The Dynamic Role of Breathing and Cellular Membrane Potentials in the Experience of Consciousness

World Journal of Neuroscience 7:66-81 (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Understanding the mechanics of consciousness remains one of the most important challenges in modern cognitive science. One key step toward understanding consciousness is to associate unconscious physiological processes with subjective experiences of sensory, motor, and emotional contents. This article explores the role of various cellular membrane potential differences and how they give rise to the dynamic infrastructure of conscious experience. This article explains that consciousness is a body-wide, biological process not limited to individual organs because the mind and body are unified as one entity; therefore, no single location of consciousness can be pinpointed. Consciousness exists throughout the entire body, and unified consciousness is experienced and maintained through dynamic repolarization during inhalation and expiration. Extant knowledge is reviewed to provide insight into how differences in cellular membrane potential play a vital role in the triggering of neural and non-neural oscillations. The role of dynamic cellular membrane potentials in the activity of the central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, cardiorespiratory system, and various other tissues (such as muscles and sensory organs) in the physiology of consciousness is also explored. Inspiration and expiration are accompanied by oscillating membrane potentials throughout all cells and play a vital role in subconscious human perception of feelings and states of mind. In addition, the role of the brainstem, hypothalamus, and complete nervous system (central, peripheral, and autonomic)within the mind-body space combine to allow consciousness to emerge and to come alive. This concept departs from the notion that the brain is the only organ that gives rise to consciousness.

Author's Profile


Added to PP

512 (#19,316)

6 months
65 (#24,271)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?