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Rogers, T. (2014). Consciousness and the brain: deciphering how the brain codes our thoughts. Neuropsychoanalysis, 16(2):149-152.

(2014). Neuropsychoanalysis, 16(2):149-152

Book Review

Consciousness and the brain: deciphering how the brain codes our thoughts

Terence Rogers, Ph.D.

If you read only one book on consciousness this year, make it this one.

It is entertaining, thoughtful, educational, and beautifully written, and provides an excellent introduction to the latest mainstream thinking in the neuroscience of consciousness. It is suitable for the general reader and the expert, and I especially recommend it to those who wonder what science has to say about consciousness.

It is entertaining, thoughtful, educational, and beautifully written, and provides an excellent introduction to the latest mainstream thinking in the neuroscience of consciousness. It is suitable for the general reader and the expert, and I especially recommend it to those who wonder what science has to say about consciousness.

The book has three major parts, sandwiched between an introduction and some final speculations. The first part is the single best exposition of the scientific study of consciousness that I have seen or heard. It sets a standard for clarity and rigorous thinking that will be hard to beat. The second part, comprising Chapters 4 and 5, captures the two main results of Stanislas Dehaene's main body of research: his proposal for “signatures” of a conscious thought and his theory of consciousness, the Global Workspace Theory. The third part is Chapter 6, The Ultimate Test, describing his initial attempts to use the signatures and the theory in clinical practice. Each part individually makes the book worth studying, and combined they are a tour de force, a compelling account of a subject long deemed beyond the reach of science.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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