Download Consciousness: Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist by Christof Koch PDF

By Christof Koch

What hyperlinks awake adventure of soreness, pleasure, colour, and scent to bioelectrical task within the mind? How can something actual provide upward push to nonphysical, subjective, unsleeping states? Christof Koch has committed a lot of his occupation to bridging the likely unbridgeable hole among the physics of the mind and exceptional adventure. This attractive book--part medical evaluation, half memoir, half futurist speculation--describes Koch's look for an empirical reason behind realization. Koch recounts not just the delivery of the fashionable technology of attention but in addition the subterranean motivation for his quest--his instinctual (if "romantic") trust that existence is meaningful.

Koch describes his personal groundbreaking paintings with Francis Crick within the Nineteen Nineties and 2000s and the slow emergence of cognizance (once thought of a "fringy" topic) as a sound subject for medical research. current at this paradigm shift have been Koch and a handful of co-workers, together with Ned Block, David Chalmers, Stanislas Dehaene, Giulio Tononi, Wolf Singer, and others. supporting and abetting it have been new ideas to eavesdrop on the job of person nerve cells, medical stories, and brain-imaging applied sciences that allowed secure and noninvasive research of the human mind in action.

Koch provides us tales from front traces of recent study into the neurobiology of awareness in addition to his personal reflections on quite a few themes, together with the excellence among recognition and information, the subconscious, how neurons reply to Homer Simpson, the physics and biology of unfastened will, canines, Der Ring des Nibelungen, sentient machines, the lack of his trust in a private God, and disappointment. them all are signposts within the pursuit of his life's work--to discover the roots of consciousness.

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Extra info for Consciousness: Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist

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The transition from possible to actual states does not occur until an observation is made. Once made, the act of observation ‘collapses’ the possible states into one, actual, measured state (to which the Schrödinger wave equation no longer applies). g. a Geiger counter) as well as the body, brain and conscious experience of the observer, then what aspect of the measurement process causes the collapse is open to debate. 5 However, in a later extension of quantum theory, Von Neumann demonstrated that there is nothing in the formalism to exclude any of the physical systems involved from the quantum mechanical description of the observed system, including the measuring instruments, body, and even brain of the conscious observer.

Stapp believes that such quantum dualist interactionism neatly sidesteps the classical problems of mind–body (or consciousness–brain) interaction (see Stapp, 2007a, p. 305). According to the Von Neumann/Stapp theory, consciousness (Process 0) chooses what question to ask; through the mediation of Process 1 this interacts with Process 2 (the developing possibilities specified by the quantum mechanics of the physical system under interrogation, including the brain) – and Nature supplies an answer, which is in turn reflected in conscious experience (making the entire process a form of dualist-interactionism).

By means of psychological research, irrespective of one’s convictions about the survival of the soul. 3 Thought does not exemplify the whole of conscious experience Historically, dualism has associated consciousness, mind or soul with the ability to reason. For Descartes, the best exemplar of conscious experience is thought. Thoughts do have conscious manifestations, for example verbal thoughts may be experienced in the form of phonemic imagery or ‘inner speech’. However, the phenomenal properties of such thoughts do not 24 Mind–body theories and their problems exemplify the whole of conscious experience.

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