“Ultimately, we are puppets of both pain and pleasure, occasionally made free by our creativity.”

A century and a half after James, neuroscientist Antonio Damasio picks up an empirical baton where Dickinson had left a torch of intuition. In his revelatory book Feeling & Knowing: Making Minds Conscious (public library), he makes the bold case that consciousness — that ultimate lens of being, which shapes our entire experience of life and makes blue appear blue and gives poems their air of wonder — is not a mental activity confined to the brain but a complex embodied phenomenon governed by the nervous-system activity we call feeling.

Quelle: I Feel, Therefore I Am: Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio on Consciousness and How the Feeling-Tone of the Body Underscores the Symphony of the Mind

6 Powerful Psychological Effects that Explain how Our Brains Tick – The Buffer Blog.

Posted on Friday, August 9th, 2013


Understanding the psychology behind the way we tick might help us to tick even better.

Many studies and much research has been invested into the how and why behind our everyday actions and interactions. The results are revealing. If you are looking for a way to supercharge your personal development, understanding the psychology behind our actions is an essential first step.

Fortunately, knowing is half the battle. When you realize all the many ways in which our minds create perceptions, weigh decisions, and subconsciously operate, you can see the psychological advantages start to take shape. It’s like a backstage pass to the way we work, and being backstage, you have an even greater understanding of what it takes to succeed.

The following 6 psychology facts can be viewed as a hacker’s guide to self-improvement, based on the brain’s default settings. So, that’s exactly what this is – your backstage pass to how our brain functions and how we can best avoid common misconceptions: (…)

Consciousness: why bother? | Chris Frith | Science | guardian.co.uk.

Friday 2 March 2012 12.27 GMT

The collection of abilities and experiences that we call the mind emerges from the brain, so the study of the brain can provide important information about the mind. For most of the 20th century, mind-brain relationships could only be explored in people with damaged brains, typically caused by strokes or head injuries. Such damage can result in loss of consciousness, and in extreme cases coma, but more interestingly it can also result in changes in the content of consciousness.

There can be loss of some aspects of sensory experience despite the sense organs remaining intact, and there can be novel and unusual sensory experiences such as hallucinations. For example, damage to the colour area in the visual part of the brain can result in loss of colour experience, even though the colour receptors in the eye are working normally. Furthermore, abnormal activity in this area can lead to hallucinations of colour.

Studies of patients with brain damage reveal how much can be achieved without awareness. Patients with damage to the right side of the brain („spatial neglect„) can successfully pick out the better of two objects (eg. an intact rather than a damaged house) while reporting that they cannot see any difference between them. Patients with damage to visual areas of the brain („visual agnosia“) can’t recognise objects from their shape, but will adjust their hand to the shape of the object when picking it up. In these cases, information of which the patient is unaware is nevertheless sufficient to achieve a successful action. (…)

Further reading

Frith C.D. (2007) Making up the mind, Wiley-Blackwell.