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Title: Bridges to consciousness : complexes and complexity
Author: Krieger, N. M.
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2013
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I investigate consciousness as an emergent state coming from the interaction of brain, mind and environment. 1 start with the constellation of autonomous feeling-toned complexes because of their disruptive effect on consciousness. I then apply my findings to the normal functioning of the ego-complex and to the constellation of archetypes. I contend that these three phenomena constitute three bridges to consciousness. I use the methodology of dynamical systems modelling to deepen understanding of the relationship between the psychological space of a constellated complex and the physical space of the brain based on resea rch in neuroscience. Drawing on complexity theory, I conceptualise the complex as an attractor whose macroscopic patterns (thoughts and behaviour) are determined by an order parameter: evaluation-interpretation-meaning, and control parameters: emotion, memory, and perception. This suggests that it is the distinct meaning in the life of the individual. experienced through feelings and building on previous experience, which enslaves the psyche resulting in the sudden change in psychic state characteristic of the feeling-toned complex. Consciousness arises as a completely natural phenomenon based on internal constraints arising from neurochemistry, neurobiology, as well as external interactions with the environment. However, I argue that, as an emergent property, it engenders more than these components. It is characteristic of a self-organising system that the observable, initial physical properties are no longer manifest, so that the resu lting system exhibits completely different properties_ Thus I contend that the global functioning of the brain as a dynamic system generates consciousness as an emergent phenomenon. I further propose that an attractor of this system is the complex, and consequently it is through the bodily experience of the complex, whether an autonomous complex or the ego-complex, that consciousness emerges. Finally, I develop some novel visual representations of the foregoing models .
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available