TSC 2010


Microtubule information processing

Jack Tuszynski, Anirban Bhandyapatyay


LUCID DREAMINGTheory and Practice
In the course of everyday life, most people do not question whether they are awake. Likewise, while dreaming, people are not usually aware that they are dreaming. Cognizant or “lucid” dreaming is a significant exception to this generalization. During lucid dreams, one can reason rationally, remember the conditions of waking life, and chose one’s course of action--all while remaining soundly asleep, fully engaged in a dream world that can appear astonishingly real. Laboratory research at Stanford and elsewhere has proved by means of voluntary eye-movement signals that lucid dreams occur during unequivocal REM sleep.   The fact that lucid dreamers can remember to perform planned actions and signal to the laboratory opens the dream state to more direct study. Lucid dreamers can perform experiments while dreaming, “time-stamping” particular dream events with eye-movement signals, allowing correlations between the dreamer's subjective reports and physiology, and enabling the methodical testing of hypotheses. We have used this strategy in a series of studies demonstrating significant correspondence between dreamed actions and physiological responses.
The study of dreams can tell us much about how consciousness works. For example, comparing how waking and dreaming experiences are similar and different casts light upon the constructivist/top-down/endogenous and ecological/bottom-up/exogenous determinants of the contents of consciousness. Likewise, dreams are clearly relevant to a major focus of the conference: stimulus-independent thought. In order to study dreams optimally, it is necessary to do so with the mindfulness and cognitive clarity afforded by lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is a learnable skill that can be developed through training in dream recall, concentration, and prospective memory. The frequency of lucid dreaming can also be increased by a variety of other methods to be reviewed in the workshop, including pre-sleep pharmacological and behavioral manipulations; sleep-cycle interruption; and lucidity cueing by meaningful sensory stimuli applied during REM sleep. This workshop will present an overview of scientific research on the theory and practice of lucid dreaming. Participants will learn techniques for inducing, stabilizing, and controlling lucid dreams, and how to use them for the exploration and development of consciousness. The program will include demonstrations of technology to assist lucid dream induction. We will also explore the relationship between lucid dreaming and consciousness in dream yoga, non-lucid dreams, out-of-body experiences, virtual reality world simulations, and waking life.
Stephen LaBerge received his Ph.D in Psychophysiology in 1980 from Stanford University where he researched consciousness, dreaming and waking, for 25 years. He has taught courses on sleep and dreaming, psychobiology, and altered states of consciousness at Stanford University, the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, and San Francisco State University. In addition to his scientific writings on lucid dreaming he has published several influential popular books on the topic which have been translated into more than 20 languages.


Experimenting with Endogenic Experience:

fMRI, EEG and TMS in search of the functionality of the default-network



Neuroimaging of Meditation Workshop: Imaging Meditation and fMRI Analysis of Transcendental Meditation

David Hubbard MD, Applied fMRI Institute, San Diego, CA

Alarik Arenander, PhD, Brain Research Institute, Fairfield, IA

Russell T. Hurlburt, Psychology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Eric Schwitzgebel, Philosophy, University of California, Riverside


Neural Basis of Suppression, Repression and Dissociation

A great deal of complex cognitive processing occurs at the unconscious level and affects how humans behave, think and feel. But scientists are only beginning to understand how this occurs on the neural level. Understanding the neural basis of consciousness requires an account of the neural mechanisms that underlie both conscious and unconscious thought, and their dynamic interaction. For example, how do conscious impulses, thoughts, or desires become unconscious (e.g. repression) or, conversely, how do unconscious impulses, desires, or motives become conscious (e.g. Freudian slips)? Reseach taking advantage of advances in technologies, like functional magnetic resonance imaging, has led to a revival and re-conceptualization of some of the key concepts of psychoanalytic theory, and progress at understanding their neural basis. According to psychoanalytic theory, unconscious dynamic processes defensively remove anxiety-provoking thoughts and impulses from consciousness in response to one’s conflicting attitudes. Within this classical framework, the processes that keep unwanted thoughts from entering consciousness include repression, suppression and dissociation. We will discuss studies from psychology and cognitive neuroscience in both healthy and patient populations that are beginning to elucidate the neural basis of these phenonema. Reconceptualizing classical psychoanalytic concepts within the context of modern cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience may facilitate their empirical study, allowing us to characterize the neural basis of the dynamic unconscious. This will ultimately lead to more effective treatment options for certain psychological disorders, and help us better understand our own consciousness.

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Voices, Visions, Dreams, and the Limits of Consciousness: Explaining Anomalous
Neurological Phenomena 

Brian J. McVeigh received his Ph.D. from Princeton University and was a student of Julian Jaynes. He worked in Asia for 17 years and authored seven books on spirit possession, religion, education, politics, nationalism, and popular culture. He teaches in the East Asian Studies Department at the University of Arizona.

Marcel Kuijsten is editor of the book Reflections on the Dawn of Consciousness: Julian Jaynes's Bicameral Mind Theory Revisited, co-editor (with Brian J. McVeigh) of The Jaynesian (the newsletter of the Julian Jaynes Society), and Founder and Executive Director of the Julian Jaynes Society.


Transforming Consciousness: Personal Mythology, Neuroscience, and Organizational Culture


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Research on Psychedelics Moves into the Mainstream — The Lancet

James Fadiman, Ph.D. has been researching the effects of psychedelic substances for many years; his work was recently featured on the National Geographic Program, Explorer: Inside LSD. He is the author and editor of Shattering Certainty: Using Psychedelics Wisely and Well.(in press).He been on the faculty of San Francisco State, Brandeis and Stanford, was  a co-founder of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology and has taught in Europe and Asia. 

Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus at Northern Illinois University. Among his publications are: Psychedelic Medicine, Psychoactive Sacramentals, Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments. In Psychedelic Horizons, he presents Multistate Theory. He has taught Foundations of Psychedelic Studies since 1981, the world’s first cataloged psychedelic course at a university and originated the celebration of Bicycle Day.  

A Victorian’s Guide To Consciousness: James, Myers,

and The Fin De Siècle Gang - then and now

Stanley Krippner,
Saybrook Graduate School. Stanley Krippner is the Alan Watts Professor of Psychology at the Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center in San Francisco. He is an internationally known humanistic and transpersonal psychologist, having written extensively on dreams, altered states of consciousness, hypnosis, shamanism, dissociation, and parapsychology. In 2002 he received the American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology. Krippner has published over 200 articles, chapters, and books on consciousness and psychology.

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Arthur Hastings, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. Arthur Hastings is a Professor and the Research Director at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, and a past president of the Association for Transpersonal Psychology. He is also Director of the William James Center for Consciousness Studies. Professor Hastings has taught at Stanford University, the University of Nevada, and the University of California at Santa Barbara, and has conducted research on remote viewing, hypnosis, dreams, stress, and bereavement. He is the author of With the Tongues of Men and Angels: A Study of Channeling, co-author of Argumentation and Advocacy, Changing Images of Man, and is the Senior Editor of Health for the Whole Person, an award winning book on holistic medicine.

Jonathan Bricklin, New York Open Center. Jonathan Bricklin is the Program Director at New York Open Center and a James scholar. He is the author of the recent book Sciousness (James' term for consciousness without self) and is presently completing a book on the spiritual dimensions of James’ later writings.

Pim van Lommel, Division of Cardiology, Hospital Rijnstate, Netherlands. Pim van Lommel, M.D., is a leading cardiologist at the Division of Cardiology, Hospital Rijnstate, Arnhem, Netherlands, who has made an extensive study near death experiences, interviewing over three hundred heart patients at his hospital in Arnhem, Netherlands who had had experienced clinical death. Dr. van Lommel has published in the prestigious Lancet medical journal and lectures widely on near death experiences. His book, After Life: A Scientific Approach to Near-Death Experiences, will be available in English from HarperOne in 2010.

Gary E. Schwartz, University of Arizona. Gary E. Schwartz is a professor in the departments of medicine, neurology, psychiatry, and surgery and Director of The VERITAS Research Program of the Human Energy Systems Laboratory in the Department of Psychology at the University of Arizona. He has been a professor of psychiatry and psychology at Yale University and Director of the Yale Psychophysiology Center and co-director of the Yale Behavioral Medicine Clinic. He is the co-author of The Living Energy Universe, and is the author of The Afterlife Experiments: Breakthrough Scientific Evidence of Life After Death and The Truth About Medium, and has published many scientific papers and edited academic books.

Adrian Parker, Gothenburg University, Sweden. Adrian Parker is a faculty member at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. He has authored or co-authored more than 50 articles and book chapters on clinical psychology and parapsychology. He has held clinical appointments in the adult and child clinical areas in both the UK and in Sweden. He is a member of the Swedish Psychological Association, the British Psychological Society, the Society for Psychical Research, and Council/Board Member of the Parapsychological Association; and Examiner for the Swedish Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis.

Allan Combs, California Institute of Integral Studies. Allan Combs is a Professor of Transformative Studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies. His background is in consciousness studies, neuropsychology, and systems science. Professor Combs is author of over 100 articles, chapters, and books on consciousness and the brain, including The Radiance of Being (2ed), winner of the best-book award of the Scientific and Medical Network of the UK, and Mind in Time: The Dynamics of Thought, Reality, and Consciousness, with Mark Germine and Ben Geortzel and the recent book, Consciousness Explained Better.

Yoga Asanas as Tools for Transforming States, Contents, Structures, and Levels of Consciousness

Siegfried Bleher, PhD, Physics, University of Maryland in 1989 in nonlinear dynamics, and completed postdoctoral work in quantum chaos at University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia and postdoctoral work on transition state theory at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, before accepting a visiting faculty position at West Virginia University in 1994.  Since 1992 Siegfried has had an interest and practice in yoga, and began teaching yoga full time in 1996.  He and his wife run Inner Life Yoga Studio in Morgantown, WV.  He is a certified teacher in the method taught by modern yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar, at the Intermediate Junior II level of certification, and has trained with the Iyengar family in Pune India, as well as with many of the senior teachers in the US.  His research interest and work is currently to explore the boundary between what is objectively verifiable, and what is subjective about consciousness.  Specifically, he is interested in (1) the implications that yoga philosophy has for a modern science of consciousness, (2) whether a coherent science of consciousness can be built up from a phenomenological view of consciousness, and (3) what, if anything, does quantum theory and its various interpretations have to do with the nature of consciousness.


Effecting Individual Transformation through Pranahuti Aided Meditation, an Experiential Workshop