve psychic transformation. These two rituals maneuver different configurations of the two states of consciousness in achieving healing efficacy.

  12. Neural correlates of processing "self-conscious" vs. "basic" emotions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilead, Michael; Katzir, Maayan; Eyal, Tal; Liberman, Nira

    2016-01-29

    Self-conscious emotions are prevalent in our daily lives and play an important role in both normal and pathological behavior. Despite their immense significance, the neural substrates that are involved in the processing of such emotions are surprisingly under-studied. In light of this, we conducted an fMRI study in which participants thought of various personal events which elicited feelings of negative and positive self-conscious (i.e., guilt, pride) or basic (i.e., anger, joy) emotions. We performed a conjunction analysis to investigate the neural correlates associated with processing events that are related to self-conscious vs. basic emotions, irrespective of valence. The results show that processing self-conscious emotions resulted in activation within frontal areas associated with self-processing and self-control, namely, the mPFC extending to the dACC, and within the lateral-dorsal prefrontal cortex. Processing basic emotions resulted in activation throughout relatively phylogenetically-ancient regions of the cortex, namely in visual and tactile processing areas and in the insular cortex. Furthermore, self-conscious emotions differentially activated the mPFC such that the negative self-conscious emotion (guilt) was associated with a more dorsal activation, and the positive self-conscious emotion (pride) was associated with a more ventral activation. We discuss how these results shed light on the nature of mental representations and neural systems involved in self-reflective and affective processing. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Reading comprehension and textual consciousness on primary school

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    Vera Wannmacher Pereira

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The difficulties on reading comprehension in the primary school are evidenced by several official exams applied. Given these statistics and the evidences obtained through academic research and observations on children’s performance during the school life, there is acknowledgment of the situation as a problem that requires further development and finding solutions. The Psycholinguistics is giving its contribution, especially regarding the role of linguistic consciousness on reading learning. Many studies have been conducted specifically focusing on phonological consciousness. Studies on syntactic consciousness are also found, although less than phonological ones. Regarding the role of textual consciousness, few initiatives considers the students of the primary school. This makes the author proposes as the heartland of this communication the textual consciousness with support predominantly on Gombert (1992, aiming to examine the relationship between this level of consciousness and learning to read. Based on recent studies (PEREIRA; SCLIAR-CABRAL, 2012, the author presents in this paper: a the analysis of the context of learning and teaching of reading; b a theoretical exposition about reading learning and textual consciousness; c the pedagogical referrals for education based on the interaction between these two topics; and d the development of reflections on the possibility of the proposed path contribute to the solution of the worrying problem on read learning by the primary schools students.

  14. Evidence that logical reasoning depends on conscious processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeWall, C Nathan; Baumeister, Roy F; Masicampo, E J

    2008-09-01

    Humans, unlike other animals, are equipped with a powerful brain that permits conscious awareness and reflection. A growing trend in psychological science has questioned the benefits of consciousness, however. Testing a hypothesis advanced by [Lieberman, M. D., Gaunt, R., Gilbert, D. T., & Trope, Y. (2002). Reflection and reflexion: A social cognitive neuroscience approach to attributional inference. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 34, 199-249], four studies suggested that the conscious, reflective processing system is vital for logical reasoning. Substantial decrements in logical reasoning were found when a cognitive load manipulation preoccupied conscious processing, while hampering the nonconscious system with consciously suppressed thoughts failed to impair reasoning (Experiment 1). Nonconscious activation (priming) of the idea of logical reasoning increased the activation of logic-relevant concepts, but failed to improve logical reasoning performance (Experiments 2a-2c) unless the logical conclusions were largely intuitive and thus not reliant on logical reasoning (Experiment 3). Meanwhile, stimulating the conscious goal of reasoning well led to improvements in reasoning performance (Experiment 4). These findings offer evidence that logical reasoning is aided by the conscious, reflective processing system.

  15. Consciousness, accessibility, and the mesh between psychology and neuroscience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Block, Ned

    2007-12-01

    How can we disentangle the neural basis of phenomenal consciousness from the neural machinery of the cognitive access that underlies reports of phenomenal consciousness? We see the problem in stark form if we ask how we can tell whether representations inside a Fodorian module are phenomenally conscious. The methodology would seem straightforward: Find the neural natural kinds that are the basis of phenomenal consciousness in clear cases--when subjects are completely confident and we have no reason to doubt their authority--and look to see whether those neural natural kinds exist within Fodorian modules. But a puzzle arises: Do we include the machinery underlying reportability within the neural natural kinds of the clear cases? If the answer is "Yes," then there can be no phenomenally conscious representations in Fodorian modules. But how can we know if the answer is "Yes"? The suggested methodology requires an answer to the question it was supposed to answer! This target article argues for an abstract solution to the problem and exhibits a source of empirical data that is relevant, data that show that in a certain sense phenomenal consciousness overflows cognitive accessibility. I argue that we can find a neural realizer of this overflow if we assume that the neural basis of phenomenal consciousness does not include the neural basis of cognitive accessibility and that this assumption is justified (other things being equal) by the explanations it allows.

  16. Chasing the Rainbow: The Non-conscious Nature of Being

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    David A. Oakley

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Despite the compelling subjective experience of executive self-control, we argue that “consciousness” contains no top-down control processes and that “consciousness” involves no executive, causal, or controlling relationship with any of the familiar psychological processes conventionally attributed to it. In our view, psychological processing and psychological products are not under the control of consciousness. In particular, we argue that all “contents of consciousness” are generated by and within non-conscious brain systems in the form of a continuous self-referential personal narrative that is not directed or influenced in any way by the “experience of consciousness.” This continuously updated personal narrative arises from selective “internal broadcasting” of outputs from non-conscious executive systems that have access to all forms of cognitive processing, sensory information, and motor control. The personal narrative provides information for storage in autobiographical memory and is underpinned by constructs of self and agency, also created in non-conscious systems. The experience of consciousness is a passive accompaniment to the non-conscious processes of internal broadcasting and the creation of the personal narrative. In this sense, personal awareness is analogous to the rainbow which accompanies physical processes in the atmosphere but exerts no influence over them. Though it is an end-product created by non-conscious executive systems, the personal narrative serves the powerful evolutionary function of enabling individuals to communicate (externally broadcast the contents of internal broadcasting. This in turn allows recipients to generate potentially adaptive strategies, such as predicting the behavior of others and underlies the development of social and cultural structures, that promote species survival. Consequently, it is the capacity to communicate to others the contents of the personal narrative that

  17. Subliminal unconscious conflict alpha power inhibits supraliminal conscious symptom experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shevrin, Howard; Snodgrass, Michael; Brakel, Linda A W; Kushwaha, Ramesh; Kalaida, Natalia L; Bazan, Ariane

    2013-01-01

    Our approach is based on a tri-partite method of integrating psychodynamic hypotheses, cognitive subliminal processes, and psychophysiological alpha power measures. We present ten social phobic subjects with three individually selected groups of words representing unconscious conflict, conscious symptom experience, and Osgood Semantic negative valence words used as a control word group. The unconscious conflict and conscious symptom words, presented subliminally and supraliminally, act as primes preceding the conscious symptom and control words presented as supraliminal targets. With alpha power as a marker of inhibitory brain activity, we show that unconscious conflict primes, only when presented subliminally, have a unique inhibitory effect on conscious symptom targets. This effect is absent when the unconscious conflict primes are presented supraliminally, or when the target is the control words. Unconscious conflict prime effects were found to correlate with a measure of repressiveness in a similar previous study (Shevrin et al., 1992, 1996). Conscious symptom primes have no inhibitory effect when presented subliminally. Inhibitory effects with conscious symptom primes are present, but only when the primes are supraliminal, and they did not correlate with repressiveness in a previous study (Shevrin et al., 1992, 1996). We conclude that while the inhibition following supraliminal conscious symptom primes is due to conscious threat bias, the inhibition following subliminal unconscious conflict primes provides a neurological blueprint for dynamic repression: it is only activated subliminally by an individual's unconscious conflict and has an inhibitory effect specific only to the conscious symptom. These novel findings constitute neuroscientific evidence for the psychoanalytic concepts of unconscious conflict and repression, while extending neuroscience theory and methods into the realm of personal, psychological meaning.

  18. Subliminal unconscious conflict alpha power inhibits supraliminal conscious symptom experience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Howard eShevrin

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Our approach is based on a tri-partite method of integrating psychodynamic hypotheses, cognitive subliminal processes, and psychophysiological alpha power measures. We present ten social phobic subjects with three individually selected groups of words representing unconscious conflict, conscious symptom experience, and Osgood Semantic negative valence words used as a control word group. The unconscious conflict and conscious symptom words, presented subliminally and supraliminally, act as primes preceding the conscious symptom and control words presented as supraliminal targets. With alpha power as a marker of inhibitory brain activity, we show that unconscious conflict primes, only when presented subliminally, have a unique inhibitory effect on conscious symptom targets. This effect is absent when the unconscious conflict primes are presented supraliminally, or when the target is the control words. Unconscious conflict prime effects were found to correlate with a measure of repressiveness in a similar previous study (Shevrin et al., 1992, 1996. Conscious symptom primes have no inhibitory effect when presented subliminally. Inhibitory effects with conscious symptom primes are present, but only when the primes are supraliminal, and they did not correlate with repressiveness in a previous study (Shevrin, et al., 1992, 1996. We conclude that while the inhibition following supraliminal conscious symptom primes is due to conscious threat bias, the inhibition following subliminal unconscious conflict primes provides a neurological blueprint for dynamic repression: it is only activated subliminally by an individual’s unconscious conflict and has an inhibitory effect specific only to the conscious symptom. These novel findings constitute neuroscientific evidence for the psychoanalytic concepts of unconscious conflict and repression, while extending neuroscience theory and methods into the realm of personal, psychological meaning.

  19. Loss of Consciousness Induced by a Single Dose Flurbiprofen

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    Bulent Yıldız

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Loss of consciousness after the administration of flurbiprofen has not been reported. In this case report, we describe loss of consciousness due to the administration of one oral dosage of flurbiprofen. A 17 year-old girl without a remarkable neurologic and atopic medical history had an loss of consciousness after ingestion of flurbiprofen mg 100 mg tablet. Patient was treated successfully. This report emphasies that this complication may be seen with flurobiprofen and underlying mechanisms and therapeutic approach are discussed.

  20. Development of european consciousness in Erasmus students

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    Sevda Mutlu

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available This research is the content analysis of 502 Erasmus students’ experiences published in the website www.20erasmus.eu. One of the main purposes of the Erasmus Student Exchange Program is to maintain a cross-cultural dialogue through student activity, to remove prejudices and thus to strengthen interaction and join EU citizens under such concepts as “European Consciousness” and “Being European”. The purpose of this study is to determine how successful the Erasmus Student Exchange Program is through the shared Erasmus experiences of the participating students. In conclusion, in this research, it is observed that the students talked highly positively about the Erasmus experience. The students described this process as enjoyable and productive. It could be argued that the Erasmus experience contributed to students’ “individual development” rather than “academic development”. It could also be maintained that one of the key purposes of the Erasmus exchange program is to remove prejudices by maintaining student mobility and cross-cultural dialogue and to unite societies under the European Consciousness and European People understanding via strengthening interactions between EU member citizens. Data collected in this research present evidence that the Erasmus programme has reached this aim

  1. Spreading Culture on Quantum Entanglement and Consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nobili, G.; Teodorani, M.

    The subject of "quantum entanglement" in general doesn't seem to be particularly considered in Europe in the form of popularizing books or of educational physics projects. These authors have started to spread out this kind of scientific culture in both forms, including popularizing seminars too. Concerning the entanglement phenomenon, recently, new thought experiments have been outlined, new laboratory results have come out in the form of real discoveries in quantum optics, new studies on "bio-entanglement" and 'global consciousness effects' have been carried out, and very sophisticated new ideas have been developed in the fields of quantum physics, biophysics, cosmology and epistemology. These authors intend to show their effort of diffusing widely this growing scientific knowledge. Beyond all this there is a long-term strategy aimed at inculcating new concepts in physics in order to trigger the interest of scholars at all levels, in that which is probably the most innovative and interdisciplinary subject of the human knowledge of this new millennium.

  2. Time and Consciousness in Cognitive Naturalism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandro Nannini

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Eliminative materialists argue that we can overcome the phenomenological gap between two different ways of referring to our subjective experiences – either as introspectively grasped in terms of folk psychology or as explained in neurological terms – by abandoning the pre-scientific concepts of folk psychology. However, unless these theorists can offer a plausible explanation for why the scientific view of the human mind proposed by cognitive neuroscience is so deeply counter-intuitive, this argument will remain unconvincing. In order to address the difficulties involved in making the paradigm shift from folk psychology to cognitive neuroscience I (a briefly review the theoretical revolution that marked the transition from classical mechanics to the theory of relativity at the beginning of 20th century; (b identify some similarities between this paradigm shift in physics and the birth of a new scientific view of the mind; (c explain by means of (a and (b why neurological theories that reduce consciousness and the Self to aspects of brain dynamics appear implausible from a common sense perspective despite being sound from a scientific point of view.

  3. Space, self, and the theater of consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trehub, Arnold

    2007-06-01

    Over a decade ago, I introduced a large-scale theory of the cognitive brain which explained for the first time how the human brain is able to create internal models of its intimate world and invent models of a wider universe. An essential part of the theoretical model is an organization of neuronal mechanisms which I have named the Retinoid Model [Trehub, A. (1977). Neuronal models for cognitive processes: Networks for learning, perception and imagination. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 65, 141-169; Trehub, A. (1991). The Cognitive Brain: MIT Press]. This hypothesized brain system has structural and dynamic properties enabling it to register and appropriately integrate disparate foveal stimuli into a perspectival, egocentric representation of an extended 3D world scene including a neuronally tokened locus of the self which, in this theory, is the neuronal origin of retinoid space. As an integral part of the larger neuro-cognitive model, the retinoid system is able to perform many other useful perceptual and higher cognitive functions. In this paper, I draw on the hypothesized properties of this system to argue that neuronal activity within the retinoid structure constitutes the phenomenal content of consciousness and the unique sense of self that each of us experiences.

  4. Loss of consciousness and convulsion induced by a ventricular tachycardia mimicking epilepsy in a patient with noncompaction cardiomyopathy : a case report

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dello, S. A. W. G.; Kievit, C.; Dunselman, P. H.; Alings, M.

    Convulsions and loss of consciousness can be caused by, among other things, arrhythmias, conduction disorders or epilepsy. In clinical practice it can be difficult to distinguish between these causes of syncope, even for well-trained specialists. Patients with cardiac syncope have a substantial risk

  5. DMN Operational Synchrony Relates to Self-Consciousness: Evidence from Patients in Vegetative and Minimally Conscious States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fingelkurts, Andrew A; Fingelkurts, Alexander A; Bagnato, Sergio; Boccagni, Cristina; Galardi, Giuseppe

    2012-01-01

    The default mode network (DMN) has been consistently activated across a wide variety of self-related tasks, leading to a proposal of the DMN's role in self-related processing. Indeed, there is limited fMRI evidence that the functional connectivity within the DMN may underlie a phenomenon referred to as self-awareness. At the same time, none of the known studies have explicitly investigated neuronal functional interactions among brain areas that comprise the DMN as a function of self-consciousness loss. To fill this gap, EEG operational synchrony analysis [1, 2] was performed in patients with severe brain injuries in vegetative and minimally conscious states to study the strength of DMN operational synchrony as a function of self-consciousness expression. We demonstrated that the strength of DMN EEG operational synchrony was smallest or even absent in patients in vegetative state, intermediate in patients in minimally conscious state and highest in healthy fully self-conscious subjects. At the same time the process of ecoupling of operations performed by neuronal assemblies that comprise the DMN was highest in patients in vegetative state, intermediate in patients in minimally conscious state and minimal in healthy fully self-conscious subjects. The DMN's frontal EEG operational module had the strongest decrease in operational synchrony strength as a function of selfconsciousness loss, when compared with the DMN's posterior modules. Based on these results it is suggested that the strength of DMN functional connectivity could mediate the strength of self-consciousness expression. The observed alterations similarly occurred across EEG alpha, beta1 and beta2 frequency oscillations. Presented results suggest that the EEG operational synchrony within DMN may provide an objective and accurate measure for the assessment of signs of self-(un)consciousness in these challenging patient populations. This method therefore, may complement the current diagnostic procedures for

  6. Spatial frequency tuning during the conscious and non-conscious perception of emotional facial expressions—an intracranial ERP study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Verena eWillenbockel

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have shown that complex visual stimuli, such as emotional facial expressions, can influence brain activity independently of the observers’ awareness. Little is known yet, however, about the informational correlates of consciousness—i.e., which low-level information correlates with brain activation during conscious vs. non-conscious perception. Here, we investigated this question in the spatial frequency (SF domain. We examined which SFs in disgusted and fearful facial expressions modulate activation in the insula and amygdala over time and as a function of awareness, using a combination of intracranial event-related potentials (ERPs, SF Bubbles (Willenbockel et al., 2010a, and Continuous Flash Suppression (CFS; Tsuchiya and Koch, 2005. Patients implanted with electrodes for epilepsy monitoring viewed face photographs (13° x 7° that were randomly SF filtered trial-by-trial. In the conscious condition, the faces were visible; in the non-conscious condition, they were rendered invisible using CFS. Data were analyzed by performing multiple linear regressions on the SF filters from each trial and the transformed ERP amplitudes across time. The resulting classification images suggest that many SFs are involved in the conscious and non-conscious perception of emotional expressions, with those between 6 and 10 cycles per face width being particularly important early on. The results also revealed qualitative differences between the awareness conditions for both regions. Non-conscious processing relied on low SFs more and was faster than conscious processing. Overall, our findings are consistent with the idea that different pathways are employed for the processing of emotional stimuli under different degrees of awareness. The present study represents a first step to mapping with a high temporal resolution how SF information flows through the emotion-processing network and to shedding light on the informational correlates of

  7. Multiple fMRI system-level baseline connectivity is disrupted in patients with consciousness alterations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demertzi, Athena; Gómez, Francisco; Crone, Julia Sophia; Vanhaudenhuyse, Audrey; Tshibanda, Luaba; Noirhomme, Quentin; Thonnard, Marie; Charland-Verville, Vanessa; Kirsch, Murielle; Laureys, Steven; Soddu, Andrea

    2014-03-01

    In healthy conditions, group-level fMRI resting state analyses identify ten resting state networks (RSNs) of cognitive relevance. Here, we aim to assess the ten-network model in severely brain-injured patients suffering from disorders of consciousness and to identify those networks which will be most relevant to discriminate between patients and healthy subjects. 300 fMRI volumes were obtained in 27 healthy controls and 53 patients in minimally conscious state (MCS), vegetative state/unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (VS/UWS) and coma. Independent component analysis (ICA) reduced data dimensionality. The ten networks were identified by means of a multiple template-matching procedure and were tested on neuronality properties (neuronal vs non-neuronal) in a data-driven way. Univariate analyses detected between-group differences in networks' neuronal properties and estimated voxel-wise functional connectivity in the networks, which were significantly less identifiable in patients. A nearest-neighbor "clinical" classifier was used to determine the networks with high between-group discriminative accuracy. Healthy controls were characterized by more neuronal components compared to patients in VS/UWS and in coma. Compared to healthy controls, fewer patients in MCS and VS/UWS showed components of neuronal origin for the left executive control network, default mode network (DMN), auditory, and right executive control network. The "clinical" classifier indicated the DMN and auditory network with the highest accuracy (85.3%) in discriminating patients from healthy subjects. FMRI multiple-network resting state connectivity is disrupted in severely brain-injured patients suffering from disorders of consciousness. When performing ICA, multiple-network testing and control for neuronal properties of the identified RSNs can advance fMRI system-level characterization. Automatic data-driven patient classification is the first step towards future single-subject objective diagnostics

  8. Concept of consciousness in the context of quantum mechanics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Menskii, Mikhail B

    2005-01-01

    Conceptual problems of the quantum theory of measurement are considered, which are embodied in well-known paradoxes and in Bell's inequalities. Arguments are advanced in favor of the viewpoint that these problems may hardly be solved without direct inclusion of the observer's consciousness in the theoretical description of a quantum measurement. Discussed in this connection is the so-called many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics proposed by Everett, as is the extension of Everett's concept, which consists in the assumption that separating the quantum state components corresponding to alternative measurements is not only associated with the observer's consciousness but is completely identified with it. This approach is shown to open up qualitatively new avenues for the unification of physics and psychology and, more broadly, of the sciences and the humanities. This may lead to an extension of the theory of consciousness and shed light on significant and previously misunderstood phenomena in the sphere of consciousness. (reviews of topical problems)

  9. Structural qualia: a solution to the hard problem of consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loorits, Kristjan

    2014-01-01

    The hard problem of consciousness has been often claimed to be unsolvable by the methods of traditional empirical sciences. It has been argued that all the objects of empirical sciences can be fully analyzed in structural terms but that consciousness is (or has) something over and above its structure. However, modern neuroscience has introduced a theoretical framework in which also the apparently non-structural aspects of consciousness, namely the so called qualia or qualitative properties, can be analyzed in structural terms. That framework allows us to see qualia as something compositional with internal structures that fully determine their qualitative nature. Moreover, those internal structures can be identified which certain neural patterns. Thus consciousness as a whole can be seen as a complex neural pattern that misperceives some of its own highly complex structural properties as monadic and qualitative. Such neural pattern is analyzable in fully structural terms and thereby the hard problem is solved.

  10. Structural qualia: a solution to the hard problem of consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristjan eLoorits

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The hard problem of consciousness has been often claimed to be unsolvable by the methods of traditional empirical sciences. It has been argued that all the objects of empirical sciences can be fully analyzed in structural terms but that consciousness is (or has something over and above its structure. However, modern neuroscience has introduced a theoretical framework in which also the apparently non-structural aspects of consciousness, namely the so called qualia or qualitative properties, can be analyzed in structural terms. That framework allows us to see qualia as something compositional with internal structures that fully determine their qualitative nature. Moreover, those internal structures can be identified which certain neural patterns. Thus consciousness as a whole can be seen as a complex neural pattern that misperceives some of its own highly complex structural properties as monadic and qualitative. Such neural pattern is analyzable in fully structural terms and thereby the hard problem is solved.

  11. Energy and environmental consciousness. Differences between advanced and developing countries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Takeshita, Takashi

    1999-01-01

    The purpose of the present study is to understand how much differences there are between advanced countries and developing countries in terms of environmental and energy consciousness. We are experiencing now a big dilemma of the human desire to continue to exist and, at the same time, to develop the economy against the worsening of the Earth's environmental conditions. Understanding international differences of environmental and energy consciousness is a short way to solve this dilemma. The results of the present study were that peoples from advanced countries feel that science and technology are sometimes unreliable, while those from developing countries, are willing to rely upon them. However regardless of the country, people share the same consciousness about Earth's environment. In both, advanced and developing countries, people are reluctant to give up living comforts, unless this leads to a higher standard of living. Based on this result, the author would like to conduct another survey concerning the consciousness of future lifestyle. (author)

  12. The thinking ape: the enigma of human consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paulson, Steve; Chalmers, David; Kahneman, Daniel; Santos, Laurie; Schiff, Nicholas

    2013-11-01

    What is the origin and nature of consciousness? If consciousness is common to humans and animals alike, what are the defining traits of human consciousness? Moderated by Steve Paulson, executive producer and host of To the Best of Our Knowledge, Nobel laureate psychologist Daniel Kahneman, philosopher David Chalmers, expert in primate cognition Laurie Santos, and physician-scientist Nicholas Schiff discuss what it means to be conscious and examine the human capacities displayed in cognitive, aesthetic, and ethical behaviors, with a focus on the place and function of the mind within nature. The following is an edited transcript of the discussion that occurred October 10, 2012, 7:00-8:15 PM, at the New York Academy of Sciences in New York City. © 2013 New York Academy of Sciences.

  13. Stigma Consciousness in the case of Romanian Roma Activists

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura SURDU

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Roma people are often stigmatized by the members of the out-groups, the process of stigmatization being enforced through a selection of stereotypically assigned characteristics of the group. In the last two decades, the stigmatization of Roma was contributed by scientists, policy makers and mass media. Stigma is a basis for social exclusion of Roma people and it is transferred from the whole group to the individual level. The negative labelling of the entire Roma group affects identity and stigma consciousness for each individual Roma. This paper addresses ethnic stigma consciousness in a sample of 96 Roma activists, women and men. The results show that stigma consciousness is highly present among Roma participants from the sample, although there are not significant differences between Roma women and Roma men regarding ethnic stigma consciousness.

  14. [Dissociative identity disorder or schizophrenia?].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tschöke, S; Steinert, T

    2010-01-01

    We present a case of dissociative identity disorder in which Schneiderian first rank symptoms were present besides of various states of consciousness. Thus the diagnosis of schizophrenia had to be considered. Formally, the symptoms met ICD-10 criteria for schizophrenia. However, taking into account the lack of formal thought disorder and of negative symptoms as well as a typical history of severe and prolonged traumatisation, we did not diagnose a co-morbid schizophrenic disorder. There is good evidence for the existence of psychotic symptoms among patients with dissociative disorders. However, in clinical practice this differential diagnosis is rarely considered.

  15. Global workspace dynamics: Cortical "binding and propagation enables conscious contents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernard J Baars

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available A global workspace is a hub of binding and propagation in a population of loosely coupled signaling elements. Global workspace (GW architectures recruit many distributed, specialized agents to help resolve focal ambiguities. In the brain, conscious experiences may reflect a global workspace function. For animals the natural world is full of fitness-related ambiguities, suggesting a general adaptive pressure for brains to resolve focal ambiguities quickly and accurately. In humans and related species the cortico-thalamic (C-T core is believed to underlie conscious aspects of perception, thinking, learning, feelings of knowing, emotions, imagery, working memory and executive control. The C-T core has many anatomical hubs, but conscious percepts are unitary and internally consistent at any given moment. The repertoire of conscious contents is a large, open set. These points suggest that a brain-based GW capacity cannot be localized in a single anatomical hub. Rather, it should be sought in a dynamic capacity for adaptive binding and propagation of neural signals over multi-hub networks. We refer to this as dynamic global workspace theory (dGW. In this view, conscious contents can arise in any region of the C-T core when multiple signal streams settle on a winner-take-all equilibrium. The resulting bound gestalt may ignite an any-to-many broadcast, lasting ~100-200 ms, and trigger widespread adaptation in established networks. Binding and broadcasting may involve theta/gamma or alpha/gamma phase coupling. Conscious contents (qualia may reflect their sources in cortex. Sensory percepts may bind and broadcast from posterior regions, while non-sensory feelings of knowing (FOKs may be frontotemporal. The small focal capacity of conscious contents may be the biological price to pay for global access. We propose that in the intact brain the hippocampal/rhinal complex may support conscious event organization as well as episodic memory coding.

  16. The interpersonal work of dental conscious sedation: A qualitative analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woolley, Stephen M; Chadwick, Barbara; Pugsley, Lesley

    2017-08-01

    Whilst there is a considerable body of literature examining the pharmacology of conscious sedation, the social tasks required to successfully provide conscious sedation have not been reported. This paper discusses data regarding the interpersonal work integral to effective conscious sedation provision, from a larger qualitative study exploring how patients and clinicians engage with secondary care conscious sedation provided within the UK. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13 conscious sedation providers and nine patients within UK-based secondary care sedation settings. Digital audio-recordings were transcribed verbatim and subsequently analysed using a constant comparative method within NVivo Data Analysis Software. Four main themes of interpersonal work were reported by participants: displaying care, containing emotions, demonstrating competence and maximizing the effect. This study shows that performing conscious sedation requires more than technical delivery, and involves the projection of attributes in a literal "performance." The importance of managing outward emotional appearance reflects previous dental research. The need to manage outward appearance, and the emotional impact this has, is of relevance to all clinicians. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Environmental Consciousness in Daily Activities Measured by Negative Prompts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ai Hiramatsu

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The gap between people’s attitude and action as regards environmental issues has been pointed out even while surveys registered an increase in people’s environmental awareness. Among the possible reasons is that people tend to automatically answer “yes”, as most surveys on environmental consciousness use positively-phrased questions or prompts. To remove the “yes-bias” in previous surveys, this present study conducted in Japan a large-scale questionnaire survey on environmental consciousness using negative prompts and free-answered prompts on which behaviors people feel good/bad/uncertain for the environment. This study also investigated peoples’ psychological factors and concrete pro-environmental behaviors (PEBs in daily life. The results of the questionnaire with negative prompts showed that the rate of people’s consciousness to the environment was lower compared with other surveys. Through factor analysis, five psychological factors were extracted as the explanatory factors of environmental attitude. Demographic effects on the consciousness and PEBs were also observed. Comparison of free-answers on concrete daily behaviors among five different environmentally conscious groups showed there were certain phases in the perception of PEBs based on consciousness level. Similar common behaviors were highly ranked as both PEB and doubtful behaviors, indicating that people were worried about actions that involve a trade-off relationship from diversified standpoints.

  18. A theory of working memory without consciousness or sustained activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trübutschek, Darinka; Marti, Sébastien; Ojeda, Andrés; King, Jean-Rémi; Mi, Yuanyuan; Tsodyks, Misha; Dehaene, Stanislas

    2017-01-01

    Working memory and conscious perception are thought to share similar brain mechanisms, yet recent reports of non-conscious working memory challenge this view. Combining visual masking with magnetoencephalography, we investigate the reality of non-conscious working memory and dissect its neural mechanisms. In a spatial delayed-response task, participants reported the location of a subjectively unseen target above chance-level after several seconds. Conscious perception and conscious working memory were characterized by similar signatures: a sustained desynchronization in the alpha/beta band over frontal cortex, and a decodable representation of target location in posterior sensors. During non-conscious working memory, such activity vanished. Our findings contradict models that identify working memory with sustained neural firing, but are compatible with recent proposals of ‘activity-silent’ working memory. We present a theoretical framework and simulations showing how slowly decaying synaptic changes allow cell assemblies to go dormant during the delay, yet be retrieved above chance-level after several seconds. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.23871.001 PMID:28718763

  19. Avian reflex and electroencephalogram responses in different states of consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandercock, Dale A; Auckburally, Adam; Flaherty, Derek; Sandilands, Victoria; McKeegan, Dorothy E F

    2014-06-22

    Defining states of clinical consciousness in animals is important in veterinary anaesthesia and in studies of euthanasia and welfare assessment at slaughter. The aim of this study was to validate readily observable reflex responses in relation to different conscious states, as confirmed by EEG analysis, in two species of birds under laboratory conditions (35-week-old layer hens (n=12) and 11-week-old turkeys (n=10)). We evaluated clinical reflexes and characterised electroencephalograph (EEG) activity (as a measure of brain function) using spectral analyses in four different clinical states of consciousness: conscious (fully awake), semi-conscious (sedated), unconscious-optimal (general anaesthesia), unconscious-sub optimal (deep hypnotic state), as well as assessment immediately following euthanasia. Jaw or neck muscle tone was the most reliable reflex measure distinguishing between conscious and unconscious states. Pupillary reflex was consistently observed until respiratory arrest. Nictitating membrane reflex persisted for a short time (power (PTOT) significantly increased, whereas median (F50) and spectral edge (F95) frequencies significantly decreased. This study demonstrates that EEG analysis can differentiate between clinical states (and loss of brain function at death) in birds and provides a unique integration of reflex responses and EEG activity. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Question of Consciousness: to Quantum Mechanics for the Answers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karpenko Ivan A.

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The article presents the possible role of consciousness in quantum-mechanical description of physical reality. The widely spread interpretations of quantum phenomena are considered as indicating the apparent connection between conscious processes (such as observation and the properties of the microcosm. The reasons for discrepancies between the results of observations of the microcosm and macrocosm and the potential association of consciousness with these reasons are closely investigated. The mentioned connection is meant to be interpreted in the sense that the probable requirement for a complete understanding of quantum theory is the adequate description of consciousness within it and that the correct theory of consciousness should include quantum-mechanical theoretical apparatus. In this context, the question about the methods of scientific cognition is discussed, in particular, the problem of the place and the importance of intellectual intuition in science and philosophy of science. The author draws the conclusions about the current state of the “measuring” consciousness. problem in its relationship with

  1. [The neurodynamic core of consciousness and neural Darwinism].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibáñez, A

    In the last decades, the scientific study of consciousness in the scope of the cognitive neurosciences can be considered one of the greatest challenges of contemporary science. The Gerald Edelman theory of consciousness is one of the most promising and controversial perspectives. This theory stands out by its approach to topics usually rejected by other neurophysiologic theories of consciousness, as the case of the neurophysiologic explanation of qualia. The goal of this paper is to review the dynamic core theory of consciousness, presenting the main features of the theory, analyzing the explanation strategies, their empirical extensions, and elaborating some critical considerations about the possibility of the neuroscientific study of qualia. The central and additional theoretical components are analyzed, emphasizing its ontological, restrictive and explanatory assumptions. The properties of conscious phenomena and their cerebral correlates as advanced by the theory are described, and finally its experiments and empirical extensions are examined. The explanatory strategies of the theory are analyzed, based on conceptual isomorphism between the phenomenological properties and the neurophysiological and mathematical measures. Some criticisms could be raised about the limitations of the dynamic core theory, especially regarding its account of the so-called 'hard problem' of consciousness or qualia.

  2. Age and the experience of strong self-conscious emotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, Julie D; von Hippel, William; Nangle, Matthew R; Waters, Michele

    2018-04-01

    It remains unclear whether there are age-related changes in the experience of strong self-conscious emotion, such as shame, guilt, pride and embarrassment. Because shame and guilt figure prominently in the aetiology of depressive symptoms and other mental health problems, a better understanding of how age affects the strong experience of these two negative self-conscious emotions is of particular importance. Thirty younger, 30 middle-aged and 30 older adults were compared on standardised cognitive assessments, in addition to an interview-based measure that assessed whether there are age differences in the likelihood of strongly experiencing four different types of self-conscious emotion within the past five years (shame, guilt, embarrassment and pride). The three groups did not differ in their likelihood of reporting an event that strongly elicited the positive self-conscious emotion of pride. However, older adults were more likely to report sources of pride that were other (as opposed to self) focused. Older adults were also less likely to report experiencing events that elicited all three negative self-conscious emotions, in particular, shame. Strong negative self-conscious emotion, and in particular shame, appears to be experienced less by older than younger adults.

  3. Short- and Long-Term Effects of Conscious, Minimally Conscious and Unconscious Brand Logos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordts, Sarah; Soetens, Eric; Van den Bussche, Eva

    2013-01-01

    Unconsciously presented information can influence our behavior in an experimental context. However, whether these effects can be translated to a daily life context, such as advertising, is strongly debated. What hampers this translation is the widely accepted notion of the short-livedness of unconscious representations. The effect of unconscious information on behavior is assumed to rapidly vanish within a few hundreds of milliseconds. Using highly familiar brand logos (e.g., the logo of McDonald's) as subliminal and supraliminal primes in two priming experiments, we assessed whether these logos were able to elicit behavioral effects after a short (e.g., 350 ms), a medium (e.g., 1000 ms), and a long (e.g., 5000 ms) interval. Our results demonstrate that when real-life information is presented minimally consciously or even unconsciously, it can influence our subsequent behavior, even when more than five seconds pass between the presentation of the minimally conscious or unconscious information and the behavior on which it exerts its influence. PMID:23658681

  4. Short- and long-term effects of conscious, minimally conscious and unconscious brand logos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muscarella, Charlotte; Brintazzoli, Gigliola; Gordts, Sarah; Soetens, Eric; Van den Bussche, Eva

    2013-01-01

    Unconsciously presented information can influence our behavior in an experimental context. However, whether these effects can be translated to a daily life context, such as advertising, is strongly debated. What hampers this translation is the widely accepted notion of the short-livedness of unconscious representations. The effect of unconscious information on behavior is assumed to rapidly vanish within a few hundreds of milliseconds. Using highly familiar brand logos (e.g., the logo of McDonald's) as subliminal and supraliminal primes in two priming experiments, we assessed whether these logos were able to elicit behavioral effects after a short (e.g., 350 ms), a medium (e.g., 1000 ms), and a long (e.g., 5000 ms) interval. Our results demonstrate that when real-life information is presented minimally consciously or even unconsciously, it can influence our subsequent behavior, even when more than five seconds pass between the presentation of the minimally conscious or unconscious information and the behavior on which it exerts its influence.

  5. Short- and long-term effects of conscious, minimally conscious and unconscious brand logos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charlotte Muscarella

    Full Text Available Unconsciously presented information can influence our behavior in an experimental context. However, whether these effects can be translated to a daily life context, such as advertising, is strongly debated. What hampers this translation is the widely accepted notion of the short-livedness of unconscious representations. The effect of unconscious information on behavior is assumed to rapidly vanish within a few hundreds of milliseconds. Using highly familiar brand logos (e.g., the logo of McDonald's as subliminal and supraliminal primes in two priming experiments, we assessed whether these logos were able to elicit behavioral effects after a short (e.g., 350 ms, a medium (e.g., 1000 ms, and a long (e.g., 5000 ms interval. Our results demonstrate that when real-life information is presented minimally consciously or even unconsciously, it can influence our subsequent behavior, even when more than five seconds pass between the presentation of the minimally conscious or unconscious information and the behavior on which it exerts its influence.

  6. Is conscious perception gradual or dichotomous? A comparison of report methodologies during a visual task

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Overgaard, M; Rote, J; Mouridsen, K

    2006-01-01

    conscious and unconscious perception. This idea is opposed to theoretical arguments that we should think of conscious perception as a continuum of clarity, with e.g., fringe conscious states [Mangan, B. (2001). Sensation's ghost-the non-sensory "fringe" of consciousness, Psyche, 7, 18]. In the experimental...

  7. Natural resources as a value important to the development of ecological consciousness of the polish society

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Żeber–Dzikowska Ilona

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The authors examine a very important issue concerning the concept of public consciousness and ecological consciousness of a human. They present ecological consciousness through indicating its level and factors that determine it. They discuss questions connected to shaping ecological consciousness in teachings of Saint John Paul II, sustainable development, eco-philosophy, and pro-ecological attitudes.

  8. A unified 3D default space consciousness model combining neurological and physiological processes that underlie conscious experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jerath, Ravinder; Crawford, Molly W.; Barnes, Vernon A.

    2015-01-01

    The Global Workspace Theory and Information Integration Theory are two of the most currently accepted consciousness models; however, these models do not address many aspects of conscious experience. We compare these models to our previously proposed consciousness model in which the thalamus fills-in processed sensory information from corticothalamic feedback loops within a proposed 3D default space, resulting in the recreation of the internal and external worlds within the mind. This 3D default space is composed of all cells of the body, which communicate via gap junctions and electrical potentials to create this unified space. We use 3D illustrations to explain how both visual and non-visual sensory information may be filled-in within this dynamic space, creating a unified seamless conscious experience. This neural sensory memory space is likely generated by baseline neural oscillatory activity from the default mode network, other salient networks, brainstem, and reticular activating system. PMID:26379573

  9. A unified 3D default space consciousness model combining neurological and physiological processes that underlie conscious experience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ravinder eJerath

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The Global Workspace Theory and Information Integration Theory are two of the most currently accepted consciousness models; however, these models do not address many aspects of conscious experience. We compare these models to our previously proposed consciousness model in which the thalamus fills-in processed sensory information from corticothalamic feedback loops within a proposed 3D default space, resulting in the recreation of the internal and external worlds within the mind. This 3D default space is composed of all cells of the body, which communicate via gap junctions and electrical potentials to create this unified space. We use 3D illustrations to explain how both visual and non-visual sensory information is filled-in within this dynamic space, creating a unified seamless conscious experience. This neural sensory memory space is likely generated by baseline neural oscillatory activity from the default mode network, other salient networks, brainstem, and reticular activating system.

  10. A unified 3D default space consciousness model combining neurological and physiological processes that underlie conscious experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jerath, Ravinder; Crawford, Molly W; Barnes, Vernon A

    2015-01-01

    The Global Workspace Theory and Information Integration Theory are two of the most currently accepted consciousness models; however, these models do not address many aspects of conscious experience. We compare these models to our previously proposed consciousness model in which the thalamus fills-in processed sensory information from corticothalamic feedback loops within a proposed 3D default space, resulting in the recreation of the internal and external worlds within the mind. This 3D default space is composed of all cells of the body, which communicate via gap junctions and electrical potentials to create this unified space. We use 3D illustrations to explain how both visual and non-visual sensory information may be filled-in within this dynamic space, creating a unified seamless conscious experience. This neural sensory memory space is likely generated by baseline neural oscillatory activity from the default mode network, other salient networks, brainstem, and reticular activating system.

  11. Surgery of the mind, mood, and conscious state: an idea in evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robison, R Aaron; Taghva, Alexander; Liu, Charles Y; Apuzzo, Michael L J

    2013-01-01

    Since the beginning of recorded history, humans have sought a physical means of altering disordered behavior and consciousness. This quest has spawned numerous innovations in neurosurgery and the neurosciences, from the earliest prehistoric attempts at trepanation to the electrocortical and anatomic localization of cerebral function that emerged in the 19th century. At the start of the 20th century, the overwhelming social impact of psychiatric illness intersected with the novel but imperfect understanding of frontal lobe function, establishing a decades-long venture into the modern origin of psychosurgery, the prefrontal lobotomy. The subsequent social and ethical ramifications of the widespread overuse of transorbital lobotomies drove psychosurgery to near extinction. However, as the pharmacologic treatment of psychiatric illness was established, numerous concomitant technical and neuroscientific innovations permitted the incremental development of a new paradigm of treating the disordered mind. In this article, we retrospectively examine these early origins of psychosurgery and then look to the recent past, present, and future for emerging trends in surgery of the psyche. Recent decades have seen a revolution in minimalism, noninvasive imaging, and functional manipulation of the human cerebrum that have created new opportunities and treatment modalities for disorders of the human mind and mood. Early contemporary efforts were directed at focal lesioning of abnormal pathways, but deep-brain stimulation now aims to reversibly alter and modulate those neurologic activities responsible for not only psychiatric disorders, but also to modulate and even to augment consciousness, memory, and other elements of cerebral function. As new tools become available, the social and medical impact of psychosurgery promises to revolutionize not only neurosurgery, but also humans' capability for positively impacting life and society. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights

  12. Evaluation of the effectiveness of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and psychosensory stimulation through DOCS scale in a minimally conscious subject.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dimitri, Danilo; De Filippis, Daniela; Galetto, Valentina; Zettin, Marina

    2017-04-01

    The aim of our study was to assess the effectiveness of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on alertness improvement in a patient in a minimally conscious state (MCS) by means of disorders of consciousness scale combined with psycho-sensory stimulation. The effects of tDCS on muscle hypertonia through the Ashworth scale were also examined. tDCS was performed through a two-channel intra-cephalic stimulator. After stimulation, the patient followed a psychosensory stimulation training. Results pointed out an increase in DOCunit score, as well as an increase in alertness maintenance and an improvement in muscle hypertonia, although a MCS state persisted.

  13. A perturbational approach for evaluating the brain's capacity for consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massimini, Marcello; Boly, Melanie; Casali, Adenauer; Rosanova, Mario; Tononi, Giulio

    2009-01-01

    How do we evaluate a brain's capacity to sustain conscious experience if the subject does not manifest purposeful behaviour and does not respond to questions and commands? What should we measure in this case? An emerging idea in theoretical neuroscience is that what really matters for consciousness in the brain is not activity levels, access to sensory inputs or neural synchronization per se, but rather the ability of different areas of the thalamocortical system to interact causally with each other to form an integrated whole. In particular, the information integration theory of consciousness (IITC) argues that consciousness is integrated information and that the brain should be able to generate consciousness to the extent that it has a large repertoire of available states (information), yet it cannot be decomposed into a collection of causally independent subsystems (integration). To evaluate the ability to integrate information among distributed cortical regions, it may not be sufficient to observe the brain in action. Instead, it is useful to employ a perturbational approach and examine to what extent different regions of the thalamocortical system can interact causally (integration) and produce specific responses (information). Thanks to a recently developed technique, transcranial magnetic stimulation and high-density electroencephalography (TMS/hd-EEG), one can record the immediate reaction of the entire thalamocortical system to controlled perturbations of different cortical areas. In this chapter, using sleep as a model of unconsciousness, we show that TMS/hd-EEG can detect clear-cut changes in the ability of the thalamocortical system to integrate information when the level of consciousness fluctuates across the sleep-wake cycle. Based on these results, we discuss the potential applications of this novel technique to evaluate objectively the brain's capacity for consciousness at the bedside of brain-injured patients.

  14. Autonoetic Consciousness in Autobiographical Memories after Medial Temporal Lobe Resection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Noulhiane

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available This study aims to investigate autonoetic consciousness associated with episodic autobiographical memory in patients who had undergone unilateral medial temporal lobe resection for intractable epilepsy. Autonoetic consciousness, defined as the conscious feeling of mentally travelling back in time to relive a specific event, was assessed using the Remember/Know (R/K paradigm across different time periods as proposed in the autobiographical memory task developed by Piolino et al. (TEMPau task. Results revealed that the two patient groups (left and right temporal resection gave reduced sense of reliving (R responses and more familiarity (K responses than healthy controls. This poor autonoetic consciousness was highlighted when patients were asked to justify their Remember responses by recalling sensory-perceptive, affective or spatiotemporal specific details across all life periods. These results support the bilateral MTL contribution to episodic autobiographical memory covering the entire lifespan, which is consistent with the multiple trace theory of MTL function [7,9]. This study also demonstrates the bilateral involvement of MTL structures in recalling specific details of personal events characterized by autonoetic consciousness.

  15. Autonoetic Consciousness in Autobiographical Memories after Medial Temporal Lobe Resection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noulhiane, M.; Piolino, P.; Hasboun, D.; Clemenceau, S.; Baulac, M.; Samson, S.

    2008-01-01

    This study aims to investigate autonoetic consciousness associated with episodic autobiographical memory in patients who had undergone unilateral medial temporal lobe resection for intractable epilepsy. Autonoetic consciousness, defined as the conscious feeling of mentally travelling back in time to relive a specific event, was assessed using the Remember/Know (R/K) paradigm across different time periods as proposed in the autobiographical memory task developed by Piolino et al. (TEMPau task). Results revealed that the two patient groups (left and right temporal resection) gave reduced sense of reliving (R) responses and more familiarity (K) responses than healthy controls. This poor autonoetic consciousness was highlighted when patients were asked to justify their Remember responses by recalling sensory-perceptive, affective or spatiotemporal specific details across all life periods. These results support the bilateral MTL contribution to episodic autobiographical memory covering the entire lifespan, which is consistent with the multiple trace theory of MTL function [7,9]. This study also demonstrates the bilateral involvement of MTL structures in recalling specific details of personal events characterized by autonoetic consciousness. PMID:18413911

  16. Conscious and nonconscious memory effects are temporally dissociable.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slotnick, Scott D; Schacter, Daniel L

    2010-03-01

    Intentional (explicit) retrieval can reactivate sensory cortex, which is widely assumed to reflect conscious processing. In the present study, we used an explicit visual memory event-related potential paradigm to investigate whether such retrieval related sensory activity could be separated into conscious and nonconscious components. During study, abstract shapes were presented in the left or right visual field. During test, old and new shapes were presented centrally and participants classified each shape as "old-left", "old-right", or "new". Conscious activity was isolated by comparing accurate memory for shape and location (old-hits) with forgotten shapes (old-misses), and nonconscious activity was isolated by comparing old-left-misses with old-right-misses and vice versa. Conscious visual sensory activity had a late temporal onset (after 800 ms) while nonconscious visual sensory activity had an early temporal onset (before 800 ms). These results suggest explicit memory related sensory activity reflects both conscious and nonconscious processes that are temporally dissociable.

  17. The Attention Schema Theory: A Foundation for Engineering Artificial Consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael S. A. Graziano

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of the attention schema theory is to explain how an information-processing device, the brain, arrives at the claim that it possesses a non-physical, subjective awareness and assigns a high degree of certainty to that extraordinary claim. The theory does not address how the brain might actually possess a non-physical essence. It is not a theory that deals in the non-physical. It is about the computations that cause a machine to make a claim and to assign a high degree of certainty to the claim. The theory is offered as a possible starting point for building artificial consciousness. Given current technology, it should be possible to build a machine that contains a rich internal model of what consciousness is, attributes that property of consciousness to itself and to the people it interacts with, and uses that attribution to make predictions about human behavior. Such a machine would “believe” it is conscious and act like it is conscious, in the same sense that the human machine believes and acts.

  18. Yoga lessons for consciousness research: a paralimbic network balancing brain resource allocation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hans C Lou

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Consciousness has been proposed to play a key role in shaping flexible learning and as such is thought to confer an evolutionary advantage. Attention and awareness are the perhaps most important underlying processes, yet their precise relationship is presently unclear. Both of these processes must, however, serve the evolutionary imperatives of survival and procreation. They are thus intimately bound by reward and emotion to help to prioritize efficient brain resource allocation in order to predict and optimize behaviour. Here we show how this process is served by a paralimbic network consisting primarily of regions located on the midline of the human brain. Using many different techniques, experiments have demonstrated that this network is effective and specific for self-awareness and contributes to the sense of unity of consciousness by acting as a common neural path for a wide variety of conscious experiences. Interestingly, haemodynamic activity in the network decreases with focusing on external stimuli, which has led to the idea of a default mode network. This network is one of many networks that wax and vane as resources are allocated to accommodate the different cyclical needs of the organism primarily related the fundamental pleasures afforded by evolution: food, sex and conspecifics. Here we hypothesize, however, that the paralimbic network serves a crucial role in balancing and regulating brain resource allocation, and discuss how it can be thought of as a link between current theories of so-called default mode, resting state networks and global workspace. We show how major developmental disorders of self-awareness and self-control can arise from problems in the paralimbic network as demonstrated here by the example of Asperger syndrome. We conclude that attention, awareness and emotion are integrated by a paralimbic network that helps to efficiently allocate brain resources to optimize behaviour and help survival.

  19. ADHD patients fail to maintain task goals in face of subliminally and consciously induced cognitive conflicts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gohil, K; Bluschke, A; Roessner, V; Stock, A-K; Beste, C

    2017-07-01

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) patients have been reported to display deficits in action control processes. While it is known that subliminally and consciously induced conflicts interact and conjointly modulate action control in healthy subjects, this has never been investigated for ADHD. We investigated the (potential) interaction of subliminally and consciously triggered response conflicts in children with ADHD and matched healthy controls using neuropsychological methods (event-related potentials; ERPs) to identify the involved cognitive sub-processes. Unlike healthy controls, ADHD patients showed no interaction of subliminally and consciously triggered response conflicts. Instead, they only showed additive effects as their behavioural performance (accuracy) was equally impaired by each conflict and they showed no signs of task-goal shielding even in cases of low conflict load. Of note, this difference between ADHD and controls was not rooted in early bottom-up attentional stimulus processing as reflected by the P1 and N1 ERPs. Instead, ADHD showed either no or reversed modulations of conflict-related processes and response selection as reflected by the N2 and P3 ERPs. There are fundamental differences in the architecture of cognitive control which might be of use for future diagnostic procedures. Unlike healthy controls, ADHD patients do not seem to be endowed with a threshold which allows them to maintain high behavioural performance in the face of low conflict load. ADHD patients seem to lack sufficient top-down attentional resources to maintain correct response selection in the face of conflicts by shielding the response selection process from response tendencies evoked by any kind of distractor.

  20. An Heuristic Framework for Non-Conscious Reasoning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felipe Lara-Rosano

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Human non-conscious reasoning is one of the most successful procedures evolved for the purposes of solving everyday problems in an efficient way. This is why the field of artificial intelligence should analyze, formalize and emulate the multiple ways of non-conscious reasoning with the purpose of applying them in human problem solving tasks, like medical diagnostics and treatments, educational diagnostics and intervention, organizational and political decision making, artificial intelligence knowledge based systems and neurocomputers, automatic control systems and similar devices for aiding people in the problem-solving process. In this paper, a heuristic framework for those non-conscious ways of reasoning is presented based on neurocognitive representations, heuristics, and fuzzy sets.

  1. Conscious Willing and the Emerging Sciences of Brain and Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connor, Timothy

    Recent studies within neuroscience and cognitive psychology have explored the place of conscious willing in the generation of purposive action. Some have argued that certain findings indicate that the commonsensical view that we con trol many of our actions through conscious willing is largely or wholly illusory. I rebut such arguments, contending that they typically rest on a conflation of distinct phenomena. Nevertheless, I also suggest that traditional philosophical accounts of the will need to be revised: a raft of studies indicate that control over one's own will among human beings is limited, fragile, and - insofar as control depends to an extent on conscious knowledge - admitting of degrees. I briefly sketch several dimensions along which freedom of the will may vary over time and across agents.

  2. Narcissism: its function in modulating self-conscious emotions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uji, Masayo; Nagata, Toshiaki; Kitamura, Toshinori

    2012-01-01

    This study focused on the functional aspects of narcissism in regulating self-conscious emotions (guilt, shame, hubristic pride, and achievement-oriented pride) as well as two other attribution styles (externalization and detachment). The authors investigated Japanese university students (N = 452) with regard to their self-conscious emotions using the Test of Self-Conscious Affect-3 (TOSCA-3) and their narcissistic personality using the short version of Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI-S). Structural equation modeling was used for the analysis. The authors found that narcissism led individuals to feel achievement-oriented pride, hubristic pride, externalization, and detachment, but inhibited feelings of shame. It did not have a significant effect on guilt. Shame-proneness prompted hubristic pride and externalization. Guilt-proneness inclined an individual toward achievement-oriented pride, but deterred externalization. In this article, the authors present and interpret these results in detail and then discuss how they can be utilized in psychotherapy.

  3. Conscious wireless electroretinogram and visual evoked potentials in rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason Charng

    Full Text Available The electroretinogram (ERG, retina and visual evoked potential (VEP, brain are widely used in vivo tools assaying the integrity of the visual pathway. Current recordings in preclinical models are conducted under anesthesia, which alters neural physiology and contaminates responses. We describe a conscious wireless ERG and VEP recording platform in rats. Using a novel surgical technique to chronically implant electrodes subconjunctivally on the eye and epidurally over the visual cortex, we are able to record stable and repeatable conscious ERG and VEP signals over at least 1 month. We show that the use of anaesthetics, necessary for conventional ERG and VEP measurements, alters electrophysiology recordings. Conscious visual electrophysiology improves the viability of longitudinal studies by eliminating complications associated with repeated anaesthesia. It will also enable uncontaminated assessment of drug effects, allowing the eye to be used as an effective biomarker of the central nervous system.

  4. The rate of adverse events during IV conscious sedation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwamburger, Nathan T; Hancock, Raymond H; Chong, Chol H; Hartup, Grant R; Vandewalle, Kraig S

    2012-01-01

    Conscious sedation has become an integral part of dentistry; it is often used to reduce anxiety or fear in some patients during oral surgery, periodontal surgery, implant placement, and general dentistry procedures. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the frequency of adverse events during IV conscious sedation provided by credentialed general dentists and periodontists in the United States Air Force (USAF). Sedation clinical records (Air Force Form 1417) from calendar year 2009 were requested from all USAF bases. A total of 1,468 records were reviewed and 19 adverse events were noted in 17 patients. IV complication (infiltration) was the most common adverse event. The overall adverse event rate was 1.3 per 100 patients treated. The results of this study show that moderate sedation provided by general dentists and periodontists in the USAF has a low incidence of adverse events, and conscious sedation remains a viable option for providers for the reduction of anxiety in select patients.

  5. Consciousness, intentionality, and community: Unitary perspectives and research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahourek, Rothlyn P; Larkin, Dorothy M

    2009-01-01

    Consciousness and intentionality often have been related and studied together. These concepts also are readily viewed and understood for practice, research, and education in a unitary paradigm. How these ideas relate to community is less known. Considering the expansion of our capacity for communication through the World Wide Web and other technologic advances and appreciating recent research on the nonlocal character of intentionality and consciousness, it is more apparent how concepts of community can be seen in the same unitary context. The authors address these issues and review relevant nursing research.

  6. Virginia Lee Burton's "Little House" in Popular Consciousness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Goddard, Joseph

    2011-01-01

    This article considers the significance of Victoria Lee Burton’s authorship, specifically The Little House, for lifestyle preferences and the development of environmental consciousness in the postwar period. The article argues that Burton deliberately designed her work to evoke country-friendly s......This article considers the significance of Victoria Lee Burton’s authorship, specifically The Little House, for lifestyle preferences and the development of environmental consciousness in the postwar period. The article argues that Burton deliberately designed her work to evoke country...

  7. Consciousness and quantum mechanics life in parallel worlds

    CERN Document Server

    Mensky, Michael B

    2010-01-01

    The phenomenon of consciousness includes mysterious aspects providing a basis for many spiritual doctrines (including religions) and psychological practices. These directions of human knowledge are usually considered to contradict the laws of science. However, quantum mechanics - in a sense, the mysterious direction of science - allows us to include the phenomena of consciousness and life as well as the relevant phenomena in the sphere of science. Wolfgang Pauli, one of the pioneers of quantum mechanics, together with great psychologist Carl Gustav Jung, guessed about the relation between quan

  8. [Chailakhian's views of the origin of consciousness and mentality].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bazian, A S

    2010-01-01

    Chailakhyan's views of sources of the origin of consciousness and mentality have been analyzed. It is supposed that the information interaction alone is not sufficient for the occurrence of consciousness. Something else is necessary that distinguishes a live system from lifeless and can be transmitted to the progeny and evolve. It is assumed that this is an "information-physical interaction", namely, a power profile of conformational reorganizations of proteins during their interaction. L.M. Chailakhyan proves the point of view that this profile during the interaction of proteins cannot be calculated and therefore cannot be cognized. This conclusion is supported by the Godel theorem of incompleteness.

  9. Prominent and persistent loss of past awareness in amnesia: delusion, impaired consciousness or coping strategy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Barbara A; Kopelman, Michael; Kapur, Narinder

    2008-01-01

    Profound loss of awareness for the past in amnesia has implications for our understanding of memory and belief systems, and how they may become disrupted in neurological conditions. We report the case of CW, a professional musician who became severely amnesic in 1985 following herpes simplex viral encephalitis (HSVE) at the age of 46 years. For many years CW stated several times a day that he had just woken up. He frequently wrote this in his diary too. When shown examples of his diary entries or videos of himself playing or conducting music, he recognised both his handwriting and himself on the video screen but stated vehemently that he "was not conscious then". In a previous paper (Wilson, Baddeley, & Kapur 1995), it was suggested that this lack of awareness for the past was a delusion, defined as a strongly held belief in the face of contradictory evidence (rather than implying any kind of psychiatric disorder per se). As a contribution to the academic debate regarding theories of "self", in the present paper we will review this explanation of CW's state as it had been in those early years, and we will also consider two other possibilities - namely, that CW had suffered from a loss of "autobiographical self" or "extended consciousness" (see Damasio, 2000, pp. 198-199), and that his verbal reports simply reflected a form of coping strategy to help him deal with the limited evidence he had available in "declarative" memory.

  10. Motor System Interactions in the Beta Band Decrease during Loss of Consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swann, Nicole C; de Hemptinne, Coralie; Maher, Ryan B; Stapleton, Catherine A; Meng, Lingzhong; Gelb, Adrian W; Starr, Philip A

    2016-01-01

    Communication between brain areas and how they are influenced by changes in consciousness are not fully understood. One hypothesis is that brain areas communicate via oscillatory processes, utilizing network-specific frequency bands, that can be measured with metrics that reflect between-region interactions, such as coherence and phase amplitude coupling (PAC). To evaluate this hypothesis and understand how these interactions are modulated by state changes, we analyzed electrophysiological recordings in humans at different nodes of one well-studied brain network: the basal ganglia-thalamocortical loops of the motor system during loss of consciousness induced by anesthesia. We recorded simultaneous electrocorticography over primary motor cortex (M1) with local field potentials from subcortical motor regions (either basal ganglia or thalamus) in 15 movement disorder patients during anesthesia (propofol) induction as a part of their surgery for deep brain stimulation. We observed reduced coherence and PAC between M1 and the subcortical nuclei, which was specific to the beta band (∼18-24 Hz). The fact that this pattern occurs selectively in beta underscores the importance of this frequency band in the motor system and supports the idea that oscillatory interactions at specific frequencies are related to the capacity for normal brain function and behavior.

  11. [Beneficial effect of preferred music on cognitive functions in minimally conscious state patients].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verger, J; Ruiz, S; Tillmann, B; Ben Romdhane, M; De Quelen, M; Castro, M; Tell, L; Luauté, J; Perrin, F

    2014-11-01

    Several studies have shown that music can boost cognitive functions in normal and brain-damaged subjects. A few studies have suggested a beneficial effect of music in patients with a disorder of consciousness but it is difficult to conclude since they did not use quantified measures and a control condition/group. The aim of the present study was to compare the effect of music to that of a continuous sound on the relational behavior of patients in a minimally conscious state (MCS). Behavioral responses of six MCS patients were evaluated using items from the Coma Recovery Scale-Revised. Weekly evaluation sessions were carried out, over four weeks, under two conditions: following the presentation of either the patient's preferred music, or following a continuous sound (control condition). Qualitative and quantitative analyses showed that twelve of the eighteen sessions (66.6%) showed a better result for the music condition than for the control condition. This new protocol suggests that preferred music has a beneficial effect on the cognitive abilities of MCS patients. The results further suggest that cerebral plasticity may be enhanced in autobiographical (emotional and familiar) contexts. These findings should now be further extended with an increased number of patients to further validate the hypothesis of the beneficial effect of music on cognitive recovery. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  12. Ethnic Motives in Russian Mass Consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalija Pliskevič

    2000-12-01

    Full Text Available The author examines certain finding on ethnic aspects of mass consciousness in the Russian Federation, as presented in the journal Monitoring public opinion: economic and social changes (rus. Мониторинг общественного мнения: экономические и социальные перемены, published by the All-Russian Centre for the Study of Public Opinion. The problems of national identity and ethnic tension in Russia increased after the collapse of the Soviet empire. Ethnic phobias, complexes and ambitions reached a peak in the period 1993–1995. However, by 1999–2000, according to the surveys, they returned to the 1989–1990 level. The increase until 1995 occurred during the break-down of former Soviet political and administrative relations. By 1994 negative attitudes, apart from a traditional aversion to immigrants from the Caucasus, were directed to peoples of the newly independent former Soviet republics (especially to those from the Baltic states, and to ethnic groups such as the Vietnamese, Gypsies, etc. On the other hand, the subsequent decrease in negative attitudes to other ethnic groups was not so much the result of greater tolerance or the development of civil society, but rather due to an imperial tradition of indifference to ethnic problems. According to L. Gudkov, ethnic views in 1994–1995 showed traces inherited from the Stalinist period. Gudkov found that passivity and a “victim“ complex had assumed a central position in the self-image of Russians. Such a complex serves to exonerate the subject from any feeling of personal blame or deficiency, but also leads to a nostalgic idealisation of the past and a negation of the present. The result is a social syndrome that denies action and an ethnosocial self-awareness that prevents universalisation and the development of a national identity based on the principles of civil society. The “victim“ complex fosters a feeling of threat to the

  13. The Learning Organization and the Level of Consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiva, Ricardo

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to analyze learning organization by comparing with other types of organizations. This typology is based on the levels of consciousness and relates each type of organization with a level of learning and an organizational structure. Design/methodology/approach: This is a conceptual paper based on the concept of…

  14. Inner Alienation: Diasporic Consciousness in Kamila Shamsie's "Salt and Saffron"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riaz, Humaira; Babaee, Ruzbeh

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to investigate the "diasporic consciousness" of the fictional characters, incorporated in selected work of Pakistani expatriate writer Kamila Shamsie through the portrayal of cross-cultural differences. This study attempts to unravel the inner-alienation that sustains through specific discourses and events…

  15. Corporantia: Is moral consciousness above individual brains/robots?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santos-Lang Christopher Charles

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available This article calls out the common assumption that moral consciousness occurs at the level of individual brains and robots. It explores the alternative, evidence against the assumption, and provides a means to further test the assumption. It also discusses the consequences of making or abandoning this assumption, especially the consequences for the further evolution of robots.

  16. Social networks and their influence over the social consciousness forming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. G. Ananeva

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The article describes the analysis of social network influence on social consciousness forming. The examples of connection between international politic courses and events and blogosrheres’ virtual activity are given. Due to the analysis made, authors point at negative consequences following the information wars’ dissemination.

  17. Women Consciousness Exploration in Jane Austen and Her Works

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Xiaojun; Liao, Lina

    2015-01-01

    Jane Austen is one of the greatest realistic novelists in English literature of the 19th century. Austen is contrary to consciousness of man centrism and traditional values of masculine writers before her time. All her 6 novels are concerned with love and marriage; they truthfully reflect women life of her age, reveals her feminine consciousness…

  18. Body Consciousness and Music: Variations on Some Themes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shusterman, Richard

    2010-01-01

    The author of this article responds to the seven papers in this journal that commented on his book titled "Body Consciousness: A Philosophy of Mindfulness and Somaesthetics." Shusterman responds to comments and criticisms made on the subjects of (1) embodiment and gender; (2) Asian cultural dimensions; (3) the somaesthetics of music; (4)…

  19. De-racialising intelligence, human potentiality and consciousness: A ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... dialectics of human potentiality and consciousness, scientific literature, and African creative gnosis to demonstrate the inherent limitations of the logic that racialises intelligence. By gnosis, this paper refers to the intellectual and creative capacities inherent in the productions of Africans and people of generally black origin.

  20. The unconscious and conscious foundations of human reward pursuit

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bijleveld, E.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/313905223

    2012-01-01

    Human reward pursuit is often found to be governed by conscious assessments of expected value and required effort. Yet, research also indicates that rewards are initially valuated and processed outside awareness, using rudimentary brain structures. Building on both findings, a new framework is

  1. Know Thyself: Metacognitive Networks and Measures of Consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasquali, Antoine; Timmermans, Bert; Cleeremans, Axel

    2010-01-01

    Subjective measures of awareness rest on the assumption that conscious knowledge is knowledge that participants know they possess. Post-Decision Wagering (PDW), recently proposed as a new measure of awareness, requires participants to place a high or a low wager on their decisions. Whereas advantageous wagering indicates awareness of the knowledge…

  2. Stream of consciousness: Quantum and biochemical assumptions regarding psychopathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonello, Lucio; Cocchi, Massimo; Gabrielli, Fabio; Tuszynski, Jack A

    2017-04-01

    The accepted paradigms of mainstream neuropsychiatry appear to be incompletely adequate and in various cases offer equivocal analyses. However, a growing number of new approaches are being proposed that suggest the emergence of paradigm shifts in this area. In particular, quantum theories of mind, brain and consciousness seem to offer a profound change to the current approaches. Unfortunately these quantum paradigms harbor at least two serious problems. First, they are simply models, theories, and assumptions, with no convincing experiments supporting their claims. Second, they deviate from contemporary mainstream views of psychiatric illness and do so in revolutionary ways. We suggest a possible way to integrate experimental neuroscience with quantum models in order to address outstanding issues in psychopathology. A key role is played by the phenomenon called the "stream of consciousness", which can be linked to the so-called "Gamma Synchrony" (GS), which is clearly demonstrated by EEG data. In our novel proposal, a unipolar depressed patient could be seen as a subject with an altered stream of consciousness. In particular, some clues suggest that depression is linked to an "increased power" stream of consciousness. It is additionally suggested that such an approach to depression might be extended to psychopathology in general with potential benefits to diagnostics and therapeutics in neuropsychiatry. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Transformation of Consciousness: Decoding Conceptual Metaphors in Mira Bai

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amrita; Anisha

    2016-01-01

    Mira Bai, a saint-poet of North India is an important figure in medieval Hindi literature. Her "bhajan"-s (songs) profoundly represent the transforming of consciousness working through conceptual metaphors which fall in the realm of religious poetry wherein target domains are generally abstract. Since, the working of the mind is more…

  4. Temporal dynamics of access to consciousness in the attentional blink.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kranczioch, Cornelia; Debener, Stefan; Maye, Alexander; Engel, Andreas K

    2007-09-01

    Presentation of two targets in close temporal succession often results in an impairment of conscious perception for the second stimulus. Previous studies have identified several electrophysiological correlates for this so-called 'attentional blink'. Components of the event-related potential (ERP) such as the N2 and the P3, but also oscillatory brain signals have been shown to distinguish between detected and missed stimuli, and thus, conscious perception. Here we investigate oscillatory responses that specifically relate to conscious stimulus processing together with potential ERP predictors. Our results show that successful target detection is associated with enhanced coherence in the low beta frequency range, but a decrease in alpha coherence before and during target presentation. In addition, we find an inverse relation between the P3 amplitudes associated with the first and second target. We conclude that the resources allocated to first and second target processing are directly mirrored by the P3 component and, moreover, that brain states before and during stimulus presentation, as reflected by oscillatory brain activity, strongly determine the access to consciousness. Thus, becoming aware of a stimulus seems to depend on the dynamic interaction between a number of widely distributed neural processes, rather than on the modulation of one single process or component.

  5. Understanding the Ubiquity of the Intentionality of Consciousness in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A formal and idealised understanding of intentionality as a mental process is a central topic within the classical Husserlian phenomenological analysis of consciousness. This paper does not define Husserl's stance, because that has been achieved elsewhere (Kern, 1977, 1986, 1988; Kern & Marbach, 2001; Marbach, 1988 ...

  6. A further problem of the hard problem of consciousness | Gbenga ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Justifying this assertion is identified as the further problem of the hard problem of consciousness. This shows that assertions about phenomenal properties of mental experiences are wholly epistemological. Hence, the problem of explaining phenomenal properties of a mental state is not a metaphysical problem, and what is ...

  7. Exile, exilic consciousness and the poetic imagination in Tanure ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    As a thematic trajectory, exile constitutes a visible presence in the Nigerian poetic afflatus and imagination. This is sometimes not adequately or sufficiently acknowledged. Increasingly, however, exile and exilic consciousness have continued to occupy a contested and contestable site in literature especially Nigerian poetry.

  8. Psychopathy and Affect Consciousness in Young Criminal Offenders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmqvist, Rolf

    2008-01-01

    A key characteristic of psychopathy is the individual's problematic relation to certain affects, particularly shame. Previous research has studied relations between expressed shame and psychopathy. In this study, the author analyzes potential associations between psychopathy and consciousness of feelings (i.e., participants' ability to recognize…

  9. Self-Consciousness, Evaluation of Physical Characteristics, and Physical Attractiveness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Robert G.; Gilliland, LuNell

    1981-01-01

    Investigated the relationship between public self-consciousness and speed of processing information about self. Results indicated that high public self-conciousness subjects required less time to report evaluations of their physical features. In a second study high public self-conciousness was shown to be positively related to judged physical…

  10. Consciousness-raising about grammar in the second-language ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Consciousness-raising about grammar in the second-language classroom: Utilising authentic samples of learner-learner interaction in a task-based oral activity. ... More recent studies argue that linguistic support must not be omitted from language teaching programmes within a task-based, communicative approach (Swain, ...

  11. Stigma Consciousness, Social Constraints, and Lesbian Well-Being

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Robin J.; Derlega, Valerian J.; Clarke, Eva G.; Kuang, Jenny C.

    2006-01-01

    Stigma consciousness, the expectation of prejudice and discrimination, has been associated with negative psychological outcomes for lesbians. This research examined the moderating role of social constraints or difficulty lesbians experience in talking with others about sexual orientation-related issues. One hundred five, predominantly out,…

  12. Double Consciousness in Negro Spirituals. | Ngaage | Lwati: A ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... from earth to heaven. Indeed, few songs express triple consciousness – references are made to towns in America, Israel and Heaven. This essay investigates the double reference in the songs that give them complexity and their different layers of meaning, establishing that these transform their commonality to classicality.

  13. Effects of integral breath consciousness workshops on spirituality ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Although not quite reaching quantitative significant levels, qualitatively improved health was reported. The results are discussed in relation to previous and future research with regard to the influence of breath consciousness on perceptions of spirituality, health, psychological skills, stress and related phenomena.

  14. On the Science of Consciousness: Epistemological Reflections and Clinical Implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Facco, Enrico; Lucangeli, Daniela; Tressoldi, Patrizio

    Consciousness has been one of the most important and tantalizing issues ever since the origin of philosophy and medicine. The concept of consciousness and the so-called "hard problem" (i.e., the mind-brain relationship) are highly complex topics that have yet to be elucidated, involving the realms of both science and philosophy with profound epistemological implications. In the lively debate on the foundations of the science of consciousness there are several potential biases of an essentially philosophical nature, such as those related to the paradigm and axioms adopted, and the ostensible logical contradiction between monism and dualism. Their origin dates back largely to Descartes' thinking and the birth of the new sciences as a compromise with the Inquisition, but they have been handed down through the Enlightenment and Positivism. A proper investigation of consciousness and the world of subjectivity demands a careful reflection on the paradigm of scientific medicine to identify possible flaws and overcome the limits of the mechanistic-reductionist approach. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Transpersonal psychology. The experience of transpersonal development and consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oleshko T.I.

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available the authors of this article have analyzed different points of view about methods of effect on consciousness and have made a conclusion that it is important to implement some esoteric practices. The work describes the method of holotropic breathing.

  16. Ego consciousness in the Japanese psyche: culture, myth and disaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yama, Megumi

    2013-02-01

    With globalization, modern Western consciousness has spread across the world. This influx has affected the Japanese culture but ego consciousness has emerged through a long history and different course from that of the West. At a personal level, I have been interested in the establishment of a subject in a culture that values homogeneity and to understand this, I reflect on my own history of living in both the East and the West and on my experience practising psychotherapy. To show Japanese collective functioning at its best, I describe the human inter-connectedness and collaboration during the 2011 disaster. I explore the 'Nothing' at the centre of the Japanese psyche, through a reading of Japanese myth, especially the most originary and almost pre-human stories that come before the anthropomorphized 'First Parents'. A retelling of this founding story, reveals the multiple iterations over time that manifest in embodied being; this gradual emergence of consciousness is contrasted with Western myths of origin that are more clear and specific. This study attempts to bring awareness of the value and meaning of Eastern consciousness and its centre in the 'Nothing'. © 2013, The Society of Analytical Psychology.

  17. Structuring Contexts: Pathways toward Un-Obstructing Race-Consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berchini, Christina

    2016-01-01

    This research is situated in second-wave White Teacher Identity studies and investigates the ways context structures a high school English teacher's white identity, practices, and race-consciousness. Working with detailed data and vignettes from a single case study, the author highlights the teaching of a unit on the Holocaust. Using the required…

  18. Consciousness Regained: Disentangling Mechanisms, Brain Systems, and Behavioral Responses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Storm, J.F.; Boly, M.; Casali, A.G.; Massimini, M.; Olcese, U.; Pennartz, C.M.A.; Wilke, M.

    2017-01-01

    How consciousness (experience) arises from and relates to material brain processes (the "mind-body problem") has been pondered by thinkers for centuries, and is regarded as among the deepest unsolved problems in science, with wide-ranging theoretical, clinical, and ethical implications. Until the

  19. Historical consciousness and Culture of Students in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haue, Harry

    2007-01-01

    In this article the use of historical consciousnes is beeing discussed in relation to the teaching of history in the primary school. The point is that the capacity of the children to do abstract thinking is a necessary condition for being able to understand the use of historical consciousness...

  20. Medical Education to Enhance Critical Consciousness: Facilitators' Experiences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaidi, Zareen; Vyas, Rashmi; Verstegen, Danielle; Morahan, Page; Dornan, Tim

    2017-11-01

    To analyze educators' experiences of facilitating cultural discussions in two global health professions education programs and what these experiences had taught them about critical consciousness. A multicultural research team conducted in-depth interviews with 16 faculty who had extensive experience facilitating cultural discussions. They analyzed transcripts of the interviews thematically, drawing sensitizing insights from Gramsci's theory of cultural hegemony. Collaboration and conversation helped the team self-consciously examine their positions toward the data set and be critically reflexive. Participant faculty used their prior experience facilitating cultural discussions to create a "safe space" in which learners could develop critical consciousness. During multicultural interactions they recognized and explicitly addressed issues related to power differentials, racism, implicit bias, and gender bias. They noted the need to be "facile in attending to pain" as learners brought up traumatic experiences and other sensitive issues including racism and the impact of power dynamics. They built relationships with learners by juxtaposing and exploring the sometimes-conflicting norms of different cultures. Participants were reflective about their own understanding and tendency to be biased. They aimed to break free of such biases while role modeling how to have the courage to speak up. Experience had given facilitators in multicultural programs an understanding of their responsibility to promote critical consciousness and social justice. How faculty without prior experience or expertise could develop those values and skills is a topic for future research.

  1. Historical consciousness - Contemporary history and the problem of historical perception

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Den Hollander, JC

    2002-01-01

    Historical consciousness is an elusive concept, as long as we try to understand it from the narrow perspective of professional historians. Therefore, a wider perspective is needed. If we accept that historical understanding has become a general trait of modern culture, we may try to explain it in

  2. Brain. Conscious and Unconscious Mechanisms of Cognition, Emotions, and Language

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roman Ilin

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Conscious and unconscious brain mechanisms, including cognition, emotions and language are considered in this review. The fundamental mechanisms of cognition include interactions between bottom-up and top-down signals. The modeling of these interactions since the 1960s is briefly reviewed, analyzing the ubiquitous difficulty: incomputable combinatorial complexity (CC. Fundamental reasons for CC are related to the Gödel’s difficulties of logic, a most fundamental mathematical result of the 20th century. Many scientists still “believed” in logic because, as the review discusses, logic is related to consciousness; non-logical processes in the brain are unconscious. CC difficulty is overcome in the brain by processes “from vague-unconscious to crisp-conscious” (representations, plans, models, concepts. These processes are modeled by dynamic logic, evolving from vague and unconscious representations toward crisp and conscious thoughts. We discuss experimental proofs and relate dynamic logic to simulators of the perceptual symbol system. “From vague to crisp” explains interactions between cognition and language. Language is mostly conscious, whereas cognition is only rarely so; this clarifies much about the mind that might seem mysterious. All of the above involve emotions of a special kind, aesthetic emotions related to knowledge and to cognitive dissonances. Cognition-language-emotional mechanisms operate throughout the hierarchy of the mind and create all higher mental abilities. The review discusses cognitive functions of the beautiful, sublime, music.

  3. Consciousness: a Simpler Approach to the Mind-Brain Problem

    OpenAIRE

    Iglowitz, Jerome

    2001-01-01

    No explicit model of consciousness has ever been presented. This paper defines the beginnings of such a model based in mathematicians' "implicit definition" as compounded with virtual reality. Dennett's "color phi" argument suggests the necessary extension to fit real minds. I conclude that the mind is wholly intentional and virtual.

  4. Biased figure-ground assignment affects conscious object recognition in spatial neglect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eramudugolla, Ranmalee; Driver, Jon; Mattingley, Jason B

    2010-09-01

    Unilateral spatial neglect is a disorder of attention and spatial representation, in which early visual processes such as figure-ground segmentation have been assumed to be largely intact. There is evidence, however, that the spatial attention bias underlying neglect can bias the segmentation of a figural region from its background. Relatively few studies have explicitly examined the effect of spatial neglect on processing the figures that result from such scene segmentation. Here, we show that a neglect patient's bias in figure-ground segmentation directly influences his conscious recognition of these figures. By varying the relative salience of figural and background regions in static, two-dimensional displays, we show that competition between elements in such displays can modulate a neglect patient's ability to recognise parsed figures in a scene. The findings provide insight into the interaction between scene segmentation, explicit object recognition, and attention.

  5. Historical Consciousness in Youth. Theoretical and Exemplary Empirical Analyses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Kölbl

    2001-09-01

    Full Text Available The thesis that historical consciousness is an anthropological competence and category is called into question. A concept of modern historical consciousness is outlined which from then on serves as a working concept. This kind of historical consciousness, it is argued, is not a universal anthropological fact, but a result of the development of occidental cultures and societies. Long since a great number of groups and individuals have been deeply affected by this development in which the establishment of a scientific world view and methodical thinking played a major role. Their historical consciousness is modern since it refers to a radically temporalized and dynamic world and since it ties partial representations of this world to (implicit criteria of validity. Moreover it is closely connected with the possibility of self-critical reflections which are grounded in the historically mediated encounter with strangers. After a concise overview of the important questions and the state of the art in different disciplines, selected results of a broader qualitative-empirical study are presented. In the group discussions which were carried out with young people—only results from a discussion with thirteen to fourteen year old grammar-school pupils (Gymnasiasten are presented here—the analysis revealed clear indicators of a specifically modern historical consciousness. Looked at closely this consciousness is committed in a surprisingly high degree to scientific-methodical standards of rationality. One may welcome this as a successful implementation of a life form oriented towards rationality into young people's everyday life or deplore it as a symptom of the distortion of pragmatic orientations for activity and living by scientific standards: first of all it is a fact that the commitment to tie the reconstruction of past realities, historical events and contexts to an operation of knowledge which is intersubjectively transparent and rationally

  6. Consciousness, Religion and Being. On the Way Towards Nonscientific and Nonanthropological Understanding of Consciousnes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ihor Karivets

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available In this article the author proposes nonscientific and nonanthropological resolution of “the prob- lem of consciousness” and denies the possibility to explain the nature of consciousness with the help of physics, neuroscience, cognitive science and also analytic philosophy. The author stresses that 1 consciousness transcends Me (selfhood and does not belong to it, 2 consciousness perceives being; being is consciousness. “The problem of consciousness” is not theoretical problem at all. In order to know what consciousness is, it is necessary to work with consciousness. Therefore, we do not theo- rize about consciousness. It is a practical task of a human being. The author argues that meditation, as a kind of practice, is the best way to work with consciousness and enter into it.

  7. Brain activations during judgments of positive self-conscious emotion and positive basic emotion: pride and joy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takahashi, Hidehiko; Matsuura, Masato; Koeda, Michihiko; Yahata, Noriaki; Suhara, Tetsuya; Kato, Motoichiro; Okubo, Yoshiro

    2008-04-01

    We aimed to investigate the neural correlates associated with judgments of a positive self-conscious emotion, pride, and elucidate the difference between pride and a basic positive emotion, joy, at the neural basis level using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Study of the neural basis associated with pride might contribute to a better understanding of the pride-related behaviors observed in neuropsychiatric disorders. Sixteen healthy volunteers were studied. The participants read sentences expressing joy or pride contents during the scans. Pride conditions activated the right posterior superior temporal sulcus and left temporal pole, the regions implicated in the neural substrate of social cognition or theory of mind. However, against our prediction, we did not find brain activation in the medial prefrontal cortex, a region responsible for inferring others' intention or self-reflection. Joy condition produced activations in the ventral striatum and insula/operculum, the key nodes of processing of hedonic or appetitive stimuli. Our results support the idea that pride is a self-conscious emotion, requiring the ability to detect the intention of others. At the same time, judgment of pride might require less self-reflection compared with those of negative self-conscious emotions such as guilt or embarrassment.

  8. Images of History through the Prism of National Consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gulnaz K. Gizatova

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available One’s people history is one of the most important sources that reproduce resources for the formation of ethnic subjectness. An appeal to history is accompanied by the formation of a certain image, both of a given ethnic community and of its historical development. Reconstruction of the experience of the previous development of an ethnos is accompanied by the construction of a special discourse in which the ethnic characteristics of this community, the system of its values, all the events of its historical past, often begin to be determined by subjective modality. The latter in its turn is determined by a variety of functions needed within the given discourse to construct this image. The image of history of people existing in the national consciousness, representing a unity of the objective and subjective, can also be viewed as a unity of continuity and, at the same time, development of the self-consciousness of the ethnos, since the past and history are the most important conditions for construction of the present and the future of the nation. The image of the history of a given nation existing in the national consciousness, representing a unity of the objective and subjective, can also be viewed as the unity of continuity and at the same time as the development of the self-consciousness of the ethnos, since the past and history are the most important conditions for the construction of the present and the future of the nation. Reproducing the national memory in the image of history, the ethnic community preserves the core of its culture, its spiritual wealth and at the same time creates internal sources of dynamics for its further development. At the same time, the image of history performs various functions in the structure of the national consciousness.

  9. Affectivity And Time: Towards A Phenomenology Of Embodied Time-Consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pokropski Marek

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available In the article, I develop some ideas introduced by Edmund Husserl concerning time-consciousness and embodiment. However, I do not discuss the Husserlian account of consciousness of time in its full scope. I focus on the main ideas of the phenomenology of time and the problem of bodily sensations and their role in the constitution of consciousness of time. I argue that time-consciousness is primarily constituted in the dynamic experience of bodily feelings.

  10. Relation between dependency and two aspects of self-consciousness : Focusing on dyadic relationships in adolescence

    OpenAIRE

    田宮, 沙紀; 岡本, 祐子

    2013-01-01

    In this study, we focused on dyadic relationships in adolescence and examined the dependent appearance for significant other and the relation with two aspects of the self-consciousness. Two aspects of the self-consciousness are public self-consciousness and private self-consciousness. As a result of factor analysis,it was indicated that adolescents have mature and immature dependencies on significant others and dependent anxiety was observed regardless of the object of dependence. Furthermore...

  11. Towards environmentally sustainable human behaviour: targeting non-conscious and conscious processes for effective and acceptable policies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marteau, Theresa M

    2017-06-13

    Meeting climate change targets to limit global warming to 2°C requires rapid and large reductions in demand for products that most contribute to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These include production of bulk materials (e.g. steel and cement), energy supply (e.g. fossil fuels) and animal source foods (particularly ruminants and their products). Effective strategies to meet these targets require transformative changes in supply as well as demand, involving changes in economic, political and legal systems at local, national and international levels, building on evidence from many disciplines. This paper outlines contributions from behavioural science in reducing demand. Grounded in dual-process models of human behaviour (involving non-conscious and conscious processes) this paper considers first why interventions aimed at changing population values towards the environment are usually insufficient or unnecessary for reducing demand although they may be important in increasing public acceptability of policies that could reduce demand. It then outlines two sets of evidence from behavioural science towards effective systems-based strategies, to identify interventions likely to be effective at: (i) reducing demand for products that contribute most to GHG emissions, mainly targeting non-conscious processes and (ii) increasing public acceptability for policy changes to enable these interventions, targeting conscious processes.This article is part of the themed issue 'Material demand reduction'. © 2017 The Authors.

  12. Towards environmentally sustainable human behaviour: targeting non-conscious and conscious processes for effective and acceptable policies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marteau, Theresa M.

    2017-05-01

    Meeting climate change targets to limit global warming to 2°C requires rapid and large reductions in demand for products that most contribute to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These include production of bulk materials (e.g. steel and cement), energy supply (e.g. fossil fuels) and animal source foods (particularly ruminants and their products). Effective strategies to meet these targets require transformative changes in supply as well as demand, involving changes in economic, political and legal systems at local, national and international levels, building on evidence from many disciplines. This paper outlines contributions from behavioural science in reducing demand. Grounded in dual-process models of human behaviour (involving non-conscious and conscious processes) this paper considers first why interventions aimed at changing population values towards the environment are usually insufficient or unnecessary for reducing demand although they may be important in increasing public acceptability of policies that could reduce demand. It then outlines two sets of evidence from behavioural science towards effective systems-based strategies, to identify interventions likely to be effective at: (i) reducing demand for products that contribute most to GHG emissions, mainly targeting non-conscious processes and (ii) increasing public acceptability for policy changes to enable these interventions, targeting conscious processes. This article is part of the themed issue 'Material demand reduction'.

  13. Towards environmentally sustainable human behaviour: targeting non-conscious and conscious processes for effective and acceptable policies

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Meeting climate change targets to limit global warming to 2°C requires rapid and large reductions in demand for products that most contribute to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These include production of bulk materials (e.g. steel and cement), energy supply (e.g. fossil fuels) and animal source foods (particularly ruminants and their products). Effective strategies to meet these targets require transformative changes in supply as well as demand, involving changes in economic, political and legal systems at local, national and international levels, building on evidence from many disciplines. This paper outlines contributions from behavioural science in reducing demand. Grounded in dual-process models of human behaviour (involving non-conscious and conscious processes) this paper considers first why interventions aimed at changing population values towards the environment are usually insufficient or unnecessary for reducing demand although they may be important in increasing public acceptability of policies that could reduce demand. It then outlines two sets of evidence from behavioural science towards effective systems-based strategies, to identify interventions likely to be effective at: (i) reducing demand for products that contribute most to GHG emissions, mainly targeting non-conscious processes and (ii) increasing public acceptability for policy changes to enable these interventions, targeting conscious processes. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Material demand reduction’. PMID:28461435

  14. Ego and Self: A Synthesis of Theories of Consciousness and Personality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tatzel, Miriam

    Ego and self refer to two ways of being. They are related on the one hand to neurosis and health and on the other hand to rational and intuitive modes of consciousness. The author in this article considers consciousness as it pertains to knowing oneself. She examines how ego, the rational consciousness as applied to oneself, can obstruct…

  15. "Binaural Rivalry": Dichotic Listening as a Tool for the Investigation of the Neural Correlate of Consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brancucci, Alfredo; Tommasi, Luca

    2011-01-01

    Since about two decades neuroscientists have systematically faced the problem of consciousness: the aim is to discover the neural activity specifically related to conscious perceptions, i.e. the biological properties of what philosophers call qualia. In this view, a neural correlate of consciousness (NCC) is a precise pattern of brain activity…

  16. A review of the dissociative disorders: from multiple personality disorder to the posttraumatic stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Modesto J. Romero-López

    Full Text Available In this paper we review the idea of dissociation, dissociative disorders and their relationship with the processes of consciousness. We will deal specifically with multiple personality disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder. Both polarize the discussion of diagnostic categories with dissociative symptoms. This review compares the initial ideas (one century old with the current scenario and emerging trends in research, which are relating cognitive processes and dissociative phenomena and disorders from a neuroscientific approach. We discuss the ideas on dissociation, hypnosis and suicide associated with these disorders. There seems to be a lack of consensus as to the nature of dissociation with theoretical, empirical and clinical implications.

  17. Do cortical midline variability and low frequency fluctuations mediate William James' "Stream of Consciousness"? "Neurophenomenal Balance Hypothesis" of "Inner Time Consciousness".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Northoff, Georg

    2014-11-01

    William James famously characterized consciousness by 'stream of consciousness' which describes the temporal continuity and flow of the contents of consciousness in our 'inner time consciousness'. More specifically he distinguished between "substantive parts", the contents of consciousness, and "transitive parts", the linkages between different contents. While much research has recently focused on the substantive parts, the neural mechanisms underlying the transitive parts and their characterization by the balance between 'sensible continuity' and 'continuous change' remain unclear. The aim of this paper is to develop so-called neuro-phenomenal hypothesis about specifically the transitive parts and their two phenomenal hallmark features, sensible continuity and continuous change in 'inner time consciousness'. Based on recent findings, I hypothesize that the cortical midline structures and their high degree of variability and strong low frequency fluctuations play an essential role in mediating the phenomenal balance between sensible continuity and continuous change. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. [Psychogenic paroxysmal disorders in children].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulas, F; Morant, A

    Paroxystic psychic disorders which imitate organic disorders of the nervous system may have peripheral effects, present as changes in level of consciousness or appear as paroxystic behaviour changes. The types of crises of psychological origin are: tantrums, panic attacks, crises of psychopathic rage, onanism or masturbation, epileptic pseudocrises or pseudoconvulsions and Munchausen's syndrome. In general psychic crises are not frequent in infancy: tantrums are commoner in small children and the other conditions usually occur after puberty or during adolescence. The anamnesis is the most important factor in the correct diagnosis of psychogenic paroxystic disorders. Complementary studies are done in doubtful cases, to rule out different pathological processes which might be causing the paroxystic disorder. Amongst these investigations, we emphasize the importance of the video-EEG for differential diagnosis of paroxystic disorders in children.

  19. Temporal neural mechanisms underlying conscious access to different levels of facial stimulus contents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Shen-Mou; Yang, Yu-Fang

    2018-04-01

    An important issue facing the empirical study of consciousness concerns how the contents of incoming stimuli gain access to conscious processing. According to classic theories, facial stimuli are processed in a hierarchical manner. However, it remains unclear how the brain determines which level of stimulus content is consciously accessible when facing an incoming facial stimulus. Accordingly, with a magnetoencephalography technique, this study aims to investigate the temporal dynamics of the neural mechanism mediating which level of stimulus content is consciously accessible. Participants were instructed to view masked target faces at threshold so that, according to behavioral responses, their perceptual awareness alternated from consciously accessing facial identity in some trials to being able to consciously access facial configuration features but not facial identity in other trials. Conscious access at these two levels of facial contents were associated with a series of differential neural events. Before target presentation, different patterns of phase angle adjustment were observed between the two types of conscious access. This effect was followed by stronger phase clustering for awareness of facial identity immediately during stimulus presentation. After target onset, conscious access to facial identity, as opposed to facial configural features, was able to elicit more robust late positivity. In conclusion, we suggest that the stages of neural events, ranging from prestimulus to stimulus-related activities, may operate in combination to determine which level of stimulus contents is consciously accessed. Conscious access may thus be better construed as comprising various forms that depend on the level of stimulus contents accessed. NEW & NOTEWORTHY The present study investigates how the brain determines which level of stimulus contents is consciously accessible when facing an incoming facial stimulus. Using magnetoencephalography, we show that prestimulus

  20. Problem of consciousness in learning systems and environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. F. Sergeev

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The article deals with the problems that arise when a human is involved into a complexly training systems and the environment. A theoretical analysis of the infl uence of consciousness on the training mechanisms within the framework of post non-classical conceptions of human psyche functioning was conceived. We argue that consciousness is not intended to refl ect the objective reality and acquire knowledge, and solves the problem of the construction of the subjective world, which is the sum of compromises between the subject and the dynamic environments of his experience. In contrast, consciousness selects and harmonizes the information useful for human life.The role of consciousness in training is largely contradictory and confusing. It is also the source of the new information. The information is distorted in order to create a world view, which tends to objectively contradictive to the outside observer and consistent for refl ective being. We stressed the important role of human’s multimodal sensory experience in the process of interaction between conscious and unconscious forms of knowledge creation and processing. We consider the qualitative difference between physical reality and the model presented in the subjective world. We postulated the existence in the mind of a human dynamic virtual model. According to this model, the natural world is delimited by person and opposed to it being a source of events that make up the content of his life. The border which was built in the consciousness divides constructed reality into the inner and outer worlds. These worlds have different significance for the subject, defining the nature of its activities.We analyzed models the structure of reality and reality as a world’s refl ection offered by Karl Popper, K. K. Kolin, R. Redfield, G. Roth. The attention was paid to the neurobiological model of subjective reality by V. Sergin, which proposed a hypothesis of automatic identification postulating a

  1. Becoming conscious of learning and nursing in clinical settings

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Kirsten; Pedersen, Birthe D.; Helms, Niels Henrik

    2015-01-01

    Literature shows several benefits of implementing ePortfolio and focusing on learning styles within nursing education. However, there is some ambiguity, so the aim was to investigate learning mediated by the mandatory part of ePortfolio in clinical settings. The design takes a phenomenological......-hermeneutic approach. The setting was a ten-week clinical course in Basic Nursing, and participants were 11 first-year students randomly assigned. Data was generated by participant observations, narrative interviews and portfolio documents. The entire data material was interpreted according to the French philosopher...... Paul Ricoeurs theory of interpretation. This paper reports that the mandatory part promotes consciousness of own learning and competencies in clinical nursing and raises students` consciousness of nurse identity. It gives preceptors the opportunity to differentiate their supervision for individual...

  2. Qualifying the quantified self - A study of conscious learning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjærgaard, Thomas; Sorensen, Elsebeth Korsgaard

    2014-01-01

    will impart more robust study skills and higher level of learning competence and that learners thereby will utilize networks and personal technology in a more fruitful manner. The study questions if quantification in itself will create consciousness and it also questions the idea that; the more we measure...... the multipurpose, mobile, connected convenience of a smartphone and the ’Edmodo’ and ‘Twitter’ app in a quest for conscious competence learning in a rhizomatic learning environment in further education. The study is based on a quantitative survey, observation of teaching and qualitative interviews. We found...... peer or teacher, hence it is a rather big change to implement an open-source based learning stream. We found that there is a great difference between posting exercise results and learning progression. None the less we believe that in the right pedagogical circumstances the open-source learning stream...

  3. Retrospective Attention Gates Discrete Conscious Access to Past Sensory Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thibault, Louis; van den Berg, Ronald; Cavanagh, Patrick; Sergent, Claire

    2016-01-01

    Cueing attention after the disappearance of visual stimuli biases which items will be remembered best. This observation has historically been attributed to the influence of attention on memory as opposed to subjective visual experience. We recently challenged this view by showing that cueing attention after the stimulus can improve the perception of a single Gabor patch at threshold levels of contrast. Here, we test whether this retro-perception actually increases the frequency of consciously perceiving the stimulus, or simply allows for a more precise recall of its features. We used retro-cues in an orientation-matching task and performed mixture-model analysis to independently estimate the proportion of guesses and the precision of non-guess responses. We find that the improvements in performance conferred by retrospective attention are overwhelmingly determined by a reduction in the proportion of guesses, providing strong evidence that attracting attention to the target's location after its disappearance increases the likelihood of perceiving it consciously.

  4. Evidence for consciousness-related anomalies in random physical systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radin, Dean I.; Nelson, Roger D.

    1989-12-01

    Speculations about the role of consciousness in physical systems are frequently observed in the literature concerned with the interpretation of quantum mechanics. While only three experimental investigations can be found on this topic in physics journals, more than 800 relevant experiments have been reported in the literature of parapsychology. A well-defined body of empirical evidence from this domain was reviewed using meta-analytic techniques to assess methodological quality and overall effect size. Results showed effects conforming to chance expectation in control conditions and unequivocal non-chance effects in experimental conditions. This quantitative literature review agrees with the findings of two earlier reviews, suggesting the existence of some form of consciousness-related anomaly in random physical systems.

  5. LANL Safety Conscious Work Environment (SCWE) Self-Assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hargis, Barbara C. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2014-01-29

    On December 21, 2012 Secretary of Energy Chu transmitted to the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) revised commitments on the implementation plan for Safety Culture at the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant. Action 2-5 was revised to require contractors and federal organizations to complete Safety Conscious Work Environment (SCWE) selfassessments and provide reports to the appropriate U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) - Headquarters Program Office by September 2013. Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) planned and conducted a Safety Conscious Work Environment (SCWE) Self-Assessment over the time period July through August, 2013 in accordance with the SCWE Self-Assessment Guidance provided by DOE. Significant field work was conducted over the 2-week period August 5-16, 2013. The purpose of the self-assessment was to evaluate whether programs and processes associated with a SCWE are in place and whether they are effective in supporting and promoting a SCWE.

  6. Assessing Politicized Sexual Orientation Identity: Validating the Queer Consciousness Scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duncan, Lauren E; Mincer, Elizabeth; Dunn, Sarah R

    2017-01-01

    Building on psychological theories of motivation for collective action, we introduce a new individual difference measure of queer consciousness, defined as a politicized collective identity around sexual orientation. The Queer Consciousness Scale (QCS) consists of 12 items measuring five aspects of a politicized queer identity: sense of common fate, power discontent, system blame, collective orientation, and cognitive centrality. In four samples of adult women and men of varied sexual orientations, the QCS showed good test-retest and Cronbach's reliability and excellent known-groups and predictive validity. Specifically, the QCS was positively correlated with identification as a member of the LGBTQ community, political liberalism, personal political salience, and LGBTQ activism and negatively correlated with right-wing authoritarianism and social dominance orientation. QCS mediated relationships between several individual difference variables and gay rights activism and can be used with both LGBTQ people and allies.

  7. The normal electrocardiogram of four species of conscious raptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talavera, J; Guzmán, M J; del Palacio, M J Fernández; Albert, A P; Bayón, A

    2008-02-01

    The aim of this study was to describe normal ECG patterns and values in four species of conscious raptors (Eurasian kestrel, Griffon vulture, Little owl, and Eurasian Eagle owl). Electrocardiograms were carried out in 75 conscious birds belonging to four species of raptors. Lead II waveforms were analysed to determine amplitudes and durations of waves and intervals. Morphologic patterns of P-QRS-T deflections were analysed in the six limb leads. Rhythm, heart rate, mean electrical axis, presence of Ta wave, ST slurring, and P-on-T phenomenon were also studied. The influence of species, body weight and heart rate in electrocardiographic variables were statistically analysed (P raptors that can be used to establish comparisons for clinical purposes.

  8. Lipopolysaccharide-induced acute renal failure in conscious rats

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jonassen, Thomas E N; Graebe, Martin; Promeneur, Dominique

    2002-01-01

    In conscious, chronically instrumented rats we examined 1) renal tubular functional changes involved in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced acute renal failure; 2) the effects of LPS on the expression of selected renal tubular water and sodium transporters; and 3) effects of milrinone......-alpha and lactate, inhibited the LPS-induced tachycardia, and exacerbated the acute LPS-induced fall in GFR. Furthermore, Ro-20-1724-treated rats were unable to maintain MAP. We conclude 1) PDE3 or PDE4 inhibition exacerbates LPS-induced renal failure in conscious rats; and 2) LPS treated rats develop an escape......, a phosphodiesterase type 3 (PDE3) inhibitor, and Ro-20-1724, a PDE4 inhibitor, on LPS-induced changes in renal function. Intravenous infusion of LPS (4 mg/kg b.wt. over 1 h) caused an immediate decrease in glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and proximal tubular outflow without changes in mean arterial pressure (MAP...

  9. Is consciousness necessary for conflict detection and conflict resolution?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiang, Ling; Wang, Baoxi; Zhang, Qinglin

    2013-06-15

    Is conflict control dependent on consciousness? To answer this question, we used high temporal resolution event-related potentials (ERPs) to separate conflict detection from conflict resolution in a masked prime Stroop task. Although behavioral interference effect was present in both the masked and unmasked conditions, the electrophysiological findings revealed more complex patterns. ERP analyses showed that N450 was greater for incongruent trials than for congruent trials and that it was located in the ACC and nearby motor cortex, regardless of whether the primes were masked or unmasked; however, the effects were smaller for the masked than unmasked condition. These results suggest that consciousness of conflict information may not be necessary for detecting conflict, but that it may modulate conflict detection. The analysis of slow potential (SP) amplitude showed that it distinguished incongruent trials from congruent trials, and that this modulation effects was reduced to a greater extent for the masked condition than for the unmasked condition. Moreover, the prefrontal-parietal control network was activated under the unmasked but not under the masked condition. These results suggest that the consciousness of conflict information may be a necessary boundary condition for the subsequent initiation of control operations in the more extended PFC-parietal control network. However, considering that the conflict interference effect was significantly reduced in the masked condition, it may be that, with larger unconscious conflict effects, more extensive cognitive control networks would have been activated. These findings have important implications for theories on the relationship between consciousness and cognitive control. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Consciousness, Free Will, and Transformation. Science and Ancient Samkhya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pratibha Gramann

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The existence of free will has been discovered by neurological studies. However there is a lack of research in what initiates the firing of free will within the nerve endings. This paper addresses that issue using ancient knowledge about consciousness, three energies that characterize matter, prana, and transformation. The premise made is that regular pranayam breath practices are a key-method to initiate the firing of nerve synapse in the brain to develop free will and transformation

  11. Consumer consciousness on meat and the environment - Exploring differences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohjolainen, Pasi; Tapio, Petri; Vinnari, Markus; Jokinen, Pekka; Räsänen, Pekka

    2016-06-01

    Global environmental challenges require changes in both the production and the consumption of goods. In this paper we analyse how consumers perceive the high environmental burden of meat. We analysed consumer environmental consciousness, including problem awareness and a support to action dimensions, latter including perceived self-efficacy as well as solutions to problems. The solutions were positioned on a continuum from increasing the efficiency of production to discussing sufficiency levels in consumption practices (techno-optimism, local meat, organic meat and meat reduction, respectively). We used a statistically representative survey sample (n = 1890) from the population of Finland and cluster analysis to explore differences among consumers. The analysis revealed that most Finns seem to be rather unsure of the study topic. At the same time they tend to have a comparably high level of self-efficacy (55 per cent of respondents) and endorsement of particularly local meat solution type (55%), followed by organic meat (35%), meat reduction (25%) and techno-optimism (15%), though the neutral stand was the most common one across the data. We also identified six consumer groups that reveal not only a high number of Highly unsure consumers (40%), but also some Rather conscious (20%) and a relatively small number of Highly conscious (8%). In addition, there were also easily observable groups of Careless conscious (14%), Rather unsure (9%) and Resistant (8%). The results highlight the need for a multitude of political actions to guide meat consumption, as there are groups that may benefit from practical tools for making dietary changes as well as groups in need for more comprehensive selection of measures, including environmental information. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. White matter damage impairs access to consciousness in multiple sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reuter, Françoise; Del Cul, Antoine; Malikova, Irina; Naccache, Lionel; Confort-Gouny, Sylviane; Cohen, Laurent; Cherif, André Ali; Cozzone, Patrick J; Pelletier, Jean; Ranjeva, Jean-Philippe; Dehaene, Stanislas; Audoin, Bertrand

    2009-01-15

    Global neuronal workspace theory predicts that damage to long-distance white matter (WM) tracts should impair access to consciousness during the perception of brief stimuli. To address this issue, we studied visual backward masking in 18 patients at the very first clinical stage of multiple sclerosis (MS), a neurological disease characterized by extensive WM damage, and in 18 matched healthy subjects. In our masking paradigm, the visibility of a digit stimulus increases non-linearly as a function of the interval duration between this target and a subsequent mask. In order to characterize quantitatively, for each subject, the transition between non-conscious and conscious perception of the stimulus, we used non-linear regression to fit a sigmoid curve to objective performance and subjective visibility reports as a function of target-mask delay. The delay corresponding to the inflexion point of the sigmoid, where visibility suddenly increases, was termed the "non-linear transition threshold" and used as a summary measure of masking efficiency. Objective and subjective non-linear transition thresholds were highly correlated across subjects in both groups, and were higher in patients compared to controls. In patients, variations in the non-linear transition threshold were inversely correlated to the Magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) values inside the right dorsolateral prefrontal WM, the right occipito-frontal fasciculus and the left cerebellum. This study provides clinical evidence of a relationship between impairments of conscious access and integrity of large WM bundles, particularly involving prefrontal cortex, as predicted by global neuronal workspace theory.

  13. The Emergence of Consciousness in the Quantum Universe

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Xiaolei

    2011-01-01

    It is argued that human consciousness is likely to have emerged during the self-consistent evolution of the physical universe, through the gradual accumulation of biological entities' ability to tap into the intrinsic non-deterministic potentiality in the global nonequilibrium phase transitions occurring continually in the quantum universe. Due to the fact that the matter and energy content participating in these global phase transitions is a continuum, there are in effect infinite degrees-of...

  14. A High Level Model of a Conscious Embodied Agent

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Wiedermann, Jiří

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 2, č. 3 (2010), s. 62-78 ISSN 1942-9045 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP202/10/1333 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10300504 Keywords : embodied agent * internal world models * higher cognitive function Subject RIV: IN - Informatics, Computer Science http://www.igi-global.com/article/high-level-model-conscious-embodied/46147

  15. [Team work as the way to back up consciousness].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maksakova, O A

    2014-01-01

    Conception of unconsciousness after brain injury had changed considerably due to high technologies. Nowadays some patients considered by clinicians as unconscious are admitted to awareness with neurovisual techniques. Physiologic and neurophysiologic signals' combining brings forward robust quantification of patients' clinical state too. These "Third Person View" approaches leave the question of patient's experience content open because of determined stimuli paradigms. Yet patient's response pattern becomes formed not only with brain deficits but by questions-stimuli, context, and inquiring person. Rehabilitation team work is sourcing of phenomenology knowledge of patient's processes due to "First-Second Person View" approach and chance to real-time change. Restoration of consciousness comes of building-up patients' contacts with their own bodies, other persons and outward things. The basic principle of this approach is feedback assignement to any minimal movement or vegetative signal of the patient. The net of feedbacks with the patient and inter-professional ones builds up the team as Non-linear Complex System. Characteristics of "Team-Patient" system status are energy, entropy, and complexity. Impairment of consciousness as the absence of linear contact with a patient may appear together with a loss of essential functions (low energy), vegetative-visceral fits (excessive energy and low order), motor agitation (excessive energy and order), and etc. Techniques of team work are different in these cases for resulting optimization of the system condition. System complexity rise is a powerful tool to arouse apatient with impairment of consciousness. System self-organization is a key process for awareness formation. Analysis of complex communication process in patient--team system may be useful for creation of the general theory of consciousness.

  16. From quantum physics to consciousness. Cosmos, spirit, and matter

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goernitz, Thomas; Goernitz, Brigitte

    2016-01-01

    The present book is a consequent continuation and deepening of a new concept layed down ba Thomas and Brigitte Goernitz in several writings. Starting from quantum theory they describe the evolution of the spirituality from the origin of the cosmos until the origin of the consciousness. Obtained was this knowledge by profund physical and mathematical research lasting for decades and in cooperation lasting for years with scientists and philosophers, especially with Carl Friedrich v. Weizsaecker.

  17. Towards an integrative theory of consciousness: part 2 (an anthology of various other models).

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Sousa, Avinash

    2013-01-01

    The study of consciousness has today moved beyond neurobiology and cognitive models. In the past few years, there has been a surge of research into various newer areas. The present article looks at the non-neurobiological and non-cognitive theories regarding this complex phenomenon, especially ones that self-psychology, self-theory, artificial intelligence, quantum physics, visual cognitive science and philosophy have to offer. Self-psychology has proposed the need to understand the self and its development, and the ramifications of the self for morality and empathy, which will help us understand consciousness better. There have been inroads made from the fields of computer science, machine technology and artificial intelligence, including robotics, into understanding the consciousness of these machines and their implications for human consciousness. These areas are explored. Visual cortex and emotional theories along with their implications are discussed. The phylogeny and evolution of the phenomenon of consciousness is also highlighted, with theories on the emergence of consciousness in fetal and neonatal life. Quantum physics and its insights into the mind, along with the implications of consciousness and physics and their interface are debated. The role of neurophilosophy to understand human consciousness, the functions of such a concept, embodiment, the dark side of consciousness, future research needs and limitations of a scientific theory of consciousness complete the review. The importance and salient features of each theory are discussed along with certain pitfalls, if present. A need for the integration of various theories to understand consciousness from a holistic perspective is stressed.

  18. A Heuristic Model of Consciousness with Applications to the Development of Science and Society

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter A. Curreri

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available A working model of consciousness is fundamental to understanding of the interactions of the observer in science. This paper examines contemporary understanding of consciousness. A heuristic model of consciousness is suggested that is consistent with psycophysics measurements of bandwidth of consciousness relative to unconscious perception. While the self reference nature of consciousness confers a survival benefit by assuring the all points of view regarding a problem are experienced in sufficiently large population, conscious bandwidth is constrained by design to avoid chaotic behavior. The multiple hypotheses provided by conscious reflection enable the rapid progression of science and technology. The questions of free will and the problem of attention are discussed in relation to the model. Finally the combination of rapid technology growth with the assurance of many unpredictable points of view is considered in respect to contemporary constraints to the development of society.

  19. A Heuristic Model of Consciousness with Applications to the Development of Science and Society

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curreri, Peter A.

    2010-01-01

    A working model of consciousness is fundamental to understanding of the interactions of the observer in science. This paper examines contemporary understanding of consciousness. A heuristic model of consciousness is suggested that is consistent with psycophysics measurements of bandwidth of consciousness relative to unconscious perception. While the self reference nature of consciousness confers a survival benefit by assuring the all points of view regarding a problem are experienced in sufficiently large population, conscious bandwidth is constrained by design to avoid chaotic behavior. The multiple hypotheses provided by conscious reflection enable the rapid progression of science and technology. The questions of free will and the problem of attention are discussed in relation to the model. Finally the combination of rapid technology growth with the assurance of many unpredictable points of view is considered in respect to contemporary constraints to the development of society.

  20. Imaging neural signatures of consciousness: 'what', 'when', 'where' and 'how' does it work?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sergent, C; Naccache, L

    2012-01-01

    'What' do we call consciousness? 'When' and 'Where' in the brain do conscious states occur, and 'How' conscious processing and conscious access to a given content work? In the present paper, we present a non-exhaustive overview of each of these 4 major issues, we provide the reader with a brief description of the major difficulties related to these issues, we highlight the current theoretical points of debate, and we advocate for the explanatory power of the "global workspace" model of consciousness (Baars 1989; Dehaene and Naccache 2001; Dehaene, Changeux et al. 2006) which can accommodate for a fairly large proportion of current experimental findings, and which can be used to reinterpret apparent contradictory findings within a single theoretical framework. Most notably, we emphasize the crucial importance to distinguish genuine neural signatures of conscious access from neural events correlated with consciousness but occurring either before ('upstream') or after ('downstream').