Studies have shown that as MRI T2 relaxation time lengthens there is a shift toward more unbound or “free-water” and less partitioning of the protein/lipid molecules per unit volume. A shift toward less water partitioning or lengthened MRI T2 relaxation time is linearly related to reduced high frequency EEG amplitude, reduced short distance EEG coherence, increased long distance EEG coherence, and reduced cognitive functioning (Thatcher et al. 1998a; 1998b).
Cognitive functions associated with the frontal lobes of the brain may be specifi cally involved in hypnosis. Thus, the frontal area of the brain has recently been of great interest when searching for neural changes associated with hypnosis. We tested the hypothesis that EEG during pure hypnosis would differ from the normal non-hypnotic EEG especially above the frontal area of the brain. The composition of brain oscillations was examined in a broad frequency band (130 Hz) in the electroencephalogram (EEG) of (...) a single virtuoso subject. Data was collected in two independent data collection periods separated by one year. The hypnotic and non-hypnotic conditions were repeated multiple times during each data acquisition session. We found that pure hypnosis induced reorganization in the composition of brain oscillations especially in prefrontal and right occipital EEG channels. Additionally, hypnosis was characterized by consistent rightside-dominance asymmetry. In the prefrontal EEG channels the composition of brain oscillations included spectral patterns during hypnosis that were completely different from those observed during non-hypnosis. Furthermore, the EEG spectral patterns observed overall during the hypnotic condition did not return to the pre-hypnotic baseline EEG immediately when hypnosis was terminated. This suggests that for the brain, the return to a normal neurophysiological baseline condition after hypnosis is a time-consuming process. The present results suggest that pure hypnosis is characterized by an increase in alertness and heightened attention, refl ected as cognitive and neuronal activation. Taken together, the present data provide support for the hypothesis that in a very highly hypnotizable person (a hypnotic virtuoso) hypnosis as such may be accompanied by a changed pattern of neural activity in the brain. (shrink)
This article provides an overview of recent developments in solving the timing problem (discreteness vs. continuity) in cognitive neuroscience. Both theoretical and empirical studies have been considered, with an emphasis on the framework of Operational Architectonics (OA) of brain functioning (Fingelkurts and Fingelkurts, 2001, 2005). This framework explores the temporal structure of information flow and interarea interactions within the network of functional neuronal populations by examining topographic sharp transition processes in the scalp EEG, on the millisecond scale. We conclude, based (...) on the OA framework, that brain functioning is best conceptualized in terms of continuity-discreteness unity which is also the characteristic property of cognition. At the end we emphasize where one might productively proceed for the future research. (shrink)
The value of resting electroencephalogram (EEG) in revealing neural constitutes of consciousness (NCC) was examined. We quantified the dynamic repertoire, duration and oscillatory type of EEG microstates in eyes-closed rest in relation to the degree of expression of clinical self-consciousness. For NCC a model was suggested that contrasted normal, severely disturbed state of consciousness and state without consciousness. Patients with disorders of consciousness were used. Results suggested that the repertoire, duration and oscillatory type of EEG microstates in resting condition quantitatively (...) related to the level of consciousness expression in brain-damaged patients and healthy-conscious subjects. Specifically, results demonstrated that (a) decreased number of EEG microstate types was associated with altered states of consciousness, (b) unawareness was associated with the lack of diversity in EEG alpha-rhythmic microstates, and (c) the probability for the occurrence and duration of delta-, theta- and slow-alpha-rhythmic microstates were associated with unawareness, whereas the probability for the occurrence and duration of fast-alpha-rhythmic microstates were associated with consciousness. In conclusion, resting EEG has a potential value in revealing NCC. This work may have implications for clinical care and medical–legal decisions in patients with disorders of consciousness. (shrink)
Background: Patients in a vegetative state pose problems in diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. Currently, no prognostic markers predict the chance of recovery, which has serious consequences, especially in end-of-life decision-making. -/- Objective: We aimed to assess an objective measurement of prognosis using advanced electroencephalography (EEG). -/- Methods: EEG data (19 channels) were collected in 14 patients who were diagnosed to be persistently vegetative based on repeated clinical evaluations at 3 months following brain damage. EEG structure parameters (amplitude, duration and variability (...) within quasi-stationary segments, as well as the spatial synchrony between such segments and the strength of this synchrony) were used to predict recovery of consciousness 3 months later. -/- Results: The number and strength of cortical functional connections between EEG segments were higher in patients who recovered consciousness (P < .05 – P < .001) compared with those who did not recover. Linear regression analysis confirms that EEG structure parameters are capable of predicting (P = .0025) recovery of consciousness 6 months post-injury, whereas the same analysis failed to significantly predict patient outcome based on aspects of their clinical history alone (P = .629) or conventional EEG spectrum power (P = .473). -/- Conclusions: The result of this preliminary study demonstrates that structural strategy of EEG analysis is better suited for providing prognosis of consciousness recovery than existing methods of clinical assessment and of conventional EEG. Our results may be a starting point for developing reliable prognosticators in patients who are in vegetative state, with the potential to improve their day-to-day management, quality of life, and access to early interventions. (shrink)
Objective: The value of spontaneous EEG oscillations in distinguishing patients in vegetative and minimally conscious states was studied. Methods: We quantified dynamic repertoire of EEG oscillations in resting condition with closed eyes in patients in vegetative and minimally conscious states (VS and MCS). The exact composition of EEG oscillations was assessed by the probability-classification analysis of short-term EEG spectral patterns. Results: The probability of delta, theta and slow-alpha oscillations occurrence was smaller for patients in MCS than for VS. Additionally, only (...) patients in MCS demonstrated fast-alpha oscillation occurrence. Depending on the type and composition of EEG oscillations, the probability of their occurrence was either aetiology dependent or independent. The probability of EEG oscillations occurrence differentiated brain injuries with different aetiologies. Conclusions: Spontaneous EEG oscillations have a potential value in distinguishing patients in VS and MCS. Significance: This work may have implications for clinical care, rehabilitative programs and medical–legal decisions in patients with impaired consciousness states following coma due to acute brain injuries. (shrink)
Cortex functional connectivity associated with hypnosis was investigated in a single highly hypnotizable subject in a normal baseline condition and under neutral hypnosis during two sessions separated by a year. After the hypnotic induction, but without further suggestions as compared to the baseline condition, all studied parameters of local and remote functional connectivity were significantly changed. The significant differences between hypnosis and the baseline condition were observable (to different extent) in five studied independent frequency bands (delta, theta, alpha, beta, and (...) gamma). The results were consistent and stable after 1 year. Based on these findings we conclude that alteration in functional connectivity of the brain may be regarded as a neuronal correlate of hypnosis (at least in very highly hypnotizable subjects) in which separate cognitive modules and subsystems may be temporarily incapable of communicating with each other normally. (shrink)
Some believe reality is dynamic: time passes, not just in our experience of reality, but objectively, in reality itself. There are many objections to this view. I focus on the rate objection: that time passes only if it passes at the rate of 1 second per second, but that it cannot coherently pass at that rate. Existing replies to this objection do not fully engage with its motivation. My aim is to refute the rate objection. Time can coherently pass at (...) the rate of 1 second per second. This does not conclusively show that time passes, but it removes one of the main obstacles to believing that it does. (shrink)
Le argomentazioni presentate in questo testo costituiscono le conclusioni ultime e definitive di un lavoro di ricerca, che ha investito l’insieme dei "Dialoghi Italiani", riuscendo a reperire ed a far emergere quello che pare il nucleo più profondo ed importante – il vero e proprio elevato fondamento – della speculazione bruniana: la presenza attiva di un concetto triadico teologico-politico – il "Padre", il "Figlio" e lo "Spirito" della tradizione trinitaria cristiana – però riformulato attraverso il capovolgimento rivoluzionario di questa stessa (...) tradizione, attuato attraverso il concetto creativo e dialettico dell’infinito. In questo modo la stessa tradizione platonica pare subire una trasformazione essenziale, abbandonando qualunque forma di alienazione e negazione, per riaprirsi invece verso soluzioni che paiono riprendere moniti ed osservazioni suscitati dalle prime, grandi e maestose, speculazioni dei filosofi presocratici. Talete, Anassimandro, Anassimene, Parmenide, Eraclito ed Empedocle sembrano rivivere nei testi bruniani, riproponendo una soluzione ben diversa a quei nodi e problemi teoretico-pratici – fondamentale il rapporto Uno-molti e tutto ciò che da esso consegue, sia sul piano naturale che politico – apparentemente risolti e codificati dal pensiero postsocratico, prima platonico e poi aristotelico. L’inscindibilità del principio di libertà (la figura teologica del "Padre") ed eguaglianza (il "Figlio"), attraverso il richiamo alla fonte amorosa infinita ed universale (lo "Spirito"), consente alla riflessione bruniana di presentare per la prima volta nel panorama filosofico mondiale di tutti i tempi la possibilità di salvaguardare sia l’aspetto creativo naturale, che la diversità politica, presentando nel contempo un concetto di ragione capace di esprimere un movimento infinito sempre aperto ed attento alla molteplicità. In questa liberazione della potenza e della volontà dalle strettoie ordinate e gerarchiche della tradizione il pensiero e la riflessione di Giordano Bruno danno inizio alla modernità, ripresentandosi quale mirabile soluzione ogni qual volta potere e violenza paiono assestarsi e reciprocamente incrementarsi, in un circolo apparentemente indistruttibile. Allora i capitoli di questo libro – attraverso l’analisi di concetti importanti nella filosofia bruniana, quali quelli del desiderio e dell’immaginazione, della materia e della ragione – riattraversano la storia della definizione filosofica delle entità reali più importanti – Dio, Natura, Ragione, Uno – per mostrare un’opposizione fondamentale: l’opposizione fra la fusione speculativa apportata dal pensiero neoplatonico-aristotelico (antico, moderno e contemporaneo), attenta alla difesa della necessità ordinata di un mondo unico, e la liberazione speculativo-pratica bruniana, attenta a far rivivere la coscienza dell’infinito, in noi e fuori di noi. (shrink)
In this single-blind within-subject study, autonomic and EEG variables were compared during 10-min, order-balanced eyes-closed rest and Transcendental Meditation (TM) sessions. TM sessions were distinguished by (1) lower breath rates, (2) lower skin conductance levels, (3) higher respiratory sinus arrhythmia levels, and (4) higher alpha anterior-posterior and frontal EEG coherence. Alpha power was not significantly different between conditions. These results were seen in the first minute and were maintained throughout the 10-min sessions. TM practice appears to (1) lead to a (...) state fundamentally different than eyes-closed rest; (2) result in a cascade of events in the central and autonomic nervous systems, leading to a rapid change in state (within a minute) that was maintained throughout the TM session; and (3) be best distinguished from other conditions through autonomic and EEG alpha coherence patterns rather than alpha power. Two neural networks that may mediate these effects are suggested. The rapid shift in physiological functioning within the first minute might be mediated by a ''neural switch'' in prefrontal areas inhibiting activity in specific and nonspecific thalamocortical circuits. The resulting ''restfully alert'' state might be sustained by a basal ganglia-corticothalamic threshold regulation mechanism automatically maintaining lower levels of cortical excitability. (shrink)
Temporal binding via 40-Hz synchronization of neuronal discharges in sensory cortices has been hypothesized to be a necessary condition for the rapid selection of perceptually relevant information for further processing in working memory. Binocular rivalry experiments have shown that late stage visual processing associated with the recognition of a stimulus object is highly correlated with discharge rates in inferotemporal cortex. The hippocampus is the primary recipient of inferotemporal outputs and is known to be the substrate for the consolidation of working (...) memories to long-term, episodic memories. The prefrontal cortex, on the other hand, is widely thought to mediate working memory processes, per se. This article reviews accumulated evidence for the role of a subcortical matrix in linking frontal and hippocampal systems to select and ''stream'' conscious episodes across time (hundreds of milliseconds to several seconds). ''Streaming'' is hypothesized to be mediated by the selective gating of reentrant flows of information between these cortical systems and the subcortical matrix. The physiological mechanism proposed for this temporally extended form of binding is synchronous oscillations in the slower EEG spectrum (< 8 Hz). (shrink)
A general conceptual framework for large-scale neocortical dynamics based on data from many laboratories is applied to a variety of experimental designs, spatial scales, and brain states. Partly distinct, but interacting local processes (e.g., neural networks) arise from functional segregation. Global processes arise from functional integration and can facilitate (top down) synchronous activity in remote cell groups that function simultaneously at several different spatial scales. Simultaneous local processes may help drive (bottom up) macroscopic global dynamics observed with electroencephalography (EEG) or (...) magnetoencephalography (MEG). A local/global dynamic theory that is consistent with EEG data and the proposed conceptual framework is outlined. This theory is neutral about properties of neural networks embedded in macroscopic fields, but its global component makes several qualitative and semiquantitative predictions about EEG measures of traveling and standing wave phenomena. A more general “metatheory” suggests what large-scale quantitative theories of neocortical dynamics may be like when more accurate treatment of local and nonlinear effects is achieved. The theory describes the dynamics of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic action fields. EEG and MEG provide large-scale estimates of modulation of these synaptic fields around background levels. Brain states are determined by neuromodulatory control parameters. Purely local states are dominated by local feedback gains and rise and decay times of postsynaptic potentials. Dominant local frequencies vary with brain region. Other states are purely global, with moderate to high coherence over large distances. Multiple global mode frequencies arise from a combination of delays in corticocortical axons and neocortical boundary conditions. Global frequencies are identical in all cortical regions, but most states involve dynamic interactions between local networks and the global system. EEG frequencies may involve a “matching” of local resonant frequencies with one or more of the many, closely spaced global frequencies. Key Words: binding problem; cell assemblies; coherence; EEG; limit cycles; neocortical dynamics; pacemakers; phase locking; spatial scale; standing waves; synchronization. Footnotes1 The relationship between the synaptic action fields proposed in the target article and cell assemblies is clarified with Figure R1 (p. 416) of the Response. (This figure was not available to Commentators. (shrink)
In this paper, the results of a pilot interview study with 19 subjects participating in an EEG-based non-invasive brain–computer interface (BCI) research study on stroke rehabilitation and assistive technology and of a survey among 17 BCI professionals are presented and discussed in the light of ethical, legal, and social issues in research with human subjects. Most of the users were content with study participation and felt well informed. Negative aspects reported include the long and cumbersome preparation procedure, discomfort with the (...) cap and the wet electrodes, problems concerning BCI control, and strains during the training sessions. In addition, some users reflected on issues concerning system security. When asked for morally problematic issues in this field of non-invasive BCI research, the BCI professionals stressed the need for correct information transfer, the obligation to avoid unrealistic expectations in study participants, the selection of study participants, benefits and strains of participation, BCI illiteracy, the possibility of detrimental brain modifications induced by BCI use, and problems that may arise at the end of the trials. Furthermore, privacy issues were raised. Based on the results obtained, psychosocial and ethical aspects of EEG-based non-invasive BCI research are discussed and possible implications for future research addressed. (shrink)
Abstract While considerable attention has been given to Kohlberg's stages of moral reasoning, little effort has been given to studying Kohlberg's notion of a metaphorical Stage Seven, which presupposes a cosmic rather than a universal humanistic orientation. The purpose of this study was to determine whether EEG coherence can distinguish cosmic orientation responses from non?cosmic orientation responses to the question, ?Why be moral??. Thirteen cosmic orientation candidates were compared with thirteen non?cosmic orientation subjects, matched for age, using EEG coherence measures. (...) Results indicate that cosmic orientation candidates exhibited higher EEG bilateral frontal alpha coherence than non?cosmic orientation subjects (p< .01). In addition, a positive correlation was found between the Principled Thinking Scale of Rest's Defining Issues Test and right homolateral EEG coherence (rs = .46, p< .05). Discussion of the results, along with suggestions for further research and implications for education are included. (shrink)
Ayahuasca is an Amazonian psychoactive shamanic brew that often elicits spontaneous, intense, and meaningful imagery narratives related to psychological and physical healing, problem solving, knowledge acquisition, community cohesion, creativity, and spiritual development. My EEG and phenomenology ayahuasca research found it caused the greatest changes in EEG beta coherence from 25 to 30 cycles per second compared to a resting state before ayahuasca ingestion. Enhanced beta coherence indexes significantly greater information exchange between cortical regions and is congruent with the reported enhanced (...) richness, complexity, and profundity of ayahuasca experiences. I developed the creative cycle processes model that identifies in ayahuasca reports distinct experiential change processes and describes how these processes, neuroscience, psychotherapy, mythological, and other transdisciplinary evidence can be coherently integrated to explain ayahuasca benefits. The model suggests three change process stages together underlie one emergent dynamic creative cycle process. The sequential stages are Form dismantling and healing processes, form creation processes, where novel forms spontaneously combine, and form expression processes, where emergent experiences are embodied. The model suggests that these three stages repeat cyclically in human development in an ongoing process of dismantling and generation producing more creative experiences and expressive forms. (shrink)
The ability to determine an infant’s likelihood of developing autism via a relatively simple neurological measure would constitute an important scientific breakthrough. In their recent publication in this journal, Bosl and colleagues claim that a measure of EEG complexity can be used to detect, with very high accuracy, infants at high risk for autism (HRA). On the surface, this appears to be that very scientific breakthrough and as such the paper has received widespread media attention. But a close look at (...) how these high accuracy rates were derived tells a very different story. This stems from a conflation between “high risk” as a population-level property and “high risk” as a property of an individual. We describe the.. (shrink)
This commentary discusses three features of the general theoretical framework proposed by Nunez: (1) Functional concepts, such as computation and control, are not foundational. (2) A mismatch between the concept of subcortical input and EEG output is problematic for the input/output operator concept of cortical dynamics. (3) The concept of brain state is relatively static.
The role of EEG in confirming the clinical diagnosis of isolated brain death has undergone evolutionary changes since the original recommendations concerning its use. Accumulated evidence now supports that approach that the EEG can be used not only as a confirmatory test for brain death, but one which considerably facilitates making the diagnosis. Using the EEG, brain death can often be identified with absolute certainty within just a few, rather than the previously recommended 24 or more hours after a known (...) precipitating event. Guidelines to this effect have now been established. (shrink)
Ruchkin et al. use brain-activity data from healthy subjects to assess the physiological validity of a cognitive working memory model and to propose modifications. The conclusions drawn from this data are interesting and plausible, but they have limitations. Much of what is known about the neural mechanisms of working memory comes from single neuron recordings in animals, and it is currently not fully understood how these translate to scalp recordings of EEG.
The spatial time-frequency distribution matrix and associated Rényi entropy is proposed as the basis for a method that may be useful for estimating the significance of nonlocal neocortical interactions in the analysis of scalp EEG data. Implications of nonlocal interactions for source estimation are also considered.
We used Nunez's physiologically based dynamic theory of EEG to make predictions about a clinical population of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) known to have neuronanatomical abnormalities. Analysis of high-density EEG data (long-range coherence) showed expected age-related differences and surprising regional specificity that is consistent with some of the literature in this clinical area.
The EEG activity recorded from the human sensorimotor cortical area exhibits rhythmic activity covering a broad range of frequencies, including alpha, mu, beta, and gamma (40-Hz) rhythms. This commentary elaborates on connections between these sensorimotor rhythms and Nunez's neocortical dynamic theory.
The theory of local/global neocortical EEG dynamics responds to newly emerging conceptualizations in neuroscience. An extended application of the model to event-related EEG activity composed of distinctive global and local functional epochs with presumably different timing is proposed.
This commentary highlights methods for using scalp EEG to make inferences about contextual field interactions, which, in view of the target article, may be specially relevant to the study of schizophrenia. Although scalp EEG has limited spatial resolution, prior knowledge combined with experimental manipulations may be used to strengthen inferences about underlying brain processes. Both spatial and temporal context are discussed within the framework of nonlinear interactions. Finally, results from a visual contour integration EEG pilot study are summarized in view (...) of a hypothesis that relates receptive field and contextual field processing to evoked and induced activity, respectively. (shrink)
This paper presents research regarding the monitoring of the brain and the adequacy of anesthesia during surgery. Particular variables are derived from EEG and ECG signals and are correlated to anesthetic gas (sevoflurane) concentration, in pediatric anesthesia. The methods used for parameter extraction are based on change detection theory and time-frequency representation. Preliminary results show that the expired anesthetic gas concentration modulates both the heart rate variability and the duration of the burst suppression. Monitors of the central nervous system and (...) autonomic nervous system activities can be expected to be based on these variables. (shrink)
Herët në mëngjes fillova të lexoja “Të bijën e Agamemnonit” të Ismail Kadaresë dhe pashë se ai kishte përdorur fjalën “kalimtar” që do të ishte edhe shprehja relevante për prezantimin e sotëm. Duke ditur se do të vija në Ballkan, nisa të lexoja edhe një tjetër vepër letrare, atë të Stieg Larssonit, “Vajza me tatu të dragoit”. Sikurse te vepra e Kadaresë, edhe në librin e Larssonit gjeta diçka që do të më hynte shumë në punë, që do të ishte (...) relevante për diskutimin tonë të ditës së sotme. Prandaj ju sot do të jeni shtegtarë të ideve, të mishëruar në një farë udhëtimi topografik. Unë do t’ju shpie nëpër një numër të madh personazhesh (karaktere fiktive dhe historike) dhe nëpër ide, secila prej të cilave na del para sysh, por kur bashkohet me tjera, shfamljarizon përvojat tona. Kur t’i vihet kapaku gjithë kësaj që do të shpjegojë, do t’ju familjarizojë me bindjen se plotfuqia mendore filozofike është më shumë se një bashkudhëtar në përvojat tona jetësore, veçanërisht brenda politikëbërjes. (shrink)
This commentary focuses on how bottom-up neocortical models can be developed into eigenfunction expansions of probability distributions appropriate to describe short-term memory in the context of scalp EEG. The mathematics of eigenfunctions are similar to the top-down eigenfunctions developed by Nunez, despite different physical manifestations. The bottom-up eigenfunctions are at the local mesocolumnar scale, whereas the top-down eigenfunctions are at the global regional scale. Our respective approaches have regions of substantial overlap, and future studies may expand top-down eigenfunctions into the (...) bottom-up eigenfunctions, yielding a model of scalp EEG expressed in terms of columnar states of neocortical processing of attention and short-term memory. Footnotes1 The author is also affiliated with DRW Investments LLC, 311 S. Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60606. (shrink)
Previous research has demonstrated electroencephalogram (EEG) changes in response to low-odor concentrations, resulting in near-chance detection. Such findings have been taken as evidence for olfaction without awareness. We replicated and extended previous work by examining EEG responses to water-water control, 0.0001, 0.001, 0.01, and 1 ppm isoamyl acetate (IAA) in water paired with water only. Detection was above chance (>50%) for .001 and above, and alpha decreased only to those concentrations, suggesting that EEG changes corresponded to IAA awareness. However, when (...) correct trial EEGs were compared to incorrect trial EEGs during .001 ppm, right posterior/central alpha decreased during incorrect trials and alpha decreased more globally (including frontal sites) during correct trials. These data may not reflect awareness or unawareness per se. Instead, results are discussed regarding activation of perceptual systems in the posterior region during incorrect trials and the activation of frontal action systems during a subset of correct trials. (shrink)
The essay reconstructs the political discourses of Alain Badiou and Slavoj Žižek, concerning communism and its actuality for the contemporary debate. Both philosophers have a main role in the global philosophical scene in which they maintain different but partially complementary positions. Except for some philosophical divergences, they both affirm the necessity to reopen a theoretical effort, which could eventually develop an idea of communism and communist practices able to face new challenges imposed by capitalistic globalization. Badiou intends to spread the (...) idea of communism through a theoretical and political procedure called "ideation", which should create new militants and followers to the communist revolutionary event. According to this view the State remains the main enemy to this possibility. Žižek, on the contrary, seems to look with favour on the Lacanian dynamic of denegation which could recreate the necessary conditions for the repetition of the communist revolution; which, this time, instead of ending up in tragedy or in farce, should produce a sort of enlightened new statism. (shrink)
Descrizione degli obbiettivi, le tecniche ed i primi risultati di una ricerca attualmente in corso all’Università del Paese Basco per applicare il metodo degli invarianti numerici delle classi di equivalenza -già applicato (si veda “Il programma Ars Judicandi”) sul piano di una legislazione nazionale- alla costruzione di un modello matematico per automatizzare le operazioni di analisi logica parallela, confronto e decisione su diverse legislazioni nazionaIi, simultaneamente iscritte nel quadro di una “rete deontica internazionale” che descrive per ciascuna di esse i (...) rapporti validi fra le condizioni, i casi e le soluzioni giuridiche. Il modelle comprende: a) la traduzione in un Iinguaggio aritmetico di base esadecimale delle componenti, le operazioni e le relazioni di una base multinazionale di dati legislativi; b) la formulazione, sotto forma di algoritmi aritmetici, delle regole di utilizzazione della base di dati per gli obbiettivi, classici ed attuali, di analisi e di decisione deI Diritto Comparato e dell’armonizzazione ed integrazione sopranazionale di legisIazioni diverse. (shrink)
Despite allowing for the unprecedented visualization of brain functional activity, modern neurobio-logical techniques have not yet been able to provide satisfactory answers to important questions about the relationship between brain and mind. The aim of this paper is to show how two different but complementary approaches, Mind Operational Semantics (OS) and Brain Operational Architectonics (OA), can help bridge the gap between a specific kind of mental activity—the higher-order reflective thought or linguistic thought—and brain. The fundamental notion that allows the two (...) different ap-proaches to be jointly used under a common framework is that of operation. According to OS, which is based on introspection and linguistic data, the meanings of words can be analyzed in terms of elemental mental operations (EOMC), amongst which those of attention play a key role. Linguistic thought is made possible by special kinds of elements, which OS calls “correlators”, which have the function of tying together the other elements of thought, which OS calls “correlata” (a "correlational network” that is, a sentence, is so formed). Therefore, OS conceives of linguistic thought as a hierarchy of operations of increasing complexity. Likewise, according to OA, which is based on the joint analysis of cognitive and electromagnetic data (EEG and MEG), every conscious phenomenon is brought to existence by the joint operations of many functional and transient neuronal assemblies in the brain. According to OA, the functioning of the brain is always operational (made up of operations), and its structure is characterized by a hierarchy of operations of increasing complexity: single neurons, single assemblies of neurons, syn-chronized neuronal assemblies or Operational Modules (OM), integrated or complex OMs. The authors put forward the hypothesis that the whole level of OS’s description (EOMC, correlators, and correlational networks) corresponds to the level of OMs (or set of them) of different complexity within OA’s theory: EOMC could correspond to simple OMs, correlators to complex OMs and the correlational network to a set of simple and complex OMs. Finally, a set of experiments is proposed to verify the putative correspondence between OS and OA and prove the existence of an integrated continuum between brain and mind. (shrink)
The understanding of the interrelationship between brain and mind remains far from clear. It is well established that the brain's capacity to integrate information from numerous sources forms the basis for cognitive abilities. However, the core unresolved question is how information about the "objective" physical entities of the external world can be integrated, and how unifiedand coherent mental states (or Gestalts) can be established in the internal entities of distributed neuronal systems. The present paper offers a unified methodological and conceptual (...) basis for a possible mechanism of how the transient synchronization of brain operations may construct the unified and relatively stable neural states, which underlie mental states. It was shown that the sequence of metastable spatial EEG mosaics does exist and probably reflects the rapid stabilization periods of the interrelation of large neuron systems. At the EEG level this is reflected in the stabilization of quasi-stationary segments on corresponding channels. Within the introduced framework, physical brain processes and psychological processes are considered as two basic aspects of a single whole informational brain state. The relations between operational process of the brain, mental states and consciousness are discussed. (shrink)
Amongst the different forms of constructivism the Goodmanian variety (also known as irrealism) is one of the most extreme, and one of the most interesting. Unlike various localized constructivist theories it does not just claim that scientific theories or social institutions are constructs but that everything is a construct. This universal claim leads to an interesting problem.
The default mode network (DMN) has been consistently activated across a wide variety of self-related tasks, leading to a proposal of the DMN’s role in self-related processing. Indeed, there is limited fMRI evidence that the functional connectivity within the DMN may underlie a phenomenon referred to as self-awareness. At the same time, none of the known studies have explicitly investigated neuronal functional interactions among brain areas that comprise the DMN as a function of self-consciousness loss. To fill this gap, EEG (...) operational synchrony analysis was performed in patients with severe brain injuries in vegetative and minimally conscious states to study the strength of DMN operational synchrony as a function of self-consciousness expression. We demonstrated that the strength of DMN EEG operational synchrony was smallest or even absent in patients in vegetative state, intermediate in patients in minimally conscious state and highest in healthy fully self-conscious subjects. At the same time the process of decoupling of operations performed by neuronal assemblies that comprise the DMN was highest in patients in vegetative state, intermediate in patients in minimally conscious state and minimal in healthy fully self-conscious subjects. The DMN’s frontal EEG operational module had the strongest decrease in operational synchrony strength as a function of selfconsciousness loss, when compared with the DMN’s posterior modules. Based on these results it is suggested that the strength of DMN functional connectivity could mediate the strength of self-consciousness expression. The observed alterations similarly occurred across EEG alpha, beta1 and beta2 frequency oscillations. Presented results suggest that the EEG operational synchrony within DMN may provide an objective and accurate measure for the assessment of signs of self-(un)consciousness in these challenging patient populations. This method therefore, may complement the current diagnostic procedures for patients with severe brain injuries and, hence, the planning of a rational rehabilitation intervention. (shrink)
Although several studies propose that the integrity of neuronal assemblies may underlie a phenomenon referred to as awareness, none of the known studies have explicitly investigated dynamics and functional interactions among neuronal assemblies as a function of consciousness expression. In order to address this question EEG operational architectonics analysis (Fingelkurts and Fingelkurts, 2001, 2008) was conducted in patients in minimally conscious (MCS) and vegetative states (VS) to study the dynamics of neuronal assemblies and operational synchrony among them as a function (...) of consciousness expression. We found that in minimally conscious patients and especially in vegetative patients neuronal assemblies got smaller, their life-span shortened and they became highly unstable. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the extent/volume and strength of operational synchrony among neuronal assemblies was smallest or even absent in VS patients, intermediate in MCS patients and highest in healthy fully-conscious subjects. All findings were similarly observed in EEG alpha as well as beta1 and beta2 frequency oscillations. The presented results support the basic tenets of Operational Architectonics theory of brain-mind functioning and suggest that EEG operational architectonics analysis may provide an objective and accurate means of assessing signs of (un)consciousness in patients with severe brain injuries. Therefore this methodological approach may complement the existing “gold standard” of behavioral assessment of this population of challenging patients and inform the diagnostic and treatment decision-making processes. (shrink)
Three arguments for the conclusion that objects cannot endure in B-time even if they remain intrinsically unchanged are examined: Carter and Hestevolds enduring-objects-as-universals argument (American Philosophical Quarterly 31(4):269-283, 1994) and Barker and Dowe's paradox 1 and paradox 2 (Analysis 63(2):106-114, 2003, Analysis 65(1):69-74, 2005). All three are shown to fail.
To build a true conscious robot requires that a robot’s “brain” be capable of supporting the phenomenal consciousness as human’s brain enjoys. Operational Architectonics framework through exploration of the temporal structure of information flow and inter-area interactions within the network of functional neuronal populations [by examining topographic sharp transition processes in the scalp electroencephalogram (EEG) on the millisecond scale] reveals and describes the EEG architecture which is analogous to the architecture of the phenomenal world. This suggests that the task of (...) creating the “machine” consciousness would require a machine implementation that can support the kind of hierarchical architecture found in EEG. (shrink)
Leibniz took pride in the Pre-established Harmony as an account of mind-body union. On the other hand, he sometimes claimed that he did not have a good account of such a union. I explain the tension by distinguishing between two importantly different issues that concern the union: body-soul interaction and the per se unity of the composite. Furthermore, I argue that, contrary to R.M. Adams, Leibniz did have the philosophical resources to account for a per se unity of the body-soul (...) composite by invoking Aristolian scholastic solutions to that problem. (shrink)
In some places consumption of alcohol raises serious public health issues. One recent proposal for addressing these issues has been to set a minimum price at which a unit of alcohol can be sold. In this paper I argue that such a policy, while it may have substantial health benefits, is ethically problematic. This is primarily because it unfairly places considerable burdens on those already most disadvantaged in society. In addition, such policies are poorly targeted if our concern is with (...) preventing the harms drinkers pose to other people. (shrink)