X-Message-Number: 13039
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: some neuroscientific comments on consciousness
Date: Mon, 3 Jan 100 00:31:01 +1100 (EST)

About consciousness of lobotomy patients:

There HAS been, by now, considerable thought and work by neuroscientists 
on the issue of just how consciousness may work. An interesting book by 
Damasio, THE FEELING OF WHAT HAPPENS, proposes (as do many
neuroscientists) that consciousness is a matter of degree. Many animals
are conscious, but their consciousness isnt the same kind as ours.

This relates quite closely to lobotomies, since Damasio proposes that
our frontal lobes are involved not in our consciousness as such but in
our higher levels of consciousness. It would therefore be reasonable to
say that lobotomy patients continue to be conscious, but only at the low
level at which a dog or cat (say) is conscious.

Since our consciousness is clearly something we want to keep, this subject
has lots of bearing on its preservation. If you lose your frontal lobes 
due to accident or poor suspension, can your consciousness be FULLY
revived? Ive discussed some of this work in PERIASTRON, but hardly all
of it.

			Best and long long life to all,

				Thomas Donaldson

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