Neural Networks, Brainwaves, And Ionic
Model For Altered States Of Consciousness
This new model seeks to
explain the biophysical
basis of Psi phenomena.
Gordana Vitaliano , MD
Faculty of Electrical Engineering
differences in the concepts of consciousness are prevalent among biologists,
psychologists, and sociologists. The threefold meaning of consciousness comes
from the Latin word 'con-scio': a) to cut, b) to make a distinction, and c) to
There are three different ways to know the
difference -- 'con-scientia':
1) Through genetic bio-reactive knowledge,
2) Through personal self-reflexive knowledge, and,
3) Through social, consensually validated knowledge.
Biologists generally define consciousness as an "ability to react to the
environment". Psychologists emphasize the "knowledge of
oneself"; whereas sociologists focus on the "knowledge of oneself and
There is a traditional dichotomy between the biological and psychological
models of consciousness. The neuroscientists often describe the fast parallel
mode of neural information processing; while psychologists mostly deal with a
slow serial model of consciousness (1). Consciousness manifests dualistic
properties that are para-conceptual by our ordinary concepts of space and time,
and so require understanding in their own terms (2).
biophysical model that can bridge the gap between the dualistic properties of human
consciousness is the relativistic one (3,4). This model assumes that complete
information from the brain's neural networks is continuously encoded as
spatiotemporal patterns within the brainwaves.
The physical mechanism that can account for the extreme time distortion and
speeding of information processing in altered states of consciousness is the
relativistic one -- Provided that consciousness can be associated with an
electromagnetic (EM) component of brainwaves which can move through the brain with
Conscious information processing is associated with the EM component of ultra
low frequency (ULF) brainwaves in either:
a) dialectically "denser" parts of the brain in the normal awake
state of consciousness; or
b) a gaseous ionic structure in the vicinity of the body while in altered
states of consciousness.
An additional, low-dielectric, weakly ionized gaseous neural network is
necessary in these processes. This structure can be related to the
displaced-from-the-body ionic system. This system can conduct ULF brainwave
currents inside the conductive channels, with a tendency of deterioration
during a period of approximately 1 hour.
Relativistic, brain-like, conscious neural networks can emulate many of the
altered states of consciousness (e.g. hypnosis, meditation, REM sleep phase,
the psychedelic drug influence, some psychopathological states, and near-death
experiences) (5); and are responsible for some peculiar psychic phenomena, such
as healing energy, qi, subtle body, short and long range transpersonal
interactions, time and space distortion, etc. (6).
3. Altered States Of Consciousness Phenomena
weakly ionized gaseous neural network with embedded ULF brainwave currents
enables an extremely short 'objective' time period to be 'subjectively'
experienced as a very long period while in altered states of consciousness. This
phenomenon is due to the biophysical relativistic mechanism of the dilated
subjective time base.
For example, experimental testing of information processing capacity in 10
subjects while in either normal or hypnotic states has shown a clear cut
difference in the speed of data processing and visual perception thresholds. Subjects
were not able to recognize and name the visual stimuli appearing on a computer
screen in less than 20 ms while in a normal state. But they were able to
perceive stimuli lasting 5 to 15 ms when in the hypnotic state. Subjects were
also able to complete a mathematical task while in a hypnotic state in only 15
seconds -- a task that usually requires 15 minutes when in the 'normal' awake
state of consciousness (6).
also be noted that some peculiar relativistic effects in the spatial domain are
predicted by this model The weakly ionized gaseous neural network with embedded
ULF brainwave currents enables even long "objective" distances to be
"subjectively" optically recognized as very close, due to the
relativistic mechanism of length contractions. This can provide a biophysical
basis for extrasensory perception in the spatial domain. In addition to ULF,
high frequency waves can also be easily emitted and received by weakly ionized
gaseous neural networks while in altered states, and at any time, during
long-range transpersonal interactions. This mechanism is not limited by the
ultradian rhythms that regulate long-range interactions in ULF domain.
Long-Range Transpersonal Interactions
low-dielectric weakly ionized gaseous structure has a tendency to deteriorate
during a period of approximately one hour. As a consequence of the
deterioration process, the displaced part of the ionic system can be
"emitted" together with the informational content of the embedded ULF
brainwaves. The conditions for ULF EM field localization are not fulfilled anymore,
and ULF brainwave currents can now flow through the surrounding weakly ionized
atmosphere. This effect significantly enlarges the linear dimensions of the
dipole source; and therefore the intensity of the irradiated ULF EM field.
This effect can provide the biophysical basis for long-range transpersonal
interactions. Only the respective phases of the 90-120 minute ultradian rhythms
of two persons need to be matched. Also, to be effective, exchanged information
should be emotionally significant for the receiver; which would then trigger
his/her extended reticular-thalamic activating system. This can explain why the
phenomenon is mainly observed between twins, mother and child, and otherwise
closely related persons. Even long-range phenomena of this type are supported
by the existence of extremely low attenuation at ULF frequencies due to the
"Schumann resonance" of the earth-ionosphere cavity (which resonance
also closely correlates with the EEG-spectrum) (7).
Short-Range Transpersonal Interactions
the transpersonal interactions mentioned above were of the long-range type. However,
this model also predicts short-range transpersonal interactions without any
waves emitted. These interactions may be due to the electromagnetic induction
coupling between two neural networks having embedded ULF brainwaves.
This situation is similar to that found in the primary and secondary coils of
electrical transformers; with the difference being that not only energy, but
also information are transferred
from one neural network to another. This could be the biophysical basis for
non-verbal hypnosis, suggestion, etc. These interactions are also not limited
by ultradian rhythms, as there is no wave emission in the ULF domain. They are
also possible in both normal and altered states of consciousness.
also be pointed out that the ionic nature of the acupuncture system supports
the possibility that ions in the air (i.e., Prana? Qi?) can be physiologically
effective. Through the biophysical mechanisms that are the basis of acupuncture
regulation, the positive ions have an exciting influence (yang?); and the
negative ones have an inhibiting influence (yin?) (8). So, via this model, Qi
(or bioenergy) can be related to ions flowing through the ionic channels of the
acupuncture system in the form of ULF ionic currents; with informational
content encoded in the spatio-frequency form of currents and EM fields.
In support of the ULF nature of ionic currents in acupuncture channels, one can
cite the resonance ULF (~4 Hz) stimulation of the acupuncture analgesia
endorphin mechanism. It should be pointed out that a substantial amount of
experimental phenomena related to external Qi Gong treatment can be reconciled
with the (ULF) ionic nature of Qi.
It thus seems that the healing process can be related to the transfer of ions
between the healer and patient; and/or transfer of EM information patterns
responsible for the normal functioning of the acupuncture system, and for
overall good health.
Also, it seems that esoteric notions such as subtle body (manas, suksma-sarira,
ka, psyche, astral body, etc.) and causal body (alaya-vijnana, karana-sarira,
ba, thymos, mind, etc.) (5) are biophysically associated with a partly
displaced (from the body) ionic acupuncture system, and an EM component of ULF
ionic currents embedded within it.
deterioration of points of the displaced part of the ionic acupuncture system
makes the whole ionic system homogeneous. This homogeneity precludes the
possibility for new information to reach the subjective consciousness; the
latter being associated with the ULF EM component of brainwaves. This altered
state of consciousness can be experienced as the ultimate, transpersonal
condition of thoughtless consciousness (nirvana, samadhi, satori,
enlightenment, etc.). (5). Objectively, the whole ionic system is completely
open for information exchange in the ULF domain, bringing the sense of oneness
with the surrounding world.
Subjectively, this is the state of empty consciousness, although the brain's
neural networks can still be very active. This altered state collapses very
shortly in non-trained persons, but can presumably be prolonged in trained
persons. While in this altered state, the lost portion of ions is still
insignificant in comparison with that which exists in the body; and can be
presumably regenerated during the breathing process in approximately one hour.
In the framework of this model, the biophysical nature of the ultimate goal of
yoga and related esoteric disciplines (5) is the prolongation of an altered
state 24 hours a day; with a displaced ionic system that is continuously
opened. This means that the ultradian rhythm does not exist any more. The
elimination of the ultradian rhythm and the prolongation of an altered state of
consciousness can be achieved through the gradually enhanced, functional
interconnecting of the left and right brain hemispheres (The left-right
hemispheric dominance is normally governed by the ultradian rhythm)(9).
While in a prolonged altered state of consciousness (as practiced in yoga and
related esoteric disciplines), one has continuous access and more efficient
"subjective" integration of normally conscious and unconscious
contents. When the displaced ionic system becomes continuously homogeneous, it
becomes "objectively" opened to ULF interactions, thereby achieving a
continuous state of 'oneness' with surrounding world.
Finally, as the EM field is presumably one of the four primary manifestations
(electromagnetic, gravitational, weak, and strong nuclear forces) of the
unified physical field, it can be tentatively generalized that the unified
field itself may be an internal conscious display for various physical
processes at different structural levels; from the macroscopic cosmic to the
As a consequence, one could speculate that Nature itself is conscious at
different structural levels, both animate and inanimate, as is widely claimed
in esoteric traditional knowledge. Although such a non-local pantheistic idea
of consciousness is rather bizarre, it can help resolve the fundamental problem
of the non-locality of wave function reduction in the quantum theory of
biophysical analysis of altered states of consciousness implies that conscious
neural networks must have embedded ULF "brainwaves", and a weakly
ionized, unhomogeneous, "acupuncture system"; with the further
possibility of partial displacement from the network, and its subsequent
deterioration. This system can emulate many of the altered states of
consciousness described by esoteric traditional knowledge. It also reveals the
probable biophysical nature of dreams, yoga, Qi, subtle body, causal body, and
short-range and long-range transpersonal EM ULF interactions.
It should finally be noted that our relativistic model shows that the
acupuncture ionic system may have not only a regulatory role in the human body,
but may also be involved in conscious information processing.
In sum, this model reveals the likely biophysical basis for the dualistic
nature of consciousness; a condition empirically recognized and described a
long time ago by many ancient civilizations.
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New York, NY,
Copyright 1996, All
Rights Reserved, Gordana Vitaliano
, MD, and Dejan Rakovic, Ph.D.