CONS ZG532: Neuroscience and Consciousness

Theories in neuroscience concerning the neural substrates and neural dynamics associated with cognition, emotion, attention, and consciousness of self will be introduced. The course also reviews known mechanisms by which cortical neurons or brain areas interact during certain behavior or internal states. Finally the last part of the course deals with the techniques of biofeedback and neurofeedback in which subjects train themselves to produce specific brain and to regulate skin temperature, muscles tension, breathing rates, etc. The resources and limitations that present neuroscience brings to the field of consciousness studies will be highlighted.

General Information

Instructor: Dr. S.K. Rohida, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Evaluation Components

  • Practicals (biofeedback and neurofeedback) and General Class room participation (5 marks)
  • Quizzes: 15 marks.
  • Critical Summaries of Reading Assignments 20 marks
  • Two midterms: 20
  • Final comprehensive: 3-hour examination (30 marks)

Number of Hours: 45 hours

Reading Assignments are given in the cited work below


Lecture Topic


Introduction to Neuroscience [1]


Cell Biology


Cell membrane and Membrane Potential   (electrophysiology)


Ion Channels    (electrophysiology) [2; pp. 105-186]


Action Potential   (electrophysiology)[2; pp. 105-186]


The anatomical organization of the brain (Neuroanatomy) [2; pp 317-336]


Neuron, Synapses and synaptic transmission, Neurotransmitters   (electrophysiology)


The functional organization of perception [2, pp, 337-348]


Association areas of cortex + Brain [2; pp. 349-365; ]


Brain Functions (Localization) +Modularity


Imaging techniques [2, pp. 365-380]


Neural coding: Latency coding, rate coding+Neural networks


Paper discussion: What do brain data really show?


Constructing the visual image [2, pp. 492-506]


Perception of Form [2; pp. 548-569]


Illusions: Kanizsa Triangle


Approaches to the binding problem [19]


Binocular Rivalry [10]


Weiskrantz: Blindsight [14]


Emotional states and feelings [2; pp. 982-997]


Memory and Learning [1]


Brain Asymmetries and split brain [13,15]


Biofeedback and Neurobiofeedback


Freeman: Chaos and Perception [7]


Newman: Neural Correlates of Consciousness [3]


Posner: Attention and Consciousness [5, 18]


Crick and Koch: Consciousness and Neuroscience [9]


Hopfield: The Making of a Moment [17]/ Libet: Free Will [16]/


Revonsuo: Can functional brain imaging discover consciousness in the brain?


Relational Property Viewpoint and Neuroscience [20, 21]


  • Albright, T.D.; Jessell, T.M.; Kandel, E.R. and Posner, M.I. (2000) “Neural Science: A Century of Progress and the Mysteries that Remain” Neuron 25:S1-S55. 
  • Kandel, E.R.; Schwartz, J.H.; Jessell, T.M. (2000) Principles of Neural Science McGraw Hill (4th Edition). 
  • Newman, J. and Baars, B.J. (1997) “Putting the Puzzle Together. Part I: Towards a General Theory of Neural Correlates of Consciousness”, J. Consciousness Studies 4(1), 47-66.  
  • Newman, J. and Baars, B.J. (1997) “Part H”,  J. Consciousness Studies 4(2), 100-21. 
  • Posner, M.I. (1994) “Attention: The Mechanisms of Consciousness”, Proc Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 91: 7398-7403. 
  • Newman, J. and Baars, B.J. (1993) “A Neural Attentional Model of Access to Consciousness. A Global Workspace Perspective”, Concepts in Neuroscience 4(2): 255-290. 
  • Freeman, W.J. (1991) “The Physiology of Perception”, Scientific American 264 (2): 78-85. 
  • Crick, F.; Koch, C (1990) “Towards a Neurobiological Theory of Consciousness”, Seminars in the Neurosciences 2:263-275. 
  • Crick, F.; Koch, C. (1998) “Consciousness and Neuroscience”, Cerebral Cortex 8:97-107. 
  • Engel, A.K., et al. (1999) “Temporal Binding, Binocular Rivalry and Consciousness”, Consciousness and Cognition 8:128-151. 
  • Gray, C.M. (1999) “The Temporal Correlation Hypothesis of Visual Feature Integration: Still Alive and Wel”, Neuron 24:31-47. 
  • Goldman-Rakic, P.S. (1988) “Changing Concepts of Cortical Connectivity: Parallel Distributed Cortical Networks” In Rakic and Singer (eds), Neurobiology of Neocortex, pp. 177-202. 
  • Trevarthen, C. (1987) “Split-Brain and the Mind”, In R.L. Gregory, The Oxford Companion of the Mind, pp 740-747. 
  • a) Weiskrantz, L. (1986) Blindsight: A Case Study and Implications, Clarendon Press; b) Weiskrantz, L. (1997) Consciousness Lost & Found, Oxford University Press.  
  • Springer, S.P. and Deutsch, G. (1981) Left Brain, Right Brain, W.H. Freeman and Co. 
  • Libet, B. (1999) “Do We Have Free Will?”, J. Consciousness Studies, 6(8-9): 47-57. 
  • Hopfield, J.J. and Brody, C.D. (2000), “What is a Moment? ‘Cortical’ Sensory Integration over a Brief Interval” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 97(25):13919-13924.
  • Fries P.; Reynolds, J.H.; Rorie, A; Desimone, R. (2001) “Modulation of Oscillatory Neuronal Synchronization by Selective Visual Attention” Science 291: 1560-1563 
  • Hardcastle, V.G., “The Binding Problem”, In W. Bechtel and G. Graham (eds), A Companion to Cognitive Science, Blackwell Publishers: 1998, pp. 555-565 
  • Gomatam, R. (1999) “Quantum Theory and the Observation Problem”, Journal of Consciousness Studies, 6 (11-12), pp. 173-190 (see section VIII, IX).
  • Gomatam, R., “Quantum Theory and Neuroscience -- A New Approach and Some Preliminary Thoughts” unpublished essay in electronic library in Prof. Gomatam folder 
  • Eccles, J. (1994) How The Self Controls Its Brain, Springer Verlag: Germany.