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

  • 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:

  • Discovering amulets inside the mummy
    Discovering amulets inside the mummy

    I recently posted about my scanning of a 3,000 year old mummy, Neskhons. Now, by analyzing the data in several different ranges of electron density, I've found something unexpected: inside the mummy's torso are 4 small funerary amulets.

  • Philip Pullman
    Philip Pullman

    I've had the good fortune to collaborate on stage a couple of times with author Philip Pullman.

Newsflashes

Musician Jarvis Cocker reads from Sum

Listen to British rocker Jarvis Cocker read the story "Descent of Species" from Sum. He is one of the dozens of terrific voices who read for the audio book.

Eagleman and Brian Eno bring Sum to Sydney Opera House

In June, 2009, David Eagleman collaborated with musician/producer Brian Eno to perform a musical reading of Sum to 1,000 people at the Sydney Opera House. In May of 2010 they performed together again to 1,200 people at the Brighton Dome in England. Stay tuned for further performances.

6 Ways the Internet Will Save Civilization

Read David's new article in Wired magazine: "Apocalyse? No. Six Ways the Internet Will Save Civilization"

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