The Neurology of Consciousness

The Neurology of Consciousness
Author: Steven Laureys,Olivia Gosseries,Giulio Tononi
Publsiher: Academic Press
Total Pages: 488
Release: 2015-08-12
ISBN 10: 0128011750
ISBN 13: 9780128011751
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

The Neurology of Consciousness Book Review:

The second edition of The Neurology of Consciousness is a comprehensive update of this ground-breaking work on human consciousness, the first book in this area to summarize the neuroanatomical and functional underpinnings of consciousness by emphasizing a lesional approach offered by the study of neurological patients. Since the publication of the first edition in 2009, new methodologies have made consciousness much more accessible scientifically, and, in particular, the study of disorders, disruptions, and disturbances of consciousness has added tremendously to our understanding of the biological basis of human consciousness. The publication of a new edition is both critical and timely for continued understanding of the field of consciousness. In this critical and timely update, revised and new contributions by internationally renowned researchers—edited by the leaders in the field of consciousness research—provide a unique and comprehensive focus on human consciousness. The new edition of The Neurobiology of Consciousness will continue to be an indispensable resource for researchers and students working on the cognitive neuroscience of consciousness and related disorders, as well as for neuroscientists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and neurologists contemplating consciousness as one of the philosophical, ethical, sociological, political, and religious questions of our time. New chapters on the neuroanatomical basis of consciousness and short-term memory, and expanded coverage of comas and neuroethics, including the ethics of brain death The first comprehensive, authoritative collection to describe disorders of consciousness and how they are used to study and understand the neural correlates of conscious perception in humans. Includes both revised and new chapters from the top international researchers in the field, including Christof Koch, Marcus Raichle, Nicholas Schiff, Joseph Fins, and Michael Gazzaniga

The Cognitive Neuroscience of Consciousness

The Cognitive Neuroscience of Consciousness
Author: Stanislas Dehaene
Publsiher: MIT Press
Total Pages: 243
Release: 2001
ISBN 10: 9780262541312
ISBN 13: 0262541319
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

The Cognitive Neuroscience of Consciousness Book Review:

Empirical and theoretical foundations of a cognitive neuroscience ofconsciousness.

New Horizons in the Neuroscience of Consciousness

New Horizons in the Neuroscience of Consciousness
Author: Elaine K. Perry
Publsiher: John Benjamins Publishing
Total Pages: 330
Release: 2010
ISBN 10: 9027252157
ISBN 13: 9789027252159
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

New Horizons in the Neuroscience of Consciousness Book Review:

A fascinating cornucopia of new ideas, based on fundamentals of neurobiology, psychology, psychiatry and therapy, this book extends boundaries of current concepts of consciousness. Its eclectic mix will simulate and challenge not only neuroscientists and psychologists but entice others interested in exploring consciousness. Contributions from top researchers in consciousness and related fields project diverse ideas, focused mainly on conscious nonconscious interactions: 1. Paving the way for new research on basic scientific - physiological, pharmacological or neurochemical - mechanisms underpinning conscious experience ( bottom up approach); 2. Providing directions on how psychological processes are involved in consciousness ( top down approach); 3. Indicating how including consciousness could lead to new understanding of mental disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, dementia, and addiction; 4. More provocatively, but still based on scientific evidence, exploring consciousness beyond conventional boundaries, indicating the potential for radical new thinking or quantum leaps in neuroscientific theories of consciousness. (Series B)"

Neuroscience, Consciousness and Spirituality

Neuroscience, Consciousness and Spirituality
Author: Harald Walach,Stefan Schmidt,Wayne B. Jonas
Publsiher: Springer Science & Business Media
Total Pages: 300
Release: 2011-08-31
ISBN 10: 9789400720794
ISBN 13: 9400720793
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Neuroscience, Consciousness and Spirituality Book Review:

Neuroscience, Consciousness and Spirituality presents a variety of perspectives by leading thinkers on contemporary research into the brain, the mind and the spirit. This volumes aims at combining knowledge from neuroscience with approaches from the experiential perspective of the first person singular in order to arrive at an integrated understanding of consciousness. Individual chapters discuss new areas of research, such as near death studies and neuroscience research into spiritual experiences, and report on significant new theoretical advances. From Harald Walach’s introductory essay, “Neuroscience, Consciousness, Spirituality – Questions, Problems and Potential Solutions,” to the concluding chapter by Robert K. C. Foreman entitled “An Emerging New Model for Consciousness: The Consciousness Field Model,” this book represents a milestone in the progress towards an integrated understanding of spirituality, neuroscience and consciousness. It is the first in a series of books that are dedicated to this topic.

Cognitive Neuroscience of Consciousness

Cognitive Neuroscience of Consciousness
Author: Anil Seth,Geraint Rees
Publsiher: Psychology Press
Total Pages: 88
Release: 2013-05-13
ISBN 10: 1135900671
ISBN 13: 9781135900670
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Cognitive Neuroscience of Consciousness Book Review:

How do conscious experience, subjectivity, and free will arise from the brain and the body? Even in the late 20th century, consciousness was considered to be beyond the reach of science. Now, understanding the neural mechanisms underlying consciousness is recognized as a key objective for 21st century science. The cognitive neuroscience of consciousness is a fundamentally multidisciplinary enterprise, involving powerful new combinations of functional brain imaging, computational modelling, theoretical innovation, and basic neurobiology. Its progress will be marked by new insights not only into the complex brain mechanisms underlying consciousness, but also by novel clinical approaches to a wide range of neurological and psychiatric disorders. These innovations are well represented by the contents of the present volume. A target article by Victor Lamme puts forward the contentious position that neural evidence should trump evidence from behaviour and introspection, in any theory of consciousness. This article and its several commentaries advance one of the fundamental debates in consciousness science, namely whether there exists non-reportable phenomenal consciousness, perhaps dependent on local rather than global neural processes. Other articles explore the wider terrain of the new science of consciousness. For example, Maniscalco and colleagues use theta-burst transcranial magnetic stimulation to selectively impair metacognitive awareness; Massimini and coworkers examine changes in functional connectivity during anesthesi, and Vanhaudenhuyse et al describe innovations in detecting residual awareness following traumatic brain injury. Together, then contents of this volume exemplify the `grand challenge of consciousness' in combining transformative questions about the human condition with a tractable programme of experimental and theoretical research.

Hypnosis and Conscious States

Hypnosis and Conscious States
Author: Graham Jamieson
Publsiher: Oxford University Press
Total Pages: 321
Release: 2007-01-18
ISBN 10: 0198569793
ISBN 13: 9780198569794
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Hypnosis and Conscious States Book Review:

Hypnosis provides a rich paradigm for those seeking to understand the processes that underlie consciousness. This book describes the latest advances in understanding hypnosis and similar trance states by researchers within the neuroscience of consciousness.

Consciousness and the Brain

Consciousness and the Brain
Author: Stanislas Dehaene
Publsiher: Penguin
Total Pages: 352
Release: 2014-01-30
ISBN 10: 0698151402
ISBN 13: 9780698151406
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Consciousness and the Brain Book Review:

WINNER OF THE 2014 BRAIN PRIZE From the acclaimed author of Reading in the Brain, a breathtaking look at the new science that can track consciousness deep in the brain How does our brain generate a conscious thought? And why does so much of our knowledge remain unconscious? Thanks to clever psychological and brain-imaging experiments, scientists are closer to cracking this mystery than ever before. In this lively book, Stanislas Dehaene describes the pioneering work his lab and the labs of other cognitive neuroscientists worldwide have accomplished in defining, testing, and explaining the brain events behind a conscious state. We can now pin down the neurons that fire when a person reports becoming aware of a piece of information and understand the crucial role unconscious computations play in how we make decisions. The emerging theory enables a test of consciousness in animals, babies, and those with severe brain injuries. A joyous exploration of the mind and its thrilling complexities, Consciousness and the Brain will excite anyone interested in cutting-edge science and technology and the vast philosophical, personal, and ethical implications of finally quantifying consciousness. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Philosophy, Neuroscience and Consciousness

Philosophy, Neuroscience and Consciousness
Author: Rex Welshon
Publsiher: Routledge
Total Pages: 288
Release: 2016-09-17
ISBN 10: 1315478757
ISBN 13: 9781315478753
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Philosophy, Neuroscience and Consciousness Book Review:

Explaining consciousness is one of the last great unanswered scientific and philosophical problems. Immediately known, familiar and obvious, consciousness is also baffling, opaque and strange. This introduction to the problems posed by consciousness discusses the most important work of cognitive science, neurophysiology and philosophy of mind of the past thirty years and presents an up to date assessment of the issues and debates. The reader is first introduced to the way that consciousness has been thought about in the history of philosophy and psychology. The author then presents an informal and largely non-technical account of the properties of consciousness that are thought to be the most paradigmatic and problematic. Recent scientific work on consciousness, from neurophysiological studies of the brain and evolutionary studies of the development of consciousness to computational theories of the mind are then examined and the philosophical problems that these accounts raise are systematically introduced. The final chapters of the book consider more practical matters by addressing self-deception, neuroses, the unconscious and notions of the self, before concluding with an assessment of the future for psychology and the philosophy of mind.

Neuroscience of Consciousness

Neuroscience of Consciousness
Author: Jerome N Sanes
Publsiher: Academic Press
Total Pages: 300
Release: 2021-06-01
ISBN 10: 0128154535
ISBN 13: 9780128154533
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Neuroscience of Consciousness Book Review:

Neuroscience of Consciousness is the first textbook that provides students and readers with a comprehensive introduction to the study of neuroscience of consciousness. Consciousness is considered one of the great "mysteries" of modern science. Connecting the mind and brain and investigating the ‘neural correlates of consciousness’ (NCC) have recently advanced the study of consciousness. This text details the major neural frameworks used to examine the research area including the global workspace theory and the information integration theory. A chapter dedicated to attention and consciousness assesses the relation and whether attention is indeed the gateway to consciousness. Using an integrated approach, the author combines studies of neurology, neuropharmacology, and psychology to provide readers with a foundational text to begin their studies in consciousness. Provides an overview of the major issues and scientific methods in neuroscience of consciousness Uses an multidisciplinary approach to aid in the full understanding of the topic Contains dedicated chapters on the machine, sleep and attention consciousness Includes suggested reading and discussion questions sections within each chapter

Brain, Mind and Consciousness in the History of Neuroscience

Brain, Mind and Consciousness in the History of Neuroscience
Author: C.U.M. Smith,Harry Whitaker
Publsiher: Springer Science & Business
Total Pages: 369
Release: 2014-04-23
ISBN 10: 9401787743
ISBN 13: 9789401787741
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Brain, Mind and Consciousness in the History of Neuroscience Book Review:

This volume of essays examines the problem of mind, looking at how the problem has appeared to neuroscientists (in the widest sense) from classical antiquity through to contemporary times. Beginning with a look at ventricular neuropsychology in antiquity, this book goes on to look at Spinozan ideas on the links between mind and body, Thomas Willis and the foundation of Neurology, Hooke’s mechanical model of the mind and Joseph Priestley’s approach to the mind-body problem. The volume offers a chapter on the 19th century Ottoman perspective on western thinking. Further chapters trace the work of nineteenth century scholars including George Henry Lewes, Herbert Spencer and Emil du Bois-Reymond. The book covers significant work from the twentieth century, including an examination of Alfred North Whitehead and the history of consciousness, and particular attention is given to the development of quantum consciousness. Chapters on slavery and the self and the development of an understanding of Dualism bring this examination up to date on the latest 21st century work in the field. At the heart of this book is the matter of how we define the problem of consciousness itself: has there been any progress in our understanding of the working of mind and brain? This work at the interface between science and the humanities will appeal to experts from across many fields who wish to develop their understanding of the problem of consciousness, including scholars of Neuroscience, Behavioural Science and the History of Science.

A Day in the Life of the Brain

A Day in the Life of the Brain
Author: Susan Greenfield
Publsiher: Allen Lane
Total Pages: 273
Release: 2016
ISBN 10: 9780141985046
ISBN 13: 0141985046
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

A Day in the Life of the Brain Book Review:

"Each of us has a unique, subjective inner world, one that we can never share directly with anyone else. But how does a tangle of brain cells conjure up this experience? Despite the remarkable progress that has been made in understanding the brain, consciousness still poses one of the greatest challenges to science. In this groundbreaking book, world-renowned neuroscientist Susan Greenfield illuminates the mystery of consciousness as she traces a single day in the life of the brain - from being awoken by an alarm to walking the dog, working in an open plan office to dreaming. Greenfield concludes that the answer to the enigma of consciousness may be found in neuronal assemblies - a process that her Oxford lab, along with others around the world, is investigating. Drawing on this pioneering research and on diverse findings from physics, philosophy and psychology, A Day in the Life of the Braingives us a bold new way of understanding who we are."

Consciousness in Philosophy and Cognitive Neuroscience

Consciousness in Philosophy and Cognitive Neuroscience
Author: Antti Revonsuo,Matti Kamppinen
Publsiher: Psychology Press
Total Pages: 312
Release: 2013-06-17
ISBN 10: 1134783094
ISBN 13: 9781134783090
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Consciousness in Philosophy and Cognitive Neuroscience Book Review:

Consciousness seems to be an enigmatic phenomenon: it is difficult to imagine how our perceptions of the world and our inner thoughts, sensations and feelings could be related to the immensely complicated biological organ we call the brain. This volume presents the thoughts of some of the leading philosophers and cognitive scientists who have recently participated in the discussion of the status of consciousness in science. The focus of inquiry is the question: "Is it possible to incorporate consciousness into science?" Philosophers have suggested different alternatives -- some think that consciousness should be altogether eliminated from science because it is not a real phenomenon, others that consciousness is a real, higher-level physical or neurobiological phenomenon, and still others that consciousness is fundamentally mysterious and beyond the reach of science. At the same time, however, several models or theories of the role of conscious processing in the brain have been developed in the more empirical cognitive sciences. It has been suggested that non-conscious processes must be sharply separated from conscious ones, and that the necessity of this distinction is manifested in the curious behavior of certain brain-damaged patients. This book demonstrates the dialogue between philosophical and empirical points of view. The writers present alternative solutions to the brain-consciousness problem and they discuss how the unification of biological and psychological sciences could thus become feasible. Covering a large ground, this book shows how the philosophical and empirical problems are closely interconnected. From this interdisciplinary exploration emerges the conviction that consciousness can and should be a natural part of our scientific world view.

Cognition, Brain, and Consciousness

Cognition, Brain, and Consciousness
Author: Bernard J. Baars,Nicole M. Gage
Publsiher: Academic Press
Total Pages: 672
Release: 2010-02-04
ISBN 10: 9780123814401
ISBN 13: 0123814405
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Cognition, Brain, and Consciousness Book Review:

Cognition, Brain, and Consciousness, Second Edition, provides students and readers with an overview of the study of the human brain and its cognitive development. It discusses brain molecules and their primary function, which is to help carry brain signals to and from the different parts of the human body. These molecules are also essential for understanding language, learning, perception, thinking, and other cognitive functions of our brain. The book also presents the tools that can be used to view the human brain through brain imaging or recording. New to this edition are Frontiers in Cognitive Neuroscience text boxes, each one focusing on a leading researcher and their topic of expertise. There is a new chapter on Genes and Molecules of Cognition; all other chapters have been thoroughly revised, based on the most recent discoveries. This text is designed for undergraduate and graduate students in Psychology, Neuroscience, and related disciplines in which cognitive neuroscience is taught. New edition of a very successful textbook Completely revised to reflect new advances, and feedback from adopters and students Includes a new chapter on Genes and Molecules of Cognition Student Solutions available at http://www.baars-gage.com/ For Teachers: Rapid adoption and course preparation: A wide array of instructor support materials are available online including PowerPoint lecture slides, a test bank with answers, and eFlashcords on key concepts for each chapter. A textbook with an easy-to-understand thematic approach: in a way that is clear for students from a variety of academic backgrounds, the text introduces concepts such as working memory, selective attention, and social cognition. A step-by-step guide for introducing students to brain anatomy: color graphics have been carefully selected to illustrate all points and the research explained. Beautifully clear artist's drawings are used to 'build a brain' from top to bottom, simplifying the layout of the brain. For students: An easy-to-read, complete introduction to mind-brain science: all chapters begin from mind-brain functions and build a coherent picture of their brain basis. A single, widely accepted functional framework is used to capture the major phenomena. Learning Aids include a student support site with study guides and exercises, a new Mini-Atlas of the Brain and a full Glossary of technical terms and their definitions. Richly illustrated with hundreds of carefully selected color graphics to enhance understanding.

Consciousness

Consciousness
Author: Andrea Eugenio Cavanna,Andrea Nani
Publsiher: Springer
Total Pages: 203
Release: 2014-09-30
ISBN 10: 3662440881
ISBN 13: 9783662440889
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Consciousness Book Review:

This book reviews some of the most important scientific and philosophical theories concerning the nature of mind and consciousness. Current theories on the mind-body problem and the neural correlates of consciousness are presented through a series of biographical sketches of the most influential thinkers across the fields of philosophy of mind, psychology and neuroscience. The book is divided into two parts: the first is dedicated to philosophers of mind and the second, to neuroscientists/experimental psychologists. Each part comprises twenty short chapters, with each chapter being dedicated to one author. A brief introduction is given on his or her life and most important works and influences. The most influential theory/ies developed by each author are then carefully explained and examined with the aim of scrutinizing the strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches to the nature of consciousness.

Brain, Mind and Consciousness

Brain, Mind and Consciousness
Author: Petr Bob
Publsiher: Springer Science & Business Media
Total Pages: 142
Release: 2011-09-25
ISBN 10: 9781461404361
ISBN 13: 1461404363
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Brain, Mind and Consciousness Book Review:

Neuropsychological research on the neural basis of behavior generally asserts that brain mechanisms ultimately suffice to explain all psychologically described phenomena. This assumption stems from the idea that the brain consists entirely of material particles and fields, and that all causal mechanisms relevant to neuroscience can be formulated solely in terms of properties of these elements. Contemporary basic physical theory differs from classic physics on the important matter of how consciousness of human agents enters into the structure of empirical phenomena. The new principles contradict the older idea that local mechanical processes alone account for the structure of all empirical data. Contemporary physical theory brings directly into the overall causal structure certain psychologically described choices made by human agents about how they will act. This key development in basic physical theory is applicable to neuroscience. This book explores this new framework.

The Boundaries of Consciousness: Neurobiology and Neuropathology

The Boundaries of Consciousness: Neurobiology and Neuropathology
Author: Steven Laureys
Publsiher: Elsevier
Total Pages: 632
Release: 2006-06-09
ISBN 10: 9780080476209
ISBN 13: 0080476201
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

The Boundaries of Consciousness: Neurobiology and Neuropathology Book Review:

Consciousness is one of the most significant scientific problems today. Renewed interest in the nature of consciousness - a phenomenon long considered not to be scientifically explorable, as well as increasingly widespread availability of multimodal functional brain imaging techniques (EEG, ERP, MEG, fMRI and PET), now offer the possibility of detailed, integrated exploration of the neural, behavioral, and computational correlates of consciousness. The present volume aims to confront the latest theoretical insights in the scientific study of human consciousness with the most recent behavioral, neuroimaging, electrophysiological, pharmacological and neuropathological data on brain function in altered states of consciousness such as: brain death, coma, vegetative state, minimally conscious state, locked-in syndrome, dementia, epilepsy, schizophrenia, hysteria, general anesthesia, sleep, hypnosis, and hallucinations. The interest of this is threefold. First, patients with altered states of consciousness continue to represent a major clinical problem in terms of clinical assessment of consciousness and daily management. Second, the exploration of brain function in altered states of consciousness represents a unique lesional approach to the scientific study of consciousness and adds to the worldwide effort to identify the "neural correlate of consciousness". Third, new scientific insights in this field have major ethical and social implications regarding our care for these patients.

Consciousness

Consciousness
Author: Susan Blackmore
Publsiher: Routledge
Total Pages: 560
Release: 2013-11-26
ISBN 10: 1444164333
ISBN 13: 9781444164336
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Consciousness Book Review:

Is there a theory that explains the essence of consciousness? Or is consciousness itself just an illusion? The 'last great mystery of science', consciousness is a topic that was banned from serious research for most of the last century, but is now an area of increasing popular interest, as well as a rapidly expanding area of study for students of psychology, philosophy and neuroscience. This ground-breaking textbook by best-selling author Susan Blackmore was the first of its kind to bring together all the major theories of consciousness studies, from those based on neuroscience to those based on quantum theory or Eastern philosophy. The book examines topics such as how subjective experiences arise from objective brain processes, the basic neuroscience of consciousness, altered states of consciousness, out of body and near death experiences and the effects of drugs, dreams and meditation. It also explores the nature of self, the possibility of artificial consciousness in robots, and the question of whether animals are conscious. The new edition has been fully revised to include the latest developments in neuroscience, brain scanning techniques, and artificial consciousness and robotics. The new website includes self-assessment exercises, advanced further reading, flashcards and MCQs. For all those intrigued by what it means to be, to exist, this book could radically transform your understanding of your own consciousness.

Neural Correlates of Consciousness

Neural Correlates of Consciousness
Author: Thomas Metzinger
Publsiher: MIT Press
Total Pages: 350
Release: 2000
ISBN 10: 9780262133708
ISBN 13: 0262133709
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Neural Correlates of Consciousness Book Review:

This book brings together an international group of neuroscientists and philosophers who are investigating how the content of subjective experience is correlated with events in the brain. The fundamental methodological problem in consciousness research is the subjectivity of the target phenomenon--the fact that conscious experience, under standard conditions, is always tied to an individual, first-person perspective. The core empirical question is whether and how physical states of the human nervous system can be mapped onto the content of conscious experience. The search for the neural correlates of consciousness (NCC) has become a highly active field of investigation in recent years. Methods such as single-cell recording in monkeys and brain imaging and electrophysiology in humans, applied to such phenomena as blindsight, implicit/explicit cognition, and binocular rivalry, have generated a wealth of data. The same period has seen the development of a number of theories about NCC location. This volume brings together the leading experimentalists and theoreticians in the field. Topics include foundational and evolutionary issues, global integration, vision, consciousness and the NMDA receptor complex, neuroimaging, implicit processes, intentionality and phenomenal volition, schizophrenia, social cognition, and the phenomenal self. Contributors Jackie Andrade, Ansgar Beckermann, David J. Chalmers, Francis Crick, Antonio R. Damasio, Gerald M. Edelman, Dominic ffytche, Hans Flohr, N.P. Franks, Vittorio Gallese, Melvyn A. Goodale, Valerie Gray Hardcastle, Beena Khurana, Christof Koch, W.R. Lieb, Erik D. Lumer, Thomas Metzinger, Kelly J. Murphy, Romi Nijhawan, Joëlle Proust, Antti Revonsuo, Gerhard Roth, Thomas Schmidt, Wolf Singer, Giulio Tononi

Finding Consciousness in the Brain

Finding Consciousness in the Brain
Author: Peter G. Grossenbacher
Publsiher: John Benjamins Publishing
Total Pages: 326
Release: 2001-05-15
ISBN 10: 9027299838
ISBN 13: 9789027299833
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Finding Consciousness in the Brain Book Review:

How does the brain go about the business of being conscious? Though we cannot yet provide a complete answer, this book explains what is now known about the neural basis of human consciousness.The last decade has witnessed the dawn of an exciting new era of cognitive neuroscience. For example, combination of new imaging technologies and experimental study of attention has linked brain activity to specific psychological functions. The authors are leaders in psychology and neuroscience who have conducted original research on consciousness. They wish to communicate the highlights of this research to both specialists and interested others, and hope that this volume will be read by students concerned with the neuroscientific underpinnings of subjective experience. As a whole, the book progresses from an overview of conscious awareness, through careful explanation of identified neurocognitive systems, and extends to theories which tackle global aspects of consciousness. (Series B)

Consciousness

Consciousness
Author: Christof Koch
Publsiher: Anonim
Total Pages: 200
Release: 2017-03-03
ISBN 10: 0262533502
ISBN 13: 9780262533508
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Consciousness Book Review:

In which a scientist searches for an empirical explanation for phenomenal experience, spurred by his instinctual belief that life is meaningful. What links conscious experience of pain, joy, color, and smell to bioelectrical activity in the brain? How can anything physical give rise to nonphysical, subjective, conscious states? Christof Koch has devoted much of his career to bridging the seemingly unbridgeable gap between the physics of the brain and phenomenal experience. This engaging book--part scientific overview, part memoir, part futurist speculation--describes Koch's search for an empirical explanation for consciousness. Koch recounts not only the birth of the modern science of consciousness but also the subterranean motivation for his quest--his instinctual (if "romantic") belief that life is meaningful. Koch describes his own groundbreaking work with Francis Crick in the 1990s and 2000s and the gradual emergence of consciousness (once considered a "fringy" subject) as a legitimate topic for scientific investigation. Present at this paradigm shift were Koch and a handful of colleagues, including Ned Block, David Chalmers, Stanislas Dehaene, Giulio Tononi, Wolf Singer, and others. Aiding and abetting it were new techniques to listen in on the activity of individual nerve cells, clinical studies, and brain-imaging technologies that allowed safe and noninvasive study of the human brain in action. Koch gives us stories from the front lines of modern research into the neurobiology of consciousness as well as his own reflections on a variety of topics, including the distinction between attention and awareness, the unconscious, how neurons respond to Homer Simpson, the physics and biology of free will, dogs, Der Ring des Nibelungen, sentient machines, the loss of his belief in a personal God, and sadness. All of them are signposts in the pursuit of his life's work--to uncover the roots of consciousness.