From Big Medical Encyclopedia

CONSCIOUSNESS — the highest form of reflection of reality characterizing spiritual activity of the person, ability of ideal display of objective reality. The understanding of essence of S. is defined by the solution of the main question of philosophy. Contrary to idealism and dualism, for representatives to-rykh S. there is a special spiritual substance, the dialectic materialism considers S. as property of high-organized matter, a product of its development. The page is inseparable from mentality of the person (see. Mentality ) and its social being; it socially by the nature, arises in process anthropogenesis (see), it is necessary it is caused by work, communication and language.

S.'s specifics consist in its ideality; it unlike material as objective reality is subjective reality, i.e. reality of inner world of the personality and its components — sensual images, thoughts, tseleustremleniye etc. V. I. Lenin noted: «As the thought and matter „are valid i.e. exist, it is right. But to call a thought material — means to take a wrong step to mixing of materialism with idealism». (V. I. Lenin, Half-N of SOBR. soch., 5th prod., t. 18, page 257). The subjective reality is reflection of objective reality and the project of its possible transformations during practical activities. The Marxist understanding of S. as ideal is directed against vulgar materialism, from positions to-rogo S. there is a kind of material process (the brain excretes a thought as a liver — bile, according to P. Kabanis), against objective idealism and dualism, for to-rykh S. there is an objective reality (special substance), and also against panegoism, for to-rogo if it is consecutive, the objective reality does not exist.

Being ideal, S. is necessary is connected with material processes, realized in brain neurodynamics, the speech, subject activity of the person. Transformation ideal in material (the act of an opredmechivaniye) is made in its practical activities — a thought, the purpose, desires etc. receive existence in the form of certain actions, objects etc. Transformation material in ideal (the act of a raspredmechivaniye) is display in S. of cash objects, comprehension of sense of the sounding or written words, the maintenance of objectively existing social phenomena. Dialectic interconditionality of acts of an opredmechivaniye and raspredmechivaniye is characteristic of any human activity. It reflects the social nature of S., its derivativeness from social being and at the same time its activity which is especially brightly shown in creativity, in prediction of the future in a goal-setting and declaration of will as necessary factors of conscious activity. In thoughts, dreams, imaginations, i.e. in the field of subjective reality, the person has ability to overcome any space and temporary borders, to randomly reconstruct cash objective world and the cash human relations. However S. is capable to make socially important products (true judgments, new scientific theories, art values, etc.) only when it does not contradict laws of objective reality, truly reflects tendencies of its development. In this freedom of the movement in the field of subjective reality not only the possibility of creativity, but at the same time is concealed and a certain opportunity for disturbance by S. Kaky free from circumstances of cash reality seemed the movement of a thought of the person, it always is no more, than function of a brain, is immutable is caused by the material processes which are made in it.

A paramount role works of domestic physiologists — I. M. Sechenov, P. P. Pavlov, A. A. Ukhtomsky played B in protection and development of materialistic understanding of S. M. Bekhtereva. Multidimensional neurophysiological researches of mental functions are conducted by schools of the Soviet physiologists — P. K. Anokhina, N. A. Bernstein, I. S. Beritashvili, L. A. Orbeli, etc. Modern development of a psychophysiological problem, the section a cut is a problem «consciousness and a brain», is carried out on the basis of complex methods (especially in the field of interpretation of brain codes of the mental phenomena, studying of functional asymmetry of a brain, etc.), achievements of stereotaxic neurology, psychopharmacology, a neuropsychology, neurolinguistics, neurocybernetics, psychophysiology, psychophysis, medical psychology. These special approaches to S.'s studying operate with concepts, own, specific to certain types of pilot study and kontsentualny means, to-rye would only one of aspects fix wrongly to oppose philosophical understanding of S. to its various special and scientific interpretations. Philosophical concept C. performs the integrative and adjusting functions, sets right world outlook and methodological orientation, specifies ways of generalization of extremely diverse empirical material. Its general and necessary signs are reflected in all special and scientific concepts and representations S. Odnim from them just and the sign «ideal» is («to be subjective reality»). Otherwise there is extremely simplified and inadequate model C. which is reducing it to behavior, reflexes, brain processes or logical operations to-rye with success can make the COMPUTER.

Importance in development of a problem «consciousness and a brain» get such general scientific concepts as «information», «code», «functional system», etc. They promote overcoming the conceptual difficulties arising at an explanation of nature of necessary communication of the phenomena of S. with brain processes. S.'s phenomena represent images, thoughts, but they do not exist in a brain in the form of the certain reduced material copies or physical. - hikhm. duplicates of the displayed objects. On the other hand, S.'s phenomena cannot attribute physical properties while brain processes by them with need possess. At last, if S.'s phenomena have no physical, power characteristics, then there is a question as they can influence corporal processes, manage them. On these difficulties idealists always speculated, speaking about a primacy of spirit over matter. Supporters of dualistic approach to a problem «consciousness and a brain», including such large western neurophysiologists as J. Ekkls, U. Penfild, etc., postulate existence of the special spiritual energy allegedly independent of matter and capable to influence a brain, bringing it to a state of mental activity. However dualistic approach is incompatible with the principles of natural sciences and scientific outlook. Imaginary overcoming the difficulties stated above takes place and at a solution «consciousness and a brain» from positions of vulgar materialism and fashionable in modern bourgeois philosophy of a radical fizikalizm, to-rye identify S.'s phenomena with physical and fiziol. processes owing to what peculiar features of S. (its ideal character) are eliminated. Relying on the principles of dialectic materialism (see the Dialectician, Materialism and idealism), the relation between certain phenomena of S. (e.g., the realized image of a subject and its brain neyrodinakhmichesky equivalent) it is admissible to consider as the relation between information and its carrier because there is no information out of and in addition to its material carrier, and any phenomenon of S. is reflection of objective reality and therefore always represents information about nek-rum an object. Information and its carrier an essence of the phenomenon simultaneous and one-causal, communication between them has functional character. In this case a certain brain neyrodina-michesky system acts as the data carrier, edges are represented by its code. There is a specific research problem of interpretation of a code as the phenomena of subjective reality (sensual images, thoughts, etc.) essence information given directly while its brain carrier is hidden from mental display. Such approach allows to explain managing function C. as information as it is conventional, is a factor of management in any self-organizing system and serves as the reason of its purposeful changes (so-called information causality). At the same time the managing effect is defined by semantic (semantic) and pragmatical characteristics of information per se, but not physical or physical. - chemical properties of its carrier. Owing to the principle of invariancy of information in relation to physical and in general to substrate properties of its carrier the same information can be incarnate and transferred different on physical and in general to substrate properties by carriers. Such approach, keeping S.'s definition as ideal, interprets ideal as a special type of information, discloses insolvency of attempts of a fizikalistsky identification of S. with brain processes.

The page as a product of activity of a brain is reflection by the person in perfect shape not only the outside world, but also itself in the mental activity — reflection of processes of reflection (the act of a reflection). Self-display is carried out in various degree and has different levels: with feeling I and estimates of the actions, thoughts and feelings before ethical self-checking, judgment of own world outlook installations. The highest levels of self-display represent consciousness, i.e. understanding of as persons, understanding of the relation to the world, first of all to cash social reality and the place in it. Thus, S. as complete subjective reality is dialectic unity its Gnostic (i.e. knowledge representing set), valuable and active and strong-willed parameters; S.'s structure has in the basis dialectic unity of opposite directed displays — outside and inner world of the personality (see).

The Marxist understanding of essence and S.'s structure includes consideration of communication of individual and public Page. Individual S. is S. of each certain person. Public S. represents reflection of social being in the form of scientific knowledge, arts, philosophies, morals, religion, legal and political views; also settled norms, estimates, opinions, beliefs and other ideal forms of ordinary Page concern to him. Public S. has the transpersonal status, its contents is fixed in an opredmechenny look, i.e. realized in objects of material culture, in works of art, in the existing social relations and communicative structures. Public S.'s maintenance does not depend on the certain individuals entering in social жизн^ and finding already developed systems of knowledge, ethical standards, ideological doctrines. Process of socialization of the individual consists in his familiarizing with cash public Page. Therefore any individual S.'s kernel is a certain maintenance of public Page. Individual S.'s maintenance does not cover all maintenance of public Page. At the same time in individual S. there are such especially personal components which are absent in public Page. The primary source of new growths in public S. lies always in individual S. — the new ideas, theories etc. arise in S. of the certain person and only then in the beginning, finding the social importance, acquire public S.'s status, are fixed in a subject or sign form, are broadcast and reproduced in social communications, acquired by the increasing number of the individuals forming this class, this public group. Public S. as force combining people, organizing and motivating to act exists so far as there is individual S. I set what in bigger number of individual S. the maintenance of certain public ideas is implanted, their social effectiveness is higher than subjects.

Disorders of consciousness

S.'s Disturbances can be various on the depth. Allocate full and partial loss of consciousness (see Unconsciousness). The special group is made by syndromes, various on the psychopathological structure, of the dulled consciousness: an amental syndrome (see), a delirious syndrome (see), devocalization (see), a oneiric syndrome (see), twilight stupefaction (see) and auras of consciousness (see Aura). As it was shown by K. Jaspers, despite essential distinctions, they are characterized by a number of the general signs.

The first sign of syndromes of the dulled consciousness is detachment of the patient — difficulty or impossibility of perception of the world around. At detachment the outside world, events which are taking place in surrounding do not draw attention of the patient, and in some cases the productive psychopathological symptomatology can be absent completely that is characteristic, e.g., of a condition of devocalization. One of types of detachment is load, at a cut along with partial (fragmentary) perception surrounding or its total absence intensive flow of illusions (see), nonsense (see), hallucinations is observed (see) and others psikhopatol. frustration. At last, detachment can be shown by a phenomenon of confusion (see), at Krom except affect of bewilderment the phenomena of supervariability of attention are observed (a syndrome of a hypermetamorphosis across Vernika), and perception of surrounding has fragmentary character. The second sign of the dulled consciousness is the disorientation in the place, time, surrounding objects (faces); in some cases the rough disorientation in the own personality is observed. The third sign — the incoherence of thinking (see) which is shown weakness or impossibility of judgments and, as a rule, followed by different types of speech frustration. The fourth sign is full or partial amnesia of the period of the dulled consciousness. Reminiscence of disease state can be absent or be fragmentary completely. At separate types of stupefaction of the patient remembers the state which is defined by various psychopathological frustration while concerning a surrounding situation full amnesia is observed. Set of all listed signs is necessary for diagnosis of a condition of the dulled consciousness.

Wedge. value of frustration of S. variously. Diagnosis of devocalization requires the emergency solution of a question of the nature of this state in connection with a possibility of transition it in a sopor (see. Devocalization ) and to whom (see). The sopor and a coma are characteristic of severe damages of a brain, often life-threatening the patient (a tumor of a brain, a severe injury, etc.). In cases of a severe injury of a brain there comes the deep stupefaction proceeding with the phenomena of loss, «mental paralysis», etc. Ascertaining of a mussitans delirium and amentia also demonstrates deep disorder of mental activity at extreme weight of a somatic condition of patients. Oneiroid is less specific in a wedge, the relation, to-ry can develop at endogenous diseases (see. Schizophrenia ), epilepsies (see) and exogenous diseases of a brain. Development of twilight states and aura of consciousness is characteristic of epilepsy, and also is more rare than organic diseases proceeding with an epileptiform syndrome for diseases of an exogenous origin.

Treatment of frustration of S. is directed to a basic disease.

Bibliography: Bekhtereva N. P., Bundzen P. V. and Gogoli-of c y Yu. L N. Brain codes of mental activity, L., 1977; Dubrovsky D. I. Information, consciousness, brain, M., 1980; it, Problem ideal, M., 1983; A. M Kites. Reflection, activity, knowledge, M., 1979; Leontyev A. N. Activity, Consciousness, Personality, M., 1977; Megrabyan A. A. General psychopathology, page 112, M., 1972; Rub and N - matte C. L. Life and consciousness, M., 1967; Simonov P. V. Emotional brain, M., 1981; With N e N e in - with to and y A. V. O of nosological specificity of psychopathological syndromes, Zhurn. neuropath, and psikhiat., t. 60, No. 1, with 91, 1960; Spir Kean A. G. Consciousness and consciousness, M., 1972; Tugarinov V. P. Philosophy of consciousness, M., 1971; Chernosvitov E. V. K to the philosophical analysis of destructions of consciousness of the personality, Philosopher, sciences, No. 2, page 59, 1982-Bunge M. of The mind-body problem, Oxford and. lake, 1980, bibliogr.; Cerebral correlates of conscious experience, ed. by P. A. Buser a. A. Rougeul-Buser, Amsterdam a. o., 1978; Jaspers K. Allge-meine Psychopathologie, B., 1923; M a r-g about 1 i s J. Z. Persons and minds, Dordrecht — Boston, 1978, bibliogr.

D. I. Dubrovsky; A. S. Tygans (disorder of consciousness).