A month ago, I wrote about myself and other myths–some interesting scientific results from research into the nature of consciousness. I missed a couple, however. For many years, scientists have studied the nature of sleep, and of dreams. These studies have started to overlap with those looking at the nature of consciousness. One experiment involves stimulating the brain using transcranial magnetic stimulation or TMS, and watching the outcome on an FMRI scanner as the patient is gradually anesthetized or allowed to fall asleep.
Scientific American recently published a special edition titled The Hidden Mind. While a few of the articles were disappointing, the magazine finished with a true gem written by David J. Chalmers. It attempts to address the difficult problem of consciousness; not the problem of how to achieve it on a Monday morning, but the even tougher problem of how to explain it. It’s titled The Puzzle of Conscious Experience, and I recommend that you go read it.