The Race for Consciousness

Front Cover
MIT Press, 2001 - Psychology - 380 pages

There is a sense among scientists that the time is finally ripe for the problem of consciousness to be solved once and for all. The development of new experimental and theoretical tools for probing the brain has produced an atmosphere of unparalleled optimism that the job can now be done properly: The race for consciousness is on!

In this book, John Taylor describes the complete scene of entries, riders, gamblers, and racecourses. He presents his own entry into the race, which he has been working on for the past twenty-five years -- the relational theory of consciousness, according to which consciousness is created through the relations between brain states, especially those involving memories of personal experiences. Because it is an ongoing and adaptive process, consciousness emerges from past brain activity. It is this highly subtle and delicate process of emergence that leads to the complexity of consciousness. Taylor does not just present another theory of consciousness, but makes comprehensible the nuts-and-bolts methodology behind the myriad attempts to win the race.

 

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Contents

The Race Begins
3
The Nature of the Conscious Mind
13
The Racecourse of Consciousness
41
Looking at Consciousness
59
New Windows on the Mind
61
Past Models of Consciousness
99
Relational Consciousness
121
Building the Components of Consciousness
137
The Hard Problem of Consciousness
245
Return to Relational Consciousness
247
Where the Raw Feels Come From
259
How Does Consciousness Emerge?
273
Aspects of Relational Consciousness
293
The Varieties of Consciousness
295
Philosophical Questions
327
A Scientific Model of the Mind?
341

The Global Gate to Consciousness
139
Winning Control
157
Breakthrough to Awareness
173
Active Consciousness
193
The Emergence of Self
227
Notes
353
References
357
Index
375
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Page 357 - Alexander GE, DeLong MR, Strick PL (1986) Parallel organization of functionally segregated circuits linking basal ganglia and cortex. Annu Rev Neurosci 9:357-381 8. Alexander GE, Crutcher MD, DeLong MR (1990) Basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuits: parallel Substrates for motor, oculomotor, "prefrontal" and "limbic

About the author (2001)

John G. Taylor is Emeritus Professor and Director, Centre for Neural Networks, Kings College, University of London, and Guest Scientist, Institute of Medicine, Research Centre, Juelich, Germany. He has published more than four hundred papers in quantum field theory, elementary particle physics, string theory, neural networks, time series, pattern recognition, and cognitive neuroscience. He is also a prominent debunker of pseudoscience.

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