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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Radiolab fan? We are too.
    Radiolab fan? We are too.

    We love NPR's Radiolab. If you haven't listened to it yet, you should.  Check out several episodes featuring David's science or writing.

  • 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.

Newsflashes

Book of the Week

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

SUM is Book of the Year: Chicago Tribune

SUM was chosen as the best book of 2009 by Chicago Tribune's Pulitzer-winning literary critic Julia Keller.

Why Brain Science Matters

Why should the US invest in brain science? See David's opinion in the New York Times.

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