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Exciting new developments in brain science are continuing the debates on these issues, and the field has now expanded to include biologists, neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers. This controversial book clarifies the potentially confusing arguments, and the major theories, whilst also outlining the amazing pace of discoveries in neuroscience. Covering areas such as the construction of self in the brain, mechanisms of attention, the neural correlates of consciousness, and the
physiology of altered states of consciousness, Susan Blackmore highlights our latest findings.
ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Essential reading for anyone seeking to understand their own mind and to find a spiritual path that is compatible with science
As an impressionable young student, Susan Blackmore had an intense, dramatic and life-changing experience, seeming to leave her body and travel the world. With no rational explanation for her out-of-body experience (OBE) she turned to astral projection and the paranormal, but soon despaired of finding answers. Decades later, a Swiss neurosurgeon accidentally discovered the spot in the brain that can induce OBEs and everything changed; this crucial spot is part of the brain's self-system and when disturbed so is our experience of self. Blackmore leaped back into OBE research and at last began to unravel what had happened to her. Seeing Myself describes her long quest for answers through spirituality, religion, drugs, meditation, philosophy and neuroscience.
Anyone can have an OBE, indeed 15 per cent of us have. Even more have experienced sleep paralysis, lucid dreaming and the creepy sense of an invisible presence. At last, with the advent of brain stimulation, fMRI scanning and virtual reality, all these phenomena are beginning to make sense. Long relegated to the very fringes of research, the new science of out-of-body experiences is now contributing to our understanding of consciousness and our very selves.
the inner self. Confronting the deepest questions about our inner selves, with all our emotions, memories, beliefs, and decisions, Susan Blackmore makes a compelling case for the theory that the inner self is merely an illusion created by the memes for the sake of replication.
Susan Blackmore combines the latest scientific theories about mind, self, and consciousness with a lifetime’s practice of Zen.
Framed by ten critical questions that are derived from Zen’s teachings, Zen and the Art of Consciousness explores how intellectual enquiry and meditation can expand your understanding and experience of consciousness and tackle some of today’s greatest scientific mysteries.
personalities and styles and reveal a wealth of fascinating detail about their theories and beliefs.
Why is consciousness such a special and difficult issue for twenty-first century science? Sue, herself a researcher into this controversial and difficult topic, begins by asking each of her colleagues this simple question and is immediately plunged into the depths of the debate: How do the subjective experiences we call consciousness arise from the physical brain? Is this even the right question to ask? Can zombies - people who behave outwardly just like others but have no inner mental life -
exist? What can dreams tell us about consciousness? Should we all be learning to meditate? Do we have free will, and if not is it possible to live without it?
With an introduction setting out the broad structure of the debate on consciousness, and an extensive glossary, this book provides an engaging and accessible account of the most challenging problem of all, through the words of some of the leading figures involved in seeking to solve it.
Is there a theory that explains the essence of consciousness?
Or is consciousness itself an illusion?
Am I conscious now?
Now considered the 'last great mystery of science', consciousness was once viewed with extreme scepticism and rejected by mainstream scientists. It is now a significant area of research, albeit a contentious one, as well as a rapidly expanding area of study for students of psychology, philosophy, and neuroscience.
This edition of Consciousness, revised by author team Susan Blackmore and Emily Troscianko, explores the key theories and evidence in consciousness studies ranging from neuroscience and psychology to quantum theories and philosophy. It examines why the term ‘consciousness’ has no recognised definition and provides an opportunity to delve into personal intuitions about the self, mind, and consciousness.
Featuring comprehensive coverage of all core topics in the field, this edition includes:
- Why the problem of consciousness is so hard
- Neuroscience and the neural correlates of consciousness
- Why we might be mistaken about our own minds
- The apparent difference between conscious and unconscious
- Theories of attention, free will, and self and other
- The evolution of consciousness in animals and machines
- Altered states from meditation to drugs and dreaming
Complete with key concept boxes, profiles of well-known thinkers, and questions and activities suitable for both independent study and group work, Consciousness provides a complete introduction to this fascinating field. Additional resources are available on the accompanying companion website: www.routledge.com/cw/blackmore
There are ten chapters. Each starts with the story of an extraordinary experience or phenomenon, from premonitions that came true to the powers of mind over matter. This is followed by directions for carrying out both simple and more complicated experiments. Some can be easily done at home on your own, while others are better suited to groups of friends or students. Many are ideal for school or college projects. Simple statistics are explained and tables given for working out the significance your results. The book would be a useful text for simple courses on experimental design or critical thinking.