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A neurophenomenological approach to non-ordinary states of consciousness: hypnosis, meditation, and psychedelics


Timmermann, Christopher; Bauer, Prisca R; Gosseries, Olivia; Vanhaudenhuyse, Audrey; Vollenweider, Franz; Laureys, Steven; Singer, Tania; Antonova, Elena; Lutz, Antoine (2023). A neurophenomenological approach to non-ordinary states of consciousness: hypnosis, meditation, and psychedelics. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 27(2):139-159.

Abstract

No contemporary unifying framework has been provided for the study of non-ordinary states of consciousness (NSCs) despite increased interest in hypnosis, meditation, and psychedelics. NSCs induce shifts in experiential contents (what appears to the experiencer) and/or structure (how it appears). This can allow the investigation of the plastic and dynamic nature of experience from a multiscale perspective that includes mind, brain, body, and context. We propose a neurophenomenological (NP) approach to the study of NSCs which highlights their role as catalysts of transformation in clinical practice by refining our understanding of the relationships between experiential (subjective) and neural dynamics. We outline the ethical implications of the NP approach for standard conceptions of health and pathology as well as the crucial role of experience-based know-how in NSC-related research and application.

Keywords: agency; altered states of consciousness; hypnosis; meditation; psychedelics; self

Abstract

No contemporary unifying framework has been provided for the study of non-ordinary states of consciousness (NSCs) despite increased interest in hypnosis, meditation, and psychedelics. NSCs induce shifts in experiential contents (what appears to the experiencer) and/or structure (how it appears). This can allow the investigation of the plastic and dynamic nature of experience from a multiscale perspective that includes mind, brain, body, and context. We propose a neurophenomenological (NP) approach to the study of NSCs which highlights their role as catalysts of transformation in clinical practice by refining our understanding of the relationships between experiential (subjective) and neural dynamics. We outline the ethical implications of the NP approach for standard conceptions of health and pathology as well as the crucial role of experience-based know-how in NSC-related research and application.

Keywords: agency; altered states of consciousness; hypnosis; meditation; psychedelics; self

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
Social Sciences & Humanities > Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
Life Sciences > Cognitive Neuroscience
Uncontrolled Keywords:Cognitive Neuroscience, Experimental and Cognitive Psychology, Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
Language:English
Date:1 February 2023
Deposited On:31 Jan 2023 12:35
Last Modified:28 Apr 2024 01:48
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1364-6613
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2022.11.006
PubMed ID:36566091
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)