CHRISTOF KOCH QUEST FOR CONSCIOUSNESS PDF
In “The Quest for Consciousness,” Caltech neuroscientist Christof Koch explores the biological basis of consciousness. He outlines a framework that he and. In “The Quest for Consciousness,” Caltech neuroscientist Christof Koch explores the biological basis of consciousness. He outlines a. whether it’s the origin and evolution of the. The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach. by Christof Koch. Roberts & Company Publishers,.
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The author of several books, Dr. Koch studies the biophysics of computation, and the neuronal basis of visual perception, attention, and consciousness. Together with Francis Crick, his long-time collaborator, he has pioneered the scientific study of consciousness.
The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach by Christof Koch
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The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach
Hardcoverpages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Quest for Consciousnessplease sign up. Be the first to ask a question about The Quest for Consciousness. Lists with This Book. Jun 15, Melee Farr rated it liked it Recommends it for: This was the longest consciouxness read of my life. I did finish the bastard, chrustof.
If you want to enjoy it, read chapter 1, then skip to 9.
The concept is fascinating: The execution was beastly. Even with a background in anatomy, I had no idea where the author was going with about half of the book, and was pretty consciouness at him when I figured it out “Yo This was the longest 3-month read of my life. Even with a background in anatomy, I had no idea where the author was going with about half of the christov, and was pretty pissed at him when I figured it out “You made me read 60 pages and study 5 diagrams just to tell me that that little place is NOT the seat of consciousness.
Unfortunately, I still don’t know the answers to them. Jul 23, DJ rated it really liked it Shelves: Until recently, those interested in learning about consciousness have had just three options: Consciousness has long been a naughty word in science, but ho! While the “hard problem” of exactly why phenomenological states arise from the collective squirts of neurotransmitters washing across your br Until recently, those interested in learning about consciousness have had just three options: While the “hard problem” of exactly why phenomenological states arise from the collective squirts of neurotransmitters washing across your brain at all is still a crapshoot, the relatively “easy problem” of correlating certain neural activity with certain phenomenological experiences is well underway.
Christof Koch of Caltech is one of the leaders in probing visual consciousness or “awareness” if we are speaking to grant committees – shh! Koch’s “quest” is to identify the minimal set of neurons whose activation leads to consciousness. The book provides a grand tour of all the interesting quirks and subtleties of visual consciousness discovered in the last few decades, painting a picture that is far more fractured and fragile than our daily experience might suggest.
If you still cling to the picture of the homunculus dictator riding a meatbag mech warrior around the world, this book will, at the very least, convince you that biological dictators can’t do their jobs without an army of unconscious robot agents. The book also includes some more speculative thoughts on the purposes and general nature of consciousness but, perhaps surprisingly for a book with such a lofty title, consists almost entirely of good old-fashioned science.
What Brian Greene’s The Fabric of the Cosmos is to modern physics, Quest for Consciousness is to modern neuroscience – the finest popular account available for conscioousness, stock brokers, and mailmen with a bad science habit.
Koch’s book might focus on visual conscciousness, but he touches on learning and memory, motor control, and lots more on this quest and does so xhristof his highly readable and concise style. While mucking around in neurobiology can make for dangerous trekking, Koch organized the book very well with small, informatively titled sections, making it easy to remember the salient point of a particular passage if you’re a neuro-rookie and easy to skim a particular passage if you’re a neuro-master.
The rest of this fot is a collection of my reading notes. The evolutionary development of the brain makes it the ultimate kluge. New functions are continuous adaptations of old ones, making for fog pretty wonky and unintuitive design principles. As humans form larger societies and viral epidemics become a problem, it becomes evolutionarily advantageous to avoid certain people. Rather than reinventing an avoidance mechanism, evolution simply co-opts the old disgust system for dealing with bad food to deal with potentially infected fellow humans.
Is the function of emotions to allow detected correlations without known functional relationships to influence decision making? In other words, I might not know by what mechanism two things are related but have unconsciously noticed a pattern in their coincidence.
Approach to decoding neural computation: Considering the nature of the input may constrain neural computation and suggest approaches to understanding it in a particular circuit. Does it increase or decrease in rapidly changing environments? How does one test the integration window in a dynamic setting?
Traditional artificial masking protocols used in highly controlled environments don’t seem appropriate. As consciousness seems to change continuously, does this mean that the NCCs neural correlates of consciousness must be constrained in their activation patterns? How does the continuity of conscious experience arise from the somewhat digital spiking of neurons? Is there perhaps a continuous “read-out” process wedged between NCCs and qualia? Does the distinction between discontinuous and continuous dynamics suggest a useful approach to decoding neural computation?
How does the brain optimize the balance between zombie agents and conscious processing? The zombie system offers speed at the cost of flexibility, operating through previously detected correlations and heuristics.
Conscious processing offers flexibility at the cost of speed, offering a rich simulation of a concsiousness of events in order to consider and weigh consequences.
Simulation is the best word for this – you don’t know where your thoughts will end until you “run the program. Do more explicit representations lead to more meaning and hence more consciousness? Would this justify deeming babies “less conscious”, since they have not yet developed the repertoire of explicit representations available to an adult? Mar 03, Brian rated it liked consciousess. To a neuroscientist, this is probably a tremendous amount of review.
Christof Koch: The Quest for Consciousness | Caltech
To a non-neuroscientist, probably way more neurobio than can be absorbed. But he does well to try to rule out places where consciousness cannot be in vision, retina, V1, for exampleand hints at where it might be in vision, inferotem 3. But he does well to try to rule out places where consciousness cannot be in vision, retina, V1, for exampleand hints at where it might be in vision, inferotemporal cortex?
One criticism that others may disagree with is that he narrows the definition of consciousness quite a bit so that a layperson may be disappointed. He boils it down to the experience of consciousnese not of thinking, free will, emotion, introspection I agree with this decision, but he may want to choose another word besides consciousness? I didn’t quite follow was I too sleepy? It felt learned, though I don’t think I’m taking a lot with me after having read it.
I still think the CNS program that Koch is heavily involved in at Caltech is pretty awesome; I came pretty close to enrolling myself back in the day. Apr 22, PouDa Sabry rated it really liked it. Jan 08, Ramkumar Ramachandra rated it really liked it. This chridtof THE book on consciousness if you’re looking for a purely neurobiological approach. The picture is still very incomplete: Koch sticks to making claims based on hard scientific evidence, and makes no assumptions.
If you don’t mind using a bit of joch philosophy to make the jump and build the entire picture, I’d recommend Metzinger’s “Being No One”. May 11, Erin rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Those wondering how the brain creates “consciousness”. If I could recommend just one book on a neuroscientific approach to consciousness, this would be it. In particular, Koch does not provide the reader with anything approaching a satisfying explanation of how subjectivity can arise from a physical system.
May 30, Moneim rated it liked it. Apr 29, David Olmsted rated it really liked it Shelves: Because this book brings in real neuroscience data it is the best book on consciousness yet published. Consciousness is a combination of perception and conscious sensations called qualia, two different phenomena.
Qualia is why we see the color blue instead of just blindly react to some neural signals as would zombies we can do this up to a point in a phenomena called blind-sight which involves a primitive non-cortical neural pathway.
One can have qualia without perception but not vice-versa as Because this chriistof brings in real neuroscience data it is the best book on consciousness yet published.
One can have qualia without perception but not vice-versa as exemplified when some object pattern suddenly jumps out at you from a picture you have been viewing. The foundational Qualia feelings and primary sensations are not generated in the brain regions that make us intelligent although our pre-frontal “planning” cortex seems to add a valuation component.
Because this book deals with consciousness it mainly deals with the qualia from the primary sensory cortical centers and not the deeper non-cortical feeling centers. In a rare case in which both left and right cortices can talk the book reports this: She then insisted that her hand was not numb, followed by a torrent of alternating Yes’s and No’s, ending with a despairing “I don’t know”. Does it use energy even though it is not affected directly by any known energy source the frontiers of physics are at high energies, not the low energies of the brain?
While this book cannot provide definite answers it does make suggestions. Jan 03, aqeel rated it it was amazing Shelves: You’ll find a lot of experiments with surprising results at least for me: Human brain know things you consciously don’t.
And do some things better and faster than you do consciously.