Consciousness is at the very core of the human condition. Yet only in recent decades has it become a major focus in the brain and behavioral sciences. Scientists now know that consciousness involves many levels of brain functioning, from brainstem to cortex. The almost seventy articles in this book reflect the breadth and depth of this burgeoning field. The many topics covered include consciousness in vision and inner speech, immediate memory and attention, waking, dreaming, coma, the effects of brain damage, fringe consciousness, hypnosis, and dissociation.
Underlying all the selections are the questions, What difference does consciousness make? What are its properties? What role does it play in the nervous system? How do conscious brain functions differ from unconscious ones? The focus of the book is on scientific evidence and theory. The editors have also chosen introductory articles by leading scientists to allow a wide variety of new readers to gain insight into the field.
About the Editors
Bernard J. Baars is Senior Fellow in Theoretical Neurobiology at The Neurosciences Institute, San Diego.
William P. Banks is Professor of Psychology at Pomona College and editor-in-chief of the journal Consciousness and Cognition.
The late James B. Newman was a member of the Department of Psychology at the Colorado Neurological Institute.
"Baars, Banks, and Newman have assembled the most important scientific work on consciousness of the last few decades, from modern classics to ground-breaking research. There is hardly a pivotal work or central topic not represented in this comprehensive volume. Nobody now working on consciousness will want to be without this splendid collection, both for the work it contains and the balanced, thoughtful overview it affords."
—David M. Rosenthal, Philosophy and Cognitive Science, City University of New York, Graduate Center
"This book heralds the true renaissance that the scientific study of consciousness has now initiated. These papers will inspire a new generation of students who will build on the novel technologies, concepts, and data provided here."
—J. Allan Hobson, Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
"This is a stunning collection of both foundational and cutting-edge works on the nature and functions of consciousness. The editors have provided an invaluable service by pulling together an enormous range of material, allowing readers to appreciate in depth the many facets of this fascinating phenomenon. After the publication of this book, no one ever again can reasonably question whether consciousness is an appropriate topic for scientific research."
—S. M. Kosslyn, John Lindsley Professor of Psychology in Memory of William James, Harvard University