Enchanted Looms: Conscious Networks in Brains and Computers

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Overview

The title of this book was inspired by a passage in Charles Sherrington's Man on his Nature. When that famous physiologist died in 1952, the prospects for a scientific explanation of consciousness seemed remote. Enchanted Looms shows how the situation has changed dramatically, and provides what is probably the most wide-ranging account of the phenomenon ever written.

Rodney Cotterill bridges the gap between the bottom-up approach to understanding consciousness, anchored in the brain's biochemistry, anatomy and physiology, and the top-down strategy, which concerns itself with behaviour and the nervous system's interaction with the environment. The author argues that an explanation of consciousness is now at hand, and extends the discussion to include intelligence and creativity.

This beautifully written and illustrated book will be valued for its easy access to one of science's last great challenges. It will change forever our view of consciousness, and our concept of the human being.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The book is well structured, moving easily between anatomical detail, functional theories, methodologies and the analyses of others, making it mandatory reading for those considering doing research on this topic." Times Higher Education Supplement

"The book is well structured, moving easily between anatomical detail, functional theories, methodologies and the analyses of others, making it mandatory reading for those considering doing research on this topic." Times Higher Education Supplement

"In both its details and in overall execution this is a very exciting book. The author substantiates his claim that consciousness and mind are best explained as motor-system functions." The Quarterly Review of Biology

"What is so wonderful about Cotterill's thesis is that he provides a simple yet powerful definition ... worthwile." Journal of the History of the Neurosciences

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521624350
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2013
  • Pages: 508
  • Product dimensions: 6.85 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 1.14 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgements
1 Introduction
2 The ultimate black box
3 Under the lid
4 Games neurons play
5 Lasting impressions
6 From percept to concept
7 The grand design
8 The first half second
9 Midwives of reflection
10 The depth of reason
11 The message and the medium
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