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Can Attention Enhance Consciousness?



A Neurologist's View

This article appeared in the Summer 2002 issue of Spirituality & Health. Science has taken up the mystery of consciousness lately with the same verve it applied to other big questions such as the nature of life and the origin of our universe. Some scientists equate consciousness to a complex computer program, others to an irreducible force that pervades the universe like electromagnetic energy. Some, like neurologist Antonio R. Damasio, continue to look into the most obvious source of consciousness: the brain. As head of the department of neurology at the University of Iowa College of Medicine in Iowa City, Damasio has spearheaded research on the neuroscience of the mind. His books, Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain and The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness, have become influential best-sellers in popular neuroscience. I spoke with him recently about the biological nature of consciousness and the attempt to enhance it through meditation. Fernando Pagés Ruiz: You say in your book that focused attention seems to be a prerequisite for c …

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AttentionScienceNeurologyMeditationFrom the ArchivesConsciousness

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