Damasio is a neurologist who works at USC at The Brain and Creativity Institute. He has authored numerous popular neuroscience and pscyhology books from Descartes Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain to his most recent work Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain. His accolades perhaps stem longer than I could describe in one paragraph, but let’s just say he is an expert on the brain stemming from how the brain works to how it is structured.
The following videos are a collection of videos with Damasio speaking on various aspects of the brain. In this collection I’ve tried to include the most relevant and hopefully the most interesting material as well. Issues such as “What is the self?” “Is there a mind?” are of superior relevance here, and if you at all find that interesting these are definitely worth watching.
Damasio’s latest work, Self Comes to Mind, reflects on the structure the brain and how neural maps create consciousness. Damasio writes “we take consciousness for granted because it is so readily available, so easy to use, so elegant in its daily dissapearing and reppearing acts, and yet, when we think of it, scientists and nonscientists alike, we do puzzle”. Damasio adds that in order for us to begin to think about consciousness we must deductive reasoning to speak candidly about what the phenomeonon is. It is an awareness about a state of the world. A level of awareness above other mammals that we find in nature. And if one were to start at the bottom of consciousness, the levels associated with minimal facts and states of awareness, we can build upon it until we reach our currently levels of consciousness. Indeed, this is a fasctinating idea that will create some impact in the world of neuroscience. What qualifies consciousness? Is it quanitative differences? Damasio has the answers and we should invite ourselves to purchase his book to understand his illustrations.