Consciousness: Creeping up on the Hard Problem

Consciousness: Creeping up on the Hard Problem

by Jeffrey Gray

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Overview

Consciousness: Creeping up on the Hard Problem by Jeffrey Gray

How does conscious experience arise out of the functioning of the human brain? How is it related to the behaviour that it accompanies? How does the perceived world relate to the real world? Between them, these three questions constitute what is commonly known as the 'Hard Problem' of consciousness. Despite vast knowledge of the relationship between brain and behaviour, and rapid advances in our knowledge of how brain activity correlates with conscious experience, the answers to all three questions remain controversial, even mysterious. This important new book analyses these core issues and reviews the evidence from both introspection and experiment. To many its conclusions will be surprising and even unsettling -: The entire perceived world is constructed by the brain. The relationship between the world we perceive and the underlying physical reality is not as close as we might think. Much of our behaviour is accomplished with little or no participation from conscious experience. Our conscious experience of our behaviour lags behind the behaviour itself by around a fifth of a second - we become aware of what we do only after we have done it. The lag in conscious experience applies also to the decision to act - we only become aware of our decisions after they have been formed. The self is as much a creation of the brain as is the rest of the perceived world. Written by a leading scientist, this analysis of how conscious experience relates to brain and behaviour is accessible and compelling. It will have major implications for our understanding of human nature.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780198520917
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 02/03/2007
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 360
Product dimensions: 9.10(w) x 6.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

In 1983, Jeffrey Gray received the Presidents' Award of the British Psychological Society. He has given the Lister Lecture to the British Association for the Advancement of Science (1967), the Myers Lecture to the British Psychological Society (1977), the Donald Hebb Lecture at McGill University, Montreal (1994), and the Kenneth Craik Lecture (1995) at St John's College, Cambridge. He was elected a Fellow of the British Psychological Society in 1993, President of the Experimental Psychology Society 1996-1998, and life-time Honorary Member of the Experimental Psychology Society, 1999. He was Mary Morten Moody Visiting Professor, VMI, Virginia USA in 1983, and Visiting Professor at the CollPge de France, Paris, in 1999. He has received an Honorary Doctorate from Washington and Lee University, Virginia USA, 2000, and an Honorary Fellowship at Goldsmiths College, London University, 2002.

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