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Author Topic: Underpinnings of Consciousness from a Cellular Perspective  (Read 2814 times)

KenR

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Underpinnings of Consciousness from a Cellular Perspective
« on: February 01, 2007, 01:05:17 PM »
Here's an interesting discussion of the neurobiological substrates of consciousness.

Quote
The young women had survived the car crash, after a fashion. In the five months since parts of her brain had been crushed, she could open her eyes but didn't respond to sights, sounds or jabs. In the jargon of neurology, she was judged to be in a persistent vegetative state. In crueler everyday language, she was a vegetable.

So picture the astonishment of British and Belgian scientists as they scanned her brain using a kind of MRI that detects blood flow to active parts of the brain. When they recited sentences, the parts involved in language lit up. When they asked her to imagine visiting the rooms of her house, the parts involved in navigating space and recognizing places ramped up. And when they asked her to imagine playing tennis, the regions that trigger motion joined in. Indeed, her scans were barely different from those of healthy volunteers. The woman, it appears, had glimmerings of consciousness.

Try to comprehend what it is like to be that woman. Do you appreciate the words and caresses of your distraught family while racked with frustration at your inability to reassure them that they are getting through?...



from http://cognews.com/index_html
Kenneth P. Reeder, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist
Jacksonville, North Carolina  28546

wuwei23

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Re: Underpinnings of Consciousness from a Cellular Perspective
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2007, 07:04:09 PM »
The article is by Steven Pinker, who wrote (among other titles) The Language Instinct. An incredible book. We really have no idea yet of what we are :)

nudone

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Re: Underpinnings of Consciousness from a Cellular Perspective
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2007, 02:08:54 AM »
just chipping in to say that i've read Pinker's 'the language instinct'. i wish i could remember what is was about but i do seem recall being impressed by it at the time. :huh: