The Unity of Consciousness: Binding, Integration, and Dissociation

Overview


Consciousness has many elements, from sensory experiences such as vision, audition, and bodily sensation, to nonsensory aspects such as volition, emotion, memory, and thought. The apparent unity of these elements is striking; all are presented to us as experiences of a single subject, and all seem to be contained within a unified field of experience. But this apparent unity raises many questions. How do diverse systems in the brain co-operate to produce a unified experience? Are there conditions under which this...
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Overview


Consciousness has many elements, from sensory experiences such as vision, audition, and bodily sensation, to nonsensory aspects such as volition, emotion, memory, and thought. The apparent unity of these elements is striking; all are presented to us as experiences of a single subject, and all seem to be contained within a unified field of experience. But this apparent unity raises many questions. How do diverse systems in the brain co-operate to produce a unified experience? Are there conditions under which this unity breaks down? Is conscious experience really unified at all?
In recent years, these questions have been addressed by researchers in many fields, including, neurophysiologists and computational modellers, neuropsychology, cognitive psychology, and philosophy. With chapters from some of the leading thinkers on consciousness, this is a thought-provoking book that attempts to answer some of the big questions.
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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Michael Joel Schrift, D.O., M.A.(University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This new and thought-provoking book focuses on the processes involved in organizing our varied unimodal sensory experiences as well as emotion, memory, and thought into a coherent phenomena called consciousness. The book is based on a conference entitled Fourth Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Consciousness, which took place in July 2000 in Belgium. Written and edited by internationally recognized researchers in the study of consciousness, this book is a valuable contribution to this fascinating subject.
Purpose: The purpose of the book (and the conference) is an attempt to answer some big questions: How do diverse systems in the brain interact to produce a coherent experience? Are there disorders of brain function in which this coherent experience breaks down? Is this coherent experience really unified? The editors and authors have produced an excellent summary of the attempts to answer these questions.
Audience: The intended audience are researchers in the field of consciousness including cognitive neuroscientists, philosophers, and psychologists.
Features: The book is divided into four parts. Part 1 focuses on the question: What is unity? Part 2 is devoted to the issue the mechanisms of binding. Part 3 provides interesting chapters on brain disorders in which unity breaks down. Part 4 addresses the emergence of unity with chapters on neural synchrony as well as dreaming and emotion. The chapters are written by the leading researchers in this field. Each chapter concludes with pertinent and timely references. The index section is very helpful.
Assessment: This is an excellent and extremely interesting new book on consciousness and its mechanisms. Anyone interested in this most fascinating area of research should read this book.

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198508571
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 7/28/2003
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Universite Libre de Bruxelles
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Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgements
Introduction
What is Unity?
1. What is the unity of consciousness, Timothy Bayne and David J. Chalmers
2. Consciousness and co-consciousness, Sydney Shoemaker
3. Action, the unity of consciousness, and vehicle externalism, Susan Hurley
Binding (The Mechanisms of unity)
4. Consciousness and perceptual binding, Anne Treisman
5. Conscious visual representations built from multiple binding processes: Evidence from neuropsychology, Glyn W. Humphreys
6. Temporal binding and the neural correlates of consciousness, Andreas K. Engel
7. Oscillatory synchrony as a signature for the unity of consciousness of visual experience in humans, Catherine Tallon-Baudry
8. Three forms of binding and their neural substrates: Alternatives to temporal synchrony, Randall C. O'Reilly, Richard Busby, and Rodolfo Soto
Dissociations (When unity breaks down)
9. Linking learning and consciousness: The self-organizing consciousness (SOC) Model, Pierre Perruchet and Annie Vinter
10. Unifying consciousness with explicit knowledge, Zoltan Dienes and Josef Perner
11. Face recognition with and without awareness, Andrew W. Young
Integration (The emergence of unity)
12. Consciousness differentiated and integrated, Guilio Tononi
13. Neural synchrony and the unity of mind: A neurophenomenological perspective, Francisco Varela and Evan Thompson
14. Conscious unity, emotion, dreaming, and the solution of the hard problem, Rodney Cotterill

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