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Whole-Brain Models to Explore Altered States of Consciousness from the Bottom Up

1
CIMFAV-Ingemat, Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad de Valparaíso, Valparaíso 2340000, Chile
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Centro Interdisciplinario de Neurociencia de Valparaíso, Universidad de Valparaíso, Valparaíso 2360103, Chile
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Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3EB, UK
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National Scientific and Technical Research Council, Buenos Aires C1033AAJ, Argentina
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Buenos Aires Physics Institute and Physics Department, University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires C1428EGA, Argentina
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Centre for Psychedelic Research, Department of Brain Science, Imperial College London, London SW7 2DD, UK
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Data Science Institute, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK
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Centre for Complexity Science, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK
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Departamento de Matemáticas y Ciencias, Universidad de San Andrés, Buenos Aires B1644BID, Argentina
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2020, 10(9), 626; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10090626
Received: 26 July 2020 / Revised: 3 September 2020 / Accepted: 7 September 2020 / Published: 10 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in the Study of Altered State of Consciousness)
The scope of human consciousness includes states departing from what most of us experience as ordinary wakefulness. These altered states of consciousness constitute a prime opportunity to study how global changes in brain activity relate to different varieties of subjective experience. We consider the problem of explaining how global signatures of altered consciousness arise from the interplay between large-scale connectivity and local dynamical rules that can be traced to known properties of neural tissue. For this purpose, we advocate a research program aimed at bridging the gap between bottom-up generative models of whole-brain activity and the top-down signatures proposed by theories of consciousness. Throughout this paper, we define altered states of consciousness, discuss relevant signatures of consciousness observed in brain activity, and introduce whole-brain models to explore the biophysics of altered consciousness from the bottom-up. We discuss the potential of our proposal in view of the current state of the art, give specific examples of how this research agenda might play out, and emphasize how a systematic investigation of altered states of consciousness via bottom-up modeling may help us better understand the biophysical, informational, and dynamical underpinnings of consciousness. View Full-Text
Keywords: whole-brain models; altered states of consciousness; signatures of consciousness; integrated information theory; psychedelics whole-brain models; altered states of consciousness; signatures of consciousness; integrated information theory; psychedelics
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cofré, R.; Herzog, R.; Mediano, P.A.M.; Piccinini, J.; Rosas, F.E.; Sanz Perl, Y.; Tagliazucchi, E. Whole-Brain Models to Explore Altered States of Consciousness from the Bottom Up. Brain Sci. 2020, 10, 626. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10090626

AMA Style

Cofré R, Herzog R, Mediano PAM, Piccinini J, Rosas FE, Sanz Perl Y, Tagliazucchi E. Whole-Brain Models to Explore Altered States of Consciousness from the Bottom Up. Brain Sciences. 2020; 10(9):626. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10090626

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cofré, Rodrigo; Herzog, Rubén; Mediano, Pedro A.M.; Piccinini, Juan; Rosas, Fernando E.; Sanz Perl, Yonatan; Tagliazucchi, Enzo. 2020. "Whole-Brain Models to Explore Altered States of Consciousness from the Bottom Up" Brain Sci. 10, no. 9: 626. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10090626

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