Posted in Miscellany

is consciousness a matter for novelists or neurologists?

It turns out that the EEG indicates that the brain has made the decision some few thousandths of a second before subjects “know” they have decided. So why bother with consciousness at all? Couldn’t that fantasy creature, a mindless zombie, do the job just as well?

For Antonio Damasio, the answer seems to be a convergence: consciousness happens in the brain where the self (or selves I’d add) are mapped, creating a narrative out of experience. Full story at the link above.



Lilian is the author of Web of Angels, a novel about a mom with DID (multiple personalities). She's also the author of the historical novels, The River Midnight and The Singing Fire, about secrets, friendship and motherhood in 19th century Poland and London.

One thought on “is consciousness a matter for novelists or neurologists?

  1. What science does is different to what literature does; we need both angles. Science tries to provide explanations, and they are particularly useful when things go medically wrong. Literature provides descriptions and paradoxes, and they are comforting and offer solidarity and insight on the business of actually living day to day. Well, you know which side I would come down on if I had to chuck one out the window! But I’m glad we have both.

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