Wider Than the Sky: The Phenomenal Gift of Consciousness

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Yale University Press, 2005 - Psychology - 201 pages
3 Reviews
How does the firing of neurons give rise to subjective sensations, thoughts, and emotions? How can the disparate domains of mind and body be reconciled? The quest for a scientifically based understanding of consciousness has attracted study and speculation across the ages. In this direct and non-technical discussion of consciousness, Dr. Gerald M. Edelman draws on a lifetime of scientific inquiry into the workings of the brain to formulate answers to the mind-body questions that intrigue every thinking person.
Concise and understandable, the book explains pertinent findings of modern neuroscience and describes how consciousness arises in complex brains. Edelman explores the relation of consciousness to causation, to evolution, to the development of the self, and to the origins of feelings, learning, and memory. His analysis of the brain activities underlying consciousness is based on recent remarkable advances in biochemistry, immunology, medical imaging, neuroscience, and evolutionary biology, yet the implications of his book extend farther--beyond the worlds of science and medicine into virtually every area of human inquiry.
 

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User Review  - Yiggy - LibraryThing

This was a short but highly informative read. Though cursory in explanation and short in extensions, it explains a great deal about how our brains are structured in order to give rise to consciousness ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Atomicmutant - LibraryThing

If this is a "simplified, layman's" book on consciousness, as it's advertised to be, then this simple layman's consciousness is just a bit dimmer than the lamps on the stylish cover. It's a slim tome ... Read full review

Contents

Completing Darwins Program
1
The Remembered Present
4
3 Elements of the Brain
14
A Global Brain Theory
32
5 The Mechanisms of Consciousness
48
Qualia Unity and Complexity
60
The Phenomenal Transform
76
Automaticity and Attention
87
9 HigherOrder Consciousness and Representation
97
10 Theory and the Properties of Consciousness
113
The Self Mortality and Value
131
Some Consequences
140
Glossary
149
Bibliographic Note
181
Index
187
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About the author (2005)

Gerald M. Edelman, M.D., is director of the Neurosciences Institute and president of Neurosciences Research Foundation. He is also professor and chair of the Department of the Neurobiology at the Scripps Research Institute. For his studies on the structure and diversity of antibodies he received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine.

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