Altered Sensory Environments, Altered States of Consciousness and Altered-State Cognition

Journal of Mind and Behavior 14 (1):1-12 (1993)
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The concept of an altered state of consciousness may be clarified when three major issues are discussed: the phenomenon, its method of induction, and criteria for evaluating the phenomenon. An ASC is a mental state, but it is not clear how such a mental state is related to subjective experience and cognitive functioning. The relationship between the method of induction and the resulting ASC is also unclear at present. Finally, criteria for determining and evaluating the ASC are indistinguishable from the phenomenon itself, leaving the latter ill-defined. These are the basic issues which are addressed in the theoretical formulation here presented. I propose that the cognitive mode distinguishing the normal waking state from an ASC is the mode of meaning employed



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