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File536 - Void consciousness: Investigating the neural network correlates of an exceptional meditative experience with EEG-MREG2015-092020-03

Reference code: PT/FB
Entity holding: BIAL Foundation
Location: S. Mamede do Coronado
Title:
BIAL Foundation Archive
Start date: 1994
History:
The BIAL Foundation was created in 1994 by Laboratórios BIAL in conjunction with the Council of Rectors of Portuguese Universities. BIAL’s Foundation mission is to foster the scientific study of Man from both the physical and spiritual perspectives.
Along the years the BIAL Foundation has developed an important relationship with the scientific community, first in Portugal and after worldwide. Today it is an institution of reference which aims to stimulate new researches that may help people, promote more health and contribute to new milestones to gain access to knowledge.
Among its activities the BIAL Foundation manages the BIAL Award, created in 1984, one of the most important awards in the Health field in Europe. The BIAL Award rewards both the basic and the clinical research distinguishing works of major impact in medical research.
The BIAL Foundation also assigns Scientific Research Scholarships for the study of neurophysiological and mental health in people, arousing the interest of researchers in the areas of Psychophysiology and Parapsychology.
To date the BIAL Foundation has supported 461 projects, more than 1000 researchers, with research groups in twenty-seven countries, resulting, until April 2013, in about 600 full papers, out of which 172 published in indexed international journals with an average impact factor of 3.6 and a substantial number of citations (1665).
Since 1996 the BIAL Foundation organizes the Symposia entitled "Behind and Beyond the Brain", a Forum that gathers well renowned neurosciences speakers and the BIAL Foundation Fellows which are spread around the world.
Classified as an institution of public utility, the BIAL Foundation includes among its patrons the Portuguese President, the Portuguese Universities Rectors' Council and the Portuguese Medical Association.
URL: http://www.bial.com/pt/
Accessibility: By permission

Reference code: PT/FB/BL
Entity holding: BIAL Foundation
Title: BIAL Grants
Start date: 1994
History:
In 1994 the BIAL Foundation launched a programme of science research grants with the aim of encouraging the research into Man’s physical and mental processes, namely in fields still largely unexplored but which warrant further scientific analysis, as Psychophysiology and Parapsychology.
Since its launch, applications to the BIAL grants have been increasing. Up to now 461 projects have been supported, involving more than 1000 researchers from 27 countries.
The approved applications have benefited from grants in amounts comprised between €5,000 and €50, 000. The amount to be granted is fixed by the Scientific board according to the needs of each project.
The supported projects have originated, until April 2013, in about 600 full papers, 172 out of which were published in indexed international journals with an average impact factor of 3.6 and a substantial number of citations (1665).
Among the BIAL Foundation fellows is worth highlighting the presence of scientists from prestigious universities from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Russia, Germany, Japan, France, Canada, and many others.
The BIAL grants are promoted biannually.

Reference code: PT/FB/BL-2014
Location: BF-GMS
Title:
2014 Grants
Start date: 2015-01

Reference code: PT/FB/BL-2014-536
Location: BF-GMS
Title:
536 - Void consciousness: Investigating the neural network correlates of an exceptional meditative experience with EEG-MREG
Duration: 2015-09 - 2020-03
Researcher(s):
Ulf Winter, Pierre LeVan, Stefan Martin Schmidt
Institution(s): Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, University Medical Center Freiburg (Germany); Dept. of Radiology, Medical Physics, University Medical Center Freiburg (Germany)
Contents: Contents:
Application form
Correspondence
Progress report
Final report
Language: eng
Author:
Winter, U.. LeVan, P.. Schmidt, S.
Number of reproductions:
3
Keywords:
Neural correlates of consciousness / Meditation / EEG / fMRI / Functional connectivity / Psychophysiology and Parapsychology

DocumentFinal report - Void consciousness: Investigating the neural network correlates of an exceptional meditative experience with EEG-MREG2019

Reference code: PT/FB
Entity holding: BIAL Foundation
Location: S. Mamede do Coronado
Title:
BIAL Foundation Archive
Start date: 1994
History:
The BIAL Foundation was created in 1994 by Laboratórios BIAL in conjunction with the Council of Rectors of Portuguese Universities. BIAL’s Foundation mission is to foster the scientific study of Man from both the physical and spiritual perspectives.
Along the years the BIAL Foundation has developed an important relationship with the scientific community, first in Portugal and after worldwide. Today it is an institution of reference which aims to stimulate new researches that may help people, promote more health and contribute to new milestones to gain access to knowledge.
Among its activities the BIAL Foundation manages the BIAL Award, created in 1984, one of the most important awards in the Health field in Europe. The BIAL Award rewards both the basic and the clinical research distinguishing works of major impact in medical research.
The BIAL Foundation also assigns Scientific Research Scholarships for the study of neurophysiological and mental health in people, arousing the interest of researchers in the areas of Psychophysiology and Parapsychology.
To date the BIAL Foundation has supported 461 projects, more than 1000 researchers, with research groups in twenty-seven countries, resulting, until April 2013, in about 600 full papers, out of which 172 published in indexed international journals with an average impact factor of 3.6 and a substantial number of citations (1665).
Since 1996 the BIAL Foundation organizes the Symposia entitled "Behind and Beyond the Brain", a Forum that gathers well renowned neurosciences speakers and the BIAL Foundation Fellows which are spread around the world.
Classified as an institution of public utility, the BIAL Foundation includes among its patrons the Portuguese President, the Portuguese Universities Rectors' Council and the Portuguese Medical Association.
URL: http://www.bial.com/pt/
Accessibility: By permission

Reference code: PT/FB/BL
Entity holding: BIAL Foundation
Title: BIAL Grants
Start date: 1994
History:
In 1994 the BIAL Foundation launched a programme of science research grants with the aim of encouraging the research into Man’s physical and mental processes, namely in fields still largely unexplored but which warrant further scientific analysis, as Psychophysiology and Parapsychology.
Since its launch, applications to the BIAL grants have been increasing. Up to now 461 projects have been supported, involving more than 1000 researchers from 27 countries.
The approved applications have benefited from grants in amounts comprised between €5,000 and €50, 000. The amount to be granted is fixed by the Scientific board according to the needs of each project.
The supported projects have originated, until April 2013, in about 600 full papers, 172 out of which were published in indexed international journals with an average impact factor of 3.6 and a substantial number of citations (1665).
Among the BIAL Foundation fellows is worth highlighting the presence of scientists from prestigious universities from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Russia, Germany, Japan, France, Canada, and many others.
The BIAL grants are promoted biannually.

Reference code: PT/FB/BL-2014
Location: BF-GMS
Title:
2014 Grants
Start date: 2015-01

Reference code: PT/FB/BL-2014-536
Location: BF-GMS
Title:
536 - Void consciousness: Investigating the neural network correlates of an exceptional meditative experience with EEG-MREG
Duration: 2015-09 - 2020-03
Researcher(s):
Ulf Winter, Pierre LeVan, Stefan Martin Schmidt
Institution(s): Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, University Medical Center Freiburg (Germany); Dept. of Radiology, Medical Physics, University Medical Center Freiburg (Germany)
Contents: Contents:
Application form
Correspondence
Progress report
Final report
Language: eng
Author:
Winter, U.. LeVan, P.. Schmidt, S.
Number of reproductions:
3
Keywords:
Neural correlates of consciousness / Meditation / EEG / fMRI / Functional connectivity / Psychophysiology and Parapsychology

Reference code: PT/FB/BL-2014-536.01
Location: BF-GMS
Title:
Final report - Void consciousness: Investigating the neural network correlates of an exceptional meditative experience with EEG-MREG
Publication year: 2019
URL:
https://www.bial.com/media/3288/void-consciousness.pdf
Abstract/Results: ABSTRACT:
BACKGROUND
The minimal neural correlate of the conscious state, isolated from its ever-changing contents, has still not been identified. Previous approaches mainly compared the normal waking state to unconscious states, such as deep sleep or general anesthesia. A more direct approach would be the neuroscientific investigation of conscious states that are experienced as free of any specific phenomenal content.
AIMS
This proof of concept study aimed to elaborate this approach by exploring neurophysiologic changes during content-reduced states of awareness induced by meditation.
METOHD
Combined EEG-fMRI was applied in ten long-term meditators during content-minimizing meditation and rest. Functional connectivity was analyzed within the dorsal attention network (DAN) and the default mode network (DMN). Additionally, EEG spectral power was analyzed in the theta (4-8 Hz) and alpha (8-12 Hz) frequency bands.
RESULTS
One extraordinarily qualified meditator reported an experience of complete content-free awareness, the neural correlates of which were characterized by sharply decreased alpha and increased theta power as well as connectivity increases in the DAN and decreases in the posterior DMN. In contrast, the merely content-reduced phase of his meditation was marked by increased DMN connectivity. The group-level analysis likewise showed a reduced amount of contents of consciousness during meditation, associated with increased connectivity in both DAN and DMN but unchanged EEG power.
CONCLUSIONS
Our findings hint to changes in DMN connectivity modulated by top-down attention as an important correlate of content-minimized states of awareness. We conclude that investigating such states could be an important approach to narrow down the minimal neural correlate of consciousness.
Accessibility: Document exists in file
Language:
eng
Author:
Winter, U.
Secondary author(s):
Schmidt, S.
Document type:
Final report
Number of reproductions:
3
Reference:
Winter, U., & Schmidt, S. (2019). Final report - Void consciousness: Investigating the neural network correlates of an exceptional meditative experience with EEG-MREG.
Indexed document: No
Keywords: Content-free awareness / Consciousness as such / Content-free awareness / Neural correlate of consciousness (NCC) / Disconnected consciousness / Meditation

Final report - Void consciousness: Investigating the neural network correlates of an exceptional meditative experience with EEG-MREG

Final report - Void consciousness: Investigating the neural network correlates of an exceptional meditative experience with EEG-MREG

Document(Dis)Connectivities of Awakening2019

Reference code: PT/FB
Entity holding: BIAL Foundation
Location: S. Mamede do Coronado
Title:
BIAL Foundation Archive
Start date: 1994
History:
The BIAL Foundation was created in 1994 by Laboratórios BIAL in conjunction with the Council of Rectors of Portuguese Universities. BIAL’s Foundation mission is to foster the scientific study of Man from both the physical and spiritual perspectives.
Along the years the BIAL Foundation has developed an important relationship with the scientific community, first in Portugal and after worldwide. Today it is an institution of reference which aims to stimulate new researches that may help people, promote more health and contribute to new milestones to gain access to knowledge.
Among its activities the BIAL Foundation manages the BIAL Award, created in 1984, one of the most important awards in the Health field in Europe. The BIAL Award rewards both the basic and the clinical research distinguishing works of major impact in medical research.
The BIAL Foundation also assigns Scientific Research Scholarships for the study of neurophysiological and mental health in people, arousing the interest of researchers in the areas of Psychophysiology and Parapsychology.
To date the BIAL Foundation has supported 461 projects, more than 1000 researchers, with research groups in twenty-seven countries, resulting, until April 2013, in about 600 full papers, out of which 172 published in indexed international journals with an average impact factor of 3.6 and a substantial number of citations (1665).
Since 1996 the BIAL Foundation organizes the Symposia entitled "Behind and Beyond the Brain", a Forum that gathers well renowned neurosciences speakers and the BIAL Foundation Fellows which are spread around the world.
Classified as an institution of public utility, the BIAL Foundation includes among its patrons the Portuguese President, the Portuguese Universities Rectors' Council and the Portuguese Medical Association.
URL: http://www.bial.com/pt/
Accessibility: By permission

Reference code: PT/FB/BL
Entity holding: BIAL Foundation
Title: BIAL Grants
Start date: 1994
History:
In 1994 the BIAL Foundation launched a programme of science research grants with the aim of encouraging the research into Man’s physical and mental processes, namely in fields still largely unexplored but which warrant further scientific analysis, as Psychophysiology and Parapsychology.
Since its launch, applications to the BIAL grants have been increasing. Up to now 461 projects have been supported, involving more than 1000 researchers from 27 countries.
The approved applications have benefited from grants in amounts comprised between €5,000 and €50, 000. The amount to be granted is fixed by the Scientific board according to the needs of each project.
The supported projects have originated, until April 2013, in about 600 full papers, 172 out of which were published in indexed international journals with an average impact factor of 3.6 and a substantial number of citations (1665).
Among the BIAL Foundation fellows is worth highlighting the presence of scientists from prestigious universities from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Russia, Germany, Japan, France, Canada, and many others.
The BIAL grants are promoted biannually.

Reference code: PT/FB/BL-2014
Location: BF-GMS
Title:
2014 Grants
Start date: 2015-01

Reference code: PT/FB/BL-2014-536
Location: BF-GMS
Title:
536 - Void consciousness: Investigating the neural network correlates of an exceptional meditative experience with EEG-MREG
Duration: 2015-09 - 2020-03
Researcher(s):
Ulf Winter, Pierre LeVan, Stefan Martin Schmidt
Institution(s): Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, University Medical Center Freiburg (Germany); Dept. of Radiology, Medical Physics, University Medical Center Freiburg (Germany)
Contents: Contents:
Application form
Correspondence
Progress report
Final report
Language: eng
Author:
Winter, U.. LeVan, P.. Schmidt, S.
Number of reproductions:
3
Keywords:
Neural correlates of consciousness / Meditation / EEG / fMRI / Functional connectivity / Psychophysiology and Parapsychology

Reference code: PT/FB/BL-2014-536.02
Location: BF-GMS
Title:
(Dis)Connectivities of Awakening
Publication year: 2019
URL:
https://www.tsc2019-interlaken.ch/app/download/7833890754/program_abstracts_online_corr4.pdf?t=1562607584
Abstract/Results: ABSTRACT:
Within contemplative traditions states of consciousness without any specific content are described, which could represent a minimal, basic form of conscious experience.
Therefore, the neuroscientific investigation of such states of consciousness could open a new and unique, approach to understanding the minimal neuronal correlate of the conscious state or consciousness itself.
We are currently investigating the neurophysiologic correlates of deep content-reduced meditative states in expert and novice meditators from different traditions by using latest integrated EEG-fMRI.
Here we present – for the very first time - data of two independent measurements in an extraordinary qualified meditator (meditating for over 35 years or 50,000 hours) who reported to had an experience of awakening during the EEG-fMRI measurement.
The experience was described by the subject as ‘awareness-resting-in-it-self’ or ‘clear open awareness’ without any thoughts, body- or sense perception and even without any sense of self, time and space.
The focus of the presentation is on the results of a detailed analysis of the dynamic functional connectivity within and between specific functional networks related to conscious awareness. Implications for the search of the minimal neural correlates of
consciousness are discussed.
Accessibility: Document exists in file
Language:
eng
Author:
Winter, U.
Secondary author(s):
LeVan, P., Schmidt, S.
Document type:
Abstract book
Number of reproductions:
3
Reference:
Winter, U., LeVan, P., & Schmidt, S. (2019). (Dis)Connectivities of Awakening. Abstracts in-depth workshops of the Science of Consciousness (pp. 124 -125). Interlaken, Switzerland.
Indexed document: No
Keywords: Consciousness / Meditation / Functional connectivity

(Dis)Connectivities of Awakening

(Dis)Connectivities of Awakening

DocumentContent-free awareness: EEG-fcMRI correlates of consciousness as such in an expert meditator2020

Reference code: PT/FB
Entity holding: BIAL Foundation
Location: S. Mamede do Coronado
Title:
BIAL Foundation Archive
Start date: 1994
History:
The BIAL Foundation was created in 1994 by Laboratórios BIAL in conjunction with the Council of Rectors of Portuguese Universities. BIAL’s Foundation mission is to foster the scientific study of Man from both the physical and spiritual perspectives.
Along the years the BIAL Foundation has developed an important relationship with the scientific community, first in Portugal and after worldwide. Today it is an institution of reference which aims to stimulate new researches that may help people, promote more health and contribute to new milestones to gain access to knowledge.
Among its activities the BIAL Foundation manages the BIAL Award, created in 1984, one of the most important awards in the Health field in Europe. The BIAL Award rewards both the basic and the clinical research distinguishing works of major impact in medical research.
The BIAL Foundation also assigns Scientific Research Scholarships for the study of neurophysiological and mental health in people, arousing the interest of researchers in the areas of Psychophysiology and Parapsychology.
To date the BIAL Foundation has supported 461 projects, more than 1000 researchers, with research groups in twenty-seven countries, resulting, until April 2013, in about 600 full papers, out of which 172 published in indexed international journals with an average impact factor of 3.6 and a substantial number of citations (1665).
Since 1996 the BIAL Foundation organizes the Symposia entitled "Behind and Beyond the Brain", a Forum that gathers well renowned neurosciences speakers and the BIAL Foundation Fellows which are spread around the world.
Classified as an institution of public utility, the BIAL Foundation includes among its patrons the Portuguese President, the Portuguese Universities Rectors' Council and the Portuguese Medical Association.
URL: http://www.bial.com/pt/
Accessibility: By permission

Reference code: PT/FB/BL
Entity holding: BIAL Foundation
Title: BIAL Grants
Start date: 1994
History:
In 1994 the BIAL Foundation launched a programme of science research grants with the aim of encouraging the research into Man’s physical and mental processes, namely in fields still largely unexplored but which warrant further scientific analysis, as Psychophysiology and Parapsychology.
Since its launch, applications to the BIAL grants have been increasing. Up to now 461 projects have been supported, involving more than 1000 researchers from 27 countries.
The approved applications have benefited from grants in amounts comprised between €5,000 and €50, 000. The amount to be granted is fixed by the Scientific board according to the needs of each project.
The supported projects have originated, until April 2013, in about 600 full papers, 172 out of which were published in indexed international journals with an average impact factor of 3.6 and a substantial number of citations (1665).
Among the BIAL Foundation fellows is worth highlighting the presence of scientists from prestigious universities from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Russia, Germany, Japan, France, Canada, and many others.
The BIAL grants are promoted biannually.

Reference code: PT/FB/BL-2014
Location: BF-GMS
Title:
2014 Grants
Start date: 2015-01

Reference code: PT/FB/BL-2014-536
Location: BF-GMS
Title:
536 - Void consciousness: Investigating the neural network correlates of an exceptional meditative experience with EEG-MREG
Duration: 2015-09 - 2020-03
Researcher(s):
Ulf Winter, Pierre LeVan, Stefan Martin Schmidt
Institution(s): Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, University Medical Center Freiburg (Germany); Dept. of Radiology, Medical Physics, University Medical Center Freiburg (Germany)
Contents: Contents:
Application form
Correspondence
Progress report
Final report
Language: eng
Author:
Winter, U.. LeVan, P.. Schmidt, S.
Number of reproductions:
3
Keywords:
Neural correlates of consciousness / Meditation / EEG / fMRI / Functional connectivity / Psychophysiology and Parapsychology

Reference code: PT/FB/BL-2014-536.03
Location: BF-GMS
Title:
Content-free awareness: EEG-fcMRI correlates of consciousness as such in an expert meditator
Publication year: 2020
URL:
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.03064/full
Abstract/Results: ABSTRACT:
The minimal neural correlate of the conscious state, regardless of the neural activity correlated with the ever-changing contents of experience, has still not been identified. Different attempts have been made, mainly by comparing the normal waking state to seemingly unconscious states, such as deep sleep or general anesthesia. A more direct approach would be the neuroscientific investigation of conscious states that are experienced as free of any specific phenomenal content. Here we present serendipitous data on content-free awareness (CFA) during an EEG-fMRI assessment reported by an extraordinarily qualified meditator with over 50,000 h of practice. We focused on two specific cortical networks related to external and internal awareness, i.e., the dorsal attention network (DAN) and the default mode network (DMN), to explore the neural correlates of this experience. The combination of high-resolution EEG and ultrafast fMRI enabled us to analyze the dynamic aspects of fMRI connectivity informed by EEG power analysis. The neural correlates of CFA were characterized by a sharp decrease in alpha power and an increase in theta power as well as increases in functional connectivity in the DAN and decreases in the posterior DMN. We interpret these findings as correlates of a top-down-initiated attentional state excluding external sensory stimuli and internal mentation from conscious experience. We conclude that the investigation of states of CFA could provide valuable input for new methodological and conceptual approaches in the search for the minimal neural correlate of consciousness.
Accessibility: Document exists in file
Language:
eng
Author:
Winter, U.
Secondary author(s):
LeVan, P., Borghardt, T. L., Akin, B., Wittmann, M., Leyens, Y., Schmidt, S.
Document type:
Article
Number of reproductions:
3
Reference:
Winter, U., LeVan, P., Borghardt, T. L., Akin, B., Wittmann, M., Leyens, Y., & Schmidt, S. (2020). Content-free awareness: EEG-fcMRI correlates of consciousness as such in an expert meditator. Frontiers in Psychology, 10: 3064. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2019.03064
2-year Impact Factor: 2.990|2020
Times cited: 13|2022-03-09
Indexed document: Yes
Quartile: Q2
Keywords: Content-free awareness (CFA) / Consciousness as such / Neural Correlate of Consciousness (NCC) / Disconnected consciousness / Meditation / Default-mode network (DMN) / Dorsal attention network (DAN) / EEG / fMRI

Content-free awareness: EEG-fcMRI correlates of consciousness as such in an expert meditator

Content-free awareness: EEG-fcMRI correlates of consciousness as such in an expert meditator