Commentary: The entropic brain: a theory of conscious states informed by neuroimaging research with psychedelic drugs

D. PapoAvatar Inv

Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 10:423 (2016).

The “entropic brain hypothesis” holds that the quality of conscious states depends on the system’s entropy [1]. Brain activity is said to become “more random and so harder to predict in primary states – of which the psychedelic state is an exemplar”. Psychedelic-induced brain activity would be associated with elevated entropy in some of its aspects with respect to normal wakeful consciousness. This would indicate that psychedelic-induced brain activity would exhibit criticality, while normal wakeful consciousness would be subcritical.

But can entropy be a unique indicator of the “quality of consciousness”? Are there reasons to believe that psychedelic-induced activity is not critical?

[1] Carhart-Harris, R.L., Leech, R., Hellyer, P.J., Shanahan, M., Feilding, A., Tagliazucchi, E., Chialvo, D.R., and Nutt, D. (2014). The entropic brain: a theory of conscious states informed by neuroimaging research with psychedelic drugs.Front. Hum. Neurosci. 8:20.

[Read more in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience]

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