Damasio on Consciousness

Author and scientist Antonio Damasio gives a presentation in this TED video about consciousness. Damasio has developed a model which explains how certain features of consciousness and particularly emotions can result from a sophisticated mapping of visceral sensation in brain regions such as the Insular Cortex. Indeed this work has been developed further both by Damasio himself and neuroscientist A Craig and formed some of the early reading that was used for developing a model of the Insular Cortex on this blog. The interested reader can read further on this in the Appendix. In the video, Damasio begins by discussing the very big topic of consciousness and explaining just how significant this is for us. Consciousness is used to explain the nature of our selves, pathological conditions such as the vegetative state as well as features of our visual experience. Damasio raises a number of interesting questions for the audience to consider and suggests three forms of consciousness – Proto, Core and Autobiographical. He goes onto to suggest that animals share many aspects of our conscious experiences and that some animals including primates and dogs would experience autobiographical consciousness. This he goes onto explain results from our lived past and anticipated future and forms the basis for other phenomenon including creativity and culture. This is a short but interesting video featuring a neuroscience icon.

Appendix 1 – Book Review

Review of Damasio’s ‘Descarte’s Error. Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain’

Appendix 2 – Developing a Model of the Insular Cortex

YouTubing the Insular Cortex  What does the Insular Cortex Do Again? Insular Cortex Infarction in Acute Middle Cerebral Artery Territory Stroke The Insular Cortex and Neuropsychiatric Disorders Developing a Model of the Insular Cortex and Emotional Regulation Part 1 Developing a Model of the Insular Cortex: A Recap  The Relationship of Blood Pressure to Subcortical Lesions  Pathobiology of Visceral Pain  Interoception and the Insular Cortex  A Case of Neurogenic T-Wave Inversion   Video Presentations on a Model of the Insular Cortex  MR Visualisations of the Insula  The Subjective Experience of Pain*  How Do You Feel? Interoception: The Sense of the Physiological Condition of the Body  How Do You Feel – Now? The Anterior Insula and Human Awareness   Role of the Insular Cortex in the Modulation of Pain  The Insular Cortex and Frontotemporal Dementia   A Case of Infarct Connecting the Insular Cortex and the Heart  The Insular Cortex: Part of the Brain that Connects Smell and Taste?   Stuttered Swallowing and the Insular Cortex

An index of the site can be found here. The page contains links to all of the articles in the blog in chronological order. Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

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