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|Title||:||The Secrets of Consciousness|
|Format Type||:||Kindle Edition|
|Number of Pages||:||301 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Secrets of Consciousness Reviews
the mind is what the brain does—it’s more a verb than it is a nounthe biological foundation for the sense of self can be found in those brain devices that represent, moment by moment, the continuity of the same individual organism. (...) But how is it possible to move from such a biological self to the sense of ownership of one’s thoughts, the sense that one’s thoughts are constructed in one’s own perspective, without falling into the trap of invoking an all-knowing homunculus who interprets one’s reality? (...) it is probably safe to say that by 2050 sufficient knowledge of biological phenomena will have wiped out the traditional dualistic separations of body/brain, body/mind and brain/mind. (...) Therefore, I contend that the biological processes now presumed to correspond to mind processes in fact are mind processes and will be seen to be so when understood in sufficient detail. I am not denying the existence of the mind or saying that once we know what we need to know about biology the mind ceases to exist. I simply believe that the private, personal mind, precious and unique, indeed is biological and will one day be described in terms both biological and mental.Consciousness is involved only in activities stemming from the associative regions of the cortex. (The other cortex regions are for sensory and motor functions.) (...) Neurons in the associative areas respond to input in a much more complicated manner than do cells in the sensory regions—they work in a highly integrative way. (...) The messenger material (the “quick” neurotransmitters such as glutamate or gammaaminobutyric acid), which is responsible for the transfer of signals between nerve cells, operates in a matter of milliseconds. Neuromodulating processes, and the chemical reactions caused by them inside a cell or on a synapse, require much more time—approximately one second or even longer. This could be the basis for the characteristic one-second interval of consciousness: the period during which perception, imagination, thought and memory are released. (...) The brain is constantly trying to automate processes, thereby dispelling them from consciousness; in this way, its work will be completed faster, more effectively and at a lower metabolic level. Consciousness, on the other hand, is slow, subject to error and “expensive.” (...) The many states of consciousness thus represent the end product of extremely complex, yet completely unconsciously processed, activities. (...) Traits of attention and actual consciousness are present when the brain confronts events or problems that it judges to be important and new. With the aid of various types of memory, the brain classifies perceptions according to whether they are important (or unimportant) and known (or unknown). If something is categorized as unimportant, it will either not make it to consciousness at all or it will do so only in an imprecise way. Information that is “important but known” brings about the activation of processes that have already dealt with it previously, and therefore the brain can take routine actions that require a minimal level of consciousness. Only when an occurrence or task is important and new—for example, when a person must solve a complex problem or learn a new motor skill—do the systems for consciousness and attention fully activate. Consciousness is, in this case, a specific method for processing information that would be too intricate for subconscious processes.
A very interesting and informative collection of academic papers about the mind. Scientific American offers the advantage of not being a science journal, but is quite reliable about the science it publishes. This particular collection offers great insight into the questions that still plague us about the question of consciousness, and also gives some known answers to other problems related to that question. I personally think it is more enjoyable if you have a scientific background, and ave read some of the work on neural networks, and in particular in imaging technology. It is very useful to understand the function and limitations of say PET or fMRI techniques, and also to know what it is that you see when you perform an EEG. The book is mostly understandable nonetheless, but I suggest some additional reading if you're completely unfamiliar with the subject.In my opinion it is very worth reading, though I wouldn't recommend it to everyone, but that's a statement about whom "everyone" encompasses and not the book.
4 stars here for one reason only. The final section 6.4 "Being in the Now" is a sign of hope that the "old school" researcher of "it is all to do with the Bain and nothing else" approach to Consciousness are fading into history. It's author Amishi P. Jha, puts into words to be used as instructions the correct method to open to ones Soul-Self-awareness. That being, first proper development of the power of concentration, then observation and then meditation. Only the System for the Researchers of Truth are more complete in defining this process. So hats off to Scientific American publication 'Mind' for publishing this brilliant work at the end of a collection of the "usual" , academic , here to protect my comfortable research job, mind-brain fluff. They will no doubt pay a political prices but ultimately it will get the recognition it deserves.
I learned several facts about how the brain works, even so I ended with more questions than answers. I think I will continue reading this type of books, because I feel they help me to know a little more about myself.
A very interesting book for those interested in neuroscience