First evidence for higher state of consciousness found

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First evidence for higher state of consciousness found

#1  Postby the_5th_ape » Apr 20, 2017 6:59 pm

Scientific evidence of a ‘higher’ state of consciousness has been found in a study led by the University of Sussex.

Neuroscientists observed a sustained increase in neural signal diversity – a measure of the complexity of brain activity - of people under the influence of psychedelic drugs, compared with when they were in a normal waking state.


http://m.sussex.ac.uk/newsandevents/index?id=39992
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Re: First evidence for higher state of consciousness found

#2  Postby Rumraket » Apr 21, 2017 6:39 am

What's a "higher" state of consciousness? It seems to me you're either conscious or not.
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Re: First evidence for higher state of consciousness found

#3  Postby zulumoose » Apr 21, 2017 8:11 am

So more activity, in much the same way as the nerves in your arm show more activity if you hit your thumb with a hammer. I don't think your arm should be considered in a higher state, just an overstimulated state.

If the processing power of the brain is not engaged to get different or better reality-based information out of the process, then I don't think the state can be said to be higher, or even elevated. Overstimulated is not an improvement since more real information cannot be said to be passed on in that state.
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Re: First evidence for higher state of consciousness found

#4  Postby Manticore » Apr 21, 2017 8:35 am

If I inject Nitrous Oxide into the air intake of an engine, it's going to rev like madness - but it's not going to do it much good - there's a fair chance it will self-destruct.
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Re: First evidence for higher state of consciousness found

#5  Postby archibald » Apr 21, 2017 8:53 am

zulumoose wrote:So more activity, in much the same way as the nerves in your arm show more activity if you hit your thumb with a hammer. I don't think your arm should be considered in a higher state, just an overstimulated state.

If the processing power of the brain is not engaged to get different or better reality-based information out of the process, then I don't think the state can be said to be higher, or even elevated. Overstimulated is not an improvement since more real information cannot be said to be passed on in that state.


Yes. There is probably 'too much going on out there' for our brains to usefully process without a lot of it being filtered out by inhibitors, with the inhibitors themselves being inhibited by psychedelics, apparently, leading to the 'brakes being taken off'. I didn't actually think this was news.

Whether 'increased revs and less brakes' is an improvement or not is I suppose up for grabs. It probably isn't sustainable as a way of existing on a day to day basis, but that might not be the same thing as 'not an improvement'.
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Re: First evidence for higher state of consciousness found

#6  Postby zulumoose » Apr 21, 2017 10:52 am

I think the car analogies are inappropriate, anything done to stimulate the combustion process in a car engine will, whether destructive in the long run or not, lead to gains in forward motion. Overstimulating the brain does not necessarily lead to any directed result.

I think a better analogy would be setting off a bomb in a dam. There would be increased ripples, signs of activity, surges, but the productive measurement is outflow through the river, which is a result of the inflow from the catchment area being processed through the weir, if that does not increase, then the end result is not any form of improvement at all, not even temporarily.
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Re: First evidence for higher state of consciousness found

#7  Postby archibald » Apr 21, 2017 11:09 am

zulumoose wrote:I think the car analogies are inappropriate, anything done to stimulate the combustion process in a car engine will, whether destructive in the long run or not, lead to gains in forward motion. Overstimulating the brain does not necessarily lead to any directed result.

I think a better analogy would be setting off a bomb in a dam. There would be increased ripples, signs of activity, surges, but the productive measurement is outflow through the river, which is a result of the inflow from the catchment area being processed through the weir, if that does not increase, then the end result is not any form of improvement at all, not even temporarily.


Whilst I generally agree........

It does depend on an ultimately arbitrary definition of improvement.

'Going faster' is only an improvement in certain ways.

Also, what about therapeutic uses of psychedelics, or even just stimulating creativity.

As an Irishman, I cannot deny the 'life enhancing improvements' that can be obtained, albeit temporarily, through mind-altering drugs, most notably alcohol. :)
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Re: First evidence for higher state of consciousness found

#8  Postby crank » Apr 21, 2017 11:28 am

There have been studies from a while back demonstrating long-term effects of hallucinogeni that involve things like 'more open minded'. I'm wondering if anyone read the linked article, it rather clearly says:
“Since this measure has already shown its value as a measure of ‘conscious level’, we can say that the psychedelic state appears as a higher ‘level’ of consciousness than normal – but only with respect to this specific mathematical measure.”



The measure appears to favor diversity of signaling evident, which is in line with what other research has shown, including my considerable, uh er, studies have shown me. I read a different report about this, it said the data implies possible synesthesia effects, and the ability to recognize patterns and connections that would be missed otherwise, but also to recognize ones that weren't actually there. None of this should surprise anyone familiar with these substances, and almost everyone should be if not teetering at the edges of schizophrenia or some other mental instability.
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Re: First evidence for higher state of consciousness found

#9  Postby Manticore » Apr 23, 2017 8:11 am

crank wrote:There have been studies from a while back demonstrating long-term effects of hallucinogeni that involve things like 'more open minded'. I'm wondering if anyone read the linked article, it rather clearly says:
“Since this measure has already shown its value as a measure of ‘conscious level’, we can say that the psychedelic state appears as a higher ‘level’ of consciousness than normal – but only with respect to this specific mathematical measure.”



The measure appears to favor diversity of signaling evident, which is in line with what other research has shown, including my considerable, uh er, studies have shown me. I read a different report about this, it said the data implies possible synesthesia effects, and the ability to recognize patterns and connections that would be missed otherwise, but also to recognize ones that weren't actually there. None of this should surprise anyone familiar with these substances, and almost everyone should be if not teetering at the edges of schizophrenia or some other mental instability.


"the ability to recognize patterns and connections that would be missed otherwise, but also to recognize ones that weren't actually there"

The first part describes the best scientists.
The second part sounds like a good explanation for most crackpots.
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Re: First evidence for higher state of consciousness found

#10  Postby DavidMcC » May 20, 2017 1:24 pm

I think there are several distinct "states of consciousness":
1. fully awake
2. dreamless sleeping/out cold
3. dreaming
4. hallucinating
5. brain dead!

Anyone care to venture a 6th distinct state, for the sake of debate?
Whether dreaming is "higher" than wakefulness is also a matter for debate, IMO.
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Re: First evidence for higher state of consciousness found

#11  Postby theropod » May 20, 2017 2:06 pm

DavidMcC wrote:I think there are several distinct "states of consciousness":
1. fully awake
2. dreamless sleeping/out cold
3. dreaming
4. hallucinating
5. brain dead!

Anyone care to venture a 6th distinct state, for the sake of debate?
Whether dreaming is "higher" than wakefulness is also a matter for debate, IMO.


Under extreme situations the mind can kick into another level of awareness. I call it the "car wreck" state, where time seems to slow way down and one can process data at a much higher rate than normal.

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Re: First evidence for higher state of consciousness found

#12  Postby DavidMcC » May 20, 2017 2:16 pm

theropod wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:I think there are several distinct "states of consciousness":
1. fully awake
2. dreamless sleeping/out cold
3. dreaming
4. hallucinating
5. brain dead!

Anyone care to venture a 6th distinct state, for the sake of debate?
Whether dreaming is "higher" than wakefulness is also a matter for debate, IMO.


Under extreme situations the mind can kick into another level of awareness. I call it the "car wreck" state, where time seems to slow way down and one can process data at a much higher rate than normal.

RS

Right! Can I paraphrase that as "panic":
1. fully awake
2. dreamless sleeping/out cold
3. dreaming
4. hallucinating
5. brain dead!
6. panic
I haven't attempted to put these in a particular order, so perhaps doing that (and, perhaps, adding yet more states) could be the subject of further debate.
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Re: First evidence for higher state of consciousness found

#13  Postby theropod » May 20, 2017 3:16 pm

I don't know if panic is accurate, but maybe so. My personal experiences in such situations didn't allow for the time to become panicked. It seems to be some sort of time expansion and heightened awareness followed by panic. Not claiming any deep insight, but rather pure anecdotal observations. I see no reason to worry about the order of these states.

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Re: First evidence for higher state of consciousness found

#14  Postby DavidMcC » May 20, 2017 3:32 pm

I used the wrd, "panic" because, many years ago (when I was a child), I experienced a situation in which time seemed to slow down, and it was definitely a panic situation - I was running away from an aggressive dog, in a local village green.
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