There were quite a few Aha! This adds greatly to my perspective of complex systems, self, and mainly how to think about aspects of life in a much different way. In Self Comes to Mind, he goes against the long-standing idea that consciousness is somehow separate from the body, presenting compelling new scientific evidence that consciousness—what we think of as a mind with a self—is to begin with a biological process created by a living organism. the mapping onto the brain of our experiences was another aspect of this book that i sensed was well done. Self Comes To Mind is a collaboration between composer Bruce Adolphe and neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, known for his research and writing on the evolution of human consciousness. The epicenter of Self Comes to Mind concerns the neurological basis for cognition and the issue of the superposition of a "self' onto the construct which we address as reality. His view entails a radical change in the way the history of the conscious mind is viewed and … He also has a delightful writing style and a way with words, especially considering his discipline being neurology. His view entails a radical change in the way the history of the conscious mind is viewed and … Damasio theorizes that the precursor to consciousness would have been a proto-self with primordial feelings resulting from neurons being intimately and consistently connected to the body, forming a map of the internal state of the organism and a feedback-loop in order to maintain homeostasis. Finally, with an enormous expansion of memory and neural integration processes, brains/minds were able to transcend the present and establish the "autobiographical self", with an accelerated capability of learning, future planning and decision making, and a dynamic self-ascribed identity of the organism based on rich and vivid emotionally-tagged memories of its own past experiences. And so, we set out deriving God from what we do not see. I thought that was such a profound and creative idea—that a stepping stone to human consciousness was the neuron’s imitation of a body cell’s inherent will to survive. Moreover, given that I had taken an introductory class in Neuroscience, it was not that hard to follow up with the brain regions, otherwise, I would have been lost. Start by marking “Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain” as Want to Read: Error rating book. It is done by the brain, but the thing mapped is the body and it's through this mapping that "the self comes to mind". I have been thinking about how complex systems work, and anything which helps me to think in that direction is great fun. In this astonishing work, Antonio Damasio puts his years of investigation into the processes of the brain to open the impenetrable mysteries of self and mind, where all the contradictions of human experience unite in the ultimate unknown, consciousness. This is an exciting book by a wonderful thinker. of Southern California Brain and Creativity Inst. The Archaeology of Mind: Neuroevolutionary Origins of Human Emotions, by Jaak Panksepp and Lucy Biven. Sign up to our newsletter using your email. Damasio is both eloquent and scholarly. In this book he promised to take an evolutionary stance to map the development of levels of consciousness, but none was forthcoming. After reading this book for the second time, I am more impressed than ever that the author has described the working of the human brain better than anything I have ever read. They were initially tripped, but ultimately not disappointed. I think he's correct, neurologically speaking (i.e. Or consider a text or photo you've just uploaded to social media. Please, an emotional caress. Perhaps most importantly, the "core-self" can be defined by their being a self-known relationship between organism and "object". New year! By clicking subscribe, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to Penguin Books Australia’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. If you want to learn about Damasio's ideas I suggest you read the first two books I mentioned. Refresh and try again. but i remain a lay person. Damasio is both eloquent and scholarly. In Self Comes to Mind, world-renowned neuroscientist Antonio Damasio goes against the long-standing idea that consciousness is separate from the body, presenting compelling new scientific evidence that consciousness - what we think of as a mind with a self - is in fact a biological process created by a living organism. This is the latest book that I have read by Antonio Damasio. add in the concepts of self and of consciousness and i'm really a babe in the woods. I hate to sound infantile, but in a book about neural functions, a single diagram showing the location of the nucleus tractus solitarius might be a slight bit illuminating when your entire theory relies upon its placement in a nueral trinity of awareness. Though it might be a weird choice, after reading it three times I think this is my favorite book. Damasio spends a good deal of time very carefully building his "brief," like a lawyer, that if you put enough mental functions together, the vast majority of which we share with the rest. While I am sure that further refinement is to be made, this book and its theory of brain, mind and self is destined to be a classic, along with Plum and Posner and Julian Jaynes (to whom he gives a nod). Through evolution, such responses become more sophisticated and lead to the development of brains and neurons that can carry out such responses appropriately. This book is a super accessible explanation of body map simulations and the construction of the sense of self as Damasio understands it. I appreciated how he worked from the ground up, beginning with the development of a single cell organism and relating its basic properties to its more complex manifestations in the modern human. To help us recommend your next book, tell us what you enjoy reading. moments. Vintage, New York. This one is repetitive and lacked scientific depth. ; Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain, 2003, etc.) i especially appreciated damasio's perspective that consciousness and self begin in the body and not in the mind. And color is always nice. They are more factual, more explanatory and less philosophically, and thus I think better suited to the author's strengths. In Self Comes to Mind, world-renowned neuroscientist Antonio Damasio goes against the long-standing idea that consciousness is separate from the body, presenting compelling new scientific evidence that consciousness - what we think of as a mind with a self - is in fact a biological process created by a living organism. Where was your editor? New this month: Scandal rocks an elite British boarding school in The Divines. Below is my summary of Antonio Damasio 's Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain. Quite an exciting book for me. But I found some of the other elements fascinating and I'm interested in reading more. I think he's correct, neurologically speaking (i.e. Do we have something called a "soul" that is immaterial, and different from our physical beings? nucleus tractus solitarius and parabrachial nucleus being a basis for primordial feelings--I love this idea), about nearly everything he proposes, even if some things he states are somewhat intuitive or fundamental (i.e. This is not for the first-time layperson, but if you know your Sacks and Ramachandran, this is the no-punches-pulled seminar I was always looking for. Quite an exciting book for me. Our most basic representation of self, as Damasio dubs it, is the Protoself. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Though I wanted, oh how I so dearly wanted, to give it 5 when I began. That self, however, long-precedes consciousness and rests, ultimately, on the primordial feelings of the "protoself" ("a valence, somewhere along the pleasure-to-pain range"), and predisposes our conscious decision-making in fundamental ways. What makes the images, sounds, and smells arriving at our sense organs, compile a frame of 'experience' that one can be subjective about: that is, sensing our sensing, and being aware of our awareness. but i remain a lay person. Awesome book. I have been thinking about how complex systems work, and anything which helps me to think in that direction is great fun. In Damasio's terminology, even single-celled organisms such as bacteria or amoebae have a minimal sense of self, working to preserve their internal integrity against foreign incursion. While I find the subject fascinating I felt it wasn't delivered in a compelling or interesting way to me. Damasio is a neuroscientist of considerable stature, and therefore one of that limited range of people truly qualified to contribute to the difficult subject of how mind and consciousness arise. more to learn ... yes of course. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. It is done by the brain, but the thing mapped is the body and it's through this mapping that "the self comes to mind". Damasio ends with a speculative chapter on the evolutionary process by which mind developed and then gave rise to self. Some of what he writes can be considered wishful thinking, because those stretches do not flesh out the bones with reference to peer-reviewed work. Damasio has championed the role of emotion in cognition and consciousness. In the Pleistocene, he suggests, humans developed emotive responses to shapes and sounds that helped lead to the development of the arts. SELF COMES TO MIND ~ CONSTRUCTING THE CONSCIOUS BRAIN ~ANTONIO DAMASIO ~ HARDCOVER WITH DUST JACKET ~ BRAND NEW CONDITION: NEW . References: Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain, by Antonio Damasio.. With vigor, Damasio attacks the mind-body problem (or more specifically the mind-brain problem) of consciousness. Three stars only, not for the lack of ideas or content. seeks to understand “the mystery of consciousness.” “Consciousness is a state of mind in which there is knowledge of one’s own existence and of the existence of surroundings”—i.e., where the self introduces the property of subjectivity to the mix. One may argue that the concepts of self and consciousness are complicated concepts, and I would agree, but reading this book does not make it any easier to understand either. Damasio spends a good deal of time very carefully building his "brief," like a lawyer, that if you put enough mental functions together, the vast majority of which we share with the rest of the animals, you get a sense of self -- self coming to mind, in fact. In “Self Comes to Mind,” the eminent neurologist and neuroscientist Antonio Damasio gives an account of consciousness that might come naturally to a highly caffeinated professor in his study. His approach consisted of establishing an evolutionary path to our current level of consciousness, which he calls our "autobiographical self", and exploring in some detail which parts of the brain are correlated with the fundamental aspects of consciousness. add in the concepts of self and of consciousness and i'm really a babe in the woods. To see what your friends thought of this book. But he says that the mind is unconscious until it has a sense of self. nucleus tractus solitarius and parabrachial nucleus being a basis for primordial feelings--I love this idea), about nearly everything he proposes, even if some things he states are somewhat intuitive or fundamental (i.e. Damasio has championed the role of emotion in cognition and consciousness. Damasio makes his case with phrases that wink at the reader, as if shamefully, with assertions of how the brain works that are unfounded. Some nice ideas and explanations of certain concepts, but no big, unifying theory (IMHO). Though I wanted, oh how I so dearly wanted, to give it 5 when I began. In its current form, it's a mash up of a whole bunch of ideas/findings/reports that Damasio ha. It is both about one’s The last part of Damasio’s Self Comes to As such, the protoself own personhood and one’s own identity. You must have 2 or more positive feedbacks to bid; otherwise, unfortunately, I will cancel your bid.. You must pay within 48 hours of auction end. Damasio (Director/Univ. It is an accessible read. His work there on behavioral neurology was done under the supervision of Norman Geschwind. See 1 question about Self Comes to Mind…, The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness, Readers' Most Anticipated Books of January. Antonio Damasio has spent the past thirty years researching and and revealing how the brain works. This is a brilliant, high-level look at the state of the science of consciousness that actually has the guts and the gravitas to hypothesize a model that doesn't smack into the mind-body problem. Having an increasing feeling that philosophers have mostly fumbled this ball, with the possible exception of Daniel Dennett, I delved into this complex book with some expectations. His approach consisted of establishing an evolutionary path to our current level of consciousness, which he calls our "autobiographical self", and exploring in some detail which parts of the brain are correlated with the fundamental aspects of consciousness. I'm sorry I could not finish this book, and it disappoints me due to wanting to give a thorough review. It is a lucid and important work. November 9th 2010 Find books Damasio's basic claims from his first two books as I understood them (there is no rationality without emotions and there is no consciousness without a body to be conscious of) are repeated without any real additions. Important. convergence-divergence regions, consciousness being an evolutionary mechanism for life-regulation). The critique of oneself by oneself is quite the irony and example of splendid recursive thinking that our brains think all the time. While I am sure that further refinement is to be made, this book and its theory of brain, mind and self is destined to. Some of what he writes can be considered wishful thinking, because those stretches do not flesh out the bones with reference to peer-reviewed work. I was also fascinated by the concept of single cells exhibiting a “will to live”—a need for survival and adaptation that possibly became the foundation for consciousness. In Self Comes to Mind, world-renowned neuroscientist Antonio Damasio goes against the long-standing idea that consciousness is separate from the body, presenting compelling new scientific evidence that consciousness - what we think of as a mind with a self - is in fact a biological process created by a living organism. Even the simplest organisms, those without consciousness, minds, or even brains, have responses to outside stimuli that maintain their homeostasis to permit their continued existence. Learn the Best Exercises and Activities to Work Through Your Emotions. I expected to see a clear picture of brain development across species and how this correlated with the behavior of mind and consciousness. It is a very convincing scenario. He has feelings as a perception of neuronal monitoring of body states and developed its vital role as an evolutionary advance. (1) It's unclear who the target audience is supposed to be. He is the author of Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain and The Feeling of What Happens: Body, Emotion and the Making of Consciousness. I was disappointed in this book. (2) It's not at all well organized. This intimate connection between brain and body (to maintain homeostatic life regulation processes) would have provided a stable foundation with which to build upon for producing consciousness. and this book, although beyond me, gave me a list of thoughts and terms that i am glad for. I would like to read more of his books! I was also fascinated by the concept of single cells exhibiting a “will to live”—a need for survival and adaptation that possibly became the foundation f. Antonio Damasio does an admirable job in hypothesizing neural/biological connections to the seemingly immeasurable existence of self and consciousness. Mostly a repetition of his previous books, Descartes Error and The Feeling of What Happens, without the anecdotes and with too much neuro-technical details. If in the end you're not entirely persuaded, it's because you're remembering other evidence from other books, or experiences. Damasio makes his case with phrases that wink at the reader, as if shamefully, with assertions of how the brain works that are unfounded. Not unlike Carl Sagan, Damasio is clearly excited by the findings he describes, and the thrill of discovery shines through his fine, clear prose, I was totally captivated by Self Comes to Mind.In this work Antonio Damasio presents his seminal discoveries in the field of neuroscience in the broader contexts of evolutionary biology and cultural development.This trailblazing book gives us a new way of thinking about ourselves, our history, and the importance of culture in shaping our common future, Damasio makes a grand transition from higher-brain views of emotions to deeply evolutionary, lower-brain contributions to emotional, sensory and homeostatic experiences. You may start with this one or not, does not matter, as Dr Damasio, a genius writer, takes it very didactically. The hard connections of brain wiring, and the patterns they undergo while firing, are only now being illuminated, and roughly. Though it might be a weird choice, after reading it three times I think this is my favorite book. This book is basically the updated edition of. Quite descriptive book on neuroscience and consciousness. On the contrary, the book is beaming with information, but that's probably the downfall of it too. A non conscious state, this level of self is shared by many species. He is brilliant, but if you are unfamiliar with his work, I suggest either The Feeling of What Happens, or Looking for Spinoza. Just look in the mirror. In short, I enjoyed it thoroughly. (1) It's unclear who the target audience is supposed to be. It was fun to think of self the way Damasio theorizes. Antonio Damasio does an admirable job in hypothesizing neural/biological connections to the seemingly immeasurable existence of self and consciousness. 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