What links conscious experience of pain, joy, color, and smell to bio-electrical activity in the brain? How can anything physical give rise to nonphysical, subjective, conscious states? Christof Koch has devoted much of his career to bridging the seemingly unbridgeable gap between the physics of the brain and phenomenal experience.
This engaging book - part scientific overview, part memoir, part futurist speculation - describes Koch's search for an empirical explanation for consciousness. Koch recounts not only the birth of the modern science of consciousness but also the subterranean motivation for his quest - his instinctual (if not romantic) belief that life is meaningful.
Koch describes his own groundbreaking work with Francis Crick in the 1990s and 2000s and the gradual emergence of consciousness (once considered a fringy subject) as a legitimate topic for scientific investigation.
Koch gives us stories from the front lines of modern research into the neurobiology of consciousness as well as his own reflections on a variety of topics. All are signposts in the pursuit of his life's work - to uncover the roots of consciousness.
CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title published by The MIT Press.
“I loved every minute of it.” - Nature
“Science writing at its best.” - Times Higher Education
“Destined to takes its place as a timeless masterpiece in the history of science.” - Michael Shermer, Publisher of Skeptic magazine