In the current hypothesis paper, we propose a novel examination of consciousness and self-awareness through the neuro-phenomenological theoretical model known as the Sphere Model of Consciousness (SMC). Our aim is to create a practical instrument to address several methodological issues in consciousness research. We present a preliminary attempt to validate the SMC via a simplified electrophysiological topographic map of the Self. This map depicts the gradual shift from faster to slower frequency bands that appears to mirror the dynamic between the various SMC states of Self. In order to explore our hypothesis that the SMC’s different states of Self correspond to specific frequency bands, we present a mini-review of studies examining the electrophysiological activity that occurs within the different states of Self and in the context of specific meditation types.
The theoretical argument presented here is that the SMC’s hierarchical organization of three states of the Self mirrors the hierarchical organization of Focused Attention, Open Monitoring, and Non-Dual meditation types. This is followed by testable predictions and potential applications of the SMC and the hypotheses derived from it. To our knowledge, this is the first integrated electrophysiological account that combines types of Self and meditation practices. We suggest this electro-topographic framework of the Selves enables easier, clearer conceptualization of the connections between meditation types as well as increased understanding of wakefulness states and altered states of consciousness.
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