Modern consciousness theory gains support in epilepsy study

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Story Ideas | 0 comments

March 2024

In yet another attempt to gauge consciousness physically, Argentinian researchers have found a close correlation between loss of consciousness during epileptic seizures and changes in a measure used in a 21st century theory on consciousness, Integrated Information Theory (IIT).

In a study considered “groundbreaking”, a group of scientists in Buenos Aires analyzed 26 epileptic seizures in six adult patients. The analysis showed that the reported states of consciousness correlated significantly with changes in the integration of information (a measure denoted by the symbol Φ, Phi).

The Integrated Information Theory, IIT, posits that consciousness arises when information within a system integrates in such a way that it creates a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Although the five researchers behind the study agree that consciousness is “a fundamental characteristic of human experience”, the tenet is that consciousness is contingent on neurological information.

“In this paper, we had a unique opportunity to study [consciousness] by accessing intracranial EEG (SEEG) records”, the authors say.

For more background on the topic, see our brief Covering Consciousness.

Anders Bolling

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