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Consciousness emerges from brain function, and we often experience consciousness to be located in the brain, but bodily feedback clearly contributes to a wide variety of subjective feelings. Brain and body jointly generate our inner mental world from various inputs.
Emotion-related inputs from the body to the brain could have generated the first traces of consciousness in our early ancestors. Being able to feel pain gives a survival advantage to animals, as they could have withdrawn from dangers and rested to promote recovery when injured or ill.
The development of awareness of body-related harms might have ultimately paved the road for the emergence of more advanced forms of conscious thought and processes, such as language, thinking, and reasoning.
Our bodies signal our internal states to us, but it also often externalizes them too. And being able to track others’ inner states and goals might be one of the more advantageous capabilities.
Humans and many animals are adept at reading each other’s intentions, feelings, and goals from their behavior such as facial and bodily expressions. This promotes social cohesion by exchanging emotions and other mental states and presents evolutionary advantages a purely private consciousness wouldn’t have.
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Consciousness is everything you experience - taste, pain, love, feeling. Where these experiences come from is a mystery.
Many modern analytic philosophers of mind either d...
What is it about brain matter that gives rise to consciousness? In particular, the neuronal correlates of consciousness (NCC) - the minimal neuronal mechanisms jointly sufficient for any conscious experience.
Consider this question: What must happen in your brain for you to experience a toothache?
The whole brain can be considered an NCC because it generates experience continually.
Each of us is the protagonist of our own life. Our goals feel like the most important thing in our world.
But every now and then, a moment of awe challenges our understanding of the world...
Awe is an emotional response to being in the presence of something greater than yourself, and that exceeds current knowledge structures.
Awe is a positive emotion and has a broadening effect on our thoughts and actions.
Feelings of awe have historically been recorded when individuals encounter contact with a "higher" power.
In modern times, the main triggers of awe are philosophical ones such as literature, music, paintings, and nature. Examples include natural wonders or events such as childbirth.
Our molecular clock inside our cells aims to keep us in sync with the sun.
When we disregard this circadian rhythm, we are at a greater risk for illnesses such as diabetes, heart...
Thomas Edison said that sleep is "a bad habit." Like Edison, we seem to think of sleep as an adversary and try to fight it at every turn. The average American sleeps less than the recommended seven hours per night, mostly due to electric lights, television, computers, and smartphones.
However, we are ignoring the intricate journey we're designed to take when we sleep.
When we fall asleep, the nearly 86 billion neurons in our brain starts to fire evenly and rhythmically. Our sensory receptors become muffled at the same time.
The first stage of shallow sleep lasts for about 5 minutes.