Sunday, July 06, 2014

the neurological locus of consciousness?

newscientist | ONE moment you're conscious, the next you're not. For the first time, researchers have switched off consciousness by electrically stimulating a single brain area.
Scientists have been probing individual regions of the brain for over a century, exploring their function by zapping them with electricity and temporarily putting them out of action. Despite this, they have never been able to turn off consciousness – until now.
Although only tested in one person, the discovery suggests that a single area – the claustrum – might be integral to combining disparate brain activity into a seamless package of thoughts, sensations and emotions. It takes us a step closer to answering a problem that has confounded scientists and philosophers for millennia – namely how our conscious awareness arises.
Many theories abound but most agree that consciousness has to involve the integration of activity from several brain networks, allowing us to perceive our surroundings as one single unifying experience rather than isolated sensory perceptions.
One proponent of this idea was Francis Crick, a pioneering neuroscientist who earlier in his career had identified the structure of DNA. Just days before he died in July 2004, Crick was working on a paper that suggested our consciousness needs something akin to an orchestra conductor to bind all of our different external and internal perceptions together.
With his colleague Christof Koch, at the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle, he hypothesised that this conductor would need to rapidly integrate information across distinct regions of the brain and bind together information arriving at different times. For example, information about the smell and colour of a rose, its name, and a memory of its relevance, can be bound into one conscious experience of being handed a rose on Valentine's day.
The pair suggested that the claustrum – a thin, sheet-like structure that lies hidden deep inside the brain – is perfectly suited to this job (Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B, doi.org/djjw5m).
It now looks as if Crick and Koch were on to something. In a study published last week, Mohamad Koubeissi at the George Washington University in Washington DC and his colleagues describe how they managed to switch a woman's consciousness off and on by stimulating her claustrum. The woman has epilepsy so the team were using deep brain electrodes to record signals from different brain regions to work out where her seizures originate. One electrode was positioned next to the claustrum, an area that had never been stimulated before.
When the team zapped the area with high frequency electrical impulses, the woman lost consciousness. She stopped reading and stared blankly into space, she didn't respond to auditory or visual commands and her breathing slowed. As soon as the stimulation stopped, she immediately regained consciousness with no memory of the event. The same thing happened every time the area was stimulated during two days of experiments (Epilepsy and Behaviordoi.org/tgn)

15 comments:

Vic78 said...

So the drug from Limitless might not be too far off.

CNu said...

Definitely in my lifetime...,

Constructive_Feedback said...

A stunning attempt at holding a "Conclusion" and then writing an article to substantiate it.


Brother CNu - BY ALL ACCOUNTS the present day terrorism in Mexico and parts of Central America is EQUAL to the terror suffered by the Pre-Civil Rights Blacks in America:


* Lynchings/ Beheadings
* Corrupt Governments / Police Forces that are criminal agents themselves
* Local thugs actively intimidating people where they live AND when they travel to exit this situation.


YET for some strange reason - as depicted in the stance taken by the former "NAACP Head", who is now a "Senior Fellow" at the "Center For American Progress" INSTEAD OF running a "Freedom Summer 2014" in which American activists GO INTO these lands of terrorism to register the terrorized people to vote - Ben Jealous and others want to make this an IMMIGRATION issue - in which they take a principled stand against the WHITE RIGHT WING ENEMY inside of America.


Tell me, CNu - might this has something to do with the fact that the near 200 million "Mexicans / Central Americans" DO NOT HAVE A VOTE INSIDE OF AMERICA that this "Bus Ride" did not take place and instead we are talking about the fraction of a fraction of TERRORIZED PEOPLE who have made it into the United States?


What is John Lewis sent a bus convoy into Mississippi to arrange safe passage of terrorized Blacks into NYC, Philly and Baltimore? Would he be a "Civil Rights hero" today?

Constructive_Feedback said...

WHAT A SURPRISE!!!!


"The CHURCH" takes the hit BUT NOTHING about THE GOVERNMENTS in these places and after decades of FAILING TO DEVELOP THE PEOPLE - in their desperation ARMED THUGS form "Governing Terrorist" factions - leaving the VULNERABLE PEOPLE with little more than they can do beyond PRAYING for protection.


Are you satisfied that this article has correctly MODELED the key forces at play "South Of The Border" CNu?

Constructive_Feedback said...

Brother CNU -


HILLARY CLINTON BACKED BARRY GOLDWATER.


Are you more interested in those who still back what is UNPOPULAR with the Americanized Negro or merely those who have CHANGED?


What about the "Black Racial Services Machine" that has had unchecked access to the Black community's valuables during this same time period since 1965?

CNu said...

If after its effects one could still be categorized as belonging to the human species...,

CNu said...

lol, so I'm watching the Wimbledon men's finals and turning my attention back to the PC for a minute, I find that the equivalent of a digital colon-blow has taken place in the liminal perspectives patch.A stunning attempt at holding a "Conclusion" and then writing an article to substantiate it.That's what essayists are supposed to do. You should perhaps try it sometimes, should you ever bother to make sense to the reading general public.

CNu said...

I'm satisfied that the article calls out the Catholic Church for its irrational doctrinal foolishness.

CNu said...

I'm glad that this prick Mellon-Scaife is dead and can't wait for several more of the billionaire point-source sponsors of racial pseudo-science and racist politics to join him as food for worms.

Constructive_Feedback said...

Let all of the said "Wealthy White Moneyed Men" with platforms that are OFFENSIVE to the Americanized Negro run through their natural course of life, their MONEY be confiscated in total BY THE STATE.


Leave ONLY the "Wealth Moneyed Men Of Any Race" that the AMERICANIZED NEGRO has taken up as their friends - supplying FAVORABLE MEDIA IMAGES and funding "Africanan Studies" programs.


DO YOU BELIEVE that the Negro will get SUFFICIENTLY EDUCATED to become FREE?
DO YOU BELIEVE that the Negro's HOMICIDE RATE will NORMALIZE, proving that he is now EQUAL?
DO YOU BELIEVE that the CULTURE OF INDUSTRY that will now be BROUGHT INTO FRUITION by the POST-RACIAL PROGRESSIVE FUNDAMENTALISTS that right now have unchecked access to the VALUABLES of the AMERICANIZED NEGRO will have the people's TIME AND MOTION done on a daily basis to support their HIGH STANDARD OF LIVING now that it is no longer suppressed by the RICH WHITE RIGHT WING ENEMY that has been destroyed?


WHAT ABOUT THIS ENEMY MAKES HIM SO SUPERIOR?

CNu said...

I believe you love prattling online more than you love engaging in sensible discussion with your peers and your sup-peers....,

BigDonOne said...

In the immortal words of Gen. Buck Turgidson, "I'd withhold judgement on a thing like that until all the facts are in..." Brain activity is electrical and when you overload circuuitry, bad things happen. Probably too early to assess the longer-term affects of using this stuff....

arnach said...

In any event, it may be no worse than the long term effects of the application of FauxNews as the primary source of herd-forming disinformation to the class of demonstrably low-information voters at which it is targeted. Individually and, even more importantly, as it affects the species.

CNu said...

The BRAIN project is underway in earnest http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BRAIN_Initiative and the claustrum is a most curious and interesting structure http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claustrum

Vic78 said...

It'll have to be something permanent. Maybe a pill starting out. Then we work on our genes.

I'm all for it. The world will get a little more interesting. The brain science with the delayed or reversed aging is going to be sick. We're going to have to deal with our religious wackos to make real progress stateside. They probably aren't going to deal with it peacefully.