Psychobiology of consciousness: Concepts, hypotheses and clinical and experimental observations

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Aim. An updated revision of the main concepts, hypothesis and clinical and experimental data about the psychobiology of consciousness. Development. It describes the nature, characteristics and neural correlated of consciousness and discuss about the capacity of the human brain to understand the conscious mind. Conclusions. Consciousness is a subjective, qualitative and unified mental state which originates behavioural flexibility. Qualia are the sensory qualities of the conscious experience. They are an executive summary of a great amount of information. Consciousness seems be mainly based on cortical mechanisms, although the thalamus and the arousal subcortical systems could have an enabling role in giving rise to it. The brain could generate consciousness by mechanisms of resonance, synchronization and/ or integration of the activity of different cortical and subcortical regions. Human brain could not have evolved enough as for understanding how objective matter becomes subjective imagination. © 2009, Revista de Neurología.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-256
JournalRevista de Neurologia
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2009


  • Acetylcholine
  • Brainstem arousal systems
  • Consciousness
  • Cortical brain
  • Neural integrated information
  • Qualia
  • Resonance activity
  • Synchronization
  • Thalamus


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