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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.
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Bernard J. Baars is Senior Fellow in Theoretical Neurobiology at The Neurosciences Institute, San Diego.Review:
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 does not simply serve as an invaluable resource for researchers in cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience, emotion, personality psychology, motivation, perception, social psychology, and related fields -- it also defines the new field of social neuroscience in the most effective way, by example. No library should be without this superb collection.(Stephen M. Kosslyn, John Lindsley Professor of Psychology in Memory of William James, Harvard University)
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