Everyone knows this word, but who REALLY knows what it means? What is a conscious? Where are they from? Why are some people seemingly missing one?
The literal term of ‘consciousness’ is the state of being awake and aware of one’s surroundings. It is often associated with sentience, awareness, subjectivity, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of self-hood, and the executive control system of the mind.
1. What is the self?
2. What is the function of consciousness? What are experiences for?
Researchers have now discovered that many cognitive functions can take place in the absence of consciousness. We can perceive objects, make decisions, and even perform apparently voluntary actions without consciousness intervening. One possibility stands out: consciousness integrates information. According to this view, each of our experiences rules out an enormous number of alternative possibilities, and in doing so generates an incredibly large amount of information. I personally think this answer is going to be different for everyone, but isn’t that the entire point of consciousness? It’s like a mini you, one who reminds you your right and wrong, the one who reminds you of your opinions and experiences, and how those things have shaped how your conscious. My personal belief on this topic is that the function or purpose of a consciousness, and our experiences shaping it, is to learn. To improve and reflect upon.
3. What are the critical brain regions for consciousness?
The brain contains about 90 billion neurons, and about a thousand times more connections between them.
But consciousness isn’t just about having a large number of neurons. For instance, the cerebellum, which contains over half the neurons in the brain, doesn’t seem much involved. We now think that consciousness depends primarily on a specific network of regions in the cortex (the wrinkled surface of the brain) and the thalamus (a walnut-sized structure buried deep in the interior). Some of these regions are important for determining the level of consciousness (the difference between waking and dreamless sleep) while others are involved in shaping conscious content (the specific qualities of any given experience).
As for how some of the well known Philosophers have perceived consciousness, please watch this short video with a brief explanation of each.
What I know right now is a slightly embarrassing question in itself, I am full of questions and confusion. As far as I know, I am here, my conscious and I, living, and existing. I would love to hear some sort of explanation on how we got here, what we are here for, and how our conscious was created in the first place. It brings me to the infamous, ‘nature vs. nurture’ debate, I am asking myself whether or not these are innate ideas we have been born into, or whether or not this conscious is an acquired capability.