Neurophysiology of Consciousness

  • Benjamin Libet

Part of the Contemporary Neuroscientists book series (CN)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxvii
  2. B. Libet, W. W. Alberts, E. W. Wright Jr., L. D. Delattre, G. Levin, B. Feinstein
    Pages 1-34
  3. B. Libet, W. W. Alberts, E. W. Wright Jr., B. Feinstein
    Pages 64-67
  4. B. Libet, W. W. Alberts, E. W. Wright Jr, B. Feinstein
    Pages 136-147
  5. Benjamin Libet, Elwood W. Wright Jr., Bertram Feinstein, Dennis K. Pearl
    Pages 164-195
  6. Benjamin Libet, Elwood W. Wright Jr., Curtis A. Gleason
    Pages 243-248
  7. Benjamin Libet, Curtis A. Gleason, Elwood W. Wright, Dennis K. Pearl
    Pages 249-268
  8. D. Salter
    Pages 319-323
  9. Benjamin Libet, Dennis K. Pearl, David E. Morledge, Curtis A. Gleason, Yoshio Hosobuchi, Nicholas M. Barbaro
    Pages 340-366
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 403-404

About this book


and made insignificant in practice, by selecting for study simple kinds of ex­ periences which are devoid of emotional content and which can be tested for reliability. A simple somatosensory ''raw feel" fulfills these characteristics (see papers nos. 2,5). In any case, if we fail to find ways to use introspective reports in convincingly acceptable studies we would give up the ability to investigate the relation between conscious experience and neural activity, something warned against by William James (Krech, 1969). Another factor in the dearth of direct experimental studies is, of course, the comparative inaccessibility of the human brain for such purposes. Meaningful investigations of the issue in question requires simultaneous study of brain events and introspective reports of experiences in an awake, cooperative human subject. Analysis by neuropsychologists of pathological lesions in the brain and the related disturbances of conscious functions have contributed much to mapping the pos­ sible representations of these functions. The non-invasive recording of electrical activity with electrodes on the scalp, starting from Berger's initial EEG record­ ings in 1929, has contributed much to the problems of states of consciousness and to various cognitive features associated with sensory inputs, but not as much to the specific issue of conscious experience.


awareness brain cortex electroencephalography (EEG) emotion interaction neurophysiology neuroscience perception physiology

Authors and affiliations

  • Benjamin Libet
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology and Mount Zion Neurological InstituteUniversity of California School of MedicineSan FranciscoUSA

Bibliographic information