EXPLORING THE CONSCIOUSNESS PROBLEM
- What is consciousness?
- Can it be productively explored scientifically?
- What are the best routes for such exploration?
A resource base compiled for and in connection with the Senior Seminar in Neural and Behavioral Sciences at Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges, spring semester, 1999 (cotaught by Peter Brodfuehrer and Paul Grobstein, with the assistance of Jeffrey Oristaglio).
- Searle, J.R. (1997) The Mystery of Consciousness, 1997. (Click here for comments on the first half of the book)
- Searle, J.R. (1997) The Mystery of Consciousness, 1997. (Click here for comments on the second half of the book)
- Crick, F. and Koch, C. (1998) Consciousness and neuroscience. Cerebral Cortex 8: 97-107.(Click here for comments)
- Student selected readings
- Hobson, J.A. and Stickgold, R. (1994) A neurocognitive approach to dreaming. Consciousness and Cognition 3: 16-29. (Click here for comments)
- Vitaliano, G. and Rokovic, R. (1996) Neural networks, brainwaves, and ionic structures: a biophysical model for altered states of consciousness. (Click here for comments)
- Weiskrantz, L (1992) Unconscious vision: the strange phenomenon of blindsight. The Sciences 32 (Sept/Oct): 23-28. (Click here for comments)
- Lipman, J.J., Miller, B.E., Mays, K.S., North, W.C., and Byrne, W.L. (1990) Peak B endorphin concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid: reduced in chronic pain patients and increased during the placebo response. Psychopharmacology 102: 112-116. (Click here for comments)
- Zelazo, P.D. (1996) Towards a theory of minimal consciousness. New Ideas in Psychol. 14: 63-80. (Click here for comments)
- Pie, J.S., Tenebaum, G., Bar- Eli, M., Eyal N., Levy-Kolker, N., and Sade, S. (1996) Imagery orientation and vividness: Their effect on a motor skill performance. J. Sports Behavior 91:32-49 (BMC can access the full text by searching the title through Periodical Abstracts on the College library homepage). (Click here for comments)
- Davis, K.D., Kiss, H.T., Luo, L, Tasker, R.R., Lozano, A.M. and Dostrovksy, J.O. (1998) Phantom sensations generated by thalamic microstimulation. Nature 391: 385-386. (Click here for comments)
Davidson, C. (1993) I process, therefore I am. New Scientist, 27 March, 1993, pp 22-26. (Click here for comments)
Humphrey, N. (1994) The private world of consciousness. New Scientist, 8 January, 1994, pp 23-25 (Click here for comments)
- Kulli, J. and Koch, C. (1991) Does anesthesia cause a loss of consciousness? Trends in Neuroscience 14: 6-10. (Click here for comments)
- Celesia.G.G., Brigell, M.G., and Vaphiades, M.S. (1997) Hemianopic anosognosia. Neurology 49: 88-97. (Click here for comments)
- Lucid Dreaming Revisited, John Horgan
- The Effects of Hallucinogenic Drugs on the Brain, by Alicia Ebbitt
Other Bryn Mawr web resources
General web resources
- On line papers on consciousness, compiled by David Chalmers
- The Brain Project, by Stephen Jones ... "for people who are interested in the area but not specialists, as well as those who are
specialists and interested in the inter-connections with other fields of thought about consciousness." Includes history of mind/brain thinking and connections to various aspects of the humanities and art.
- Psyche, an electronic journal "dedicated to supporting the interdisciplinary exploration of the nature of consciousness and its relation to the brain".
- Consciousness and Cognition, with restricted web access
- Journal of Consciousness Studies, with some abstracts and articles web accessible
- Behavioral and Brain Sciences target article preprints, from 1993 on, includes a number of relevant articles.
- CogPrints Electronic Archive, for papers pertinent to the study of cognition
- HyperPsycoloquy, an electronic journal, with peer commentary, and relevant articles
Course syllabi withs useful information and links
- The Biology of Consciousness, by Mark Dubin, University of Colorado
- The Scientific Investigation of Consciousness (special topics in artificial intelligence), by Michael Mozer, University of Colorado
- Research Seminar on Language and Mind, by Ted Block and Thomas Nagel, New York University
- Minds and Machines, by Ted Block, New York University
- Scientific Studies of Consciousness, by Kyle Cave, Vanderbilt University
Selected recent books
- Baars, B.J. In the Theater of Consciousness: The Workspace of the Mind, Oxford, 1997
- Crick, F. The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul, Touchstone, 1994
- Dennett, D. Consciousness Explained, Little, Brown, and Company, 1991
- Edelman, G. The Remembered Present: A Biological Theory of Consciousness, Basic Books, 1989
- Hobson, J. Allan, Consciousness, Scientific American Library, 1999
- Norretranders, T. The User Illusion: Cutting Consciousness Down to Size, Viking, 1998
- Penrose, R. Shadows of the Mind: A Search for the Missing Science of Consciousness, Oxford, 1994.
- Rosenfeld, I., The Strange, Familiar, and Forgotten, Knopf, 1992
- Searle, J.R. The Mystery of Consciousness, New York Review Books, 1997.
Relevant recent papers
- Bechara A, Damasio H, Tranel D, Damasio AR (1997) Deciding advantageously before knowing the advantageous
strategy. Science, 275:1293-1294.
- Calvin, W.H. (1998) Competing for consciousness: a darwinian mechanism at an appropriate level of explanation. J. Consciousness Studies 5: 389-404.
- Crammond, D.J. (1997) Motor imagery: never in your wildest dreams. TINS 20 (2): 54-57.
- Crick, F. and Koch, C. Consciousness and neuroscience. Cerebral Cortex 8: 97-107, 1998.
- Damasio AR (1998?) Investigating the biology of consciousness. Transactions of the Royal Society (in press).
- Hamerhoff, S. (1998) Anesthesia, consciousness and hydrophobic pockets - a unitary quantum hypothesis of anesthetic action. Toxicology Letters 100/101: 31-39.
- Kihlstrom, J.F. (1998) The emotional unconscious. Text of a paper given at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association.
- La Cerra, P., and B., Roger (1998) The adaptive nature of the human neurocognitive architecture: an alternative model. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci, USA 95: 11290-11294.
- Milner, A.D. and Goodale, M.A. (1998) The visual brain in action. Psyche 4(12), precis of their recent book
- Tonioni, G, and Edleman, G.M. (1998) Consciousness and complexity. Science 282: 1846-1851.
Selected additional web-accessible papers
Hyder, F., Phelps, E.A., Wiggins, C.J. Labar, K.S., Balmire, A.M., and Shulman, R.G. (1977) "Willed action": a functional MRI study of the human prefrontal cortex during a sensorimotor task. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 94: 6789-6994.
- visual imagery
- motor imagery
- sleep/wake (Hobson)
- development (Kagan?)
- frontal lobes
- thalamo-cortical oscillations
- "cognitive unconscious" - priming, executive function, attention, working memory
- blindsight, phantom limbs, parietal lobe neglect, anosognosias
- pain, anesthesia
- cognitive ethology
One approach: Consciousness vs unconsciousness - attributes (PG, JO)
- low vs high bandwith
- slow vs fast
- "logical" vs intuitive
- analyzable vs opaque
- small vs large dimensionality (eg 3D vs nD)
- deterministically oriented vs able to deal probabilistically
- single, linear vs multiple, circular causation
- awareness vs non-awareness (perception vs action?)
- subject to illusions vs not subject to illusions (milner and goodale)
- NOT "intelligent" vs "non-intelligent"
- NOT "abstraction" vs "non-abstraction"
- NOT "creative" vs "non-creative" or vice versa
- NOT language vs non-language (sleep walking)
- NOT me vs non-me (ditto)