Neuroscientist and psychologist Michael S. A. Graziano puts forward a groundbreaking new theory on the origin of consciousness.
Illuminating his groundbreaking theory of consciousness known as the attention schema theory, Michael S. A. Graziano traces the evolution of the mind over millions of years with examples from the natural world, to show how neurons first allowed animals to develop simple forms of attention and then to construct awareness of the external world and of the self. Graziano draws from his and other scientists’ research to explore how this sense of a conscious self led to empathy and made us social beings. His theory has fascinating implications for the future: it may point the way to engineers for building consciousness artificially, and even someday taking the natural consciousness of a person and uploading it into a machine for a digital afterlife.
About the Author
Michael S. A. Graziano is a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Princeton University, where he heads a lab. The author of four previous neuroscience books, he has written for the Atlantic, the New York Times, and Aeon, and lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
Explore consciousness with a leading neuroscientist, talented writer, and the researcher who has put forth one of the subject’s central theories. For those intrigued by the deep and enduring mysteries of the human mind, this is a first-class intellectual adventure. — Brian Greene, author of The Elegant Universe and The Hidden Reality
Graziano’s attention schema theory marks a milestone by offering a plausible, mechanistic answer to the hard problem [of consciousness]. — Aaron Schurger
An exciting example of how to present complex scientific topics for the general public.