A Day in the Life of the Brain: The Neuroscience of Consciousness from Dawn Till Dusk by Susan Greenfield - review by John Cornwell

John Cornwell

It’s All in Your Head

A Day in the Life of the Brain: The Neuroscience of Consciousness from Dawn Till Dusk

By

Allen Lane 274pp £20 order from our bookshop
 

‘It is a characteristic of aging brain scientists to turn their minds to the problem of consciousness … While their ambition is admirable, the result is usually lamentable.’ Thus wrote the reliable if usually churlish psychologist Stuart Sutherland back in 1990. Susan Greenfield, a neuroscientist and brilliantly indefatigable ambassador for science, has written a book about consciousness that defies Sutherland’s rule.

She eloquently establishes the ‘hard problem’ of consciousness. How does that personal sense – what it is like to smell the scent of a rose, get the point of a joke, look at the world from a unique perspective – arise from our billions of physical neurones and

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