Brain-challenged self and self-changed brain: The central impasse in consciousness studies

Publication Type:

Working Paper


National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, Volume WP1-2010, Number 978-81-87663-87-4, Bangalore (2010)



The brain is arguably the most important part of the human body studied to understand the working of sensation, emotion, and consciousness. The single unit of information and experience that connects sensation, emotion, and consciousness is agreed to be the "self". There are two major streams of discussion on the self. Self is debated as a cognitive concept that helps tie the missing ends between the physical and psychological functions; and, the self is argued to be the locus of conscious experience. However the different the arguments for these two positions are, it is agreed that human behaviours, attitudes emotions are intricately tied to neural structures on one side, and the indivisible experiential self on the other. Brian and self are the common threads that are used by neuropsychiatry, neuropharmacology, and philosophy to get some hold on one of the most intractable problems of humankind, namely, "consciousness".


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