Astonishing Hypothesis

"The Astonishing Hypothesis" is a book written by Francis Crick (one of the Nobel Prize winning co-discoverers of the double helix molecular structure of DNA) that examines a scientific basis of study on human consciousness. Crick proposed that human consciousness has its basis in our primate visual system, short term memory, and attentional functions. Crick was a proponent of the theory that consciousness and brain activity is a result of the actions of the nerve cells, glial cells, atoms, ions, and molecules. He writes that in order to study consciousness the neurons and cells responsible must be identified. He further theorized that cells must work together in order to recognize objects. Crick also brings up the binding problem which is a term used for two different mental quandaries; the segregation problem (how does the brain separate the multitude of sensory input it receives and be able to focus on separate discrete elements such as identifying different objects) and the combination problem (how does the brain combine abstract influences like objects, background, and emotions into coherent experiences and situations).

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