The phenomenon of `consciousness' is intrinsically related to one's awareness of one's self, of time, and of the physical world. What, then, can be learned about consciousness from people who have suffered brain damage such as amnesia which affects their awareness? This is the question explored by Lawrence Weiskrantz, a distinguished neuropsychologist who has worked with such patients over 30 years. Written in an engaging and accessible style, Consciousness Lost and Found provides a unique perspective on one of the most (...) challenging issues in science today. (shrink)
The first edition of Blindsight, written by Lawrence Weiskrantz was an important and highly cited account of studies of the phenomenon - Blindsight. The updated edition retains the original text of the first edition, but brings the book up to date with developments in this area in the past decade.
Listening to subject’s commentaries can be a useful spur to novel scientific departures, as in studies of blindsight. Recently further testing has been possible with subject DB, who was a blindsight patient tested intensively over a period of 10 years and who was the subject of the book, . Essentially his original capacity is the same or somewhat more sensitive. Some further types of discriminations have now been tested that were not possible in the original study. But a new feature (...) was discovered, namely that he describes conscious after-images of a wide range of inducing stimuli of which he is unconscious. The properties of the after-images are briefly described, such as their occurrence following unseen colour patches, luminance changes, shape, spatial frequency, their long durations, showing inter-ocular transfer, as well as their conforming to Emmert’s Law. Various approaches are discussed towards finding the source of their generation, such as the use of after-images of colour mixes of separate inputs to the two eyes . They are also discussed in terms of after-images in normal subjects that are generated by imagination. The discovery offers a rare potential opportunity to compare the brain activity associated with both the conscious and unconscious attributes of the precisely the same stimuli in the same locus in the same subject. (shrink)
In recent years consciousness has become a significant area of study in the cognitive sciences. The Frontiers of Consciousness is a major interdisciplinary exploration of consciousness. The book stems from the Chichele lectures held at All Souls College in Oxford, and features contributions from a 'who's who' of authorities from both philosophy and psychology. The result is a truly interdisciplinary volume, which tackles some of the biggest and most impenetrable problems in consciousness. The book includes chapters considering the apparent explanatory (...) gap between science and consciousness, our conscious experience of emotions such as fear, and of willed actions by ourselves and others. It looks at subjective differences between two ways in which visual information guides behaviour, and scientific investigation of consciousness in non-human animals. It looks at the challenges that the mind-brain relation presents for clinical practice as well as for theories of consciousness. The book draws on leading research from philosophy, experimental psychology, functional imaging of the brain, neuropsychology, neuroscience, and clinical neurology. Distinctive in its accessibility, authority, and its depth of coverage, Frontiers of Consciousness will be a groundbreaking and influential addition to the consciousness literature. (shrink)