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Consciousness and the Brain

Consciousness and the Brain Author Stanislas Dehaene
ISBN-10 9780698151406
Release 2014-01-30
Pages 352
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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.



Reading in the Brain

Reading in the Brain Author Stanislas Dehaene
ISBN-10 0143118056
Release 2010
Pages 388
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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.



Phi

Phi Author Giulio Tononi
ISBN-10 9780307907219
Release 2012
Pages 364
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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.



Consciousness

Consciousness Author Christof Koch
ISBN-10 9780262301039
Release 2012-03-09
Pages 200
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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.



The Future of the Brain

The Future of the Brain Author Gary Marcus
ISBN-10 069116276X
Release 2014-11-01
Pages 284
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"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"



Self Comes to Mind

Self Comes to Mind Author Antonio Damasio
ISBN-10 9780307474957
Release 2012
Pages 398
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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.



Zombies and Consciousness

Zombies and Consciousness Author Robert Kirk
ISBN-10 9780199229802
Release 2007
Pages 235
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By definition zombies would be physically and behaviourally just like us, but not conscious. This currently very influential idea is a threat to all forms of physicalism, and has led some philosophers to give up physicalism and become dualists. It has also beguiled many physicalists, who feel forced to defend increasingly convoluted explanations of why the conceivability of zombies is compatible with their impossibility. Robert Kirk argues that the zombie idea depends on an incoherent view of the nature of phenomenal consciousness. His book has two main aims. One is to demolish the zombie idea once and for all. There are plenty of objections to it in the literature, but they lack intuitive appeal. He offers a striking new argument which reveals fundamental confusions in the implied conception of consciousness. His other main contribution is to develop a fresh and original approach to the true nature of phenomenal consciousness. Kirk argues that a necessary condition is a "basic package" of capacities. An important component of his argument is that the necessary cognitive capacities are not as sophisticated as is often assumed. By focusing on humbler creatures than ourselves he avoids some of the distracting complications of our sophisticated forms of cognition. The basic package does not seem to be sufficient for phenomenal consciousness. What is also needed is "direct activity"--a special feature of the way the events which constitute incoming perceptual information affect the system. This is an integrated process, to be conceived of holistically, and contrasts sharply with what is often called the "availability" or "poisedness" of perceptual information. This original, penetrating, and highly readable book will be of interest to all who have a serious concern with the nature of consciousness: not only professional philosophers and students, but also many psychologists and neuroscientists.



The Cognitive Neuroscience of Consciousness

The Cognitive Neuroscience of Consciousness Author Stanislas Dehaene
ISBN-10 0262541319
Release 2001
Pages 243
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Empirical and theoretical foundations of a cognitive neuroscience of consciousness.



The Ancient Origins of Consciousness

The Ancient Origins of Consciousness Author Todd E. Feinberg
ISBN-10 9780262333276
Release 2016-03-25
Pages 392
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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.



The Origin of Mind

The Origin of Mind Author David C. Geary
ISBN-10 1591471818
Release 2005-01-01
Pages 459
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"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.



Consciousness and the Social Brain

Consciousness and the Social Brain Author Michael S. A. Graziano
ISBN-10 9780199928651
Release 2013-08-01
Pages 240
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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.



Consciousness A Very Short Introduction

Consciousness  A Very Short Introduction Author Susan Blackmore
ISBN-10 9780192513724
Release 2017-09-14
Pages 152
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Consciousness, 'the last great mystery for science', remains a hot topic. How can a physical brain create our experience of the world? What creates our identity? Do we really have free will? Could consciousness itself be an illusion? Exciting new developments in brain science are continuing the debates on these issues, and the field has now expanded to include biologists, neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers. This controversial book clarifies the potentially confusing arguments, and the major theories, whilst also outlining the amazing pace of discoveries in neuroscience. Covering areas such as the construction of self in the brain, mechanisms of attention, the neural correlates of consciousness, and the physiology of altered states of consciousness, Susan Blackmore highlights our latest findings. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.



The Ravenous Brain

The Ravenous Brain Author Daniel Bor
ISBN-10 9780465032969
Release 2012-08-28
Pages 352
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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.



Approaches to Consciousness

Approaches to Consciousness Author Brian L. Lancaster
ISBN-10 9781137090577
Release 2004-05-05
Pages 276
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Consciousness, and the relation between mind and brain, is a topic of contentious debate, and increasing interest amongst both academics and students of psychology. In this text, Lancaster takes a refreshingly balanced look at consciousness, bringing in approaches from neuroscience, cognitive science, depth psychology, philosophy and mysticism. With a distinctive 'transpersonal' orientation, this text will be an invaluable authoritative overview of this subject, integrating scholarship and research from diverse areas.



Rhythms of the Brain

Rhythms of the Brain Author Gyorgy Buzsaki
ISBN-10 9780198041252
Release 2006-08-03
Pages 464
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This book provides eloquent support for the idea that spontaneous neuron activity, far from being mere noise, is actually the source of our cognitive abilities. In a sequence of "cycles," György Buzsáki guides the reader from the physics of oscillations through neuronal assembly organization to complex cognitive processing and memory storage. His clear, fluid writing-accessible to any reader with some scientific knowledge-is supplemented by extensive footnotes and references that make it just as gratifying and instructive a read for the specialist. The coherent view of a single author who has been at the forefront of research in this exciting field, this volume is essential reading for anyone interested in our rapidly evolving understanding of the brain.



The New Science of Consciousness

The New Science of Consciousness Author Paul L. Nunez
ISBN-10 9781633882195
Release 2016
Pages 374
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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.



Reading in the Brain

Reading in the Brain Author Stanislas Dehaene
ISBN-10 1101152400
Release 2009-11-12
Pages 400
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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.