Understanding Consciousness


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If they break laws, who will take responsibility? These are relevant and important questions to us as a society. Jakob Hohwy: Consciousness is what makes us what we are; it harbours our thoughts, feelings, experiences and memories. Kavan Modi: Take a black box. When do you decide the black box is conscious and begin making ethical decisions about how you treat the black box and how you behave with it?

Where do we draw the line? That is conscious perception or whatever you feel — vision, hearing, touch, thoughts, senses, all the things you feel. How do some neurons in the brain produce visual sensations while other parts of the brain produce audition? So, you wake up in the morning and you see a red rose.


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What is it to be conscious and be conscious of something? All these problems come crashing down on you immediately when you start thinking about consciousness. Why are you conscious rather than not conscious? Tom Drummond: One of the key ideas in consciousness is attention — you become conscious of something when you pay attention to it.

Attention does a couple of important things.

How Close is Science to Understanding Consciousness?

It turns a big, multi-dimensional sensory field into a one-dimensional sequence of components that simplifies the problem of recognising and understand what is happening. So, if I look at a big, complex painting with lots of characters in it doing different things, I can attend to different parts of it in sequence. This turns the painting into a narrative representing simpler things one at a time.

Decoding the neuroscience of consciousness

So, attention takes a rich sensory field, and by focusing on one part at a time, it turns it into an internal narrative stream, which is one of the key properties of consciousness. How many humans does it have to fool for us to consider it to be conscious? Understanding consciousness will take us beyond the machine-human separation. And then in patients with little or lower brain activity.

How do you decide on their fate in terms of consciousness. Are they alive or dead? Tom Drummond: Nao's focus is on how neurons can implement consciousness, the hardware we have in our brains, how attention and consciousness and a lot of the properties of consciousness maps onto neural hardware. We can learn something about human behaviour and decision-making, and it can work alongside the neuroscience to understand how all this behaviour is embedded in the neurons. Jakob is interested in theories of the mind, which can explain experience and how that can relate to mathematical theories of how human learning develops.

I want to know how we can make this real.

Masao Ito, Yasushi Miyashita, and Edmund T. Rolls

How do we make an artificial object with consciousness? If done well, we can learn something about human behaviour and decision-making, and it can work alongside the neuroscience to understand how all this behaviour is embedded in the neurons. Kavan Modi: There are a lot of crackpot theories of quantum consciousness, and I don't want to be associated with that. I work on a whiteboard.

After spending more than 20 years in academic neurosurgery 15 of them at Harvard , I thought I had some idea of how brain, mind, and consciousness were interrelated. But that was before my near-death experience. In November , a severe case of bacterial meningitis sent me into a coma within three hours of symptom onset.

I was put on a ventilator and given very powerful antibiotics. I should not have recovered. At first, my doctors gave me a 10 percent chance of survival. By the end of the week, without showing any return of neurological function, that chance was down to two percent. Doctors recommended stopping the antibiotics, but inexplicably, I started coming out of the coma. My brain had been wrecked, just as predicted. All my words, memories, religious beliefs, and knowledge of neuroscience—every bit of it—was completely gone.

But within hours my language began coming back. Within a few days, many of my childhood memories had returned. Within eight weeks, everything was back. My memories were even more complete than they had been before the coma. That part is very difficult to explain until you realize that memories are not stored in the physical brain at all.

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Consciousness Is the Psychology of Awareness

They outlined recent advances that provide reason to be optimistic about future scientific inquiries into consciousness and about the benefits that this knowledge could bring for society. They conclude that research on human consciousness belongs within the purview of science, despite philosophical or religious arguments to the contrary. Materials provided by Northwestern University. Original written by Hilary Hurd Anyaso.

Note: Content may be edited for style and length. Science News. Story Source: Materials provided by Northwestern University. Journal Reference : Ken A. Paller, Satoru Suzuki. The source of consciousness. ScienceDaily, 10 July Northwestern University.


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Understanding Consciousness Understanding Consciousness
Understanding Consciousness Understanding Consciousness
Understanding Consciousness Understanding Consciousness
Understanding Consciousness Understanding Consciousness
Understanding Consciousness Understanding Consciousness
Understanding Consciousness Understanding Consciousness
Understanding Consciousness Understanding Consciousness
Understanding Consciousness Understanding Consciousness
Understanding Consciousness Understanding Consciousness

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