Michael S.A. Graziano
- Title: Consciousness and the Social Brain
- Author: Michael S.A. Graziano
- ISBN: 9780199928644
- Page: 427
- Format: Hardcover
What is consciousness and how can a brain, a mere collection of neurons, create it In Consciousness and the Social Brain, Princeton neuroscientist Michael Graziano lays out an audacious new theory to account for the deepest mystery of them all The human brain has evolved a complex circuitry that allows it to be socially intelligent This social machinery has only just beWhat is consciousness and how can a brain, a mere collection of neurons, create it In Consciousness and the Social Brain, Princeton neuroscientist Michael Graziano lays out an audacious new theory to account for the deepest mystery of them all The human brain has evolved a complex circuitry that allows it to be socially intelligent This social machinery has only just begun to be studied in detail One function of this circuitry is to attribute awareness to others to compute that person Y is aware of thing X In Graziano s theory, the machinery that attributes awareness to others also attributes it to oneself Damage that machinery and you disrupt your own awareness Graziano discusses the science, the evidence, the philosophy, and the surprising implications of this new theory.
Recent Comments "Consciousness and the Social Brain"
I just accidentally realized I hadn’t reviewed this back when I finished it. Now that I think about it, I came down with a very nasty two-week-long cold the day I discussed it with a book group, and then the holidays hit, so that’s understandable.But this is an interesting and important book, so I’m backtracking to tell y’all to read the thing. I read three “cognition” books in 2014, and this one came in second! Okay, that doesn’t sound so good.The best one was Scarcity: Why Having [...]
The best book on consciousness I've read in quite a long time. The "Attention Schema" theory is the first one that actually goes some way toward being a useful theory of consciousness, in the sense that it actually seems to make sense of the phenomenon, and allows specific answers to questions that could be testable.
Consciousness And The Social Brain Notes. This is an interesting book. The author Michael Graziano is a neuroscientist and (apparently out of necessity) a pretty dang good philosopher too. That dual neuroscience/philosophy skill set seems to be par for the course if you're working in the field of consciousness studies these days. Graziano begins the book with a brief discussion about how Darwin's simple but "dangerous" idea (evolution via natural selection) organizes the otherwise incomprehensib [...]
The concept of consciousness presented in this book is a simple one, described in a straight forward manner without getting bogged down in dense language or philosophical conundrums. The attention schema theory could be laid out in less than a paragraph, the two hundred page count accounted for by the introduction, discussion of previous theories, the attention schema’s relation to them, possible flaws in the theory and how to address them, and consequence of the theory if it is correct. Some [...]
This book offers a new compelling theory about how the brain generates awareness. Building on the well-accepted idea of the body schema Graziano suggests that the brain also generates something he calls the "attention schema," which models whether one is aware particular content, be it sensory or otherwise. He suggests that this ability might be an outgrowth of our ability to attribute attention/consciousness to others.I probably haven't done a very good job of describing the theory off the top [...]
Whereas attention is the brain’s information-handling process that singles out a given stimulus within the sensory field for deeper information processing, awareness is the brain’s model of attention. Unlike attention, which is the more primordial of the two, awareness is an informational unit, an encoded attribute. It arises in the first place as a model for what others (of the same or a different species) are attending to in order to facilitate interaction with them. You then turn this mod [...]
This book was a great conversation starter at Devo's wedding, but now that I'm done, I'm hungry for something more meaty. It was good, but also at risk of being ponderous. Things get explained, and then explained again. It’s needful though because sometimes when something new is discovered or imagined, the old words just won’t do. Our language is inadequate to describing it for a while, while new jargon is invented and solidified. Graziano may have this problem, and additionally the problem [...]
Computational model, attention scheme, ok, just expected something more. Not being a scientist I have thought long ago about attention as the only thing that controls the creation of our own reality. I.e my "what you believe is what you get." Although, it was interesting, but didn't revolutionzied understanding like Dnnett's Consciousness explained. Probably what I wanted is how exactly which social environment changes the "self". I know it's possible, more than just through memes, as people, be [...]
Liked this book, what I can understand of it, but I had some mixed feelings. Graziano says he will explain how the brain produces consciousness -- a tall order, of course. I don't think he really explained it, at least not in a way I could grasp it. I feel like what he was really explaining was a theory that covers part of consciousness, not the whole thing. But he certainly had some good ideas that I could understand, and he made some points that resonated. One of the points he made early on, t [...]
Graziano fails to actually discuss consciousness. Instead he just explores awareness, which is just one aspect of consciousness, while dismissing all other aspects of consciousness. I suspect his publisher wanted to sell books and therefore labeled it with a juicy book-selling word like consciousness. I doubt many people would have read a book called Awareness and the Social Brain: A Feeble Nascent Theory, which would have been a much more precise description.
Highly recommended. Perhaps start with this article: aeon/magazine/being-human/hd/or this talk: Consciousness Talk With Ventriloquism.
By far the most logical, internally and externally consistent, intellectually satisfying explanation of consciousness that I've come across with.
The absolute most sensible account in explaining consciousness.
Made me see things in interesting new lightInteresting, scary, ludicrous, brilliant.This made me run a gambit of those emotions and more. Still not sure how I feel about it, but well written and researched. Liked and recommend.
My brain computes a model of attention while paying attention whoa my brain is much more efficient than me.
~4h @ 2x. Contents:(view spoiler)[AcknowledgmentsPart I: The Theory01. The Magic Trick02. Introducing the Theory– Consciousness and Awareness– Figure 2.1. One way to define consciousness and awareness.– A Squirrel in the Head– Arrow B– Figure 2.2. A traditional view in which awareness emerges from the processing of information in the brain (Arrow A).– Figure 2.3. Awareness as information instantiated in the brain.– The Awareness Feature– Figure 2.4. Awareness as a computed featur [...]
Graziano starts with a refreshing and simple premise: that we've got the so-called easy and hard problems of consciousness backwards. The easy problem has been characterized as understanding the brain as we understand a computer: in terms of functional components and relationships between them—architecture, in short. The hard problem, then, is understanding how a subjective interiority arises from within (or observes from without, if you want to presume an as-yet undiscovered layer of reality) [...]
I love this book! Graziano brings us into his research. He presents contemporary ideas and approaches to the question of consciousness in order that we understand the challenges. Then he replies to these challenges.Graziano explains his "attention schema theory." In this theory, attention is a "data-handling method." The data that attention handles is "awareness."He points out that "attention is an emergent property; it emerges from the competition among signals of the brain." The key point that [...]
I am a sucker for a really well-written science book, and this was absolutely a really well-written science book. Graziano's theory is deceptively simple, so he is able to outline it in the first few chapters and then spend much of the book discussing the implications. He has a rare knack for clear, accessible writing that nevertheless never feels patronising, as he expects his reader to keep up once he has explained it in plain language.The result is a rather compelling book, arguing for a synt [...]
Often reviews of controversial theories get muddied by the reader's adoption/rejection of the theory. Whatever the reader thinks about Graziano's theory, nobody can deny that he puts it forward excellently. The book covers a dense topic very clearly. It reads like a really good set of lectures. The theory itself is one that I have been thinking a lot about (no pun intended) and find very compelling. It takes Hofstatder's approach (in Godel, Escher, Bach for example) a step further by providing a [...]
Only thing new I got from this book was the Author's central thesis that consciousness is a combination of the Attention schema mixed with Social and Self Perception paradigms. I thought it was fascinating that he argued how Attention is a form of information, a type of self-aware of information that is able to build upon itself. Basically our minds are flooded with a vast amount of sensory and imaginative input and the only thing that is able to sift through what we select as important is where [...]
Seems like a huge step forwardThis book feels like a huge leap forward. The attention schema theory seems obvious in retrospect. The author spends a lot of time addressing possible counter arguments which can get tedious once you've bought into the theory, but I'm sure that many will remain unconvinced even after reading the whole thing.I think the material on religion, while probably broadly accurate, both scopes the phenomenon too narrowly as "god as a felt sense of presence" and doesn't go in [...]
Until Chapter 17 - the second-to-last chapter of this book - I found nothing to refute. Which may simply indicate a failure of my own thought process, but I like to think that, having focused on systems neuroscience for six years, I would be able to find something, if it was there to find.The attention schema theory is very compelling to me. Further research is certainly needed, but like many solid theories, it does not directly dismantle its competitors so much as subsume them.
Move over Daniel Dennett, Graziano nails consciousness with this book. Having an information processing sensibility the idea of consciousness arising from the evolution of attention management seems logical. It's seems practical that a conscious computer could also be created now. But even if it was I suppose the problem of what the perception of "blueness" really is still wouldn't be solved - but would it be so important?
Closer to a 4. Some good thought-provoking observations, but I think he doesn't adequately distinguish between consciousness and awareness and exaggerates the relationship between my own consciousness and social awareness. Should make for good discussion by the Sunday Philosophers.
Easy read although it deals with a rather complicated topic.
I found the last couple of chapters fascinating.I found the author's use of the first person and his - I'm not trying to negate your theory - patter irritating.
I give it five because the prose moved and the hypotheses are audacious. It put me in another world. Graziano takes you out of your comfort zone
What an amazong book specially in the last chapter I feel now my life has a 'before reading this book ' and 'after reading it'
NLP and Dennett - makes me think I'll have to break down and read ChalmersWow. Now I'm going to read all the Graziano I can. If only for the body schema
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