Ten minutes of consciousness

I have to admit, I’m a little bored with consciousness, and my heart slightly sinks when I see yet another piece that rehashes the same old arguments. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this refreshing Cristof Koch talk where he engagingly describes his own approach to the neural basis of conscious experience.

The talk is from a recent debate on consciousness that was covered by The Guardian and serves as a great introduction to some of the major issues in the field.

Despite a minor relapse of his Mac-affliction half way through (sufferers may note that there is now a maintenance treatment that can ease the path to full remission) the talk is ten well-spent minutes which might just re-ignite your interest in consciousness.

Link to video of consciousness talk at The Guardian.

4 thoughts on “Ten minutes of consciousness”

  1. Koch claims that there’s no consciousness of the immune system — what about proprioception! This is well known in traditional Chinese medicine — there is a buzzing sensation for each of the organs as disease is fought off.

    The enteric nervous system of the gut? What about the vagus nerve! In yoga it’s well known that the vagus nerve can be consciously activated.

    Yoga and meditation and trance training enable humans to be consciously aware of otherwise subconscious perceptions. In Chinese traditional medicine the emotions are stored in the organs.

  2. I think a lot of problems with consciousness stem from confusion in terminology and the answer were looking for.
    When you say we are conscious of something, say a bee sting, isn’t that just the activation of pain receptors? Wouldn’t it seem obvious that we could feel it, and that us thinking about it is simply the byproduct of us being able to use language? It would seem that “consciousness” is just a misinterpretation of what’s really happening.
    For instance, do we actually consciously recall memories or do we influence a cascade of neuronal activity that finds the memory–doing so by finding the right vocal stimulus with our inner voice that is associated with the right memory?

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