To the extent that consciousness is useful, it is useful in small quantities, and for very particular kinds of tasks. It's easy to understand why you would not want to be consciously aware of the intricacies of your muscle movement, but this can be less intuitive when applied to your perceptions, thoughts, and beliefs, which are also final products of the activity of billions of nerve cells.

From the Blog

  • Why I am a Possibilian
    Why I am a Possibilian

    Our ignorance of the cosmos is too vast to commit to atheism, and yet we know too much to commit to a particular religion. A third position, agnosticism, is often an uninteresting stance in which a person simply questions whether his traditional religious story is true or not true. I call myself a possibilian. Find out why.

  • Breivik's Brain
    Breivik's Brain

    What could explain Anders Breivik's shooting attack in Oslo, Norway? While this is debated from the angles of politics, religion, and sociology, I want to ask this from the viewpoint of neurobiology.

  • Love Italo Calvino? Me too. Listen to a BBC Radio documentary.
    Love Italo Calvino? Me too. Listen to a BBC Radio documentary.

    I hosted a BBC radio documentary to explore the imagination of one of Italy's foremost writers, Italo Calvino.

  • Ten books I love
    Ten books I love

    I was recently asked to list ten books that have "inspired, moved, and enlightened" me. Here's my list:

Newsflashes

Science Educator Award

David has won the Science Educator Award from the Society of Neuroscience.

Sum #2 book in UK

In September, 2009, Sum became the number 2 book in the United Kingdom on Amazon's bestseller list, only behind Dan Brown's Lost Symbol.

Sum named Book of the Year by New Scientist

Sum was the only book of fiction in New Scientist magazine's selection of Best Books of 2009.

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