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The Web’s Largest Database of Consciousness Papers

Years ago philosopher David Chalmers put together a database of online papers on consciousness – it now contains about 7734 free online available papers neatly categorised:

It is truly Ali Baba’s cave, especially because they are topically organised.

Schizophrenia and Consciousness

Described in a sincere account as “a toxic tormenting sense of hopelessness, humiliation, and despair”, schizophrenia has haunted Eleanor Longden for her entire life. A one point, attempting to drill a hole her head to stop the voices, now PhD candidate Eleanor revealed to the world on August 8 2013 the stark truth behind schizophrenia and slow recovery.

“The voices were destined to become my persecutors and my only perceived companions. They told me if I proved myself worthy of their help then they could change my life back to how it had been… it was a kind of labour of Hercules”

While for many it is indeed (more…)

Self Injury

To the untrained eye, non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) and suicidal self-injury may seem to be the exact same disorder. This could not be further from the truth. Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is defined in the fifth addition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders [link to glossary] (DSM-V) as a condition distinct from borderline personality disorder (BPD)(although NSSI is often associated with additional BPD; 80% of those diagnosed with BPD engage in self-harm), which involves self-inflicted damage without suicidal intent. The manual also stipulates the purpose of this harm is to seek relief from a negative feeling, or to resolve (more…)

Multple Sclerosis and Consciousness

Multple Sclerosis (MS) is the leading cause of neurological disability for young adults in the UK and, according to the MS society, it affects around 100 000 people in the UK. The disease causes axonal demyelination. In simplistic terms, it removes the insulation from the connections between neurons; this is like stripping the plastic insulation from wires — the signal is weakened and, eventually, lost. As you can imagine, this causes a great deal of disruption to the brain most often to the frontal regions.

The “circuits” around (more…)

Measuring Consciousness 2: Measuring the measures of consciousness

In a recent paper by Bert Timmermans they compared: i) the Perceptual Awareness Scale (PAS) ii) confidence ratings (CR) and iii) post-decision wagering (PDW) which are all scales of measuring consciousness. Although other measures do exist these are more commonly used to measure subjective awareness, and a systematic overview of them was long overdue.
What is the Perceptual Awareness Scale?
The PAS was originally developed (more…)

Measuring Consciousness 1: Tipping the scales

Perhaps of all the concepts dealt with in Psychology — the conscious experience — is one of the most subjective. In 1889 consciousness was recognised by Stuart Smith as a term “impossible to define except in terms that at unintelligible without grasp of what consciousness means.” Finding the correct scales to use to measure such a thing is, therefore, pretty difficult. Let’s take a look at some of the measures and methods used to determine good subjective scales in consciousness ratings. (more…)