Such a Brilliant Brain The Boundaries of Consciousness Publication date : January 2, 2015
Steven Laureys is a neurologist, a clinical professor in the Neurology Department of the University Hospital of Liège, and a research director at the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS). He is the director of the Coma Science Group of the Cyclotron Research Centre of the University of Liège. His research focuses essentially on altered states of consciousness in severely brain-damaged patients and during anaesthesia, sleep and hypnosis.
The recipient of numerous scientific awards, he is recognised as one of the world’s top specialists in the study of altered states of consciousness.
There is an obvious link between our state of consciousness and the brain, since we lose consciousness when the blood supply to the brain diminishes. But what do we mean by ‘loss of consciousness’? And what is consciousness of the self? Do human beings alone possess consciousness, or are animals also conscious of what happens to them, of their existence and of their being? Much is already known about human states of consciousness, but many questions remain.
This book examines the state of consciousness and its chronic alterations, such as coma. It also explains how comatose patients evolve toward a vegetative state or one of minimal consciousness, toward locked-in syndrome or cerebral death.
Our brain defines us. The author explains here, in accessible language, what we now know about the state of consciousness and about how the brain works. That brilliant brain that enables us to be conscious and makes us unique.
• Steven Laureys answers many questions about the brain’s allegedly ‘miraculous’ powers.
• He is without doubt at the vanguard of research into altered states of consciousness.
• An engrossing and highly accessible book, despite its cutting-edge science.