[FoRK] The State of Consciousness Studies

Stephen D. Williams <sdw at lig.net> on Mon Jul 16 20:25:56 PDT 2007

What he said.  +1

Elias Sinderson wrote:
> Lion Kimbro wrote:
>> How can you measure an experience externally? 
> I will assume that by 'experience' you mean 'conscious experience' 
> and, by that, you mean 'an experience that one is /aware/ of'. Please 
> correct me if I am somehow mistaken in that assumption.
> ...
> That said, there are a wide variety of methods that may be applied to 
> discern or measure an experience, both subjectively and objectively. 
> One may ask a subject to relate their experience in prose...
> ... alternate tasks and stimuli. Additionally, the use of flourescing 
> dyes that bind to various resources utilized by the brain (e.g. 
> oxygen, sugar, etc.) allows one to view and record actual brain 
> states, to an increasingly high degree of detail, while a subject is 
> having an 'experience'. This last bit has been an incredible boon in 
> understanding cognition, and the data collected thereby agrees 
> remarkably well with anecdotal and clinical data collected over the 
> course of hundreds of years of case study involving victims of 
> accidents, localized strokes, seizures, etc.
A few months ago I talked to the researcher at the Howard Hughes Medical 
Institute at Janelia Farms, 5 miles from my house, who invented a 
version of the binding flourescing dye system that is read by beaming a 
powerful light pulse _through_ the brain and reading the resulting 
flashes as "ripples in a pond" to determine the location of each 
molecule so excited.  Now that is some cool science.  I think I have a 
picture of him  and HHMI somewhere.
> ...
> Regards,
> Elias

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