Altered state of consciousness

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An altered state of consciousness (ASC), or altered state of mind, is any condition which is significantly different from a normal waking state.[1] The expression was used in 1966 by Arnold M. Ludwig,[2] and brought into common usage by Charles Tart.[3][4] It describes induced changes in one's mental state, almost always temporary. A synonymous phrase is "altered state of awareness".

Altered states of consciousness can be associated with artistic creativity,[5] or different focus levels. They also can be shared between people and studied as a subject of sociological research.[6]

States of consciousness[change | change source]

During an altered state of consciousness, brain waves occupy different frequencies (i.e. Epsilon, Delta, Theta, Alpha, Beta, Gamma). These waves can be measured by electroencephalography (EEG). Also, subjective reports and observer reports of behaviour are used to identify the altered state.

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. In the normal waking state the brain wave pattern is called a beta wave. Bundzen P.V; Korotkov K.G. & Unestahl L.E. 2002. "Altered states of consciousness: review of experimental data obtained with a multiple techniques approach". J. Alternative Complementary Medicine 8 (2): 153–65. doi:10.1089/107555302317371442 . PMID 12006123 .
  2. Ludwig, Arnold M. 1966. "Altered states of consciousness (presentation to symposium on Possession States in Primitive People)". Archives of General Psychiatry 15 (3): 225. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1966.01730150001001 . http://archpsyc.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/summary/15/3/225. Retrieved 29 September 2010.
  3. Tart, Charles T. 1969. Altered states of consciousness: a book of readings. New York: Wiley. ISBN 0-471-84560-4 .
  4. Tart, Charles T. 2001. States of consciousness. Backinprint.com. ISBN 0-595-15196-5 .
  5. Lombardo G.T. 2007. "An inquiry into the sources of poetic vision: Part I – the path to inspiration". J Am Acad Psychoanal Dyn Psychiatry 35 (3): 351–71. doi:10.1521/jaap.2007.35.3.351 . PMID 17907906 . http://www.extenza-eps.com/doi/abs/10.1521/jaap.2007.35.3.351.
  6. Spivak D. 2009. "Altered states of society: a tentative approach". A world in transition: humankind and nature (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic): 33–42. http://altstates.net/en/hbi/spivak-altsociety-1999.