Memory and retrospective reports of totally selfless states of consciousness
Professor Ying-Tung Lin had the honor to publish a new article in Acta Scientiarum Human and Social Sciences . Congrats to Ying-Tung! For more information on Ying-Tung’s article, please click here.
The debate about the necessary involvement of any form of self-consciousness in conscious experience has recently shifted its focus to the question of whether there are totally selfless states of consciousness (TSSC). The primary source of evidence for the existence of TSSC is the subjective reports from subjects who either are currently undergoing or have undergone altered experiences such as drug-induced ego dissolution. While the subjective reports are made largely after the occurrence of the experience, such reports have been challenged on the basis that one cannot coherently report about TSSC from one’s own, autobiographical memory. This paper addresses this issue regarding TSSC from the perspective of memory study. The aim is to examine whether and how it is possible for a subject to report a past TSSC based on her own memory without being considered as confabulating or misremembering. Such an examination can provide potential explanations for how a person reports a past experience of TSSC.