On Thu, Jun 30, 2005 at 04:25:09PM -0700, Lee Corbin wrote:

> > I've sometimes wondered whether some anaesthetics might work this way: put
> > you into a state of paralysis, and affect your short term memory. So you
> > actually experience the doctor cutting you open, with all the concommitant
> > pain, but you can't report it at the time and forget about it afterwards. If
> > you knew an anaesthetic worked that way, would you agree to have it used on
> > you for surgery?

Midazolam (Dormicum) has this property, and is routinely used in anaesthesia
for that purpose (patient partially wakes up during surgery, has an unpleasant
experience, the drug is administered to erase short time memory (mostly)).

Many other drugs (some antibiotics, also alcohol) also have this property.

Speaking of alcohol: anyone who considers that consciousness is a boolean
property is very welcome to a personal experiment involving measuring 
correlation of the degree of awareness with alcohol content in blood, 
titrating until loss of consciousness.

> When I was in high school, I read that dentists were considering
> use of a new anasthetic with this property. I was revolted, and
> even more revolted when none of my friends could see anything
> wrong with it.

I understand such drugs are currently considered for an early therapy for 
traumatic incidents (if you can't remember it, you won't be traumatized by
recurring memories).

> Experiences are real, whether you remember them or not.

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org";>leitl</a>
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