Consciousness, New Thinking About

JGC9 jgcasey at
Wed Jun 5 19:57:55 EST 2002

"tony.jeffs" <tonyjeffs2 at> wrote in message
news:b4kL8.324$VM4.29427 at
> Hi John


> >
> > When I am dreaming I believe I am conscious but not connected to
> > my body and part of my brain is not functioning.
> Now that I might agree with. But also, dreaming could be a
> experience....Perhaps we don't know about it until we wake up, and see it
> lying there in short-term memory. Perhaps at that point, we rationalise
> assume we must have been conscious when the dream occurred.

Physiologically REM (rapid eye movement) or dreaming is similiar
to wakefulness not sleep. The muscles become atonic (without tone)
which is a form of paralysis. There has been a lot of research on
dreaming and the related areas of the brain involved.

Your above suggestion that we become conscious of a dream memory
and only _assume_ that we were conscious at the time can be applied
to any past experience. Perhaps you are thinking about the fact we
forget dreams if we don't think about them on waking. Parts of the
brain are not active during sleep and some of them may be required
for the laying down of long term memory. Also we can recall events
better if in the same state as when they occured.


> > > What are the necessary criteria for something not to be conscious?
> >
> >  I don't know.
> Me neither, but I'm going to push it with a few possibilities.. perhaps
> debate.
> Possbile criteria for not being conscious:----
> a) not complex enough

> b) not got an immortal soul
  What is an immortal soul?

> c) not got a memory
  Consciousness does seem to require a short term memory.

> d) not carbon based
  Unknown so far.

> e) not containing microtubules (!!!)   not having a  bicycle.
  Unproven conjecture.

> f) lacking a specific brain component.
  Current brain research will hopefully  throw some light
  on ths possibility.



More information about the Neur-sci mailing list