Consciousness and the Brain

Deciphering How the Brain Codes Our Thoughts

Author: Stanislas Dehaene

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0698151402

Category: Science

Page: 352

View: 2028

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.
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The Cognitive Neuroscience of Consciousness

Author: Stanislas Dehaene

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262541312

Category: Psychology

Page: 243

View: 5200

Empirical and theoretical foundations of a cognitive neuroscience of consciousness.
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Consciousness and the Social Brain

Author: Michael S. A. Graziano

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199928657

Category: Psychology

Page: 240

View: 1600

What is consciousness and how can a brain, a mere collection of neurons, create it? In Consciousness and the Social Brain, Princeton neuroscientist Michael Graziano lays out an audacious new theory to account for the deepest mystery of them all. The human brain has evolved a complex circuitry that allows it to be socially intelligent. This social machinery has only just begun to be studied in detail. One function of this circuitry is to attribute awareness to others: to compute that person Y is aware of thing X. In Graziano's theory, the machinery that attributes awareness to others also attributes it to oneself. Damage that machinery and you disrupt your own awareness. Graziano discusses the science, the evidence, the philosophy, and the surprising implications of this new theory.
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Mindmelding

Consciousness, Neuroscience, and the Mind's Privacy

Author: William Hirstein

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199231907

Category: Medical

Page: 282

View: 4517

In this important and controversial new book, William Hirstein argues that it is possible for one person to directly experience the conscious states of another, by way of what he calls mindmelding. Drawing on a range of research from neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy, he presents a highly original new account of consciousness.
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The Future of the Brain

Essays by the World's Leading Neuroscientists

Author: Gary Marcus,Jeremy Freeman

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780691162768

Category: MEDICAL

Page: 284

View: 9012

"A wonderful way to launch yourself into the exciting world of twenty-first-century neuroscience, whether you are a scientist or an intellectually curious layperson. The power in this sampler is that the coverage is not just technical but conceptual: the essays probe the ways in which an understanding of the brain will and won't illuminate the mind, and they do so with depth and balance rather than the usual breathless hype."--Steven Pinker, author of "The Language Instinct" and "How the Mind Works" "Have you ever wondered what's coming around the bend in terms of new insights into how the brain works? Open the pages of "The Future of the Brain" to find out. Gary Marcus and Jeremy Freeman have brought together some of the leading thinkers and researchers to share their vision of where we are headed. It's a fun, readable book full of insights."--Joseph LeDoux, author of "The Emotional Brain" and "Synaptic Self" "A deep, intriguing view into the most exciting advances in neuroscience. "The Future of the Brain" is a nuanced and thought-provoking guide to what we do and don't know about the human brain--and what we may or may not one day find out."--Maria Konnikova, author of "Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes" "Understanding, theorizing, and simulating the human brain are essential goals for twenty-first-century science and engineering. Surfing the fine line between science and science fiction, this book is a treasure trove of daring ideas."--Stanislas Dehaene, author of "Consciousness and the Brain: Deciphering How the Brain Codes Our Thoughts" "The brain is a complicated thing, and progress in understanding how it works may seem slow. Will creating huge research teams, collecting more data at higher resolutions, and sharing data more widely and openly kick-start a new wave of progress? Or does the field still need to make conceptual leaps before the results would even make sense? Brilliant minds on both sides describe their visions of the future of neuroscience in this collection of short, engaging essays."--Christopher Chabris, coauthor of "The Invisible Gorilla: How Our Intuitions Deceive Us" "Massive technological advances promise rapid and profound discoveries in neuroscience, with very broad implications for our understanding of behavior, ethics, and even religion. Featuring contributions by acknowledged experts, this collection provides a fascinating look at what is happening in the 'big science' of the brain."--Michael C. Corballis, author of "The Recursive Mind: The Origins of Human Language, Thought, and Civilization"
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Self Comes to Mind

Constructing the Conscious Brain

Author: Antonio Damasio

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 030747495X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 398

View: 9233

A leading neuroscientist addresses key questions about the origins and mechanisms of human consciousness, drawing on decades of research to challenge beliefs about the separateness of consciousness from the body while presenting a revisionist perspective built on traditional approaches. By the author of Descartes' Error. Reprint.
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Phi

A Voyage from the Brain to the Soul

Author: Giulio Tononi

Publisher: Pantheon Books

ISBN: 030790721X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 364

View: 2893

An influential neuroscientist presents a narrative exploration of consciousness that covers such topics as the important and less-important regions of the brain, the shifting of consciousness with sleep and the role of awareness in an evolving consciousness. 25,000 first printing.
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The Ravenous Brain

How the New Science of Consciousness Explains Our Insatiable Search for Meaning

Author: Daniel Bor

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465032966

Category: Science

Page: 352

View: 5199

Consciousness is our gateway to experience: it enables us to recognize Van Gogh’s starry skies, be enraptured by Beethoven’s Fifth, and stand in awe of a snowcapped mountain. Yet consciousness is subjective, personal, and famously difficult to examine: philosophers have for centuries declared this mental entity so mysterious as to be impenetrable to science. In The Ravenous Brain, neuroscientist Daniel Bor departs sharply from this historical view, and builds on the latest research to propose a new model for how consciousness works. Bor argues that this brain-based faculty evolved as an accelerated knowledge gathering tool. Consciousness is effectively an idea factory—that choice mental space dedicated to innovation, a key component of which is the discovery of deep structures within the contents of our awareness. This model explains our brains’ ravenous appetite for information—and in particular, its constant search for patterns. Why, for instance, after all our physical needs have been met, do we recreationally solve crossword or Sudoku puzzles? Such behavior may appear biologically wasteful, but, according to Bor, this search for structure can yield immense evolutionary benefits—it led our ancestors to discover fire and farming, pushed modern society to forge ahead in science and technology, and guides each one of us to understand and control the world around us. But the sheer innovative power of human consciousness carries with it the heavy cost of mental fragility. Bor discusses the medical implications of his theory of consciousness, and what it means for the origins and treatment of psychiatric ailments, including attention-deficit disorder, schizophrenia, manic depression, and autism. All mental illnesses, he argues, can be reformulated as disorders of consciousness—a perspective that opens up new avenues of treatment for alleviating mental suffering. A controversial view of consciousness, The Ravenous Brain links cognition to creativity in an ingenious solution to one of science’s biggest mysteries.
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The Origin of Mind

Evolution of Brain, Cognition, and General Intelligence

Author: David C. Geary

Publisher: Amer Psychological Assn

ISBN: 9781591471813

Category: Medical

Page: 459

View: 2203

"Geary also explores a number of issues that are of interest in modern society, including how general intelligence relates to academic achievement, occupational status, and income."--BOOK JACKET.
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The New Science of Consciousness

Exploring the Complexity of Brain, Mind, and Self

Author: Paul L. Nunez

Publisher: Prometheus Books

ISBN: 1633882195

Category: Medical

Page: 374

View: 3934

This book explains in layperson's terms a new approach to studying consciousness based on a partnership between neuroscientists and complexity scientists. The author, a physicist turned neuroscientist, outlines essential features of this partnership. The new science goes well beyond traditional cognitive science and simple neural networks, which are often the focus in artificial intelligence research. It involves many fields including neuroscience, artificial intelligence, physics, cognitive science, and psychiatry. What causes autism, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer's disease? How does our unconscious influence our actions? As the author shows, these important questions can be viewed in a new light when neuroscientists and complexity scientists work together. This cross-disciplinary approach also offers fresh insights into the major unsolved challenge of our age: the origin of self-awareness. Do minds emerge from brains? Or is something more involved? Using human social networks as a metaphor, the author explains how brain behavior can be compared with the collective behavior of large-scale global systems. Emergent global systems that interact and form relationships with lower levels of organization and the surrounding environment provide useful models for complex brain functions. By blending lucid explanations with illuminating analogies, this book offers the general reader a window into the latest exciting developments in brain research.
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How Your Brain Works

Inside the most complicated object in the universe

Author: New Scientist

Publisher: Nicholas Brealey

ISBN: 1857889649

Category: Psychology

Page: 228

View: 1005

The brain has long been a source of fascination. In 1819, the radical thinker and surgeon William Lawrence put it like this: "It is strongly suspected that a Newton or Shakespeare excels other mortals only... by having an extra inch of brain in the right place." Today, many such suspicions are certainties. We understand the structures of the brain, minor and major, and their roles in making us who we are. We can record electrical signals from individual brain cells or networks of them. Imaging technology lets us see both snapshots of the brain and also videos of it in action. We can follow connections within the brain and watch them reform after an injury. In How Your Brain Works leading neuroscientists and New Scientist introduce the evolution and anatomy of the brain viewed through traits such as: memory, emotions, sleep, sensing and perception. Techniques for controlling the brain using electric and magnetic fields, as well as the latest technologies that allow you to control the outside world using your mind alone are also investigated.
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Reading in the Brain

The New Science of How We Read

Author: Stanislas Dehaene

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781101152409

Category: Science

Page: 400

View: 7446

A renowned cognitive neuroscientist?s fascinating and highly informative account of how the brain acquires reading How can a few black marks on a white page evoke an entire universe of sounds and meanings? In this riveting investigation, Stanislas Dehaene provides an accessible account of the brain circuitry of reading and explores what he calls the ?reading paradox?: Our cortex is the product of millions of years of evolution in a world without writing, so how did it adapt to recognize words? Reading in the Brain describes pioneering research on how we process language, revealing the hidden logic of spelling and the existence of powerful unconscious mechanisms for decoding words of any size, case, or font. Dehaene?s research will fascinate not only readers interested in science and culture, but also educators concerned with debates on how we learn to read, and who wrestle with pathologies such as dyslexia. Like Steven Pinker, Dehaene argues that the mind is not a blank slate: Writing systems across all cultures rely on the same brain circuits, and reading is only possible insofar as it fits within the limits of a primate brain. Setting cutting-edge science in the context of cultural debate, Reading in the Brain is an unparalleled guide to a uniquely human ability.
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Consciousness

Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist

Author: Christof Koch

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262301032

Category: Science

Page: 200

View: 6244

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.
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Reading in the Brain

The New Science of how We Read

Author: Stanislas Dehaene

Publisher: Penguin Paperbacks

ISBN: 9780143118053

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 388

View: 7626

Examines the process through which the human brain has adapted to create and recognize words, discussing the history of writing and reading and presenting current research into such topics as language, spelling logic, and dyslexia.
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Origins of Consciousness: How the Search to Understand the Nature of Consciousness is Leading to a New View of Reality

Author: Adrian David Nelson

Publisher: Lulu.com

ISBN: 1329298772

Category: Education

Page: 220

View: 6325

In recent years science and philosophy have seen a resurgence of open-mindedness toward deeper views of consciousness. This book explores ideas and evidence now changing the way scientists and philosophers approach the place of consciousness in the universe. From the frontiers of modern physics and cosmology to controversial experiments exploring telepathy and mind-matter interaction, the emerging view promises to change how we understand our place in the universe, our relationship to other life, and the nature of reality itself.
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The Ancient Origins of Consciousness

How the Brain Created Experience

Author: Todd E. Feinberg,Jon M. Mallatt

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262333279

Category: Science

Page: 392

View: 7505

How is consciousness created? When did it first appear on Earth, and how did it evolve? What constitutes consciousness, and which animals can be said to be sentient? In this book, Todd Feinberg and Jon Mallatt draw on recent scientific findings to answer these questions -- and to tackle the most fundamental question about the nature of consciousness: how does the material brain create subjective experience? After assembling a list of the biological and neurobiological features that seem responsible for consciousness, and considering the fossil record of evolution, Feinberg and Mallatt argue that consciousness appeared much earlier in evolutionary history than is commonly assumed. About 520 to 560 million years ago, they explain, the great "Cambrian explosion" of animal diversity produced the first complex brains, which were accompanied by the first appearance of consciousness; simple reflexive behaviors evolved into a unified inner world of subjective experiences. From this they deduce that all vertebrates are and have always been conscious -- not just humans and other mammals, but also every fish, reptile, amphibian, and bird. Considering invertebrates, they find that arthropods (including insects and probably crustaceans) and cephalopods (including the octopus) meet many of the criteria for consciousness. The obvious and conventional wisdom--shattering implication is that consciousness evolved simultaneously but independently in the first vertebrates and possibly arthropods more than half a billion years ago. Combining evolutionary, neurobiological, and philosophical approaches allows Feinberg and Mallatt to offer an original solution to the "hard problem" of consciousness.
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Your Brain Is a Time Machine: The Neuroscience and Physics of Time

Author: Dean Buonomano

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393247953

Category: Science

Page: 304

View: 3297

A leading neuroscientist embarks on a groundbreaking exploration of how time works inside the brain. In Your Brain Is a Time Machine, brain researcher and best-selling author Dean Buonomano draws on evolutionary biology, physics, and philosophy to present his influential theory of how we tell, and perceive, time. The human brain, he argues, is a complex system that not only tells time but creates it; it constructs our sense of chronological flow and enables “mental time travel”—simulations of future and past events. These functions are essential not only to our daily lives but to the evolution of the human race: without the ability to anticipate the future, mankind would never have crafted tools or invented agriculture. The brain was designed to navigate our continuously changing world by predicting what will happen and when. Buonomano combines neuroscience expertise with a far-ranging, multidisciplinary approach. With engaging style, he illuminates such concepts as consciousness, spacetime, and relativity while addressing profound questions that have long occupied scientists and philosophers alike: What is time? Is our sense of time’s passage an illusion? Does free will exist, or is the future predetermined? In pursuing the answers, Buonomano reveals as much about the fascinating architecture of the human brain as he does about the intricacies of time itself. This virtuosic work of popular science leads to an astonishing realization: your brain is, at its core, a time machine.
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The Human Brain Book

Author: Rita Carter

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 075666215X

Category: Medical

Page: 256

View: 5344

The Human Brain Book is a complete guide to the one organ in the body that makes each of us what we are - unique individuals. It combines the latest findings from the field of neuroscience with expert text and state-of-the-art illustrations and imaging techniques to provide an incomparable insight into every facet of the brain. Layer by layer, it reveals the fascinating details of this remarkable structure, covering all the key anatomy and delving into the inner workings of the mind, unlocking its many mysteries, and helping you to understand what's going on in those millions of little gray and white cells. Tricky concepts are illustrated and explained with clarity and precision, as The Human Brain Book looks at how the brain sends messages to the rest of the body, how we think and feel, how we perform unconscious actions (for example, breathing), explores the nature of genius, asks why we behave the way we do, explains how we see and hear things, and how and why we dream. Physical and psychological disorders affecting the brain and nervous system are clearly illustrated and summarized in easy-to-understand terms.
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Brain Wars

The Scientific Battle Over the Existence of the Mind and the Proof That Will Change the Way We Live Our Lives

Author: Mario Beauregard

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062071238

Category: Science

Page: 256

View: 1342

In Brain Wars, acclaimed neuroscientist Mario Beauregard reveals compelling new evidence set to provoke a major shift in our understanding of the mind-body debate: research showing that the mind and consciousness are transmitted and filtered through the brain—but are not generated by it. Following his boundary-breaking neuroscience book The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Case for the Existence of the Soul, coauthored with Denyse O’Leary, Brain Wars makes a powerful and provocative case against the widely held view equating human beings to complex biological computers. Like Jeffrey M. Schwartz, Beauregard believes that consciousness is more than simply a physical process that takes place in the brain. And here, he presents the evidence to prove it. Brain Wars will revolutionize the way we think about thinking forever.
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Joy, Guilt, Anger, Love

What Neuroscience Can--and Can't--Tell Us About How We Feel

Author: Giovanni Frazzetto

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101595590

Category: Psychology

Page: 320

View: 4136

“Neuroscientist Giovanni Frazzetto enters the restless realm of human emotion through the portals of physiology, genetics, history, art and philosophy. Anger, guilt, anxiety, grief, empathy, joy and love are anatomized in turn, enlivened with research on everything from the role of monoamine oxidase A in anger to the engagement of opioid receptors as we thrill to music. And who knew that surrealist Salvador Dali created an art installation in the shape of a giant caterpillar to explore the process of sedation?” —Nature Is science ever enough to explain why we feel the way we feel? In this engaging account, renowned neuroscientist Giovanni Frazzetto blends cutting-edge scientific research with personal stories to reveal how our brains generate our emotions. He demonstrates that while modern science has expanded our knowledge, investigating art, literature, and philosophy is equally crucial to unraveling the brain’s secrets. What can a brain scan, or our reaction to a Caravaggio painting, reveal about the deep seat of guilt? Can ancient remedies fight sadness more effectively than antidepressants? What can writing poetry tell us about how joy works? Structured in seven chapters encompassing common human emotions—anger, guilt, anxiety, grief, empathy, joy, and love—Joy, Guilt, Anger, Love offers a way of thinking about science and art that will help us to more fully understand ourselves and how we feel.
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