Peripatetic, itinerant, eclectic musings about books, politics, history, language, culture, and anything else that interests me.
And what is a consciousness signature, you ask? Basically, it’s an identifiable marker that defines consciousness — if the marker is there, you know consciousness is present. Up until now, scientists hypothesized that this signature was located in one part of the brain, and they were trying to find out which part of the brain that was:
Electrodes implanted in the brains of people with epilepsy might have resolved an ancient question about consciousness.
Signals from the electrodes seem to show that consciousness arises from the coordinated activity of the entire brain. The signals also take us closer to finding an objective “consciousness signature” that could be used to probe the process in animals and people with brain damage without inserting electrodes.
Previously it wasn’t clear whether a dedicated brain area, or “seat of consciousness”, was responsible for guiding our subjective view of the world, or whether consciousness was the result of concerted activity across the whole brain.
As Mr. Spock would say (or was it Data?): “Fascinating.” It really is.