The significance and use of absence of a thing is highlighted as its presence. The role of absence in various disciplines of mathematics, physics, semi-conductor electronics, computing and cognitive sciences for ease in conceptualizing is discussed. The use of null set, null vector and null matrix are also presented.
The significance and use of absence of a thing is highlighted taking examples from mathematics, physics, semi-conductor electronics, computer science and cognitive science. The profundity of absence is discussed.
As research on mind wandering has accelerated, the construct’s defining features have expanded and researchers have begun to examine different dimensions of mind wandering. Recently, Christoff and colleagues have argued for the importance of investigating a hitherto neglected variety of mind wandering: “unconstrained thought,” or, thought that is relatively unguided by executive-control processes. To date, with only a handful of studies investigating unconstrained thought, little is known about this intriguing type of mind wandering. Across two experiments, we examined, for the (...) first time, whether changes in task demand influence rates of constrained versus unconstrained thoughts. In both experiments, participants completed either an easy (0-back) or hard (2-back) task and responded to intermittently presented thought probes that gauged thought constraint throughout the task. In Experiment 1, we found that participants completing the easy task engaged in unconstrained thoughts more frequently than those completing the difficult task. In Experiment 2, we replicated this result and further demonstrated manipulations of unconstrained thought while also measuring task-relatedness (a common dimension of mind wandering). Finally, exploratory analyses showed associations between constrained thought and age, verbal intelligence, and an assessment of flow (‘deep effortless concentration’), thereby adding further evidence to indicate a dissociation between task-relatedness and constraint. We discuss the methodological and theoretical applications of our findings to the burgeoning field of research on unconstrained thought. (shrink)
The above problem is discussed with the use of the example of selected canonical Upanishads. The analysis starts with a fragment from the Mundaka Upanishad : “When he [ brahman ] that is both high [ para ] and low [ apara ] is seen”. In my opinion, this very conjoining of the absolute and relative reality, which is considerably rare in the canonical texts, requires in-depth analysis. In the discussed texts, the para / apara dimensions of reality are strictly (...) correlated with the states of consciousness in which they are experienced. Thus, in my discussion, I also consider whether all yoga adepts have always been talking about experiencing the four states of consciousness. I discuss the terms which denote the para and apara dimensions as well as the question whether the text indicates their hierarchy and, if this is the case, in what contexts and in what respect. I refer to the canonical Upanishads which belong to the Atharvaveda lineage, i.e. to Prashna, Mundaka, and Mandukya. (shrink)
The nature of time is yet to be fully grasped and finally agreed upon among physicists, philosophers, psychologists and scholars from various disciplines. Present paper takes clue from the known assumptions of time as - movement, change, becoming - and the nature of time will be thoroughly discussed. -/- The real and unreal existences of time will be pointed out and presented. The complex number notation of nature of time will be put forward. Natural scientific systems and various cosmic processes (...) will be identified as constructing physical form of time and the physical existence of time will be designed. -/- The finite and infinite forms of physical time and classical, quantum and cosmic times will be delineated and their mathematical constructions and loci will be narrated. -/- Thus the physics behind time-construction, time creation and time-measurement will be given. -/- Based on these developments the physics of Timelessness will be developed and presented. -/- . (shrink)
Quantum mechanics is currently being tried to be used as a probe to unravel the mysteries of consciousness. Present paper deals with this probe, quantum mechanics and its usefulness in getting an insight of working of human consciousness. The formation of quantum mechanics based on certain axioms, its development to study the dynamical behavior and motions of fundamental particles and quantum energy particles moving with the velocity of light, its insistence on wave functions, its probability approach, its dependence on uncertainty (...) principles will all be critically discussed. The result of this discussion will be presented. Its limitations in unraveling the form, function and biological nature of consciousness will be presented. The alternative probe available and being used – the translation of Upanishadic insight and Advaita philosophy into cognitive science elements in delineating the definition, form and function of Consciousness will be given. The usefulness of this modeling and analysis in understanding the consciousness, mind and its functions in cognitive science and theory of human language acquisition and communication will also be presented. The physic-chemical nature of ideas, senses, thoughts, feelings, utterances will be grossly dealt with. The functions of consciousness and mind, in knowledge and language acquisition and communication will be dealt with. (shrink)
Based on previous studies implicating increased functional connectivity within the self-referential brain network in major depressive disorder (MDD), and considering the functional roles of three distinct modules of such brain net (responsible for three-dimensional components of Selfhood) together with the documented abnormalities of self-related processing in MDD, we tested the hypothesis that patients with depression would exhibit increased connectivity within each module of the self-referential brain network and that the strength of these connections would correlate positively with depression severity. Applying (...) the electroencephalogram (EEG) operational synchrony analysis to extract three modules of the self-referential brain network in 12 medication-free depressive outpatients and 10 control subjects we have found an increase in the strength of EEG synchrony within all three modules in depressive patients (though non-significant for the right module). Furthermore, multiple regression analysis that used 3 factors (values of synchrony strength for all three modules) as input indicated that combined increase in the strength of synchrony in all three modules was positively associated with severity of depression. Taken together the findings of this study suggest that depression is primarily associated with hypersynchrony in all three modules of the brain self-referential network (the anterior module been responsible for “witnessing observation and first–person perspective”, the left posterior module been responsible for “reflective agency and narration” and the right posterior module been responsible for “bodily representational-emotional agency”), thus contributing to excessive self-focus, rumination, and body tension. (shrink)
In this report, we describe the case of a patient who sustained extremely severe traumatic brain damage with diffuse axonal injury in a traffic accident and whose recovery was monitored during 6 years. Specifically, we were interested in the recovery dynamics of 3-dimensional components of selfhood (a 3-dimensional construct model for the complex experiential selfhood has been recently proposed based on the empirical findings on the functional-topographical specialization of 3 operational modules of brain functional network responsible for the self-consciousness processing) (...) derived from the electroencephalographic (EEG) signal. The analysis revealed progressive (though not monotonous) restoration of EEG functional connectivity of 3 modules of brain functional network responsible for the self-consciousness processing, which was also paralleled by the clinically significant functional recovery. We propose that restoration of normal integrity of the operational modules of the self-referential brain network may underlie the positive dynamics of 3 aspects of selfhood and provide a neurobiological mechanism for their recovery. The results are discussed in the context of recent experimental studies that support this inference. Studies of ongoing recovery after severe brain injury utilizing knowledge about each separate aspect of complex selfhood will likely help to develop more efficient and targeted rehabilitation programs for patients with brain trauma. (shrink)
In this paper we describe a few interrelated issues for validating theories that posit levels of consciousness. First, validating levels of consciousness requires consensus about the ordering of conscious states, which cannot be easily achieved. This problem is particularly severe if we believe conscious states can be irreducibly smeared over time. Second, the relationship between conscious states is probably sometimes intransitive, which means levels of consciousness will not be amenable to a single continuous measure. Finally, even if a multidimensional approach (...) to levels of consciousness is adopted, we argue that there are further problems for its validation. (shrink)
A computational theory of consciousness should include a quantitative measure of consciousness, or MoC, that (i) would reveal to what extent a given system is conscious, (ii) would make it possible to compare not only different systems, but also the same system at different times, and (iii) would be graded, because so is consciousness. However, unless its design is properly constrained, such an MoC gives rise to what we call the boundary problem: an MoC that labels a system as conscious (...) will do so for some – perhaps most – of its subsystems, as well as for irrelevantly extended systems (e.g., the original system augmented with physical appendages that contribute nothing to the properties supposedly supporting consciousness), and for aggregates of individually conscious systems (e.g., groups of people). This problem suggests that the properties that are being measured are epiphenomenal to consciousness, or else it implies a bizarre proliferation of minds. We propose that a solution to the boundary problem can be found by identifying properties that are intrinsic or systemic: properties that clearly differentiate between systems whose existence is a matter of fact, as opposed to those whose existence is a matter of interpretation (in the eye of the beholder). We argue that if a putative MoC can be shown to be systemic, this ipso facto resolves any associated boundary issues. As test cases, we analyze two recent theories of consciousness in light of our definitions: the Integrated Information Theory and the Geometric Theory of consciousness. (shrink)
Psychological effects of perception of music by 63 normal young Russian city dwellers were studied. Stress coping strategies, primitive in functional and ontogenetic terms (confrontation, avoidance) were demonstrated to be primarily affected, as well as such basic psychological defense mechanisms, as suppres- sion. Differences in the effects of perception of the traditional (light European classical) music and the non-traditional (contemporary designer) one were traced back, primarily at the level of general psycho- logical tension. As a result, possible psychological me- chanisms (...) supporting the adaptive function of culture, are discussed. (shrink)
The therapeutic potential of meditation for physical and mental well-being is well documented, however the possibility of adverse effects warrants further discussion of the suitability of any particular meditation practice for every given participant. This concern highlights the need for a personalized approach in the meditation practice adjusted for a concrete individual. This can be done by using an objective screening procedure that detects the weak and strong cognitive skills in brain function, thus helping design a tailored meditation training protocol. (...) Quantitative electroencephalogram (qEEG) is a suitable tool that allows identification of individual neurophysiological types. Using qEEG screening can aid developing a meditation training program that maximizes results and minimizes risk of potential negative effects. This brief theoretical–conceptual review provides a discussion of the problem and presents some illustrative results on the usage of qEEG screening for the guidance of mediation personalization. (shrink)
Different anesthetics are known to modulate different types of membrane-bound receptors. Their common mechanism of action is expected to alter the mechanism for consciousness. Consciousness is hypothesized as the integral of all the units of internal sensations induced by reactivation of inter-postsynaptic membrane functional LINKs during mechanisms that lead to oscillating potentials. The thermodynamics of the spontaneous lateral curvature of lipid membranes induced by lipophilic anesthetics can lead to the formation of non-specific inter-postsynaptic membrane functional LINKs by different mechanisms. These (...) include direct membrane contact by excluding the inter-membrane hydrophilic region and readily reversible partial membrane hemifusion. The constant reorganization of the lipid membranes at the lateral edges of the postsynaptic terminals (dendritic spines) resulting from AMPA receptor-subunit vesicle exocytosis and endocytosis can favor the effect of anesthetic molecules on lipid membranes at this location. Induction of a large number of non-specific LINKs can alter the conformation of the integral of the units of internal sensations that maintain consciousness. Anesthetic requirement is reduced in the presence of dopamine that causes enlargement of dendritic spines. Externally applied pressure can transduce from the middle ear through the perilymph, cerebrospinal fluid, and the recently discovered glymphatic pathway to the extracellular matrix space, and finally to the paravenular space. The pressure gradient reduce solubility and displace anesthetic molecules from the membranes into the paravenular space, explaining the pressure reversal of anesthesia. Changes in membrane composition and the conversion of membrane hemifusion to fusion due to defects in the checkpoint mechanisms can lead to cytoplasmic content mixing between neurons and cause neurodegenerative changes. The common mechanism of anesthetics presented here can operate along with the known specific actions of different anesthetics. (shrink)
Adequate assessment of (un)consciousness is not only of theoretical interest but also has a practical and ethical importance, especially when it comes to disorders of consciousness (DOC). Accurately determining the presence or absence of consciousness in patients with DOC allows informed decisions to be made about long-term care support, referral for rehabilitation, pain management and withdrawal of life support. We believe that a theoretical account of what conscious experience is and how it emerges within the brain will advance the search (...) for appropriate neuromarkers of the presence or absence of consciousness in non-communicative brain-damaged patients. (shrink)
In this paper we aim to show that phenomenal consciousness is realized by a particular level of brain operational organization and that understanding human consciousness requires a description of the laws of the immediately underlying neural collective phenomena, the nested hierarchy of electromagnetic fields of brain activity – operational architectonics. We argue that the subjective mental reality and the objective neurobiological reality, although seemingly worlds apart, are intimately connected along a unified metastable continuum and are both guided by the universal (...) laws of the physical world such as criticality, self-organization and emergence. (shrink)
Soonya Vaada, the prime and significant contribution to Indian philosophical thought from Buddhism will be scientifically developed and presented. How this scientific understanding helped to sow seeds of origin of rationalism and its development in Buddhist thought and life will be delineated. Its role in the shaping of Buddhist and other Indian philosophical systems will be discussed. Its relevance and use in the field of cognitive science and development of theories of human consciousness and mind will be put forward. The (...) idea of absence as zero in number system, vacuum in physics and other natural sciences and state of absence of cognition in mind machine modeling will be presented. The use of significance of Soonya Vaada in philosophy, rational social life, natural sciences and technology, mathematics and cognitive science will be comprehensively discussed and a model for human cognition and communication will be arrived at. -/- . (shrink)
Although several studies propose that the integrity of neuronal assemblies may underlie a phenomenon referred to as awareness, none of the known studies have explicitly investigated dynamics and functional interactions among neuronal assemblies as a function of consciousness expression. In order to address this question EEG operational architectonics analysis (Fingelkurts and Fingelkurts, 2001, 2008) was conducted in patients in minimally conscious (MCS) and vegetative states (VS) to study the dynamics of neuronal assemblies and operational synchrony among them as a function (...) of consciousness expression. We found that in minimally conscious patients and especially in vegetative patients neuronal assemblies got smaller, their life-span shortened and they became highly unstable. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the extent/volume and strength of operational synchrony among neuronal assemblies was smallest or even absent in VS patients, intermediate in MCS patients and highest in healthy fully-conscious subjects. All findings were similarly observed in EEG alpha as well as beta1 and beta2 frequency oscillations. The presented results support the basic tenets of Operational Architectonics theory of brain-mind functioning and suggest that EEG operational architectonics analysis may provide an objective and accurate means of assessing signs of (un)consciousness in patients with severe brain injuries. Therefore this methodological approach may complement the existing “gold standard” of behavioral assessment of this population of challenging patients and inform the diagnostic and treatment decision-making processes. (shrink)
This paper argues that the many and various conceptions of consciousness propounded by cognitive scientists and philosophers can all be understood as constituted with reference to four fundamental sorts of criterion: epistemic (concerned with kinds of consciousness), semantic (dealing with orders of consciousness), physiological (reflecting states of consciousness), and pragmatic (seeking to capture types of consciousness). The resulting four-fold taxonomy, intended to be exhaustive, suggests that all of the distinct varieties of consciousness currently encountered in cognitive neuroscience, the philosophy of (...) mind, clinical psychology, and other related fields ultimately refer to a unified natural process, analysed under four general aspects. The proposed taxonomy will, it is hoped, possess sufficient clarity to serve as a sound theoretical framework for further scientific studies, and to count as a significant step in the direction of a properly formulated unified concept of consciousness. (shrink)
A biophysical and biochemical perspective of Brahmajnaana will be advanced by viewing Upanishads and related books as “Texts of Science on human mind”. A biological and cognitive science insight of Atman and Maya, the results of breathing process; constituting and responsible for human consciousness and mental functions will be developed. The Advaita and Dvaita phases of human mind, its cognitive and functional states will be discussed. These mental activities will be modeled as brain-wave modulation and demodulation processes. The energy-forms and (...) their transformations as ideas/moods/experiences/thoughts/feelings/utterances/knowing/perception/experience/mood; and a theory of human cognition and communication will be advanced. The sameness of these and processes taking place and steps involved in human language acquisition and communication processes will be highlighted taking ideas from Sabdabrahma Siddhanta and Sphota Vaada, for which the basis is Brahmajnaana only. In fine, a physiological psychological and neurological model of human consciousness and function of mind based on Indian spiritual thought will be derived and discussed using concepts from modern science and technology. The application of these derivations in the fields of physiological psychology, mind-machine modeling, natural language comprehension branch of artificial intelligence and neurology to model and imitate human mental functions will be hinted. -/- . (shrink)
The concepts developed using Upanishadic insight regarding human consciousness, mind and mental processes and their applications in information acquisition and transmission by, through and in human body will be used to model human cognitive processes. A sequential reversible process by the stepwise transformation of (i) infrasonic form of energy and transformation of information already stored in (ii) biochemical form within as memory, and retrieved as inner mental world into (iii) electrochemical and then into (iv) mechanical form while communicating and the (...) reverse of it as the (i) input stimuli from outside world as light, sound, chemical, mechanical and heat forms, into (ii) electrochemical, (iii) biochemical and finally into (iv) infra sonic form while acquiring and understanding processes is put forward and discussed. Comparisons will be made between energy transformations in electronics communication processes and these psychic energy transformations that give rise to cognitive processes. This comparison gives an insight and theory of origin, structure, function and cessation of human mental functions. A comparative diagram that describes application of infrasonic energy transformations associated with bionics as biochemical, electrochemical and mechanical forms will be given. (shrink)
Merker’s definition of consciousness excludes self-reflective thought, making his proposal for decorticate consciousness not particularly groundbreaking. He suggests that brainstem sites are neglected in current theories of consciousness. This is so because broader definitions of consciousness are used. Split-brain data show that the cortex is important for full-blown consciousness; also, behaviors exhibited by hydranencephaly patients and decorticated rats do not seem to require reflective consciousness.
This paper reviews a theory on the physiological conditions of consciousness. The theory consists of four hypotheses: (1) The occurrence of states of consciousness depends on the formation of higher-order representations that represent the internal state of the brain itself. (2) Higher-order representations are instantiated by the spatio-temporal activity pattern of large-scale neuronal assemblies. (3) The N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) synapse plays a crucial role in the generation of conscious states by implementing the binding mechanism that the brain uses to produce large-scale (...) assemblies. (4) The activation state of the NMDA receptor determines the rate at which representational structures can be built up. Unconsciousness or altered states of consciousness occur if, and only if, NMDA-dependent binding processes are inhibited. (shrink)
The interest of this is threefold. First, patients with altered states of consciousness continue to represent a major clinical problem in terms of clinical assessment of consciousness and daily management.
Understanding of time, construed as movement, change and becoming, is explained taking examples from natural sciences. Durational and metrical aspects of time are elaborated. General assumptions about passage of time are listed. Indian, Chinese and later insights of path of passage of time are figured. Physical and psychological times are differentiated and explained using Energy-Presence (Being) and Energy-Transformation (Becoming) concepts. Concepts of Time at rest and Time in motion are proposed. -/- . The meanings of time-space, time-flow, different phases of (...) time-conscious and time-transcendent mind and thought processes are interpreted from basic physics principles and Upanishadic awareness -/- An attempt is made to present a comprehensive insight of nature of time, thought process and conscious states (phases) of mind. (shrink)
This book presents an analytic investigation into the nature of cognitive reality. The author explores various manifestations of consciousness with rational and empirical rigor; he begins with more ordinary states such as thinking, sleeping, and dreaming and then continues on with more extraordinary states such as hypnosis, trance, psychedelic experiences, transcendence, and experiences associated with death. This comprehensive overview of altered states examines consciousness from the physiological, cognitive, and experiential points of view. Readers will gain from this text an enriched (...) understanding of consciousness, reality, and the scientific endeavor. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
How can one investigate phenomenal consciousness? As in other areas of science, the investigation of consciousness aims for a more precise knowledge of its phenomena, and the discovery of general truths about their nature. This requires the development of appropriate first-person, second-person and third-person methods. This book introduces some of the creative ways in which these methods can be applied to different purposes, e.g. to understanding the relation of consciousness to brain, to examining or changing consciousness as such, and to (...) understanding the way consciousness is influenced by social, clinical and therapeutic contexts. To clarify the strengths and weaknesses of different methods and to demonstrate the interplay of methodology and epistemology, the book also suggests a number of “maps” of the consciousness studies terrain that place different approaches to the study of consciousness into a broader, interdisciplinary context. (shrink)