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Monday, July 25, 2016

Consciousness: The Mind Messing With the Mind

By George Johnson
The New York Times
Originally published July 4, 2016

Here is an excerpt:

Michael Graziano, a neuroscientist at Princeton University, suggested to the audience that consciousness is a kind of con game the brain plays with itself. The brain is a computer that evolved to simulate the outside world. Among its internal models is a simulation of itself — a crude approximation of its own neurological processes.

The result is an illusion. Instead of neurons and synapses, we sense a ghostly presence — a self — inside the head. But it’s all just data processing.

“The machine mistakenly thinks it has magic inside it,” Dr. Graziano said. And it calls the magic consciousness.

It’s not the existence of this inner voice he finds mysterious. “The phenomenon to explain,” he said, “is why the brain, as a machine, insists it has this property that is nonphysical.”

The article is here.
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