Research Topic

The Nature of Consciousness

About this Research Topic

Since ancient times, humanity has shown a deep interest in the "consciousness" and its many facets. Consciousness can be defined in terms of sentience (response to external stimuli), wakefulness and responsiveness (levels of consciousness), or awareness (access conscious thoughts, the content of consciousness). Another approach yet is the ability to subjectively experience the world, generating a feeling of presence, i.e., phenomenal consciousness or qualia. A fundamental question is how a physical system such as the brain relates to these first-person subjective feelings, known as the "hard problem of consciousness". Studies investigating neural correlates of processes related to level and content of consciousness, for instance, have prolifically grown in the last few years due to the advance in brain imaging techniques. Nevertheless, the mind-brain relationship is one of the most fundamental questions we still struggle to move forward this debate.
Scope and information for authors

The Research Topic proposed here intends to address the nature of consciousness and is open to include studies from philosophy to medicine, due to the ample aspect of the problem. More specifically, we want to discuss whether the mind is an emergent property of the brain or if they are somehow independent of each other. In this collection, we call for manuscripts covering the vast scope of theories and human experiences related to the mind-brain relationship. Equally, we will also accept original manuscripts addressing altered levels (such as anesthesia, coma, vegetative state, minimally conscious state, and sleep) and contents (such as meditation, trance, hypnosis, dissociative and anomalous experiences, perception, awareness, and consciousness-related psychiatric disorders) of consciousness that provide empirical evidence to this debate.

Even though eminent discussions have intensively touched upon this topic and helped its progression, there seems to be no consensus regarding capital points such as the nature of consciousness. Our goal is to help construct an organized body of theoretical and empirical studies to gather different perspectives - or even disagreeing opinions, in a non-passionate fashion, and eventually contribute with practical and theoretical advances to the field.


Keywords: Consciousness, qualia, materialism, reductionism, dualism


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Since ancient times, humanity has shown a deep interest in the "consciousness" and its many facets. Consciousness can be defined in terms of sentience (response to external stimuli), wakefulness and responsiveness (levels of consciousness), or awareness (access conscious thoughts, the content of consciousness). Another approach yet is the ability to subjectively experience the world, generating a feeling of presence, i.e., phenomenal consciousness or qualia. A fundamental question is how a physical system such as the brain relates to these first-person subjective feelings, known as the "hard problem of consciousness". Studies investigating neural correlates of processes related to level and content of consciousness, for instance, have prolifically grown in the last few years due to the advance in brain imaging techniques. Nevertheless, the mind-brain relationship is one of the most fundamental questions we still struggle to move forward this debate.
Scope and information for authors

The Research Topic proposed here intends to address the nature of consciousness and is open to include studies from philosophy to medicine, due to the ample aspect of the problem. More specifically, we want to discuss whether the mind is an emergent property of the brain or if they are somehow independent of each other. In this collection, we call for manuscripts covering the vast scope of theories and human experiences related to the mind-brain relationship. Equally, we will also accept original manuscripts addressing altered levels (such as anesthesia, coma, vegetative state, minimally conscious state, and sleep) and contents (such as meditation, trance, hypnosis, dissociative and anomalous experiences, perception, awareness, and consciousness-related psychiatric disorders) of consciousness that provide empirical evidence to this debate.

Even though eminent discussions have intensively touched upon this topic and helped its progression, there seems to be no consensus regarding capital points such as the nature of consciousness. Our goal is to help construct an organized body of theoretical and empirical studies to gather different perspectives - or even disagreeing opinions, in a non-passionate fashion, and eventually contribute with practical and theoretical advances to the field.


Keywords: Consciousness, qualia, materialism, reductionism, dualism


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

15 January 2021 Abstract
15 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

15 January 2021 Abstract
15 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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