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Consciousness, Neurology, Complexity

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Consciousness depends, it turns out, on how different parts of the brain speak to one another.
Marcello Massimini at the University of Milan has done some important studies, stimulating the brain with brief pulses of energy for the purpose of studying its response in different conditions. This is known as transcranial magnetic stimulation.
The TMS work indicates that in dreamless sleep and under general anaesthesia, the brain "echoes" the magnetic pulse in a simple way.
But ... apply the pulse to the brain of someone fully conscious, and the echoes are much more complicated, disappearing from one part of the organ and re-appearing in a complex way that seems to suggest the parts are communicating with one another about this new thing.
How can one measure the "complexity" of an echo? I don't know, because I'm not an IT guy. But I gather the means of measurement involves compressibility, something like the way digital photos are compressed into JPEG files. So perhaps we are more or less conscious throughout our waking day, or during a dream, in a way correlated with this complexity, and Massimini has invented a consciousness meter.
Just putting this out there....


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