People can recall events during Anesthetia

#1
I was skimming through some reviews of Irreducible Mind and came across an interesting study mentioned in it.

The study took 10 patients and hooked them up with EEG's. During the dental surgery, and under deep anesthesia, the anesthetist was instructed to recite a script that created a sense of panic.

After the surgery the patients awoke like normal and went about their lives. 1 month later the patients were seen for a follow up visit involving hypnosis. During this hypnosis session the patients were taken back to their surgery. During the recall of the surgery 4/10 patients recalled "practically verbatim" what the anesthetist said. 4/10 became anxious and recalled a word or two of what was said, and 2/10 became too anxious and awoke from hypnosis.

I find this study interesting because it indicates that consciousness can persist during a time when the type of brain function required for normal conciousness is non-existent.

Link: http://safampract.co.za/index.php/safpj/article/view/2891/3479
 
#4
I find it interesting, too. Yet another indication that "consciousness" is a composite of processes and not all-of-a-piece.

~~ Paul
I'm not an expert on anesthesia at all, but unless I'm wrong, anesthesia is based on the brain=mind hypothesis. So if you shut down the brain, you should also shut down the mind.

Yet according to this study, and NDE's, the mind is still going at a time when the brain isn't.
 
#5
I'm not an expert on anesthesia at all, but unless I'm wrong, anesthesia is based on the brain=mind hypothesis. So if you shut down the brain, you should also shut down the mind.
I think you're right. That's why they say you can't dream or have any experiences under anesthesia (even though people do). It's weird that these same people will also state that NDEs are due to some minimal brain functioning going on somewhere.
 
#6

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#9
I'm not an expert on anesthesia at all, but unless I'm wrong, anesthesia is based on the brain=mind hypothesis. So if you shut down the brain, you should also shut down the mind.

Yet according to this study, and NDE's, the mind is still going at a time when the brain isn't.
If you shut down the entire brain, you should shut down the mind. Who's to say how much of the brain anesthesia shuts down?

Anyway, the patients had no mind during anesthesia. They just remembered sensory inputs.

~~ Paul
 
#10
Hi Anonymou5, thanks for your post & the link, I found it to be an interesting piece...It triggered off many thoughts for me!

However, I would take this piece with more than a pinch of salt, interesting though it was.

I studied hypnosis many years ago (too see if and/or how the phenomena and mechanics of hypnosis related to the phenomena surrounding gurus, which I was deeply into), and still keep up to date with it (for eg, the "Mind Hack" conference on hypnosis available on DVD was fascinating).

I was rather astonished to notice that the author of this piece & creator of the "scientific" experiment was not only present during the surgery, but was also the one conducting the hypnotic regression :eek: I know the piece was written in 1989, but I would have thought they would have known better even then! There is no "blind" in this experiment, let alone "double-blind".

Hypnosis is notoriously mysterious, and nobody really understands how it works at all, or indeed anything at all about what exactly IT is that hypnosis is "working" on (consciousness) ;) Actually, it is highly debated if hypnosis works/is "real" at all, and that is believed by many who are expert hypnotists!!

Anyway, depending on which side of the ideological fence you sit, information, words, concepts, intentions etc can be "transmitted" to the hypnotised person by the hypnotiser through non-verbal suggestion/psychic powers :D And this can happen with or without concscious intent on the part of the hypnotiser, and this has been demonstrated throughout the decades since Mesmer first came across this phenomena (or did he?!). Either that, or it is a remarkable twist of fate that people who "happen" to uncover "memories" of alien abduction go to abduction specialist hypnotists, or sexual abuse go to abuse specialist hypnotists, or past lives go to past life specialist hypnotists etc etc. Back in the 1900s or whatever (or before, I forget now), numerous experiments were undertaken on hypnotised people, and it was precisely this kind of non-verbal suggestion that was found to exist. We should really not be surprised that these people recalled what was said, seeing as the creator of the experient, somebody who was present during the anethesia, was ALSO the same person doing the hypnotic "leading" to those "memories"........

Asides from that, if we just as an excerise assume this is true, then it raises only further mysteries about what exactly memories and consciousness are. Why can't these people simply remember the conversations taking place without hypnosis?

Annnyways, some of the comments on this thread reminded me of a few experiences I've had which I really cannot fathom the ultimate import of in relation to the nature of consciousness, identity, memories etc...

Some years ago I used to practice the Tibetan Yogas of dream & sleep which aims to maintain conscious awareness throughout the deep sleep & dreaming cycles. I highly recommend *some* form of this yoga to everyone, "sceptic" and "believer" alike...it is relatively easy, and be extremely powerful on several levels....a great many insights, direct and experiential, about the nature of consciousness, memory & identity can be understood intimately & without the need for any conceptual constructs.....

During an early stage of this practice, I would occassionaly find myself, my conscious awareness, become aware of my "thoughts" spinning endlessly and automatically without any need for my conscious awareness. I would find myself in the middle of a deep train of thought about some worldly thing or another. How dare they!! It seems "I" am not neccessary for my thoughts to keep spinning! :)

I have, therefore, deduced (at least tentatively) one of the grand delusions of the human experience is that we ARE our thoughts, as our daily intuitive experiences creates the appearance of.....this can be disproven through certain mind-related techniques such as the tibetan yogas I mention.....

This of course is also similar to what I'm sure several of us on this forum have also experienced, that of finding ourselves in the middle of a vast & complex dream scenario, but with no conscious awareness of it (until lucidity arises). If we think about this almost universally self-evident experiential truth & reality, it raises some profound questions about the nature of our lives, thoughts, memories, identities. How can our unconscious "dream" self be playing such a grand part in a dream, making many decisions, having thoughts, the appearance of emotions etc.....but without any "consciousness" (when definied as awareness, which I personally don't neccessarily do...) behind it.

Who is living my life?

:)

I was going to push the experience envelope a little further into the realm of the truely bizarre, but there's enough anonymous nutjobs out there sharing their wild delusions, so I won't ;)

Cheers.
 
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