Consciousness, 'the last great mystery for science', has now become a hot topic. How can a physical brain create our experience of the world? What creates our identity? Do we really have free will? Could consciousness itself be an illusion? Exciting new developments in brain science are opening up debates on these issues, and the field has now expanded to include biologists, neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers. This controversial book clarifies the potentially confusing arguments, and the major theories using illustrations, lively cartoons, and experiments.Topics include vision and attention, theories of self and will, experiments on action and awareness, altered states of consciousness, and the effects of brain damage and drugs. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Susan Blackmore has researched various forms of consciousness for over a decade and has recently published the first textbook on the subject (Consciousness: An Introduction, published by OUP-NY and Hodder & Stoughton). She is author of more than sixty scientific articles and forty book contributions, writes for several magazines and newspapers, and is a frequent contributor on radio and television, both in the UK and abroad. Her controversial bestseller, The Meme Machine (OUP 1999), has been translated into eleven other languages and has life sales of 17,800 hardback and 22,500 paperback.