Posts Tagged ‘altered states’

Altered states of consciousness

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It is argued that altered states, which can result from a range of cause including near-death-experience (NDE), meditation or psychedelic drugs, can be directly causal of durable personality changes. Further to this, recent experimentation suggests that some altered states can deactivate brain regions responsible both for the sense of self, and for constraining ‘mystical’ type experiences in other brain regions. Thus contrary to any suggestion that the self is some type of ‘mystical illusion’ it may in fact be part of a system that constrains ‘mystical’ experience during normal brain processing.

Altered states

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Towards a sublime state of consciousness  ::  Raymond McBride  ::  Journal of Consciousness Studies, No. 11-12, 2014, pp. 19-40  ::  www.imprint.co.uk/jcs.html Summary and review of the above paper Focused attention and mental absorption, to the exclusion of other sensory inputs, are seen as catalysing altered states of consciousness. The author discusses meditation; some research on meditation suggests that blood flow to brain regions involved in directing attention decreases during Read more […]

Psilocybin alters the brain network

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Magic mushrooms create a hyperconnected brain Tia Ghose, based on Paul Expert, King’s College London www.livescience.com rsif.royalsocietypublishing.org royalsocietypublishing.org/journals Summary and review of the above article A study at King’s College London, published in the Journal of the Royal Society on October 28 2014, has shown that psilocybin, the active ingredient in so-called magic mushrooms, disrupts normal connections within the brain, while allowing connection Read more […]

Anterior insula and epilepsy

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Summarises an article by Anil Ananthaswamy, New Scientist, 25 January 2014 This article looks at the effect of a particular type of epileptic seizure on the anterior insula region of the brain. There are two main types of epileptic seizure; general seizures effect the whole of the cortex; this article refers to the other main type of seizure, focal or partial seizures concentrated in small regions of the brain, which is rarer than general seizure. There is also a suggestion that the stranger effects Read more […]

Psilocybin and altered states

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Neural correlates of the psychedelic state as determined by fMRI studies with psilocybin www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1119598109 This paper further undermines the persistent claim within mainstream consciousness studies that all that needs to be done is to deconstruct the self (a relatively easy process) and then declare the consciousness problem solved. Altered states of consciousness have always appeared to contradict this claim, but the evidence of this was at a rather anecdotal level. Read more […]