Mind-blowing Rhythm: How Our Brains Generate Altered States of Consciousness – New Research

Recently, a remarkable article was published in the journal Nature, in which a group of specialists from Stanford University shared unusual findings on the topic of out-of-body experiences and dissociative states. We tell where does the rhythm and where he was found.

Photo by: David Matos.  Source: Unsplash.com
Photo by: David Matos. Source: Unsplash.com

[У нас на Хабре] – “Repair for sound”: acoustic preparation of the room.

“As if all this was not with me”

Dissociation is a mental effect. It occurs as a result of injury and certain diseases, such as epilepsy. It works as mechanisms of psychological defense: a person who is in a state of dissociation perceives what is happening to him as detached as possible.

So he filmed himself from excessive experiences. But if the load on the psyche is prolonged or too intense, it can lead to neuroses, sleep disorders, in very rare cases – to hallucinations. For serious injuries, chronic depression and dissociative disorders, including multiple personality

Despite the significance of these phenomena from a clinical point of view, the neurophysiological principles of their operation are practically unknown and still require long-term study and clarification.

But the manifestations of dissociation are observed not only in humans. Other mammals are also susceptible to them: cats, dogs and mice. A group of researchers at Stanford University worked with the latter. They even managed to double-check the results of their experiment on humans.

The rhythm of out-of-body experiences

Authors research monitored the activity of brain cells in mice in a state of drug dissociation, and recorded a certain rhythm of the work of the sections retrosplenal cortex animal brain. As shown by high-precision analysis, “local” neurons came into contact with anatomically related areas. thalamic pathways with a frequency of 1-3 Hz, but in a state of dissociation – “disconnected” from the bulk of other parts of the brain.

“We can say that we pointed something like a telescope at an unexplored part of the sky, and then saw something unexpected,” noticed one of the members of the research group. “Rhythm” was observed exclusively at the moment of the onset of the dissociation effect.

As it turned out later, not only in mice

Photo by: Solen Feyissa.  Source: Unsplash.com
Photo by: Solen Feyissa. Source: Unsplash.com

Scientists were able to verify their findings on one of the patients of the Stanford Epileptology Center. He has already been diagnosed with epilepsy, plus – special electrodes for therapeutic stimulation and intracranial electroencephalography (iEEG) have been implanted. The latter showed a similar localization of the rhythmic work of neurons at the moment of the patient’s dissociative state, and the stimulation of these parts of the brain allowed reproduce dissociation.

how say colleagues of researchers, such work will help to study methods of non-drug effects on consciousness and will open up possibilities for anesthesia and a new type of pain reliever.

Everyone has their own rhythm

AT thread Hacker News noticed almost immediately that rhythm itself had nothing to do with music. But the answer to this statement was immediate: “rhythm is music.”

The controversy led to the fact that the residents of the site, intrigued by the scientific work, began to share tracks that, in their opinion, are capable of introducing the listener into a state of flow or in some other way affecting consciousness. As one of the first to follow UruR (Wardruna) then let’s go examples ethnic music (Music of Haiti) and rhythmic ambient (Man Forever).

At some point, the discussion turned to books that looked at music in conjunction with breathing techniques and meditation practices – for example, “Music, Science, and the Rhythmic Brain“, Describing an interdisciplinary view of how our body and mind reacts to various musical compositions: from changes in mood to changes in EEG

The panelists linked and tracks for “neuromeditation”, and we, in turn, recently collected non-classical versions of background music on the recommendations of the developers themselves. By the way, in the comments to our habrapost, you can also find great options for listening.


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