Review of Consciousness: Creeping up on the Hard Problem

Evgenii Rudnyi
Presented in the Embryo Physics Course, April 11, 2012


I will review a book of Jeffrey A. Gray, Consciousness: Creeping up on the Hard Problem

In his book, the famous neuroscientist discusses experimental results on consciousness. By consciousness he understands conscious experience only. Intelligence, self, language is outside of the considerations. The author suggests that consciousness plays a role of late error detection and this could explain its survival role.

Jeffrey Gray tries hard to put the phenomenon of conscious experience in the framework of normal science. Yet, his main conclusion is that this is presumably impossible and a new science would be required.








3 responses to “Review of Consciousness: Creeping up on the Hard Problem”

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  1. Below there are some comments from the chat during the lecture.

    [14:17] Paleo Darwin: So a frog jumping at a picture of a fly has an illusion, so the frog is conscious?
    [14:19] biodroid:
    14:41] Paleo Darwin: Gordon, R. & H.V.B. Hirsch (1977). Vision begins with direct reconstruction of the retinal image, how the brain sees and stores pictures. In: Gegenstrom, Für Helmut Hirsch zum Siebzigsten/Against the Stream, for Helmut Hirsch on His 70th Birthday. Eds.: H. Schallenberger & H. Schrey. Wuppertal, Peter Hammer Verlag GmbH: 201-214.
    [15:06] Paleo Darwin: Hadamard, J. (1945). An Essay on the Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field. New York, Dover Publications.
    [15:09] Paleo Darwin: Atkin, A. (1992). On consciousness: what is the role of emergence. Medical Hypotheses 38(4), 311-314.

  2. It was a good question about the frog. I do not know if this is according to Jeffrey Gray would be considered as illusion or not.

  3. I have found a paper

    Seeing more than meets the eye: processing of illusory contours in animals

    This is what is referred as visual illusion by Jeffrey Gray. The question about the frog remains however open.

    There is also a book by Donald Redfield Griffin, Animal Minds: Beyond Cognition to Consciousness, which might be interesting.