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Essential Sources in the Scientific Study of Consciousness download epub

by William P. Banks,James B. Newman,Bernard J. Baars


Epub Book: 1145 kb. | Fb2 Book: 1148 kb.

Consciousness is at the very core of the human condition. The almost seventy articles in this book reflect the breadth and depth of this burgeoning field. The focus of the book is on scientific evidence and theory.

Consciousness is at the very core of the human condition. Yet only in recent decades has it become a major focus in the brain and behavioral sciences. The many topics covered include consciousness in vision and inner speech, immediate memory and attention, waking, dreaming, coma, the effects of brain damage, fringe consciousness, hypnosis, and dissociation.

Baars, Banks, and Newman have assembled the most important scientific work on consciousness of the last few . amp; quot; This book heralds the true renaissance that the scientific study of consciousness has now initiated.

There is hardly a pivotal work or central topic not represented in this comprehensive volume. These papers will inspire a new generation of students who will build on the novel technologies, concepts, and data provided here. amp; quot; -J. Allan Hobson, Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School.

To measure the degree to which colour influences our sense of depth in the absence of other cues. And to survey the degree to which visual artists have employed colour for the same purpose. A Study on the Tendency in Legal Consciousness Studies. A most disagreeable mirror": Race consciousness as double consciousness. Apocalyptic Consciousness of the Present Age According to the Sammitiya School.

Bernard J. Baars, William P. Banks, James B. Newman. Consciousness is at the very core of the human condition. Scientists now know that consciousness involves many levels of brain functioning, from brainstem to cortex. The many topics covered include consciousness in vision and inner speech, immediate memory and attention, waking, dreaming, coma, the effects of brain damage, fringe consciousness, hypnosis,. Baars This book heralds the true renaissance that the scientific study of consciousness has now initiated.

Bernard J. Baars is Senior Fellow in Theoretical Neurobiology at The Neurosciences Institute, San Diego. There is hardly a pivotal work or central topic not represented in this comprehensive volume. This book heralds the true renaissance that the scientific study of consciousness has now initiated.

by Bernard J. Banks. Published 2003 by MIT Press in Cambridge, Mass "A Bradford book. Includes bibliographical references and index. Published 2003 by MIT Press in Cambridge, Mass.

Cambridge (Massachusetts): MIT Press. xiii + 1192 p; il. index. ISBN: 0–262–02496–9 (hc); 0–262–52302–7 (pb).

Consciousness is at the very core of the human condition. Yet only in recent decades has it become a major focus in the brain and behavioral sciences. Scientists now know that consciousness involves many levels of brain functioning, from brainstem to cortex. The almost seventy articles in this book reflect the breadth and depth of this burgeoning field. The many topics covered include consciousness in vision and inner speech, immediate memory and attention, waking, dreaming, coma, the effects of brain damage, fringe consciousness, hypnosis, and dissociation.

Underlying all the selections are the questions, What difference does consciousness make? What are its properties? What role does it play in the nervous system? How do conscious brain functions differ from unconscious ones? The focus of the book is on scientific evidence and theory. The editors have also chosen introductory articles by leading scientists to allow a wide variety of new readers to gain insight into the field.


Comments: (4)

Brajind
If thought about in retrospect, it is perhaps flabbergasting that the study of consciousness was not considered, and could not be considered, part of science. The impact of the behavioral school of psychology was no doubt both a symptom and a cause of this exclusion. The reasons though for excluding the study of consciousness from science are now properly given to historians, for, as this book is an indication of, extensive scientific research is now being done in this area, and this research is a fascinating story. Once thought to be the domain of mysticism and philosophy, research into consciousness has, finally, entered the domain of the laboratory. The arm-chair speculations of Edmund Husserll are now replaced by the fMRI scan and careful observations. In the words of Francis Crick and Christof Koch, who have written an article for this book, "the time to start the scientific attack is now."
The book is a collection of articles written by active researchers in the field. The preface and the introductory article are excellent and not only introduce the reasons for the book but also put the articles in historical perspective. The author addresses the skepticism of some scientists on whether there is any evidence of conscious experience as such. The articles in the book were selected according to their approach as treating "consciousness as a variable", similar to any other topic of scientific inquiry. He is aware of the problems associated with such a view though, since consciousness, he says, cannot be varied "from the inside". Decreasing it will cause us to lose the ability to observe anything, and the consciousness of others is not accessible directly. The author stresses though that contrary to the assertions of some philosophers, consciousness is not beyond scientific study. We need not depend on "plausible intuitions, thought experiments, or rhetorical brilliance", but can instead rely on experiments and testable hypotheses. He calls this a "verifiable phenomenology" in contrast with the philosophical movement of the last century.
The article by George Mandler also expresses this attitude, asserting that the study of consciousness has been plagued with "philosophical, theological, and pedestrian semantic debris". For Mandler, the "mind" refers to the "totality of theoretical processes ascribed to the individual", and this viewpoint, he believes, will avoid the collapse into solipsism and sophistry that so often accompanies the philosophical view of the mind. Mandler gives an excellent overview of some of the approaches taken in the scientific study of consciousness. He also outlines his personal views on the subject, asserting that for him, consciousness is tied to a system of limited capacity, this limitation referring to the number of "functional units" that can be kept in consciousness at a particular point in time. Mandler does believe though that psychologists and philosophers are correct in their assertion that the content of consciousness is not directly available, and so other strategies must be invented to deal with this content. Most interesting though is that the author does not view consciousness as primary, but instead views it merely as one particular mode of processing. Conscious processing of information cannot therefore be said to have more status than processing that does not.
There are many interesting articles in this book, and space constraints do not permit a detailed review here. Some of articles that this reviewer found interesting or exceptionally well written are: 1. "Consciousness and Isomorphism" by Stephen E. Palmer, which addresses the "inverted spectrum argument". This has been a source of philosophical argumentation ever since John Locke first proposed it in 1690, and asks for a demonstration that the visual experience of colors between two individuals are the same, or whether they are spectrally inverted. The author discusses his reasons for rejecting Locke's assertion that there is no way to tell whether the spectrums are indeed inverted without the two persons "getting into each others heads." 2. "Strategies and Models of Selective Attention" by Anne M. Treisman. The author outlines her strategies for classifying attention tasks and experimental procedures to study them. She restricts herself to tasks that require immediate perception and response, wherein the experimental subjects are subjected to information overload. Her goal is to find out to what extent the mechanisms of selective attention can be encapsulated into a single mechanism. 3. "Aspects of the Theory of Comprehension, Memory, and Attention" by Donald G. MacKay, which attempts to provide evidence for a "modern" version of Wundt's theory, the latter of which asserted that the processing of sentences takes place at two distinct levels, one involving preattentive processes and the other attentive ones. The "modern" version asserts that the perceptual mechanism consists of two distinct and interrelated levels of components, with the first involving limited capacity short-term memory, and the second a large long-term memory. 4. The article "Conscioussness and Complexity" by Giulio Tononi and Gerald M. Edelman. This article, like all the rest in the last part of the book, called "Theory" is fascinating, again because of its attempt to respect the role of experiments. The authors attempt to identify the types of neural processes that account for the key properties of conscious experience, emphasizing that conscious experience is integrated but simultaneously also highly differentiated in that one can experience a large number of different conscious states within a short time. The authors discuss tools for measuring integration, which they call `functional clustering' and for measuring differentiation, which they call `neural complexity'. Then they give criteria for determining whether in fact a group of active neurons can contribute to conscious experience. These criteria are encapsulated into the `dynamic core hypothesis', which they claim is a testable hypothesis on neural contributions to conscious experience. Recent experimental findings are discussed that, in the author's view, show that this hypothesis is viable. These measurements of neural activity shed light on what kind of neural circuits are needed to perform different types of tasks, these tasks sometimes needing conscious control, and sometimes not.
Xtintisha
To be honest i never finished this book, my roommate loved it though. haha
Hulore
What can somebody who is a science of consicousness freak say about a 1000 pages book about the psychological, cognitive, theorethical, neurological, and historical bases of consciousness? ......well, maybe "finally". This is THE definitive collection of papers on the science of consicousness, something that could only be said before about all three volumes of Towards a Science of Consicousness, edited by Hameroff.
Everything one needs to know to START an inquiry into this interesting field is here. Represented are those papers that started the whole cognitive revolution, all the way to the most recent theoretical investigations on consicousness. The only thing one who is familiar with the literature can disagree with is witht he inclusion and omission of certain key papers, but I am sure the editors had their hands full in making the books size acceptable and at the same time representative of the field. That said, it is impossible to ignore that Baars seems to have chosen some contributions on the basis of how much they are supportive of his global workspace model. I doubt this was made on purpose, however. Another objection could come from the absence of a neurochemistry of consicousness chapter, or a consicousness in quantum physics chapter. The former seems to me impardonable to have been left out, and the latter probably should have been there simply because of the popular attention paid to it, if not because of its shaky scientific foundations.
It is a custom of mine to declare a book on consicousness a must-have, but this one has the most merits to deserve such title. No one who has pronounced the word consicousness in a scientific context can do without this volume...it could also work quite well as a textbook for graduate level consicousness courses. One only hopes that many more editions are published, and that it can be someday extended to various volumes.
Adokelv
If you care about what Consciousness is, you'll read this book. It's one of the longest books you'll ever read, even if you're a scientist and you're used to reading inscrutable doorstops. But it also has more to say about what consciousness is than any other single source that I know of, and I've read just about everything.
Essential Sources in the Scientific Study of Consciousness download epub
Medicine
Author: William P. Banks,James B. Newman,Bernard J. Baars
ISBN: 0262024969
Category: Medical Books
Subcategory: Medicine
Language: English
Publisher: A Bradford Book (January 30, 2003)
Pages: 1037 pages