left biblioblography: The (Re)Mote In The Mind's Eye - Where Is Consciousness Located?

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The (Re)Mote In The Mind's Eye - Where Is Consciousness Located?

Cross-posted at God Is For Suckers!

outtabody Scientists have finally been able to replicate OBE's:

Out-of-body experience recreated

Near-death events have triggered out-of-body experiences

Experts have found a way to trigger an out-of-body experience in volunteers.

The experiments, described in the Science journal, offer a scientific explanation for a phenomenon experienced by one in 10 people.

Two teams used virtual reality goggles to con the brain into thinking the body was located elsewhere.

The visual illusion plus the feel of their real bodies being touched made volunteers sense that they had moved outside of their physical bodies.

The researchers say their findings could have practical applications, such as helping take video games to the next level of virtuality so the players feel as if they are actually inside the game.

Clinically, surgeons might also be able to perform operations on patients thousands of miles away by controlling a robotic virtual self.

Like an old DOS machine, it seems more and more likely that we can trick the operating system into believing odd, odd things.

While this is the first of many forays that has provided some insight into that weird labyrinth that we term 'human consciousness' (for want of a better word), this is yet another step towards a rational explanation for those items the religious proclaim mysteries.

I have written elsewhere of the experiments of one Dr. Michael Persinger - and I have spoken here of my own theory of the origin of identity (probably someone else's as well: I'm sure the more pedantic of my brethren will be quick to point that out) - and there's no doubt that I'm rather fond of Jaynses' The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, wherein he speaks of the consciousness residing elsewhere. Mind you, it is still in the skull, but it lends one to wonder: if we, as a primarily visual species, consistently place our consciousness right behind our eyes, where does a congenitally blind person place it? The pituitary gland? Or perhaps at the ears, or nose, or even the skin entire?

It is all a chemical response. Naught else.

Yet still we can set sail on an ocean of mirror neurons, our ships sped by winds of wonder, into the deep seas of the mind.

Don't forget to bring your fishing pole. Who knows what you might catch?

Till the next post, then.

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