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Short Synopsis
A breathtaking look at the new science that can track consciousness deep in the brain.

Full Synopsis
How does the brain generate a conscious thought? And why does so much of our knowledge remain unconscious? Thanks to clever psychological and brain-imaging experiments, scientists are closer to cracking this mystery than ever before.

In this lively book, Stanislas Dehaene describes the pioneering work his lab and the labs of other cognitive neuroscientists worldwide have accomplished in defining, testing, and explaining the brain events behind a conscious state. We can now pin down the neurons that fire when a person reports becoming aware of a piece of information and understand the crucial role unconscious computations play in how we make decisions. The emerging theory enables a test of consciousness in animals, babies, and those with severe brain injuries.

A joyous exploration of the mind and its thrilling complexities, Consciousness and the Brain will excite anyone who is interested in cutting-edge science and technology and the vast philosophical, personal, and ethical implications of finally quantifying consciousness.

This book's spunky writing and popular topic should have made transforming it into an appealing audio an easy proposition. But David Drummond's repetitive tonal patterns give the production a flat quality that falls short of making this title the "joyous exploration of the mind" that the publisher claims it to be. Drummond's phrasing is always clear, but he repeats the same pitch sequences again and again. However, the author's boyish enthusiasm for this kind of psychological inquiry saves the production and helps it deliver a stirring look at how today's scientists are parsing the experience of being conscious. T.W.

Consciousness and the Brain

Deciphering How the Brain Codes Our Thoughts

Author Stanislas Dehaene

Narrated by David Drummond

Publication date Jan 30, 2014

Running time 11 hrs 18 min

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