The Brain and its States

In Shimon Edelman, Tomer Fekete & Neta Zach (eds.), Being in Time: Dynamical Models of Phenomenal Experience. John Benjamins. pp. 211-238 (2012)
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Abstract

In recent times we have seen an explosion in the amount of attention paid to the conscious brain from scientists and philosophers alike. One message that has emerged loud and clear from scientific work is that the brain is a dynamical system whose operations unfold in time. Any theory of consciousness that is going to be physically realistic must take account of the intrinsic nature of neurons and brain activity. At the same time a long discussion on consciousness among philosophers has resulted in our distinguishing several kinds of consciousness. So when we ask where the place of consciousness is in nature we may mean several different things. In this chapter I will argue that it is plausible that all of the kinds of consciousness turn out to be nothing but patterns of synchronized neural activity in various frequencies against a dynamically changing chemical background.

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Richard Brown
LaGuardia Community College (CUNY)

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