Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach” as Want to Read:
The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  208 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Consciousness is the major unsolved problem in biology. How do the elemental feelings and sensations making up conscious experience, the redness of red and painfulness of pain, arise from the concerted actions of nerve cells and their associated synaptic and molecular processes? Can such feelings be explained by modern science, or is some quite different kind of explanatio ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by Roberts and Company Publishers
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Quest for Consciousness, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Quest for Consciousness

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,114)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Melee Farr
Jun 15, 2007 Melee Farr rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who needs to be humbled.
This was the longest 3-month read of my life. I did finish the bastard, though. If you want to enjoy it, read chapter 1, then skip to 9. The concept is fascinating: where is the seat of consciousness in the brain, and what, exactly, is consciousness - along with a little exploration in what consciousness is for. The execution was beastly. Even with a background in anatomy, I had no idea where the author was going with about half of the book, and was pretty pissed at him when I figured it out "Yo ...more
DJ
Until recently, those interested in learning about consciousness have had just three options: (1) introspection (informative but deceiving), (2) books by philosophers (interesting but completely speculative), and (3) books by crazies (the majority of the literature on consciousness). Consciousness has long been a naughty word in science, but ho! No longer! While the "hard problem" of exactly why phenomenological states arise from the collective squirts of neurotransmitters washing across your br ...more
Brian
(3.0) Worthy goal, not sure I got much out of the book though

A noble goal: to find the neural correlate of consciousness (NCC), the network of neurons to point to as where perception 'happens'. To a neuroscientist, this is probably a tremendous amount of review. To a non-neuroscientist, probably way more neurobio than can be absorbed. But he does well to try to rule out places where consciousness cannot be (in vision, retina, V1, for example), and hints at where it might be (in vision, inferotem
...more
Ramkumar Ramachandra
This is THE book on consciousness if you're looking for a purely neurobiological approach. The picture is still very incomplete: Koch sticks to making claims based on hard scientific evidence, and makes no assumptions. If you don't mind using a bit of analytical philosophy to make the jump and build the entire picture, I'd recommend Metzinger's "Being No One".

Light entertaining read.
Billie Pritchett
Christof Koch's Quest for Consciousness is intended for lay audiences, but it is still a highly technical book, about the neurobiological approach to investigating consciousness. The book is at turns highly readable and at other other turns abstruse in its use of neuroanatomical descriptions of brain regions and processes. Nevertheless, it was enjoyable to read. Koch argues that consciousness, or awareness, is an emergent property of the nervous system, important for planning and choosing among ...more
David
Because this book brings in real neuroscience data it is the best book on consciousness yet published. Consciousness is a combination of perception and conscious sensations called qualia, two different phenomena. Qualia is why we see the color blue instead of just blindly react to some neural signals as would zombies (we can do this up to a point in a phenomena called blind-sight which involves a primitive non-cortical neural pathway). One can have qualia without perception but not vice-versa as ...more
Erin
May 11, 2008 Erin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those wondering how the brain creates "consciousness"
If I could recommend just one book on a neuroscientific approach to consciousness, this would be it. But don't expect any clear answers to be spelled out for you – we’re not there yet. In particular, Koch does not provide the reader with anything approaching a satisfying explanation of how subjectivity can arise from a physical system.
Katy
Meant to be reviewed for my senior thesis. heh. This is the continuation of work Koch did with Francis Crick on the nature of the workings of the human mind.

Absolutely fascinating.
Jrobertus
koch worked with crick on neurobiology and the consciousness of vision. they want to define and ncc, a minimal neuronal correlate of consciousness. ok book, but not the best in the field.
Huyen
misleading title, should be Vision and Consciousness or something like that. quite dry and technical, but informative and occasionally very interesting.
Leah
Read an article in SciAm, was really looking for his upcoming book, but it's not in the database and I'm on mobile.
M.D. Backes
By far, my favorite book on brain studies. Focuses on the neural correlates of consciousness.
Jafar
So much neurobiology that the quest for consciousness gets lost in it.
Chadfogg
He never gives up. Nice intro to stages of occipital lobe.
Nick Black
Feb 25, 2010 Nick Black marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nick by: DJ
Shelves: to-acquire
looks like a good place to start!
Amber
Amber marked it as to-read
Jan 28, 2015
Lilly BN
Lilly BN marked it as to-read
Jan 28, 2015
Kathy
Kathy added it
Jan 27, 2015
ramatronic
ramatronic marked it as to-read
Jan 26, 2015
Katja
Katja marked it as to-read
Jan 26, 2015
Cathy
Cathy added it
Jan 25, 2015
Felicia
Felicia marked it as to-read
Jan 24, 2015
E.J.
E.J. marked it as to-read
Jan 24, 2015
LittleAuk
LittleAuk marked it as to-read
Jan 24, 2015
Stephen
Stephen marked it as to-read
Jan 23, 2015
James Graham
James Graham marked it as to-read
Jan 22, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 37 38 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Universe of Consciousness: How Matter Becomes Imagination
  • Theoretical Neuroscience: Computational and Mathematical Modeling of Neural Systems
  • Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul
  • Principles of Neural Science
  • The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness
  • Mapping the Mind
  • Conversations on Consciousness: What the Best Minds Think about the Brain, Free Will, and What It Means to Be Human
  • The Emotional Brain: The Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Life
  • The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience
  • Into the Silent Land: Travels in Neuropsychology
  • The Ethical Brain: The Science of Our Moral Dilemmas
  • The Executive Brain: Frontal Lobes and the Civilized Mind
  • Neurophilosophy: Toward a Unified Science of the Mind/Brain
  • The Rediscovery of the Mind
  • Neuroscience and Philosophy: Brain, Mind, and Language
  • I of the Vortex: From Neurons to Self
  • The Man with the Phantom Twin
  • The Other Brain: From Dementia to Schizophrenia, How New Discoveries about the Brain Are Revolutionizing Medicine and Science

Share This Book