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How Can You Tell If Another Person, Animal Or Thing Is Conscious?

How can you know that any animal, other human beings, or anything that seems conscious, isn’t just faking it? Does it enjoy an internal subjective experience, complete with sensations and emotions like hunger, joy, or sadness? After all, the only consciousness you can know with certainty is your own. Everything else is inference. The nature […]

Nucleus Gigantocellularis Neurons May Play Role In Cognition

New research sheds light on an area of the brainstem that is so little understood the first author of the paper, Rockefeller University’s Inna Tabansky, calls it “the black box.” Many traits of our central nervous system depend on an underappreciated deep brain mechanism that Donald Pfaff, head of the Laboratory of Neurobiology and Behavior […]

Prefrontal Cortex Stimulation Induces Wake-like Behavior

Prefrontal cortex cholinergic stimulation causes wake-like behavior in anesthetized rats, researchers in the University of Michigan Medical School Center for Consciousness Science report. In the search for what controls our overall level of consciousness, researchers have traditionally focused on structures in the lower part of the brain. These structures include the brainstem (which regulates vital […]

The Brain Functions That Underlie Visual Metacognition

Brain functions that give you confidence that you did see what you just saw are described in a new study from psychologists at the Georgia Institute of Technology. There’s a long way to go before neuroscience can fathom the vastness of human consciousness, but these researchers were fascinated to observe how two regions of the […]