Keywords

Neurophenomenology, eeg, philosophy of mind, cognitive science, simulation, experimental methods

Abstract

The present study explores the nature and structure of spiritual and aesthetic experiences through the interdisciplinary application of neurophenomenology (NP). This approach merges aspects of psychology, neurophysiology, and phenomenology into a unified methodology. The study is nested within a larger project, Space, Science, and Spirituality, and as such, it carries a common goal to use simulation to evoke spiritual and aesthetic responses similar to those expressed by astronauts and cosmonauts. Careful analysis of previous work in NP provided methodological “lessons learned”, which guided the experimental design, execution, and analysis of the present study. The data collected provides support for experience as a phenomenon that can be studied through empirical means. Further, the articulation of spiritual and aesthetic experiences akin to astronaut experiences corresponds to specific neurological and psychological indicators. Among those indicators are differences in EEG measures during simulation time relative to expressions of spiritual experience following the simulation and changes in visual processing across theta, alpha, and beta signals as correlated with self-identification. These findings support an embodied theory of experience that incorporates memory, executive function, perception, and consciousness. In addition to its academic contribution, this research holds implications for commercial space flight, long-term space missions, post-traumatic stress disorder therapies, and the entertainment industry

Notes

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Graduation Date

2013

Semester

Fall

Advisor

Reinerman, Lauren

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Psychology

Degree Program

Modeling and Simulation

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0005035

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0005035

Language

English

Release Date

December 2018

Length of Campus-only Access

5 years

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)

Subjects

Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences, Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic

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