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The ancient origins of consciousness : how the brain created experience

Author: Todd E Feinberg; Jon Mallatt
Publisher: Cambridge, Massachusetts : The MIT Press, [2016] ©2016
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"How is consciousness created? When did it first appear on Earth, and how did it evolve? What constitutes consciousness, and which animals can be said to be sentient? In this book, Todd Feinberg and Jon Mallatt draw on recent scientific findings to answer these questions--and to tackle the most fundamental question about the nature of consciousness: how does the material brain create subjective experience? After  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Feinberg, Todd E.
Ancient origins of consciousness.
Cambridge, Massachusetts : The MIT Press, [2016]
(DLC) 2015038381
(OCoLC)928113919
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Todd E Feinberg; Jon Mallatt
ISBN: 9780262333269 0262333260
OCLC Number: 946725250
Description: 1 online resource (xx, 366 pages) : illustrations.
Contents: The mystery of subjectivity --
The general biological and special neurobiological features of conscious animals --
The birth of brains --
The Cambrian explosion --
Consciousness gets a head start : vertebrate brains, vision, and the Cambrian birth of the mental image --
Two-step evolution of sensory consciousness in vertebrates --
Searching for sentience : feelings --
Finding sentience --
Does consciousness need a backbone? --
Neurobiological naturalism : a consilience.
Responsibility: Todd E. Feinberg and Jon M. Mallatt.

Abstract:

"How is consciousness created? When did it first appear on Earth, and how did it evolve? What constitutes consciousness, and which animals can be said to be sentient? In this book, Todd Feinberg and Jon Mallatt draw on recent scientific findings to answer these questions--and to tackle the most fundamental question about the nature of consciousness: how does the material brain create subjective experience? After assembling a list of the biological and neurobiological features that seem responsible for consciousness, and considering the fossil record of evolution, Feinberg and Mallatt argue that consciousness appeared much earlier in evolutionary history than is commonly assumed. About 520 to 560 million years ago, they explain, the great "Cambrian explosion" of animal diversity produced the first complex brains, which were accompanied by the first appearance of consciousness; simple reflexive behaviors evolved into a unified inner world of subjective experiences. From this they deduce that all vertebrates are and have always been conscious--not just humans and other mammals, but also every fish, reptile, amphibian, and bird. Considering invertebrates, they find that arthropods (including insects and probably crustaceans) and cephalopods (including the octopus) meet many of the criteria for consciousness. The obvious and conventional wisdom–shattering implication is that consciousness evolved simultaneously but independently in the first vertebrates and possibly arthropods more than half a billion years ago. Combining evolutionary, neurobiological, and philosophical approaches allows Feinberg and Mallatt to offer an original solution to the 'hard problem' of consciousness"--MIT CogNet

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[Feinberg and Mallatt's] neuroevolutionary approach is the best we will have if we are to respect the power of our own human consciousness and also to locate it within a biological framework. The Read more...

 
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