Christof Koch and the Theory of Consciousness Essay

Christof Koch and the Theory of Consciousness Essay

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Consciousness was first described and introduced by Sigmund Freud and Friedrich Nietzsche (Crick & Koch, 2001). It has been described as a realm of the mind that controls human behaviour. However consciousness is not accessible to conscious introspection, self-examination or a source of knowledge. On the contrary, Christof Koch, a neuroscientist collaborator of Francis Crick, describes unconsciousness as any neuronal activity that does not give rise to conscious sensation, thought or memory (Crick & Koch, 2001). Though unconsciousness differs in many different ways to consciousness, it works in a waking state that deals with cause and effect and the logical spontaneous processes in order to process information. On the contrary unconscious mind is associated with involuntary activities that form connections with thoughts, ideas and reflections, which unconsciousness also has the capability for multi-tasking. Therefore, as Koch explains, unconscious puts humans is an “online” mode, allowing us to override our instinctual ‘offline’ programming.
Scientists and philosophers have different understanding and explanations for consciousness, as it used to be observed from a philosophical point of view only. However, the advancement of technologies in understanding brain from a computational, bio-molecular and cognitive and behavioural approach, consciousness is being studied from a neuroscientific approach as well. Therefore neuroscientists have difficulties in verifying and understanding its existence, for example, Dennet believes consciousness is the evolved capacity for self-knowledge that gives us the subjective experience. Where as Francis Crick looks at from a completely neuroscientist view that one should look at Neural Correlates ...


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...Natural Correates of Conscouness (Cambridge, Mass:MIT Press, 2000) NCC. Retrieved 29th of December 2011

Reagan, Leslie A., et al, ed (2007). Pavlov Children Medicine's moving pictures. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press. p. 285. Retrieved 7th of December 2011

Scheff, Thomas Ph.D. 2009. Emotional/Relational World. Psychology Today. www.psychologytoday.com. Retrieved 2nd of December 2011. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/lets-connect/200909/the- emotionalrelational-world

Shear, J., Explaining Consciousness – The Hard Problem (Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1997) (and Journal of consciousness studies 1995)

Tsuchiya & Koch. (2009) Tsuchiya, Naotsugu. Koch, Christof. The relationship Between Consciousness and attention. Chapter 6. The Journal of The Neurology of Consciousness. www.klab.caltech.edu. Retrieved in the 2nd of December 2011.

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