Thursday, March 17, 2005

Consciousness Reassessed 

Pribram, K.H. (2004)
Thus, through consciousness we become related to each other and to the biological and physical universe. Just as gravity relates material bodies, so consciousness relates sentient bodies. One can no more hope to find consciousness by digging into the brain than one can find gravity by digging into the earth. One can, however, find out how the brain helps organize our relatedness through consciousness, just as one can dig into the earth to find out how its composition influences the relatedness among physical objects by gravitational attraction.

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Taking conscious experience as the result of the complex of relations among brain systems, body systems, social systems and culture, the “cement” that unites them is stored memory. Relevant brain processes operate by virtue of neural modifiability that results in the brain’s memory store. Physical, biological and social consequences of behavior are memorable, both in changing brain organization and in changing culture. The cultural consequences that have developed, such as new technologies and new linguistic usages, feed back on the brain to alter its memory store, and the consequent brain processes feed forward onto culture.

Topics: Consciousness | Karl Pribram

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