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TO THIS EPISODE
With the first broadcast of our GEHIRNfutter Podcast we start a journey of knowledge to the limits of our consciousness and our perception - based on modern brain research.
What this journey of knowledge is all about can be seen in our GEHIRNfutter Podcast Trailer and listen to it. There you will also find our current broadcasting schedule.
Hello out there at the digital world receivers! We welcome you to our first GEHIRNfutter Podcast episode. We are Uwe Volk and Thomas Tankiewicz. And we are the co-founders of the NEURONprocessing Institute for Brain and Future Research. In our first episode we want to introduce you to the typical process of a podcast episode:
We start with the news of the week, then talk about our core topics of consciousness and perception, interview experts about questions that arise from our show - and at the end of the show we sum up how it has helped us on our journey of discovery.
So, as already said, we always start with the news of the week. Say, what were our personal highlights.
1st Uwe's Highlight of the Week: Heard on the podcast.
"Classification of Experiences."
2nd Thomas Highlight of the Week:
"Increasing the level of consciousness in coma patients."
What fascinated me most was a report that went through many specialist media and which I think gives hope to many people. It was possible to bring awake coma patients back into consciousness - more precisely, into a heightened state of consciousness - through nerve stimulation.
I quote here once from www.spektrum.de of 2017-09-25:
A team led by Martina Corazzol from the Université Claude Bernard Lyon1 has succeeded in eliciting consciousness from a coma patient with the help of nerve stimulation. The 35-year-old had been in a vegetative state for 15 years at the time of the experiment, the scientists write in their single-case study, which they have now published in the scientific journal "Current Biology". Such a state is characterized by the fact that the affected often still have basic bodily functions such as breathing and sleep-wake rhythm, but no longer show any conscious reaction to their environment. In the case of the patient from the present study, a severe craniocerebral trauma following a car accident was responsible for this.
To see if their subject's condition could improve after all, Corazzol and her colleagues implanted a vagus nerve stimulator under his skin in the chest area. The vagus nerve is the tenth cranial nerve and connects the brain with a number of other body parts and organs such as the intestines. Its stimulation can benefit, for example, epilepsy patients or people with treatment-resistant depression - and apparently also coma patients, as the results of the study suggest.
And in the South German was read on 2017-09-26:
Over several weeks, the researchers increased the current intensity with which they stimulated the vagus nerve. After a month, the neuroscientists observed how the patient suddenly complied with their requests. When they asked him to track a mirror with his eyes, he suddenly succeeded. When they asked him to turn his head to the side, he did likewise. He even smiled and cried when they played him his favorite music. "So a patient's brain can still recover when all hope has long since been abandoned," says Angela Sirigu. Instead of five points, the patient now scored ten points on the 23-point scale for disorders of consciousness. And thus cleared an important hurdle: he had moved from a waking coma to a minimally conscious state.
Next, the French researchers plan to conduct a larger study with more patients. And this should clarify whether vagus nerve stimulation really has the potential to be a therapy for coma patients.
One focus of our podcast is the topic of consciousness, which we want to explore more deeply on our common journey of knowledge. Since we use a new type of think tank at our institute, we have also begun to rethink the topic there. At this point we would like to briefly introduce you to the main topics for which we are currently developing new content and contexts.
1. definition consciousness - superior
Here we explore fundamental questions - such as:
- How can consciousness be described from a scientific point of view and from the point of view of the general public?
- Or a description of the parameters required for one to speak of consciousness.
- And above all: how does consciousness arise in the first place?
- etc. ...
2. definition consciousness - partial aspects
Here we try to differentiate between the different types of consciousness - e.g.:
- Body Awareness
- Healthy awareness
- Relationship awareness
- etc. ...
3. development awareness
Here we are primarily concerned with how we can develop our consciousness and to which influencing factors it is subjected - e.g.:
- A possible practical guide to developing a strong sense of self.
- Or - how can the individual deal positively with the inflowing influences on consciousness?
- etc. ...
4. collective consciousness - superior
Here we explore the overarching idea of a collective consciousness and ask ourselves, for example:
- What is the structure of the Collective Consciousness?
- What is the differentiation between Individual Consciousness, Group Consciousness and Collective Consciousness - that is, how do they differentiate from each other.
- etc. ...
4.1 Collective consciousness - group consciousness
Here we primarily explore the building and application of group consciousness - such as:
- What are possible applications of group consciousness?
- What is the process by which group consciousness emerges from individual consciousness?
- etc. ...
4.2 Collective consciousness - collective consciousness
Here, assuming the existence of the collective consciousness stone, we try to trace it by asking ourselves questions like:
- What is the origin and meaning of the collective consciousness
- What is the connection between individual consciousness and collective consciousness?
- How can the individual use the collective consciousness?
- etc. ...
5. manipulation consciousness - manipulation
In this last point we want to investigate the manipulability of consciousness - and for example:
- Point out types of manipulation.
- Describe the modes of action of the types of manipulation.
- etc. ...
In our first show we don't have an external interview partner yet. Therefore, we first interview each other for you, so that you get to know us better. Say, what has brought each of us to the topic of perception and consciousness ...?
1. Uwe's trigger or development: Heard on the podcast.
2. Thomas trigger or development: Heard on the podcast.
V. SUMMARY OF THE BROADCAST
What has this show brought us in terms of content on our journey of knowledge that began today? With which questions do we go into the next broadcast and who can stand by us here as a professional expert if necessary.
First résumé Uwe: Heard on the podcast.
Second résumé Thomas: Heard on the podcast.
VI. OUTLOOK FOR THE NEXT BROADCAST
In the next show, we'll introduce the essential questions about perception that we want to explore in this podcast.
And we are looking for an interview partner who can answer our questions as an expert on the subject of consciousness from a scientific perspective.
When do we move on?
Next weeks we will be back on air. Just subscribe to our podcast now and be informed about new episodes.
Photo by Jonathan Velasquez on Unsplash