TEDx Talk by Dr. Max Tegmark (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzCvlFRISIM) I don't know how to fancy link in this message board so there's the hard link.Interesting notes if you do not want to watch, it is about sixteen and a half minutes.Compares consciousness to a mathematical pattern. Everything in nature can be modeled mathematically. Therefore, why should consciousness be any different?Best example he presents is the age old question of: What holds the moon in orbit? Before modern science came about its conclusion people had numerous crazy ideas of unknown forces that could possibly be holding the moon there; hand of god, invisible stings, etc. Yet, it is discovered that it is nothing more than the common forces we know all about which exist here on Earth. Therefore, why should consciousness have to be bred from something as abstract as soul? Why can we not tackle the problem of consciousness from a hard-science stand point? Maybe there is not anything extra in us, maybe it is just the pattern of atoms in our head that separates us from our plate of veggies.
Excellent points, Jordan!
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"Antonio Damasio: The quest to understanding conciousness" is an informative video that describes what consciousness is in a scientific and philosophical way. He presents his finding in TED talks, and his he starts off his speech by asking everyone "what is consciousness?" According to him, consciousness can be broken down into two parts. It can be the mental images in the mind, with the auditory and visual senses bringing in information to the brain so that we see the world as it is. It is also a reflection of self that is present in the mind. Consciousness is fully unearthed when you have a sense of self in the mind.It is hard to explain consciousness, and it is more of a philosophical debate as to what consciousness could involve. But without it, humans would not feel hurt, love, true happiness with their life, etc.. He also touches base on brain imaging, which shows the activity in the brain when a person is conscious. You see how the neurons in the brain are all interconnected, which leads to the person being "conscious".LINK HERE: https://www.ted.com/talks/antonio_damasio_the_quest_to_understand_consciousness#t-301201
Great talk! Thanks for sharing, Winnie!
http://www.lifetrainings.com/Does-consciousness-continue-after-death.htmlThis article explores the possibility that the consciousness mind is still present after the body dies. As the heart stops, the brain stops functioning 10 seconds after. 10-20% of people that were brought back after their heart has stopped reported that they had consciousness. They claim they remember what happened when their heart stopped, watching from above their own body. To make sure that what the patients saw were not hallucinations and real experiences, they reconfirmed with the nurses and doctors that were present during the operation. Many of them checked out as true. They believe that because of these occurrences with the patience, consciousness is separate from the physical body and brain.
Koch, Christof, and Naotsugu Tsuchiya. "Attention and consciousness: two distinct brain processes." Trends in cognitive sciences 11.1 (2007): 16-22. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364661306003032There is a close relationship between attention and consciousness, which may confusion. However, this paper illustrates that they are actually two distinct processes. The author introduces four different ways of processing behaviours and visual events, attention and consciousness, no attention and no consciousness, attention and lack of consciousness, lack of attention and consciousness, respectively, to state that attention is not a necessary condition to consciousness. The writer also argues that attention and consciousness can oppose each other therefore these two are independent.
The different stages of consciousness during sleep an article written by Matthew J. Edlund, M.D. in The Power of Rest, examines the level of consciousness during different levels of sleep. The first level of sleep is called micro sleeps, where people doze off for 5-30 seconds. When you’re driving a car for a long period and you doze off for just a second. Once you wake up and realize that you just feel asleep, most of the time you have no recollection of what happened in those few seconds. They have also done studies on train conductors who were sleeping while standing and after they awoke they argued that they were awake the whole time even after seeing video of them clearly fast asleep. This demonstrates that sleep and consciousness are two different things. The second level of sleep is delirium, most common in elders and people under the influence of drugs or alcohol. People go from one subject to forgetting everything, such as your name and where they are. This is due to a break in consciousness. The third level off sleep is early morning wakefulness. The time from when you wake up to the time that you gain full consciousness, many people experience high levels of forgetfulness as well as memory of your actions. It may take several hours to regain full consciousness. The fourth level of sleep is the REM sleep. Most known for dreaming and the most active your brain can be while sleeping. This brings in the most consciousness of any of the levels of sleep. The last level of sleep is deep sleep; this is as close as we get to being in a comma. Very little consciousness is present during this period. We experience many levels of consciousness whether we are awake or sleeping. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-power-rest/201101/sleep-and-your-different-states-consciousness
http://applij.oxfordjournals.org/content/11/2/129.full.pdf+htmlThe article “ The Role of Consciousness in Second Language Learning” written by Richard W. Schmidt explains how consciousness plays an important role in learning a another Language. The article concludes three questions, the importance of conscious awareness for language learning; consciously pay attention to learn; and learner hypothesis based on input are the result of conscious or unconscious understanding. The notice is necessary and sufficient condition for converting input to intake. Paying attention is important and necessary if the adults learners are acquire redundant grammatical features.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-consciousness-universal/It is interesting to consider the universality of consciousness. Do all living things posses at least a basic level of consciousness. I believe that they do. This author shares a similar opinion. You can see the ways that animals can react to internal feelings. When they are hungry or upset by something they express themselves in ways almost similar to humans. Dogs whine and yelp and even come to their owners to seek help and aid if they get injured, incredibly similar to how humans may react to such a situation. "All species—bees, octopuses, ravens, crows, magpies, parrots, tuna, mice, whales, dogs, cats and monkeys—are capable of sophisticated, learned, nonstereotyped behaviors that would be associated with consciousness if a human were to carry out such actions." Due to all of this is it is certainly arguable that all living things do feel and experience their consciousness in ways similar to humans.
For many years, this complex topic has been difficult to understand- even Science and Religion have crossed path to attempt to find the ideal definition for this ambiguous subject. It is not as easy as claiming consciousness as the state of being awake. A simple way to put it is: the conscious mind is found within oneself and the external world. It has the ability to recognize patterns and meaning. But how can consciousness be explained in depth? David Chalmers from TED, explains how consciousness has no scientific explanation to it -that it is both a fundamental fact of human existence and that it is universal. Normally, consciousness would not be scientifically explained due to the fact that it is subjective in nature and science is objective. It cannot be explained similarly to how "physics explains chemistry, chemistry explains biology, and biology explains parts of psychology”, but it is more about what an individual feels within. Fundamentally, consciousness is a building block of life- similar to space, mass, time and charge. Due to its complexity, finding laws that can govern its connectivity to other fundamentals have not been done so yet. The idea that consciousness can be related to other information being processed give rise to the fact that there is consciousness. A more radical view of consciousness is known as “panpsychism”. It suggests that all systems including particles of light have some degree of consciousness. Although there are equations that can be solved to find out the structure of reality, what really drives reality is consciousness; it is what drives these mathematical equations because they describe the flux of consciousness. Even with these ideas, nothing is concrete and more research is needed to make sense of these explanations. http://www.whatonearthishappening.com/part-1-the-solution/62-what-is-consciousnesshttps://www.ted.com/talks/david_chalmers_how_do_you_explain_consciousness/transcript?language=en
Consciousness is originally deprived from the Latin conscious, con- "together" and scio - "to know". Accordingly, it has been defined as awareness, the ability to feel and experience, having a sense of selfhood, and the capacity of controlling the mind. The research article explains the conceptions of consciousness and significantly determines how a mental state should be a conscious mental state related to the body. It is our responsibility to be consciously aware of our selves and encounter within the environment. However, how does consciousness connected to the brain and the mind together? In one sense, consciousness seems to be “unified,” which means that all the information we process come together in the brain. Cleeremans explains that the problem of integrating the information processed by different regions of the brain is known as the “binding problem.” This “binding problem” evidences how the consciousness functions in every region of the brain, and so, consciousness aims the brain to perceive correct information with full attention. Moreover, the mind refers to our thought processes; correspondingly, the information of conscious thoughts also lay in our brain. It is helpful that we maintain our awareness or consciousness of one’s mental state because it is the basic tool that is essential for living. The nature of consciousness is like oxygen for human beings, without a certain level of consciousness, we would be nothing more than a body of flesh – not thinking and not living. Overall, the more we expand our awareness and consciousness, the more we experience the surroundings and ourselves, also, the more we perceive information about the world.http://www.iep.utm.edu/consciou/#SH5a