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

  • Silicon Immortality: Downloading Consciousness into Computers
    Silicon Immortality: Downloading Consciousness into Computers

    Well before we understand how brains work, we may find ourselves able to digitally copy the brain's structure and able to download the conscious mind into a computer. What are the possibilities and challenges?

  • Will Self
    Will Self

    The author Will Self and I appeared on stage together to discuss life, death, and what makes good writing.

  • James Holmes’ Brain: Some Initial Speculations
    James Holmes’ Brain: Some Initial Speculations

    In the wake of the Aurora movie theater shooting, many people had the same questions: What kind of derangement is indicated by the horrific acts of James Holmes? What is wrong with his brain? How will his mental state play out in the courts?

  • Q & A in New Scientist magazine
    Q & A in New Scientist magazine

    Read a Q&A with David in New Scientist to find out his latest ideas and advice to young scientists.

Newsflashes

Synesthesia book wins the Montaigne Medal

Wednesday is Indigo Blue: Discovering the Brain of Synesthesia has been awarded the Montaigne Medal, Eric Hoffer Award for Books.
synesthesia

Book of the Week

Sum was selected as Book of the Week by both The Guardian newspaper and The Week newsmagazine.

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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