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

  • After Sandy Hook: Why mental illness matters
    After Sandy Hook: Why mental illness matters

    The shootings at Sandy Hook sparked debate ranging from gun control to bulletproof windows. But the most fruitful approach may be to prioritize our discussion of mental illness.

  • Will Self
    Will Self

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

  • Documentary on the History Channel
    Documentary on the History Channel

    Interested in issues of memory and the brain? Watch a clip of David on the History Channel.

  • 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

Book of the Week

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

Guggenheim Fellowship

David has been named a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow. He will use the fellowship opportunity to pursue the genetics and neuroimaging of synesthesia.

Possibilianism at PopTech

Click here to watch David's talk on possibilianism at PopTech. Executive director Andrew Zolli wrote: "This is one of the best talks ever at PopTech. Everyone should watch this."

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