Consciousness: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short - download pdf or read online

By Susan Blackmore

ISBN-10: 0192805851

ISBN-13: 9780192805850

"The final nice secret for science," cognizance has develop into a arguable subject. attention: a really brief creation demanding situations readers to re-evaluate key strategies equivalent to character, unfastened will, and the soul. How can a actual mind create our adventure of the area? What creates our identification? will we particularly have unfastened will? may possibly awareness itself be an phantasm?

Exciting new advancements in mind technological know-how are commencing up those debates, and the sector has now improved to incorporate biologists, neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers. This publication clarifies the doubtless complicated arguments and obviously describes the main theories, with illustrations and energetic cartoons to assist clarify the experiments. issues comprise imaginative and prescient and a focus, theories of self, experiments on motion and know-how, altered states of realization, and the results of mind harm and medication. This vigorous, attractive, and authoritative booklet presents a transparent evaluation of the topic that mixes the views of philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience--and serves as a much-needed release pad for extra exploration of this complex and unsolved factor.

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Additional resources for Consciousness: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

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Though not yet fully understood, consciousness and both its phenomenal contents (like subjective experience) and mental contents (like our thoughts) are these days often taken as hallmark features of the brain and its neural activity. As in the case of behavioral contents, I argue that phenomenal and mental contents do very much presuppose a particular encoding strategy in the generation of the brain’s neural activity in order for them to be possible. More technically INTRODUCTION xxxiv put, I propose difference-based coding as necessary condition of possible consciousness and its phenomenal and mental contents.

This means that the resulting neural activity is spatially and temporally “sparsened,” reflecting what is described as “lifetime sparseners” and “population sparseness” (Part I). Sparse coding has been predominantly investigated on the cellular level. I will here extend its central claim to the regional level, taking results from perceptual decision-making as the paradigmatic example. As on the cellular level, the findings suggest that neural activity on the regional level can only result when encoding the difference between different stimuli rather than the stimuli themselves.

I will here target those neuronal mechanisms that are central in generating the predicted input on the basis of the brain’s intrinsic activity and the encoding of its own neural activity in terms of spatial and temporal differences; that is, difference-based coding. Since reward is one of the main functions where predictive coding has been demonstrated, I devote two chapters (see Chapters 8 and 9) to it, in which I will discuss how difference-based coding and predictive coding complement each other.

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Consciousness: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) by Susan Blackmore


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