Good. Now, let's un-clickbait the article a bit. "Consciousness" here simply and plainly means "a conscious, waking state" as opposed to "Atman", "self-awareness", "that weird thing that separates us from machines" and other definitions.
The study is indeed exhilarating in its potential prospects of medical procedures to help people who are vegetative, comatose, suffer from narcolepsy, or similar illnesses.
It is not exhilarating in the sense of any grand philosophical discovery.
No on highly contested hypothesis as it is still a question and not a working [theory](https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/25012712/)
Although the hypothisis goes back a fair amount of time if you look at the wiki that gives a bit of an overview and most likly where Kawahara got his idea (from)[https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biophoton]
It is very fringe though and not heavily supported it is also seen by the majority as a bit of Pseudoscience.
In what way is that linked to RATH and the basis of RATH's work on Fluctlights that is supposedly based on micro tubule biophotons. Where RATH uses a scanning the quantum fluctuation of that light non-invasively.
This work is based on turning on and off consciousness via direct invasively placing electrodes and the electrical stimulation to central lateral thalamus and deep layers of the cerebral cortex.
A) has already been well supported in both physiology and psychology since work began in the early 1900's
However the answer is still very much a we don't know exactly how or why yet just it is. Confusing answer I know but it is the current answer.
B) has a rather dark history in some areas of psychology have a look at (Pavlov's Children) as well as internal look at deep brain stimulation and measurement of influence an off shoot of Transcranial direct-current stimulation.
They are still very much unlinked to what RATH is doing and more linked to Kayaba's original nervegear.
I am surprised with this news. This has been a common knowledge. Thalamus plays a very important role in sleep-wakefulness cycle and contributes to consciousness. For this very reason, bilateral thalamic lesions make people comatose.
Consciousness is a complex circuit. It involves a wide network from frontal lobes to brain stem.
Also, for future reference, when someone gets excited saying one part of brain does something important, they probably don’t know what they are talking about or are oversimplifying things. Brain relies on complex inputs from different parts to perform any task.
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”When the central lateral thalamus was stimulated, the monkeys woke up and their brain function resumed — even though they were STILL UNDER ANESTHESIA. Seconds after the scientists switched off the stimulation, the monkeys went right back to sleep”
This isn't really news I've heard of this before, not this specific study but something very much like it. Being able to render someone conscious or unconscious in no way infers that region of the brain is in charge of consciousness itself though. I think they at least got the title words that it 'enables' consciousness, but that doesn't mean it tells us anything about consciousness itself.
Kind of like knowing where to put up a road block to stop traffic doesn't tell us where the traffic originated from or the reason the people are traveling.
Sounds like the results reported by Koch and others with regard to the claustrum. Which means there are multiple regions of the brain which, when stimulated, turn awareness 'on' and 'off'. But that still doesn't tell us what qualia are! It doesn't explain the Hard Problem.
Let's use an android rather than a zombie. The android is programmed with the latest human-simulating AI that makes the machine emulate human behaviour perfectly.
Data inputs include sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell.
When we put the android and a human in a room together and play some classical music, Mozart's Jupiter symphony perhaps, both the android and the human appear to enjoy the music.
We all agree that the human probably appreciates Mozart. Does the android appreciate Mozart? Or has its software simply rendered 'appreciation' well enough to convince an observer?
In one sense, the android experiences a subjective reality (according to the strict dictionary definition). The software processes inputs (sound), and produces output (servo movements in the face structure, tapping of robotic toes, etc). But would the android **feel** annoyed if the human stood up and turned off the music just before the third movement? Or would it simply simulate 'annoyance'?
The hard problem of conscious is about determining the relationship between physical processes (neuro-biological, electronic, etc.) and the capacity to experience a qualitative dimension from stimuli.
>In order to solve this argument, someone needs to point out exactly what's missing from the simulation, or provide a definition of "feel" that's precise enough so that the difference is clear.
David Chalmer's has done a lot of work on this. His papers are a good read.
Well yeah, the science behind Rath in the books is based on real life scientific studies. The author didn't just pull stuff out of his ass when he wrote the books. He did make it seem a bit easy to do however .
This is really interesting, although quite misleading to characterize it as signalling "consciousness" rather than simply enabling wakefulness or arousal under anesthesia. Human trials will be telling; will a person recall the experience? Will they feel like they had agency at the time? (Will they even react with a similar wakefulness response the same way as macaques, of course, is also uncertain.). Potentially a large gap remains between the ability to react to stimuli under anesthesia and subjective conscious experience.
It is interesting but we’ve known about the ascending reticular activating system for ages. It’s interesting but this research doesn’t appear to be as wild and exhilarating as stated. Seems more like a case to of [neuromania](https://www.oxfordscholarship.com/mobile/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199591343.001.0001/acprof-9780199591343)
Also suggesting *this* is the locus of consciousness is indeed silly. We don’t even having a working definition of what consciousness means.
This is pretty common in all science reporting today. This actually isn't the most egregious article I've seen by far in the last week.
This tripe here is horrible.
Even though I'd wager there's some good science at it's root. Institutions doing science nowadays basically have marketing departments (they don't call them that though) that twist this stuff so it gets headlines so maybe they can get some grant money from rich people that saw the articles recently.
The scientists themselves don't have to participate in the science junket. If the work speaks for itself, there's no need to dramatize the results in the media. It doesn't reduce the amount of time they spend applying for grants vs actually doing research. And rich people and their foundations try to spend as little as possible on their grants for maximum PR.
So, a question for any experts out there, it doesn't look from skimming the paper that they monitored the brainstem at all, so how do they know that wasn't involved? Only, previous research has reported that damage to posterior brainstorm associates with coma and vegetative state.
I'm not saying the thalamus isn't important to arousal, it's pretty much important to everything, just that it would be interesting to know how this stimulation affects other areas of the brain through reciprocal circuits and whether this research concurs with previous studies. It's interesting research but feels incomplete without knowing how other circuits are involved.
There's other arguments for other areas as being the 'seat of consciousness', such as Bud Craig, who prefers the insula:
This article mixes up "wakefulness" and "consciousness". Happens often to materialist people, if they dont reflect enough about their topic.
Consciousness is the fact, that subjective experience exists (instead of a clockwork universe full of unobserved physical interactions). It is methodological impossible to see into another consciousness than your own. You can, at best, describe behaviour of some other person. The only consciousness you will ever know for sure to exist is your own. If you want so study consciousness, study yourself.
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I see a case of terminology confusion here, probably as a result of bad journalism. The researches meant "conscious" as the opposite of "unconscious". They managed to temporarily wake up a monkey from the "unconscious" (anesthetized) state using the electrical stimulation of a particular brain region. In some sense, they achieved the state of "consciousness", but that doesn't have anything to do with self-sentience, rational thinking, verbalization, introspection and other aspects of what people usually mean by "consciousness" when talking about themselves.
In fact, I would argue that "consciousness" is unnecessarily broad and vague concept, and it's better to avoid using this word without giving a definition of what does it mean in a specific context where it's used.
Consciousness is any experience that isn’t measure able, or not?
I mean all our rational thinking, language, decision making etc happens on the “hardware” and may be measured, so it’s just brain activity that we might not even have any control over whatsoever, tbh it seems a lot like there is no free will outside of quantum mechanics. Anything else seems to be cause and effect.
I’m really interested in how the term consciousness has become a term for thoughts. To me it always referred to the experience, not the brain activity.
Well, people are writing whole [books](https://www.amazon.com/Consciousness-Introduction-2nd-Susan-Blackmore/dp/0199739099) on the subject of wtf the consciousness actually is.
Yes, it's a subjective experience, and this alone makes it a hard subject to study. We have tools to study physical objects (such as the brain) and behaviors (such as language), which are objectively observable. Consciousness is not of that kind as it is simply not observable for anyone but oneself. However, to some degree, one may argue that objects expressing similar behaviors to their own experience consciousness very similar to their own. The story of [Blindsight](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blindsight_(Watts_novel)) is built around playing with alternatives to this hypothesis.
And what of free will, I personally like how modern compatibilism and information philosophy approach the problem by introducing chaotic dynamics where "will" is inherent property of the sufficiently complex deterministic system, and is not a binary property either, but a spectrum.
Amazing answer, thank you. My personal theory is that free will happens on the quantum scale, just like consciousness. But that’s just an idea I’ve been carrying with me for quite some time.
It would mean that there is no free will for the mind or personality, which is what the ‘no free will theory’ is getting at.
**$61.48** - *Consciousness: An Introduction (2nd ed.)*
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> In some sense, they achieved the state of "consciousness", but that doesn't have anything to do with self-sentience,
Well I wouldn't say it has "nothing" to do with sentience, but I think the point is that they did help identify an area of the brain that plays a critical role in that process. There is a blurry line between "being conscious" and "consciousness" itself, and while those are two different things, being conscious is still a critical part of consciousness itself, and identifying the key brain circuits involved in that process is important.
With that being said, while this article is interesting I have a lot of criticisms with how it is written. I agree that they do use a lot of unclear and unscientific terminology.
I'd like to track down the original paper, seems like a good read!