Gerald M. Edelman
The brain is wider than the sky, For, put them side by side, The one the other will include With ease and you beside, wrote the American poet Emily Dickinson in the mid-nineteenth century. The fundamental mechanisms governing mental life are now the subject of scientific study. In this book, Gerald Edelman examines a major aspect of the mind - consciousness. How can the firing of neurons give rise to subjective sensations, thoughts and emotions? How can the disparate domains of mind and body be reconciled? A scientific explanation of consciousness must take into account the causal connections between these two domains. Such a theory must show how the neural bases of consciousness appeared during the evolutionary process and how certain animals developed consciousness. These are some of the key issues that Gerald Edelman examines here. He shows that consciousness cannot be located in a specific area of the brain, because it is a process linked to how the brain functions as a whole, to its wealth of connections and to its great complexity. The brain, he argues, is not a kind of computer. Edelman is regarded as one of the greatest theoreticians of the brain, and his notion of consciousness dominates all discussions on the subject among the international scientific community. This book offers the most accessible version of his theories that is available today. The winner of the 1972 Nobel Prize in Medicine, Gerald Edelman heads the Institute for Neurosciences, in La Jolla, California.
How do the physical occurrences which take place in our brains create the world of conscious experience ? Philosophers have long disputed this question but today, it is science which is in a position to formulate real answers. Gerald M.Edelman and Giulio Tononi demonstrate that the processes which lead to consciousness are not confined to the brain, but are actually dependant on the functioning of numerous areas. They also show that these interactions are not fixed processes, but are constantly adjusted and modified. This research represents one step further towards understanding our identity and our complexity. Gerald M.Edelman, who has received the Nobel Prize for medicine, heads the Institute of Neurosciences at La Jolla in California. Giulio Tononi is a researcher at the Institute of Neurosciences.
How do we think? What makes us beings that are endowed with conscience, capable of memory, of perceiving the surrounding world, of feeling passion? This book presents an ensemble of mechanisms that compose the human spirit and addresses the progress of the neuroscientific revolution: the biology of the brain and the study of its evolution are in the process of surrendering to us the key to conscience itself. Gerald. M. Edleman, winner of the Nobel Prize for medicine, heads the Institute of Neurosciences at La Jolla, California.