News tagged with consciousness
(Medical Xpress) -- When people find themselves having to make a decision, the assumption is that the thoughts, or voice that is the conscious mind at work, deliberate, come to a decision, and then act. This ...
Neuroscience Aug 07, 2012 | 4.6 / 5 (25) | 204 |
(Medical Xpress)—Doctors in Canada claim they have opened a communication channel, using fMRI, with a man assumed to be in a vegetative state for over twelve years. By asking the patient to envision two ...
Neuroscience Nov 14, 2012 | 4.7 / 5 (17) | 7 |
Studies of lucid dreamers visualize which centers of the brain become active when we become aware of ourselves.
Neuroscience Jul 27, 2012 | 4.7 / 5 (14) | 12 |
UCSF scientists controlled seizures in epileptic mice with a one-time transplantation of medial ganglionic eminence (MGE) cells, which inhibit signaling in overactive nerve circuits, into the hippocampus, a brain region associated ...
Neuroscience May 05, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (14) | 2 |
Awakening from anesthesia is often associated with an initial phase of delirious struggle before the full restoration of awareness and orientation to one's surroundings. Scientists now know why this may occur: ...
Neuroscience Apr 04, 2012 | 5 / 5 (12) | 0 |
Wouldn't it be amazing if our bodies prepared us for future events that could be very important to us, even if there's no clue about what those events will be?
Psychology & Psychiatry Oct 22, 2012 | 2.9 / 5 (21) | 11 |
Findings from a first-of-its-kind study by Indiana University researchers confirm anecdotal evidence that exercise -- absent sex or fantasies -- can lead to female orgasm.
Other Mar 19, 2012 | 3.6 / 5 (14) | 12 |
(Medical Xpress) -- What does consciousness do? Theories vary, but most neurologists and cognitive psychologists agree that we need awareness for integration. That is, unconscious processing can take in one object or word ...
Psychology & Psychiatry May 12, 2011 | 4.9 / 5 (9) | 11 |
Psychologists at Bangor University believe that they have glimpsed for the first time, a process that takes place deep within our unconscious brain, where primal reactions interact with higher mental processes. Writing in ...
Neuroscience May 08, 2012 | 4.8 / 5 (9) | 10 |
Face the facts: Neural integration transforms unconscious face detection into conscious face perception
(Medical Xpress)—The apparent ease and immediacy of human perception is deceptive, requiring highly complex neural operations to determine the category of objects in a visual scene. Nevertheless, the human ...
Neuroscience Dec 31, 2012 | 4.8 / 5 (9) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress) -- Consciousness is a selective process that allows only a part of the sensory input to reach awareness. But up to today it has yet to be clarified which areas of the brain are responsible ...
Neuroscience Jun 13, 2012 | 5 / 5 (8) | 0 |
Since the mid-1800s, doctors have used drugs to induce general anesthesia in patients undergoing surgery. Despite their widespread use, little is known about how these drugs create such a profound loss of ...
Neuroscience Mar 04, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Researchers at Hebrew University in Jerusalem have found that contrary to popular thinking, people are capable of reading sentences and solving math problems without consciously thinking ...
Psychology & Psychiatry Nov 13, 2012 | 3.6 / 5 (10) | 4 |
Investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have identified for the first time a pattern of brain activity that appears to signal exactly when patients ...
Neuroscience Nov 05, 2012 | 4.9 / 5 (7) | 2 |
A new study uses creative engineering to unravel brain mechanisms associated with one of the most fundamental subjective human feelings: self-consciousness. The research, published by Cell Press in the April 28 issue of the ...
Neuroscience Apr 27, 2011 | 5 / 5 (5) | 0 |
Consciousness is a term that refers to the relationship between the mind and the world with which it interacts. It has been defined as: subjectivity, awareness, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood, and the executive control system of the mind. Despite the difficulty in definition, many philosophers believe that there is a broadly shared underlying intuition about what consciousness is. As Max Velmans and Susan Schneider wrote in The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness: "Anything that we are aware of at a given moment forms part of our consciousness, making conscious experience at once the most familiar and most mysterious aspect of our lives."
Philosophers since the time of Descartes and Locke have struggled to comprehend the nature of consciousness and pin down its essential properties. Issues of concern in the philosophy of consciousness include whether the concept is fundamentally valid; whether consciousness can ever be explained mechanistically; whether non-human consciousness exists and if so how it can be recognized; how consciousness relates to language; and whether it may ever be possible for computers or robots to be conscious. Perhaps the thorniest issue is whether consciousness can be understood in a way that does not require a dualistic distinction between mental and physical states or properties.
At one time consciousness was viewed with skepticism by many scientists, but in recent years it has become a significant topic of research in psychology and neuroscience. The primary focus is on understanding what it means biologically and psychologically for information to be present in consciousness—that is, on determining the neural and psychological correlates of consciousness. The majority of experimental studies assess consciousness by asking human subjects for a verbal report of their experiences (e.g., "tell me if you notice anything when I do this"). Issues of interest include phenomena such as subliminal perception, blindsight, denial of impairment, and altered states of consciousness produced by psychoactive drugs or spiritual or meditative techniques.
In medicine, consciousness is assessed by observing a patient's arousal and responsiveness, and can be seen as a continuum of states ranging from full alertness and comprehension, through disorientation, delirium, loss of meaningful communication, and finally loss of movement in response to painful stimuli. Issues of practical concern include how the presence of consciousness can be assessed in severely ill, comatose, or anesthetized people, and how to treat conditions in which consciousness is impaired or disrupted.
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