Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Evidence of past-life recordings in the brain?

Central to ITLAD/CTF is that at the point of death consciousness slips into a hyper-realistic re-creation of the subject's life. In Near-Death Experience terminology this is called the "Panoramic Life Riview".

Now in order for my theory to work there has to be evidence that such 'memories' exist and are stored in the brain (or if elsewhere can be accessed by the brain for 'projection' into consciousness.

A few years ago I read a book called Epileptic Seizures: Pathopsychology and Clinical Semiology edited by Hans O Luders and Soheyl Noachter. This book was written for professionals in this field but at that time (and as I still do) I needed to know as much as possible about epilepsy and pre-epileptic aura states. This book has contributory chapters by many of the world's leading authorities on the subject. I was particularly interested in a chapter written by Peter Wolf, Martin Schondienst and Elizabeth Gulich. This specifically discussed the latest research into aura states - or, as the professionals term these - "Experiential" Auras. Specifically the writers were interested in what was actually being experienced by Wilder Penfield's patients when they had their three-dimensional past-life memory experiences Now what is of great interest is what neurologists mean by the word "experiential". The neurologist Dr Pierre Gloor explains:

'Typically experiential phenomena, when fully expressed, create in a patient's mind experiences, usually from his personal past, that have a compelling immediacy similar to, or sometimes even more vivid than those occuring in real life. It is this quality of being like a real life experience whic justifies the term "experiential" ... experiential phenomena typically combine elements of perception, memory and affect" (page 337)

What he means is that the memories that Penfield's stimulations evoked in the subjects were absolutely vivid and totally real ... so real that they were identical to the original experience. In other words the subject does not experience the events as a memory but as a literal re-living!

Indeed Penfield and his associate Jaspers wrote about the stimulated "memories" thus:

'Recollection may carry with it the emotion that the individual"felt" at the time of the original experience and the deductions, true or false, that he made concerning the experience."

and then they added the totally itladian observation that....

'it seems to be the integrated whole (of events, related thoughts and emotions) that is recorded."
Note that they specifically use the word "recorded".

Remember, these quotations are not taken from some wishy, washy, New Age book but one written by professional neurologists. This is why ITLAD/CTF is of such importance!

(the image above is Wilder Penfield)


Anthony Peake said...

This is a synopsis of Dr. Gloor's paper.

Montreal Neurological Institute Montreal, Canada

Correspondence to: Correspondence to: Dr Pierre Gloor, Montreal Neurological Institute, 3801 University Street, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 2B4

Experiential phenomena that occur in temporal lobe seizures and can be reproduced by electrical stimulation of temporal lobe structures typically encompass perceptual, mnemonic and affective features, either in combination or in isolation, which commonly relate to the patient's individual past experience. These phenomena raise interesting questions concerning brain mechanisms involved in human psychophysiology. The anatomical substrates for the evocation of these phenomena are widely distributed within the temporal lobe and include temporal isocortex and limbic structures (amygdala, hippocampus and parahippocampal gyrus). Arguments are presented which indicate that experiential phenomena are positive expressions of temporal lobe and limbic function and do not result from its ictal paralysis. Recent concepts of parallel distributed processing (Rumelhart and McClelland, 1986) and the importance of parallel distributed cortical networks for higher cognitive functions (Goldman-Rakic, 1988a, b) provide a theoretical framework on which a hypothesis explaining experiential phenomena can be based. In conformity with these concepts the hypothesis assumes that temporal lobe epileptic discharge or electrical stimulation of temporal lobe structures can induce the elaboration of patterns of excitation and inhibition in widely distributed neuronal networks, some of which are capable of forming a specific matrix representing the substrate of a given experience. Neuronal networks engaged in parallel distributed processing (1) have the capacity to recreate the totality of a given experience when only a fragment of the network is activated, and (2) they tolerate a great deal of degradation by random inactivation of its components or by interference through random noise without serious loss of information content. These features are compatible with the assumption that localized epileptic neuronal discharge or electrical stimulation involving some temporal lobe structures could create a matrix representing features of individual experience of the kind activated in the course of temporal lobe seizures. Such an experience could, up to a certain limit, resist the degrading influence of mounting noise which inevitably must attend seizure discharge.

Received August 25, 1989. Revised November 29, 1989. Accepted December 8, 1989.

SM Kovalinsky said...

Tony; This is extremely important, and most definitely falls into the category of evidential preponderance that is not in the least "wishy-washy". It is this sort of evidence which made me so firmly steadfast in support of you in the first place. Coupled with the entire range of implications and apllications of your dyadic theory, there is almost an embarassment of riches in your theory, which is why I do not allow the slow movement of the past 8 months or so to defer or discourage me ( with regard to the idea of expanding you, NYC cognitive philosophy, etc. Indeed, that KLLM has embarked on the "daemonic" therapy enterprise is fitting in with cognitive philosophy's interest in NLP and the philosophical practioner's movement in the APPA. I am the one who "dropped the ball " with Feary and Marinoff in New York, this summer, due to health and other issues. There is still a real opening there, and it is a solid lead in. ) I am to deliver your book to them in person. ))Thank you for this post, and be of good cheer.

Karl Le Marcs said...

Tony: What might be relevant, and of interest here, is a report I found in my library tonight from the Journal of Neuropsychiatry, Neuropsychology and Behavioral Neurology from 2000:

"Auras, seizure focus, and psychiatric disorders"

I'll reprint the findings below:

OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study was to assess the types of auras and their associations with the focus of seizures in 144 consecutive adult patients with partial epilepsy refractory to medical treatment. The association of frequency and type of aura with a psychiatric disorder was also studied.

BACKGROUND: The nature of the aura, its association with the seizure focus, and its relation with emotions and behavioral dysfunction have received relatively little attention, and remain controversial.

METHODS: Patients were admitted to an epilepsy investigation unit for detailed observation of their seizures and type of aura. Patients underwent standard electroen-cephalographic telemetry, including implanted subdural electrodes, if necessary, to delineate the seizure focus. The auras were classified into nine categories. All patients had an independent clinical psychiatric interview for a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Third Edition-Revised (DSM-III-R)-based diagnosis.

RESULTS: Of the 144 patients studied, 111 (77.1%) had one or more symptoms during the aura and 33 (22.9%) had no aura. The most frequent aura types were viscerosensory (47 cases [32.6%]), experiential (44 cases [30.6%]), and cephalic (21 cases [14.6%]). A temporal lobe focus was present in 116 (80.5%) patients. Only experiential auras were significantly associated with a temporal lobe seizure focus (33 of 44 cases). A DSM-III-R psychiatric diagnosis was present in 74 (51.4%) patients. Of the 116 patients with a temporal lobe focus, 60 (50.2%) had a DSM-III-R psychiatric diagnosis. Patients with two or more auras were significantly more likely to have a psychiatric diagnosis (70.2%) compared with those with one aura (39.1%) or no aura (48.5%). A significant association between experiential auras and psychiatric morbidity was seen.

CONCLUSIONS: Auras occurred in a majority of patients with a treatment-refractory partial epilepsy who were hospitalized for assessment of their seizure focus for possible surgical candidacy. Two or more auras were associated with a psychiatric diagnosis as was the presence of an experiential aura. Experiential auras were most common in temporal lobe epilepsy. Approximately half the patients, irrespective of seizure focus, had an associated psychiatric morbidity.

Aloha Gary said...

ALOHA! once again,

sorry for my absence, will do better!

fascinating news!

Tony, the more I hear your talks and read your books, the more likely it seems to me that there is at least an element of the TLE phenomenon present whenever shamanic work is conducted.

And who knows, maybe even most, if not all, spiritual experiences?

I recently discovered someone else thinking along these lines in "The world of shamanism" (2007) by Dr Roger Walsh PhD, professor of psychiatry, philosophy and anthropology at University of California at Irvine

This is the most even handed academic treatment of non-ordinary reality I have seen, which you will recall is not new age, but actually the oldest form of spiritality and healing currently known on the planet.

No doubt I will have to pop around and lend it to Mr Karl who has a polymath's interest in such things, and perhaps pre-xmas indulgences may also occur *winks in direction of pub*

One extra important point - the thing about shamanic journeying is that this is a skill that can be taught - so are we teaching ourselves to move along the TLE continuum in a controlled way?

Maybe people at the TLE end of the spectrum may be able to learn to head back towards having control for themselves through shamanic techniques? Hmm, Just a thought.

Anyone want to play/experiment?


Karl Le Marcs said...

Aloha Gary: You can count me in, mate!

Polymathical Cheers!