Consciousness can be defines as both internal and external awareness; the awareness of external stimuli and an internal awareness of the self as a unique being (Weiten 2007, pp. 186). The interaction between the perceived external stimuli and the sense of self is what produces many of the distortion of consciousness discussed by Pinker (2007): the patient's sense that he would recognize his family leads him to conclude that they are impostors when his brain doesn't connect the external stimuli (i.e. The presence of his family) in the expected manner.
The fact that the consciousness is not located in a single area of the brain, but rather is composed of a network of neural pathways throughout the brain, is also noted by both authors (Pinker 207; Wieten 2007, p. 187). In addition to measuring various areas of the brain to determine...
All of this means that there is no central "I," but rather a network of smaller impulses that the brain later coalesces to give the illusion of a single thinker (Pinker 2007).
Consciousness is still largely misunderstood, in part because it is impossible for two people to share the same conscious experience (Pinker 2007). While progress can certainly be made, it is likely that it will never be fully explored.
Pinker, S. 92007). "The brain: The mystery of consciousness." Time magazine. Accessed 3 October 2009. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1580394-6,00.html
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