works – The means by which something happens.
How does the brain work? What is the relation of the brain to consciousness? These are the two questions which have guided my research in theoretical neurobiology over the last two decades.
How does the brain work? By this question I mean, What are the principles which structure the functioning of the whole brain? I am exploring this latter question in a book entitled, Parsing the Brain: Whole Brain and the Science of Consciousness. The book is organized around a dozen different mathematical formalisms currently in play among scores of scientists around the world, seeking to pan the gold of testable theory from the pebbles of data. Parts of this book will be available at this site. The formalisms I am examining are:
phase phenomena and renormalization
spikes, waves, oscillations
simulation and emulation
What is the relation of the brain to consciousness? A more fine edged way of asking this question is, Does consciousness play a causal role in the states, stages and/or contents of consciousness? Neurophilosophers have been all overt the map on this question, while researchers are either agnostic or assume, on pragmatic grounds, that consciousness does play a causal role. I examine a facet of this problem in a monograph-in-progress entitled: REENTRY: A natural transformation of consciousness. This monograph will also be published on this site.
There have been many people studying the brain and its meanderings who have helped. Bernie Baars in particular has been a guiding light and a close friend. I have been inspired by the work of Walter Freeman, William James, The International College of Lex,
West Coast Brain Works is the localized work space where I pursue my thoughts. Its real world location is at Scholars’ Abode, 110 Carrol Place, Walnut Creek, California, 945495. I sometimes hope it is the seed for a future virtual research institute for scientists who are passionate about the two guiding questions: How does the brain work? What is the relation of the brain to consciousness?