I write a regular column for
American mind called Consciousness Redux. In each essay, I
comment on a recent experimental or theoretical development that is
important to help ups understand the neuronal roots of the conscious
mind. Most columns have a decided neurobiological point-of-view.
- January 2014: Ubiquitous
Minds. Panpsychism, the ancient doctrine that consciousness is
universal, offers some lessons in how to think about subjective
- September 2013: The
Conscious Infant. A new study finds a possible brain signature of
consciousness in infants as young as five months.
- May 2013:
The Brain of Buddha. An encounter with His Holiness the Dalai Lama
and the scientific study of meditation.
- March 2013: A
Consciousness Meter. An electromagnetic gadget to measure the
level of consciousness.
- November 2012:
Cracking the Retinal Code. Silicon eyes to help people with
deteriorating vision are around the corner.
- September 2012: Safely
switching consciousness off and on again. What can we learn about
consciousness from anesthetized patients?.
- July 2012: Searching for the
memory. New research sheds lights - literally - on recall
- May 2012: This is your brain
on drugs. To the great surprise of many, psilocybin, a potent
psychedelic, reduces brain activity.
- March 2012:
Consciousness does not reside here. Psychology and functional
brain imaging disentangle two closely related processes, attention and
- January 2012: Movies in the
cortical theater. Functional MRI can peer inside your brain and
watch you watching a YouTube clip.
- November 2011:
Proving the Unconscious Mind. Cognitive psychology ius mapping the
capabilities we are unaware we possess.
- July 2011: Sex and
Violence. Using optical and genetic technqiues, neuroscientists
have identified an "on/off" switch for aggression in the
- May 2011: Fatal
attraction. Some protozoa infect the brain of their host, shaping
its behavior in ways most suited to the pathogen, even if it leads to
the suicide of the host.
- March 2011: Being John Malkovich.
An advanced brain-machine interface enables patients to control individual
nerve cells deep inside their own brain.
- January 2011: Think different.
The ways in which brains differ from one another shows up in the way
their owners perceive the world.
- November 2010: Dream states.
Although we rarely remember our nighttime reveries, they may hold
the key to consciousness.
- September 2010: Remember this.
What stays with us, and what we forget, depends in part on how well
our neurons keep time.
- July 2010: Looks can
deceive. When you are facing a tricky task, your view of the world
may not be as accurate as you think.
- May 2010: Regaining the
rainbow. Genetic intervention cures color blindness in monkeys.
- March 2010: Playing the body
electric. A combination of genetic and optics gives brain
scientists an unprecedented ability to dissect the circuits of the
- January 2010: Reviving
consciousness. Direct stimulation of the arousal centers in
patients may restore awareness.
- November 2009: The will
to power. Neurosurgeons evoke an intention to act.
- September 2009: When does
consciousness arise? In the womb, at birth or during early
- July 2009: A theory of
consciousness. Is complexity the secret to sentience, to a
panpsychic view of consciousness?
- April 2009: Neuroscience meets
Psychoanalysis (with Heather Berlin). Suppression and
dissociation, two psychoanalytic defense mechanisms, are now studied
by modern neuroscience.
- February 2009: Measure more, argue
less. One sign of progress in unraveling the mind-body problem
is the development of new and ingenious ways to measure
- December 2008: What is it like to be a
bee? Bees display a remarkable range of talentsabilities that in a
mammal such as a dog we would associate with consciousness
- October 2008: Rendering the visible
invisible. clever experiments reveal how unconscious mechanisms
can affect our brain and our behavior
Last modified on October 6. 2012 by Christof Koch