Faculty Book: Jesse Prinz
The Conscious Brain
(Oxford University Press, 2012)
Synthesizing decades of research, the author advances a new theory of the psychological and neurophysiological correlates of conscious experience. He makes two main claims: first, consciousness always arises at a particular stage of perceptual processing, the intermediate level; second, consciousness depends on attention. Attention changes the flow of information, allowing perceptual information to access memory systems. Neurobiologically, this change in flow depends on synchronized neural firing; neural synchrony is also implicated in the unity of consciousness and in the temporal duration of experience. Prinz also explores the limits of consciousness and concludes by discussing prevailing philosophical puzzles, providing a neuroscientifically grounded response to the leading argument for mind-body dualism and arguing that materialists need not choose between functional and neurobiological approaches but can combine them. Jesse Prinz is a distinguished professor of philosophy at the Graduate Center.
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Submitted on: JAN 18, 2013