How does the brain generate consciousness? How do we create our unique sense of self?
Stemming from a love of philosophy, Susan Greenfield’s research into consciousness looks to neuroscience for an answer to one of the greatest questions of all – how do we generate consciousness and an awareness of our own identity?
One of the big stumbling blocks to answering how the brain generates consciousness is that neuroscience arguably has lacked a cohesive framework for linking micro and macro events in the brain.
However, Susan Greenfield believes this is changing through an increasingly accepted concept called, ‘neuronal assemblies’.
Neuronal assemblies can be defined as large-scale, highly transient coalitions of brain cells, which link local events in single cells with large-scale events in macro brain regions.
Because these anomalies can be highly variable in time, Susan has suggested that they could be correlated with variable degrees of consciousness.
Discover more about Susan Greenfield's work exploring the origins of consciousness. Browse the following links:
- Book: The Private Life of the Brain (Penguin, 2000)
- 'How does consciousness happen?' Scientific American, 2007. 297:76-83.
- 'A neuroscientific approach to consciousness.’ Progress in Brain Research, 2005. 150:11-23.