Journal Club #9 – Ivar Rambags: “Restructuring Consciousness: the Psychedelics State in Light of Integrated Information Theory”

In this Journal Club, Ivar Rambags will discuss the paper by A.R. Gallimore: “Restructuring consciousness – the psychedelic state in light of integrated information theory” (abstract below).

The meeting point is as usual the Main Hall of the VU main building, at 7PM on Tuesday January 29th.

Entrance is free for APRA members who have paid the current year membership fee, donation required for others (suggested 5 euro).

Interested in psychedelic research? Become a member of APRA, a non-profit association of students and researchers based in Amsterdam, focusing on the academic aspects of psychedelics and other understudied substances and practices. For membership benefits and more information, see:

https://apraresearch.wordpress.com/become-a-member/


Journal Club Abstract:

Something that feels self-evidently part of us being human is that we are conscious. However, the description of what consciousness is, let alone our understanding or why we are conscious, remains elusive and complex. It is known that psychedelics have a profound effect on our conscious state and are, therefore, valuable tools for our understanding of consciousness. Over the years, parallel with the advancements of neuroimaging techniques, several theories of consciousness have been developed that integrate the empirical data. The most prominent theories that can reveal us something about the psychedelic state and likely other states of consciousness are the Entropic Brain Theory (EBT), Predictive Processing (PP), and the Integrated Information Theory (IIT). (Swanson LR, 2018)

Ivar Rambags (1995), second-year Neurosciences Master student and board member of APRA, will explore the psychedelic state in light of the IIT. This theory is a mathematical formulation of the subjective properties consciousness. In other words; the phenomenological structure of the conscious experience. It considers both the quantity and quality of consciousness in all its usual states, including waking, REM, and non-REM/dreamless sleep, during seizures and under anaesthesia. As such, it would be extremely surprising if the IIT had nothing to inform us about the nature of the psychedelic state.

Join the journal club to explore the psychedelic state in light of ITT!

References:

– Swanson, L. R. (2018). Unifying Theories of Psychedelic Drug Effects. Frontiers in pharmacology, 9, 172. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2018.00172

– Gallimore, A. R. (2015). Restructuring consciousness–the psychedelic state in light of integrated information theory. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 9, 346. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2015.00346

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