The following paper is Phase 1 of a group of experimental projects for
a grant solicitation. The detection of theoretical psychophysical
channels for the healing effects of the Consciousness Restructuring Process
(CRP) are explored and proposed. The main avenues are 128 channel
Electroencephalograph (EEG) and EEG Neuralfeedback. This is Phase
1 of a 3-part pilot study. This paper is designed to accompany
a grant proposal suitably formatted for any consciousness studies or mental
health field grantor. Since we are seeking funding, if you are a
source or know a potential source of grant funds, please let us know by
e-mail or phone Aesculapia Retreat (541) 476-0492, or Iona Miller (541)
The Neuropsychology of CRP, Dreams, and REM
P300 Waves and PGO Spikes
and their Role in Consciousness Restructuring
Abstract: This paper describes a grant solicitation where a protocol
for detection of P300 MERMERS and PGO wave-generation during Consciousness
Restructuring sessions is outlined. MERMERS indicate a psychological
significance of the stimuli to the subject, whether that object is physical
or imaginal. They may help us objectively document psychological
shifts in internal states during therapy which lead toward spontaneous
During dreams PGO activity is interpreted by the brain as sensory stimulation.
Through self- organizing dynamics, coherent dream experiences emerge from
the influence of apparently unpatterned PGO stimulation. When the
dreaming brain is free of external sensory patterns of neural excitation,
it is subject to even subtle influences. PGO waves provide perturbation
that keeps the dream narrative in motion, that produces bifurcations in
attractor patterns, and leads to abrupt alterations in dream experiences.
Likewise PGO spikes may signal the bifurcations and content changes seen
in consciousness journeys. PGO stimulation may be related to plot
shifts during REM, and this is subject to potential verification with 128
In the prevailing medical model, nearly all research on the brain is in
the language of neurotransmitters and psychotropic drugs, and not in that
of frequency or of mental exercise or restructuring. This has been
the prevailing conceptual framework. But there is much to learn about
the generation of our complex internal states from the frequency domain.
This is the process by which that which matters to us psychologically is
transformed in the very matter of our psychophysical self: what matters
Treating individuals with drugs can short-circuit the important process
of recognizing, comprehending, and coming to grips with their psychological
state. Both experiential and neurofeedback therapies provide access
to internal processes, often in ways we do not fully understand, which
somehow allows us to regulate them. The use of high technology in
a medical setting has a high placebo effect, but can also help train an
individual, for example, to increase blood flow into the brain. Blood
flow, metabolism, and high frequency electrical activity all work together.
Increased blood flow alone may help the brain reset itself in a normal
Electroencephalography (EEG) records minute, fluctuating potential differences
between electrodes placed on the skull. This measure of frequency
is relatively crude, but allows us a window into the excitability of the
brain. If the neural substrate is intact, it can be retrained, and
this is the basis of brainwave feedback and a healing channel for experiential
Electrodes are placed on the scalp in an ordered array. Signals from
the brain are amplified allowing the microvolt-level potential differences
to be detected. The resolution of EEG is quite low, since the brain
is about 1 cm from the surface of the scalp. The major distinctions
of EEG include alpha, beta, theta, and delta activity.
EEG is a measurement in the realm of frequency. The EEG machine is
a neural amplifier. Frequency is the rate at which electrical charges
move through brain cells. The four basic frequency ranges discriminate
levels of arousal or excitability within the brain. In delta, the
sleep state, signals are moving through clusters of neurons very slowly,
just four cycles per second, or hertz (Hz). Just above that is theta,
around 4 to 8 Hz, a deeply relaxed state. Next is alpha, a slightly
less relaxed state, at 8 to 13 Hz.
The most rapid brain waves are beta, and they reflect normal waking consciousness.
Beta can be further classed as low beta, a relaxed but alert state of 12
to 15 Hz, to mid-range beta, around 15 to 19 Hz, up to an excited, hyper
state of high-beta, which can range to 35 Hz.
Researchers believe that many disorders are associated with the brain’s
underarousal or overarousal. If operating speed is either too high
or too low, the brain needs to be stabilized, rendered more robust, so
that it does not overreact toward hypo- or hyper-arousal. Stability
and arousal are the two important parameters.
Optimal idling speed is around 14 Hz. Activity lower than that (8-13
Hz) can cause an individual to feel tired and seek stimulants or stimulation,
and is implicated in depression, ADD, and mild dissociative disorder.
Depression is linked to underproduction of beta rhythms. Overarousal,
an inability to unwind, may lead to drinking or drug taking to modulate
Anxiety attacks, hypervigilance, stress, and obsessive behavior are symptomatic
of overarousal. Sensory motor rhythm (SMR) is a beta wave in the
12 to 15 Hz range of the EEG spectrum. It has been theorized that
alcoholics drink because they cannot get into alpha states naturally and
therefore cannot produce self-soothing neurotransmitters on their own.
While PET and MRI are recorded over extended periods of time, EEG can detect
and record the rapid changes in potential that occur in the active brain
with millisecond temporal resolution. EEG can determine the time
course of brain activation following a particular stimulus, faster than
PET or MRI analysis.
Data obtained over a particular time frame allows us to “follow” the processing
of incoming information, as well as our brain’s response to this information.
Changes in brain activity can also be observed during sleep. Sleep
spindles are transient cortiocothalamic potential oscillations recorded
as EEG transients within the 9-15 Hz band during sleep. Many neurons
in the cortex and thalamus synchronize during certain stages of sleep.
Nobody knows why they do it.
In the Consciousness Restructuring Process imagery spontaneously arises
which functions as an information-carrier and visual stimulus. Endogenous
Evoked Potentials are related to the psychological significance of the
stimuli to the subject. This reaction can be detected as a P300 response,
that is identical when triggered with either visual or auditory information
[or potentially any somatosensory channel] and is recorded most easily
over the parietal cortex.
The P300 response is called a MERMER (Memory & Encoding Related Multifaceted
Electroencephalographic Response). This paper describes a protocol
for their detection during the Consciousness Restructuring Process (CRP),
and determination of their relationship to exogenous, or historical events,
particularly of traumatic nature. Internally generated input via
internal pattern generators would constitute an efficient way to specify,
develop, and restructure functionally appropriate perceptual organization.
The start of REM sleep is defined by unique EEG wave patterns that originate
in the pontine reticular formation (in the brainstem). Electrical
bursts create initial waves, which continue throughout REM, referred to
as PGO waves (pontine-geniculo-occipital waves). This demonstrates
the influence of the brainstem in REM induction. In CRP, as the aminergic
activity of the waking state ceases, activated PGO cholinergic neurons
stimulate rapid eye movement patterns, reflecting PGO cholinergic discharge
It has been hypothesized that PGO waves are the internal source of visual
stimuli present during REM dreaming, and probably during consciousness
journeys. PGO waves are the first signal of the onset of sleep.
PGO waves are associated with increased visual system excitability, and
possibly with plot shift at bifurcations. Auditory and somatosensory
stimuli influence PGO wave activity.
Kahn, Krippner, and Combs (2000) assert that “raising the cortical temperature
by PGO stimulation would allow the ongoing patterns of cortical activity
to relax into natural forms (attractors) shaped by the emotional and cognitive
influence present at each moment...Second, the bombardment of the visual
cortex with PGO waves might also have the effect of frequently derailing
ongoing patterns of activity, or in other words producing ‘catastrophic
bifurcations’ in the attractor patterns there. One might imagine
abrupt alterations in dream experiences at those times...PGO stimulation
is tied to the high rate of narrative or plot shifts in dream experiences
at those times.”
A protocol is proposed and described to detect PGO waves during therapeutic
sessions. The function of the PGO wave-generation network has been
linked to informing the visual system about eye movements, promoting brain
development, and facilitating the response to novel environmental stimuli.
PGO waves are high amplitude electrical potentials which function as internal
P300 waves and PGO waves may help us objectively document psychological
shifts in internal states during therapy which lead toward spontaneous
healing. Whatever persists with a constant form is sustained as the
unfoldment of a recurrent and stable pattern which is constantly being
renewed by enfoldment and dissolved by unfoldment. When the renewal
ceases the form vanishes. The notion of a permanently existing entity
with a given identity, whether a particle or anything else, is therefore
at best an approximation.
Consciousness may be seen as an explicate form sustained by continually
converging and diverging waves unfolding from an unconscious field of psychic
potential. This is a holographic projector of endogenous sensory
imagery. The recurrent and stable pattern that unfolds during waking
hours must be renewed during sleep by the enfoldment of waking experience
into the seamless subtext of the unconscious.
Consciousness creates Reality. Human consciousness emerges from the
all-pervading universal consciousness by a process similar to the collapse
of a quantum waveform into the localized form of an observed particle.
In this case, of P300 waves and PGO waves into neural firing patterns and
chemical neurotransmitters which affect the entire mindbody. The
process is intimately linked to information-carrying multisensory imagery
and its recognition and transformation.
The Universe, and ourselves are an interplay between information and energy.
Information is those processes which provide recognition and identification
of separate existences--and energy is the transformation and displacement
of the contents of space.
One means of objectively observing this process in the brainmind is by
using a circular array of eight electrodes, called a rosette. Spatial
differentiation of vectors of electrical activity is detected and mapped
between opposing electrodes, (Clynes). Higher-level organizations
in the brain have been shown to exhibit their own characteristic shapes;
but they are not structured shapes, they are organizational shapes, space-time
shapes, algorithms bearing in them the potential of family of spatio-temporal
shapes. These algorithm structures are inherent in the brain and
are part of its normal growth--they are inherently programmed entities.
They are essentially archetypal response patterns.
For example, distinct characteristic evoked-potential shapes and sequences
are obtained for changes in color. Changes in intensity of a single
color produce very simple response shapes. There is evidence for
different data processing for intensity and color. Light and darkness
show no evidence of being opposites or different values of the same variable.
They are rather the result of stimulating and also inhibiting different
receptors, a 2-channel process. In no way, may they be viewed as
positive and negative. Each has its own individual character.
White appears as the result of the mutual inhibition of color. At
this fundamental level, results clearly imply an inherent form of organization
and not a random learning of nerve nets.
According to Manfred Clynes, it is clear that every stimulus form corresponds
to a particular space-time shape in the brain in terms of the electrical
activity. These space-time shapes are evidence of relationships between
the external world and its representation in the brain. Thus, different
representations are spatio-temporal “keys.” This has tremendous implications
for experiential or process-oriented therapy. Replication and amplification
of Clynes experiments could shed great light on the transformations reflected
in endogenous evoked potentials.
In general, psychologic thresholds seem to parallel physiologyic threshold
observations as determined by evoked potentials. Often evoked potentials
forms can even be observed below psychologic threshold levels--at “subliminal”
levels. Clynes asserts that all the perceptual characteristics of
sound, for example, have their counterparts in the coding of evoked-potential
shapes -- in brain space-time. Again, the implications for experiential
therapy and bioengineering are numerous.
In all these processes it is not individual brain centers but regions that
operate in an organized manner. Every perception has a unique counterpart
as a space-time code form in the brain. They are identical among
subjects for certain organizational characteristics. For example,
the case of the color red, the number of regions, the sequence, and their
timing are identical.
This organizational identity may be the basis of similarity of individual
perceptual experience, and perhaps the “archetypal attractors,” a robust,
recurrent and persistent CRP phenomenon. In all probability, the
organization of vector potential is based on the mathematics of Synergetics,
nature’s most economical lines of communication, the lines of least resistance.
REM indicates an increase in the excitability of the brain’s internal communication
system between cortices of the brain. This communication occurs by
synchronous firing of action potentials, electrical vectors, or evoked
potentials. For example if an internal stimulus occurs a synchronous
PGO wave should fire in the auditory cortex.
External sensory pathways are inhibited during REM sleep. Therefore,
the intensity for producing synchronous PGO waves in, for example, the
somatosensory cortex are relatively small compared to full waking states.
The communication in the brain during REM sleep is what we call dreaming.
Stage 1 of sleep onset is reflected as combined alpha and theta activity,
signifying transition between sleep and wakefulness. Stage 2 includes
theta activity, sleep spindles and K complexes, which keep us asleep by
decreasing sensory awareness. Stages 3 and 4 display delta activity
and “slow wave sleep”; in this deep sleep, if awakened the sleeper acts
groggy and confused. Nightmares may occur, but if awakened, they
report not a story, but an emotionally-charged situation.
REM is associated with theta waves, rapid eye movement, phasic activation
of the visual pathway, muscular paralysis or inhibition of sensory input,
activation or inhibition of various brain stem neurons, and cortical desynchrony.
REM sleep is not necessary for dreaming. However, the prevalence
of dreams is certainly greater in REM. An intense level of activation
in the brain, REM dreams are longer, more vivid and more emotionally charged
than non REM reports, which are more realistic and thought-like ruminations.
The dreamer is easily aroused if necessary and will appear fairly alert
and attentive. They may report a narrative-type dream. A complete
sleep cycle is about 90 minutes long and each cycle contains a 20-30 minute
period of REM.
The purpose of REM is related to learning. There is more REM after
learning, implying it may be memory processing. Research suggests
that retention from learning sessions comes from phasic components, namely
the number and frequency of REM episodes. The results emphasize the
importance of the phasic components with regard to memory processes.
This process deepens during slow wave sleep which contributes to memory
consolidation by transferring information from the hippocampus obtained
in the waking state, to the neocortex by means of fast sharp wave bursts,
called SPW. Sharp waves are intermittent bursts of activity (200
Hz) during slow wave sleep by neurons sending output from one part of the
cortex to another.
Researchers (Buzsaki & Solt, 1995) think the SPW bursts may be transferring
information from experience into memories. Conversely, REM sleep
may serve to update the information in the hippocampus which can be trasferred
back into the neocortex during the next slow wave sleep period. SPW
bursts have also been shown to activate growth hormone release which initiates
long term, protein dependant, synaptic modification.
Hobson gives a plausible model of a neurophysiological explanation for
the dreaming process, implicating the brain stem as the location of the
“dream state generator.” In this theory, the brain stem produces
REM periods, as well as triggering the dream state. During these
REM periods, sensory input and motor output is blocked, while the cerebral
cortex is activated by the complex impulses received from the brain stem.
The forebrain proceeds to process and synthesize the internally generated
information from the brain stem. This series of activation and synthesis
creates the imagery we experience in the dream state. The forebrain
receives the chaotic signals from the brain stem and begins to assimilate
the information into a coherent pattern.
The concept of central pattern generators implies preprogrammed neural
information produced by the brain stem during dream states. This
process may ultimately create the internally generated behaviors such as
visual and auditory hallucinations. The link between the behavior
and the pattern generator is not direct since the forebrain plays an important
role both in creating and synthesizing images.
The forebrain integrates or couples this chaotic genetically programmed
information with the appropriate experiential data contained within its
memory banks. The neuronal genesis of dreaming is linked to the reciprocal
interaction of neuromodulatory system in the brain stem. Neuronal
bursts propagate through and phasically activate the genculate bodies in
the thalamus, and the visual cortex. The propagation through these
three bodies can be experimentally measured and are refered to as PGO waves.
The Reticular Activating System (RAS) is also implicated in the hallucinatory
episodes of REM dreams. The RAS produces the internal, sensory independent
images characteristic of the dream state. There is also increased
blood flow to the amygdala during REM-dreaming, an indication of the basis
for the emotional content in dreams.
Immediate-Early Genes (also called “Primary Response Genes” or third messengers)
play a central role in the dynamics of waking, sleeping, dreaming, and
mind-body healing at the cellular level.
There is evidence that “immediate-early genes (IEGs) function as mediators
of information transduction between psychological experience, behavioral
states, and gene expression. A wide range of behavioral state-related
gene expression (from relaxation, hynosis and sleep to high arousal, performance,
stress and trauma) culminate in the production of new proteins or homeostasis,
physical and psychosocial adaptation.”
Behavioral states modulate certain patterns of gene expression. Interaction
between the genetic and behavioral levels is a two way street. Genes
and behavior are related in cybernetic loops of mind-body communication.
SLEEP AND MEMORY
According to Kavanau, the origin of both sleep and memory appears to be
closely tied to the evolution of mechanisms of enhancement and maintenance
of synaptic efficacy. Repetitive activation of synapses is referred
to as “dynamic stabilization” (DS). It is induced either in the course
of frequent functional use or by spontaneous neural oscillatory activity.
In the course of DS during sleep, some of the information stored in the
circuitry being reinforced achieves the level of unconscious awareness
as dreams and other sleep mentation.
In 1966, Roffwarg, Musio, and Dement alleged the main function of the spontaneous,
repetitive excitations of neural circuits during REM sleep in the human
embryo facilitates circuit development and maintenance. Those circuits
are maintained throughout life by such excitations during REM sleep.
Human declarative memories become established in the neocortex through
repetitive hippocampal ‘replay.’
The paradigm of “dynamic stabilization” (DS) posits that synaptic efficacy
in neural circuits stores inherited information (phylogenetic memories)
and information acquired during experience (ontogenetic information).
This is facilitated or enhanced by frequent synaptic activation (“use it
or lose it”). This occurs either in the course of frequent functional
use or through spontaneous oscillatory neural activity.
DS is required for circuit development (synaptogenesis), maturation, fine-tuning
and maintenance in embryos of warm-blooded animals, including humans.
DS during sleep states largely supports the consolidation and maintenance
of phylogenetic and ontogenetic memories in the infant, child, and adult.
That’s why children need large amounts of sleep and extensive self-activation
in brain circuitry.
Both phylogenetic and ontogenetic memory circuits are equally susceptible
to remodelling and other alterations. Genes that normally are unexpressed,
that mediate the synthesis of new messenger RNA and proteins, become activated--within
a very narrow time window during learning--leading to alterations of synaptic
efficacy that last for a few weeks to a month or more.
Ernest Rossi (2000) has conducted research on gene-expressed proteins and
There are persistent alterations in IEG expression in the process of adaptive
behavior on all levels from the sexual and emotional to the cognitive.
They can transduce relatively brief signals from the environment into enduring
changes in the physical structure of the developing nervous system as well
as its plasticity in the form of memory and learning throughout life.
If external cues can modulate cell function through regulation of gene
expression, this could also be true for internal cues.
Immediate-Early Genes (IEGs) are also fundamental in the regulation of
REM-on, REM-off neurons, neuronal networks that are associated with REM
sleep and dreaming. That makes them significant in CRP as molecules
which can modulate mind, emotions, learning and behavior. They influence
the rhythm of the natural healing process and circadian and ultradian rhythms
of the body, in general. Ultradian rhythms are those shorter than
the 24-hour circadian rhythms.
Milton Erickson discovered that his therapy sessions usually took from
one and a half to two hours to come to natural closure. Later it
was discovered that this delineates the natural work cycle that is harmonious
with our own internal rhythms. CRP unfolds in a similar time-frame. IEGs
modulate this process. This ultradian time frame is related to the
activation or deactivation of the expression of specific genes and can
occur in a matter of hours or even minutes.
“Most arousing environmental stimuli that have been studied can induce
immediate-early genes within minutes, their concentrations typically peak
within fifteen to twenty minutes and their effects are usually over within
an hour or two. These time parameters IEG expression and their ultimate
translation into the formation of new proteins correspond to the parameters
of a complete work cycle of mind-body communication and healing.
The changes in gene transcription and new protein formation initiated in
this time frame, however, can lead to lasting changes in the central nervous
system by converting short term memory to long lasting learning by the
process of long term potentiation. . .the activation or deactivation of
the expression of specific genes can occur in a matter of hours or even
This mechanism assesses the duration and intensity of prior waking and/or
the homeostatic or executive mechanisms that bring about sleep. This
is likely the mechanism that is disturbed in the manic depressive which
results in sleep disorders. Sleep deprivation leads to a wide variety
of psychotic and non-psychotic symptoms. This system is also associated
with the neuronal network associated with the dynamics of REM sleep.
Deprivation of REM and dreaming creates its own phenomenology.
“The study of IEGs indicates that sleep and wake, as well as synchronized
and desynchronized sleep, are characterized by different genomic expressions,
the level of IEGs being high during wake and low during sleep. Such
fluctuation of gene expression is not ubiquitous but occurs in certain
cell populations in the brain. Thus...IEG induction may reveal the
activation of neural networks in different behavioral states. Do
the areas in which IEGs oscillate during sleep and wake subserve specific
roles in the regulation of these physiological states and a general ‘resetting’
of behavioral state? Is gene induction a clue to understanding the
alternation of sleep and wake, and of REM and non-REM sleep?”
In Rossi’s Dream-Protein Hypothesis, “new experience is encoded by means
of protein synthesis in brain tissue...dreaming is a process of psychophysiological
growth that involves the synthesis or modification of protein structures
in the brain that serve as the organic basis for new developments in the
personality...new proteins are synthesized in some brain structures associated
with REM dream sleep.”
Rossi generalizes the dream-protein hypothesis, “to include all states
of creativity associated with the peak periods of arousal and insight generation
in psychobiologically oriented psychotherapy.”
Enriched internal and external environments leads to the growth and development
of new cells. IEG cascades lead to the formation of new proteins
and neurons along with increased synapses and dendrites that encode memory
and learning. On the other hand, excessive trauma and psychosocial
stress can lead to suppression of growth processes in the brain.
When psychotherapy contributes to arousal, enrichment, and relaxation it
facilitates actual growth in the brain to encode new memory, learning and
behavior, optimizing growth and healing.
“Communication within the neuronal networks of the brain is modulated
by changes in the strengths of synaptic connections...meaning is to be
found in the complex dynamic field of messenger molecules that continually
bath and contextualize the information of the neuronal networks in ever
changing patterns. Most of the sexual and stress hormones...have
state dependent effects on our mental and emotional states as well as memory
and learning, a constantly changing dynamical field of meaning.”
Memories are catagorized as declarative memory or nondeclarative memory.
Declarative memory involves conscious recollection and explicit remembering
of facts and events. Nondeclarative memory concerns behavioral changes
acquired implicitly after many repetitions, such as in lifechanging experiences,
repetitive or chronic traumatization, skill learning, perceptual learning,
conditioning, etc. Permanent consolidation of declarative memory
involves hippocampal input to the neocortex, which must be replayed for
1 to 3 years, in so-called “recall episodes,” much as in the initial experience.
This phenomenon of “recall episodes” may be related to the value of recalling
both dream and real-time memories in CRP experiential therapy, rather than
wakeful talk therapy. Facilitation of state-related learning in REM
and its unfolding in the present apparently allows for rewriting, or restructuring
of memories and events that have patterned consciousness, personality,
and psychophysical structure.
The hippocampus is not a long-term storage site. Memory is distributed
in neocortical sites that together represent the memory of an event.
Storage takes place via the frequency domain, lending a holographic quality
to memory. Repetitive interactions bind the storage sites together.
‘Permanent’ establishment signifies that, after the initial period of dependence
on hippocampal replay, encoding synapses in the neocortex are reinforced
spontaneously on a ‘permanent’ basis.
Hypothesis: That the CRP journey process changes basic neural circuitry
patterning. That this change in patterning is associated with subsequent
neuromodulation, changes in the functioning of the pineal and the pituitary
glands affecting the production of neurotransmitters and hormones.
That we should be able to monitor and determine correspondences in certain
psychophysical changes during the CRP process if our theories about the
origins of certain robust phenomena in the journeys are correct.
We can monitor the brain wave generation of a person during the Consciousness
Restructuring Process to detect certain predicted shifts. Our theory
holds that the journey process takes place largely in REM, since the related
rapid eye movement is easily and consistently observed. The onset
of REM is marked by PGO spikes. PGO spikes in EEG in a subject immersed
in CRP would indicate the onset of REM.
PGO spikes are also implicated in the radical shifts in content during
dreaming. If we can show that PGO spikes occur in relation to bifurcations
in gestalt imagery in CRP journeys, we can verify those subjective internal
shifts as psychophysical. In chaotic consciousness the mentored is
likely to be focused or very deeply internalized which should be
reflected as either theta or delta activity.
Co-consciousness might be measured via the observation of spontaneously
shared, matching or resonating brainwave frequencies, and might be induced
by shared biofeedback where both parties synch to the same deepening rhythm.
This resonance creates, in essence, one shared biofield between mentor
and mentored, in which synchronicity and ESP phenomena are spontaneously
P300 waves can be observed in relation to the journeys to determine if
psychologically significant imagery will trigger this objective sign of
recognition. This is particularly to be expected if their significance
is rooted in real-time historical experience, rather than inherent meaning
of archetypal forms. When the two are combined, the memory of an
archetypally-conditioned event, we might expect a very intense reaction,
larger spikes, or wider cortical involvement. P300 waves indicate
Information is encoded in a field, rather than just being a field.
The firing of neural networks is synchronized by fields. Neuronal
field patterning could be considered a gestalt. Idiosyncratic experiences
are encoded as gestalts. Epistemological metaphors, “how you know
what you know,” what that experience is like, are multisensory gestalts.
This imagery presents spontaneously as a fundamental phenomenon of human
existence which includes a rich inner life. This is the raw material
of the therapeutic process--the expression of the existential psychophysical
condition. This imagery also reflects disease patterns which echo
at every level of observation.
CRP is a process of perceptual synergetics, whose result is greater than
the sum of its parts. Potential applications include stress management,
balancing personality, restructuring neural circuitry, memory increase,
changing habit and behavior patterns, spontaneous healing, autohypnosis,
128 channel Electroencephalograph and peripherals; P300 wave detection
A protocol is proposed to determine the electroencephalographic correlates
of key bifurcation points in the Consciousness Restructuring Process (CRP).
The process begins with the recounting of a dream or fragment, “becoming”
a part of the dream, immersion in the stream of consciousness, onset of
REM, followed by a series of bifurcations in imagery and narrative, resulting
in progressive deepening of the subjective state, amplification and resolution
of conflicts, and a resting phase of renewal, learning, and restructuring.
Equally important with pattern recognition is pattern synthesis.
The synthesis process plays an important role in the use of context in
Rhythmic activity in the adult neocortex, as revealed by EEGs, is pervasive
at all times and can be recorded electrically. Brain waves manifest
themselves as oscillating voltage. They have two main dimensions:
the frequency of oscillation and the amplitude.
In highly aroused and attentive waking states, the EEG consists of low
amplitude fast waves (14-30 Hz), the beta rhythm. In a quiet room,
at rest, on closing the eyes, the beta rhythm gives way to primarily high
amplitude, synchronized slow waves (8-13 Hz)--the alpha rhythm. This
rhythm is blocked by sudden sensory stimuli or mental activity. During
putative sleep, occurrence of the alpha rhythm usually indicates arousal.
Alpha activity increases during early stages of meditation, that have been
compared to states of sleep or relaxation. The phenomenon of body
asleep/mind alert is seen in hypnosis.
The major synchronized EEG waves of nonREM (NREM) sleep states 2-4 are
delta waves, spindle oscillation, and slow sleep oscillation. REM's
complex EEG rhythms lack low-frequency components. The observation
that some individuals come out of the journeys virtually unable to move,
and still very groggy and confused, leads us to believe they must experience
delta activity or "slow wave sleep" by the culmination of the journey.
Reporting internal states at this point becomes literally a mute point.
Just being there and later assimilating, digesting, and restructuring yields
to rejuvination and reentry.
PGO spikes occur widely in warm-blooded animals. The startle response
is a waking PGO spike and startles can act as trance inductions in certain
situations, such as traumatic conditioning and hypervigilance. PGO
spikes are the pacemaker for phasic events of brain activity in REM sleep.
PGO spikes indicate a brain arousal state resembling alert wakefulness.
Theta rhythm, infrequent to rare in waking human adults, plays an important
role in waking infancy and childhood, and during adult drowsiness and sleep.
Yogis and meditators are able to demonstrate theta while maintaining a
deep focus of attention. Theta facilitates and gates flow of information
through the hippocampus to target structures, facilitates synaptic enhancements
in these targets, as in consolidation of declarative memories, and facilitates
or induces LTP in hippocampal circuits. Its proportional representation
in the hippocampal EEG is highly predictive of learning rates in classical
conditioning. The rhythm also occurs during conditioning stimuli
in aversive-conditioning paradigms.
Theta is probably the best model we have for the shared nature of co-consciousness.
Though it generally indicates a deep sleep, it is possible to remain awake
and even interactive in the journey process with the mentored. If
both participants are in Theta in close proximity, we can assume a resonance
effect where both tend to come into oscillatory harmony with one another,
in a deep focus of attention.
Stanley Krippner has suggested the reality of Dream Telepathy (1973) in
his research on the subject, and we suggest this is the mechanism of co-consciousness
in mentoring the Consciousness Restructuring Process. Spontaneous
ESP results were reported by the Greens in their experiments in Theta Training,
imagery and creativity exploring hypnagogic reverie (1977).
Sensory input information for each mode converges in the entorhinal cortex,
where it receives its most refined analysis, as well as back to the appropriate
thalamic neurons. Each sensory system also sends inputs to separate
parts of the amygdala, which interprets incoming sensory information and
integrates neuromodulatory influences on the storage and strengths of longterm
memories, particularly those that are emotionally influenced.
From the amygdala and entorhinal cortex information is relayed to the hippocampus.
Thus, if a single perceptual event is formed by the roughly simultaneous
receipt of ensembles of sensory inputs, the highest order of perceptual
abstraction of these sensory inputs, together with an emotional association,
are presented to the hippocampus for processing. From the
hippocampus, information is relayed to other limbic structures and then
directly and indirectly back to the neocortex.
In REM, the brain is in a modified attentive state, with its attention
largely turned away from sensory inputs toward the functions of its internally
generated signals (Hobson, 1989). This enhances synaptic efficacy
in labile new circuits and maintains existing stable circuits. Accordingly,
with great depression of sensory perception (and absence of proprioceptive
input during REM sleep, circuit consolidation and reinforcing functions
of the hippocampus and information processing by other brain structures
can proceed unimpededly.
Research shows there is extensive redundancy in neural circuitry, and the
presence of extensive modulatory circuitry. Circuits need to be fired
periodically to maintain health and memory; they are subject to changing
their patterning by minor perturbations. Complex functions are supported
by several circuits, the 'multiple interactive neural systems' approach.
Cortical memory trace is widely distributed. Multiple, parallel,
and widely dispersed cortical areas are dedicated to a single sensory function
and modality, as is motor control. The redundancy of neural circuitry
suggests that in the primitive nervous system DS may have been the primordial
means of serially prolonging or enhancing synaptic efficacy. DS also
helps regulate ancillary non-motor circuits that regulate hormone and neurohormone
Cognitive science implies that dreaming is "the occurrence of inconsequential
phasic events of REM sleep". But dreams are consequential.
They change us at the most fundamental psychophysical level. The
evanescent, prophetic and diagnostic nature of dreams has been heralded
since the dawn of history. Pre-sleep emotional states are a by-product
of, and tightly linked to, mental activities normally occuring during REM
sleep. The consolidating and reinforcing, or restructuring of neural
circuits storing memories is not limited nor restricted to the activities
of REM sleep.
According to Kavanau, "dreaming is a very short-term unconscious awareness
of manifestations of processes of activating selected ensembles of labile
ontogenetic memory circuits (say younger than 3 years) to render them stable,
and of stable phylogenetic and ontogenetic memory circuits (say, older
than 3 years) to maintain them."
The tendency of dreams to favor current events, the "day residue" of Freud,
and of these dreams to be lengthily coordinated and, sometimes not far
short of authentic recall, may owe to the integrative role of the hippocampus
in replaying only relatively recent events in the neocortex. The
fact that a vividly recalled dream can repeat with fidelity over a period
of many years suggest that the hippocampus also can integrate and replay
memory circuits established through dream recall.
ON EACH REPETITION AND RECALL OF A SALIENT DREAM, IT APPARENTLY CAN AGAIN
ACHIEVE THE STATUS OF A RECENT EVENT, THEREBY ENTERING AGAIN INTO
Thus, consciousness journeys using dream material or symptomology can refresh
or reactivate circuits and open them for self-organizing creative repatterning
and restructuring. It's a chance at a psychological "do over."
The old self dies; the new self is reborn. After such a process,
the psychophysical self is no longer the same. The issues addressed
are no longer suppressed but allowed to 'matter.'