The mystery of consciousness is finally being tackled by neuroscientists as well as philosophers. This series will look at three different ways in which brain research can approach the problem, by first examining the more modest brains of the developing human foetus and animals with more restricted stereotypical behavioural repertoires. Secondly, we shall explore the physical changes known to occur in the brain when consciousness is interrupted in extreme states, e.g., during mania, depression and schizophrenia. Finally we will see how successfully the subjective states of mind can be married with known events in the brain.
The three lectures in this series are included in the PDF below:
27th January 1998
Windows on the Mind: Simpler Brains
29th January 1998
Windows on the Mind: Disrupted Brains
3rd February 1998
Windows on the Mind: The Scientist Moves In
Baroness (Susan) Greenfield CBE is a scientist, writer, broadcaster, and member of the House of Lords. Professor Greenfield was the Gresham Professor of Physic between 1995 and 1999. Her area of special sceintific interest is the physiology of the human brain, particularly Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.
Upon her appointment to the Physic chair at Gresham College, Professor Greenfield wrote the following:
"I shall use the Gresham appointment to advance the public's undertsanding of the brain. This subject holds an immediate fascination for virtually everyone, because it embraces a wide range of issues, at least one of which has touched most people's lives or fired a particular interest: infant development, use and abuse of drugs, strokes, schizophrenia, brain scans, and the physical basis of consciousness are all topics of immediate meaning to the general public. Although many people are intrigued by the brain, they have no means of discovering even the most basic and well established facts. The average person is discouraged by the plethora of specialist terminology which can so easily keep the brain as an inaccessible mystery. Although this mystery remains, even for those such as myself who have studied it for some twenty-five years, it is important for as many people as possible to appreciate the extent opf what we do know."