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The Unity of Consciousness: Binding, Integration, and Dissociation
     

The Unity of Consciousness: Binding, Integration, and Dissociation

by Axel Cleeremans
 

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

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.

Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Michael Joel Schrift, DO, MA (Northwestern University Feinberg School 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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780198508571
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
07/28/2003
Pages:
328
Product dimensions:
9.50(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)

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Universite Libre de Bruxelles

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