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Consciousness

Author: Christof Koch
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262301032
Size: 78.78 MB
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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.

Purpose

Author: Shawn Alli
Publisher: Shawn Alli
ISBN: 0991718232
Size: 35.56 MB
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Consciousness

Author: Andrea Eugenio Cavanna
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3662440881
Size: 24.70 MB
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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.

The Routledge Handbook Of Consciousness

Author: Rocco J. Gennaro
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317386809
Size: 33.37 MB
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There has been an explosion of work on consciousness in the last 30–40 years from philosophers, psychologists, and neurologists. Thus, there is a need for an interdisciplinary, comprehensive volume in the field that brings together contributions from a wide range of experts on fundamental and cutting-edge topics. The Routledge Handbook of Consciousness fills this need and makes each chapter’s importance understandable to students and researchers from a variety of backgrounds. Designed to complement and better explain primary sources, this volume is a valuable "first-stop" publication for undergraduate or graduate students enrolled in any course on "Consciousness," "Philosophy of Mind," or "Philosophy of Psychology," as well as a valuable handbook for researchers in these fields who want a useful reference to have close at hand. The 34 chapters, all published here for the first time, are divided into three parts: Part I covers the "History and Background Metaphysics" of consciousness, such as dualism, materialism, free will, and personal identity, and includes a chapter on Indian philosophy. Part II is on specific "Contemporary Theories of Consciousness," with chapters on representational, information integration, global workspace, attention-based, and quantum theories. Part III is entitled "Major Topics in Consciousness Research," with chapters on psychopathologies, dreaming, meditation, time, action, emotion, multisensory experience, animal and robot consciousness, and the unity of consciousness. Each chapter begins with a brief introduction and concludes with a list of "Related Topics," as well as a list of "References," making the volume indispensable for the newcomer and experienced researcher alike.

Self Culture And Consciousness

Author: Sangeetha Menon
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 981105777X
Size: 74.88 MB
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This volume brings together the primary challenges for 21st century cognitive sciences and cultural neuroscience in responding to the nature of human identity, self, and evolution of life itself. Through chapters devoted to intricate but focused models, empirical findings, theories, and experiential data, the contributors reflect upon the most exciting possibilities, and debate upon the fundamental aspects of consciousness and self in the context of cultural, philosophical, and multidisciplinary divergences and convergences. Such an understanding and the ensuing insights lie in the cusp of philosophy, neurosciences, psychiatry, and medical humanities. In this volume, the editors and contributors explore the foundations of human thinking and being and discuss both evolutionary/cultural embeddedness, and the self-orientation, of consciousness, keeping in mind questions that bring in the interdisciplinary complexity of issues such as the emergence of consciousness, relation between healing and agency, models of altered self, how cognition impacts the social self, experiential primacy as the hallmark of consciousness, and alternate epistemologies to understand these interdisciplinary puzzles.

Consciousness A Very Short Introduction

Author: Susan Blackmore
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198794738
Size: 16.80 MB
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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 Mind Of Mithraists

Author: Luther H. Martin
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 147258421X
Size: 20.68 MB
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The Roman cult of Mithras was the most widely-dispersed and densely-distributed cult throughout the expanse of the Roman Empire from the end of the first until the fourth century AD, rivaling the early growth and development of Christianity during the same period. As its membership was largely drawn from the ranks of the military, its spread, but not its popularity is attributable largely to military deployments and re-deployments. Although mithraists left behind no written archival evidence, there is an abundance of iconographic finds. The only characteristic common to all Mithraic temples were the fundamental architecture of their design, and the cult image of Mithras slaying a bull. How were these two features so faithfully transmitted through the Empire by a non-centralized, non-hierarchical religious movement? The Minds of Mithraists: Historical and Cognitive Studies in the Roman Cult of Mithras addresses these questions as well as the relationship of Mithraism to Christianity, explanations of the significance of the tauroctony and of the rituals enacted in the mithraea, and explanations for the spread of Mithraism (and for its resistance in a few places). The unifying theme throughout is an investigation of the 'mind' of those engaged in the cult practices of this widespread ancient religion. These investigations represent traditional historical methods as well as more recent studies employing the insights of the cognitive sciences, demonstrating that cognitive historiography is a valuable methodological tool.

The Feeling Of Life Itself

Author: Christof Koch
Publisher: Mit Press
ISBN: 9780262042819
Size: 42.36 MB
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An argument that consciousness, more widespread than previously assumed, is the feeling of being alive, not a type of computation or a clever hack. In The Feeling of Life Itself, Christof Koch offers a straightforward definition of consciousness as any subjective experience, from the most mundane to the most exalted--the feeling of being alive. Psychologists study which cognitive operations underpin a given conscious perception. Neuroscientists track the neural correlates of consciousness in the brain, the organ of the mind. But why the brain and not, say, the liver? How can the brain, three pounds of highly excitable matter, a piece of furniture in the universe, subject to the same laws of physics as any other piece, give rise to subjective experience? Koch argues that what is needed to answer these questions is a quantitative theory that starts with experience and proceeds to the brain. In The Feeling of Life Itself, Koch outlines such a theory, based on integrated information. Koch describes how the theory explains many facts about the neurology of consciousness and how it has been used to build a clinically useful consciousness meter. The theory predicts that many, and perhaps all, animals experience the sights and sounds of life; consciousness is much more widespread than conventionally assumed. Contrary to received wisdom, however, Koch argues that programmable computers will not have consciousness. Even a perfect software model of the brain is not conscious. Its simulation is fake consciousness. Consciousness is not a special type of computation--it is not a clever hack. Consciousness is about being.

Single Neuron Studies Of The Human Brain

Author: Itzhak Fried
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262324008
Size: 61.15 MB
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In the last decade, the synergistic interaction of neurosurgeons, engineers, and neuroscientists, combined with new technologies, has enabled scientists to study the awake, behaving human brain directly. These developments allow cognitive processes to be characterized at unprecedented resolution: single neuron activity. Direct observation of the human brain has already led to major insights into such aspects of brain function as perception, language, sleep, learning, memory, action, imagery, volition, and consciousness. In this volume, experts document the successes, challenges, and opportunity in an emerging field. The book presents methodological tutorials, with chapters on such topics as the surgical implantation of electrodes and data analysis techniques; describes novel insights into cognitive functions including memory, decision making, and visual imagery; and discusses insights into diseases such as epilepsy and movement disorders gained from examining single neuron activity. Finally, contributors consider future challenges, questions that are ripe for investigation, and exciting avenues for translational efforts.ContributorsRalph Adolphs, William S. Anderson, Arjun K. Bansal, Eric J. Behnke, Moran Cerf, Jonathan O. Dostrovsky, Emad N. Eskandar, Tony A. Fields, Itzhak Fried, Hagar Gelbard-Sagiv, C. Rory Goodwin, Clement Hamani, Chris Heller, Mojgan Hodaie, Matthew Howard III, William D. Hutchison, Matias Ison, Hiroto Kawasaki, Christof Koch, Rüdiger Köhling, Gabriel Kreiman, Michel Le Van Quyen, Frederick A. Lenz, Andres M. Lozano, Adam N. Mamelak, Clarissa Martinez-Rubio, Florian Mormann, Yuval Nir, George Ojemann, Shaun R. Patel, Sanjay Patra, Linda Philpott, Rodrigo Quian Quiroga, Ian Ross, Ueli Rutishauser, Andreas Schulze-Bonhage, Erin M. Schuman, Demetrio Sierra-Mercado, Richard J. Staba, Nanthia Suthana, William Sutherling, Travis S. Tierney, Giulio Tononi, Oana Tudusciuc, Charles L. Wilson

Handbook Of American Popular Literature

Author: M. Thomas Inge
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group
ISBN:
Size: 79.94 MB
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Looks at a wide variety of popular American fiction genres, including comic books, mystery novels, historical fiction, fantasy and science fiction, and westerns.