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Consciousness In Four Dimensions

Biological Relativity and the Origins of Thought
Wersja elektroniczna (brak aktualizacji)
Wydawnictwo: McGraw Hill
ISBN: 9780071420815
Wydanie: 2001 r.
Język: angielski

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In Consciousness in Four Dimensions, neuropsychiatrist Richard Pico puts forth a bold new hypothesis for the origins of human consciousness. Drawing on twenty years of his own experimental and clinical work, as well as his training in physics, Pico proposes that the origins of thought can be pinpointed in the brain within the context of a theory of biological relativity. The theory is first illustrated with the emergence of life, whereby the first cell cohered and endured against the background flux of organic compounds, becoming its own four-dimensional frame of reference. The same model is applied to consciousness, which emerges in the prefrontal cortex when sensory information converges with input from the memory system in a series of modules. Thought exists above a flicker-fusion threshold, when the information that is passed from module to module is seen to endure in its own four-dimensional frame of reference, without degradation and without reference to the external three-dimensional environment. From this exquisitely complex iterative process, Pico proposes that all higher order human functions are built, from language to mathematics to music. This biological relativity model of consciousness is strongly materialistic, which places it in the company of the work of such thinkers as Steven Pinker, Daniel Dennett, and Antonio Damasio. Yet it is also completely original. Several theorizers, such as Fred Alan Wolf and Roger Penrose have proposed quantum theories of consciousness, but Pico is the only person applying relativity to the brain. With meticulous precision and admirable compassion, Pico places his theory in the context of other theories of consciousness, and explores its implications. He discusses why he thinks consciousness is uniquely human, how it can be seen to arise in individuals at about the age of two, and what it means when its development goes awry in the devastating &quote;thought disorders&quote; with which he has had so much experience as a clinician.



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