Cognitive science backs up the ancient Indian philosophy that we’re conscious even in deep sleep

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December 9, 2016 > SilentCircle > Uncategorized > From qz.com

Deep, dreamless sleep is often described as unconsciousness. We certainly don’t see distinct objects or have linear and memorable trains of thought, as we do in daily life or while dreaming. But in a meta-analysis published last month in Trends in Cognitive Sciences, cognitive science experts argue that there is no clear line of consciousness between dreaming and deep sleep.

“There’s complicated experiential or conscious activity that occurs throughout the night in all the different stages of sleep, including deep sleep,” says Evan Thompson, philosophy of mind professor at University of British Columbia in Canada and one of the paper’s authors. “We need a more fine-grained way of talking about the different kinds of mental activity that happen in deep sleep and the ways they’re related to neural activity.”

Consciousness during dreamless sleep does not look like daily, awake consciousness, says Thompson, but it still seems there’s some conscious awareness. “It could be just a sense of being asleep combined with some sense of the passage of time. Maybe different fleeting thoughts that aren’t really preserved in memory but related to skill-learning and memory preservation,” he adds.

Deep, dreamless sleep is often described as unconsciousness. We certainly don’t see distinct objects or have linear and memorable trains of thought, as we do in daily life or while dreaming. But in a meta-analysis published last month in Trends in Cognitive Sciences, cognitive science experts argue that there is no clear line of consciousness between dreaming and deep sleep.

“They can work together to build a richer understanding of the mind, with implications for improving our lives today, especially in the treatment of sleep disorders through mindfulness practices,” he says. “If sleep is treated as an occasion for something more meditative or contemplative, that brings a richness to our lives and arguably helps us sleep better, which helps us function in our daily lives.”

MORE: http://qz.com/852486/cognitive-science-backs-up-the-ancient-indian-philosophy-that-were-conscious-even-in-deep-sleep/


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