Consciousness: A User's Guide

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Yale University Press, 2004 - 404 páginas
A fascinating exploration of the nature of consciousness

This engaging and readable book provides an introduction to consciousness that does justice both to the science and to the philosophy of consciousness, that is, the mechanics of the mind and the experience of awareness. The book opens with a general discussion of the brain and of consciousness itself. Then, exploring the areas of brain science most likely to illuminate the basis of awareness, Zeman focuses on the science of sleep and waking and on the science of vision. He describes healthy states and disorders--epilepsy, narcolepsy, blindsight and hallucinations after stroke--that provide insights into the capacity for consciousness and into its contents. And he tracks the evolution of the brain, the human species, and human culture and surveys the main current scientific theories of awareness, pioneering attempts to explain how the brain gives rise to experience.

Zeman concludes by examining philosophical arguments about the nature of consciousness. A practicing neurologist, he animates his text with examples from the behavioral and neurological disorders of his patients and from the expanding mental worlds of young children, including his own. His book is an accessible and enlightening explanation of why we are conscious.
 

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LibraryThing Review

Crítica de los usuarios  - HadriantheBlind - LibraryThing

Neato. Good examination and introduction to the discussion of 'what is consciousness'. Begins with tough, but tasty discussions on evolutionary biology and neuroscience, and continues to more ... Leer comentario completo

LibraryThing Review

Crítica de los usuarios  - fpagan - LibraryThing

A rather formidable and prosaic treatment of consciousness, by a neurologist. Leer comentario completo

Contenido

Introduction
1
Introducing consciousness
11
As sweet by any other name? Consciousness selfconsciousness and conscience
13
The history of conscience and her cousins
14
What do you mean by ?
16
Conscious as aware of
17
Consciousness as mind
20
Selfconsciousness
21
Recognition
181
Imagination
183
The roving eye
184
did you see the gorilla?
186
The beholders share
190
Invisible destinations
192
image and action
196
I cannot see you Charley I am blind clearsighted blindness and blindsight
197

Conscience
30
A note on awareness
31
Consciousness in other tongues
32
Consciousness in prospect
35
a sketch of the human nervous system
37
The simple nervous system
38
Neurons³
42
Neuronal neighbours
44
Interconnections
45
The complex nervous system
47
Neuronal numbers and types
48
Neuronal beginnings
50
A tour of the human nervous system
52
PERIPHERAL NERVES
53
THE SPINAL CORD
56
WITHIN THE HEMISPHERES
58
THE CEREBRAL CORTEX
62
Interconnections redrawn
67
Neurotransmitters
69
Receptors and channels
70
Synaptic plasticity
72
the nerves in the brain
73
The capacity for consciousness
75
The springs of awareness the structural basis of consciousness i
77
On the electroencephalogram of man
78
The EEG today
84
The patterning of conscious states
87
Cognitive potentials
91
Epidemic stupor
95
A wonderful net
97
The gains are mainly in the stain
99
The place where consciousness dwells
102
Why do we sleep?
105
the conditions for awareness
109
The brothers of death pathologies of consciousness
111
Faints fits and funny turns
112
Fits
117
Funny turns
123
Opium
124
Alcohol and other anaesthetics
126
Awareness under anaesthesia
130
Varieties of coma
132
Hysteria and trance
135
Did you have a good night?
138
Hypersomnia
140
Parasomnia
142
The measurement of awareness
144
anatomising consciousness
149
The contents of consciousness
153
From darkness into light the structural basis of consciousness ii
155
Light
156
Light and life
157
Life and vision
158
sensitive pigment Capturing quanta
163
Communicating contrast
166
the cortical visual areas En route to the visual cortex
168
Area 17
169
Multiple maps
172
Seeing things
175
Binding
178
Constancy
179
The famished eye
199
The ripening of vision
201
Novel sensations
206
the agnosias
208
Colour
209
Movement
210
Form
211
Objects
213
Faces
215
Places
220
Neglect
221
The absence of all sensation
224
The sound of distant gunfire
228
Why is blindsight blind?⁶⁰
229
Theres a seagull on your shoulder
230
Exquisite correlations
233
Conjuring the rainbow
236
vision and consciousness
238
The origins of consciousness
241
The history of everything
243
First things
244
The birth of life
246
Begetting the brain
249
Continuity
250
Size does matter
254
The tree of man
258
From biology to history
262
The uses of awareness
266
The souls of animals
270
evolving awareness
273
Consciousness considered
277
Scientific theories of consciousness
279
sight memory and action
280
the necessity for report
284
The where and how of conscious vision
287
Where?
288
the ghost in the virtual machine
296
social theories of consciousness
298
Conclusion
300
The nature of consciousness
303
A war of intuitions
305
What is it like to be
307
isms enough for all
312
Night at the end of the tunnel?
323
Other minds
325
Animal minds
327
Manufactured minds
328
Taking the Turing Test
333
a midsummer nights dream
334
Human freedom
336
Solving for three bodies
337
Che sara sara? What will be will be?
338
the matter of the mind
341
Epilogue
343
Glossary
348
Notes
364
Suggestions for further reading
388
Figures and tables
390
Index
396
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Acerca del autor (2004)

Adam Zeman is a consultant neurologist at Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, and senior lecturer in the department of clinical neurosciences at Edinburgh University.

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