Subscribe
Subscribe
MY AMERICAN SCIENTIST
LOG IN! REGISTER!
SEARCH
 
Logo IMG
HOME > My Amsci > Restricted Access

Fractures and Bindings of Consciousness



Restricted Access The content you've requested is available without charge only to active Sigma Xi members and American Scientist subscribers.


If you are an active member or an individual subscriber, please log in now in order to access this article.

If you are not a member or individual subscriber, you can:



Abstract:

2011-01TuckerF1.jpgClick to Enlarge ImageSometimes examining how a process fails enlightens us to how it works. Consciousness—awareness of what we are doing and what we have just done—breaks down in people afflicted with epilepsy. Recent advances in mapping the spread of epileptic seizures have allowed the authors to align the unique fractures in consciousness that occur during seizures with the interference that seizures cause in specific areas of the brain. One type of seizure suggests that one component of consciousness is provided by ongoing memory, which allows us to use the knowledge of the immediate past and anticipate the immediate future. Another type of seizure suggests that an integral component of consciousness is the voluntary control of intentions. The authors conclude that it may be possible to differentiate consciousness into functional components, rather than assuming it is an indivisible quality of mind.


Subscribe to American Scientist