One of the most puzzling, yet fascinating, aspects of existence is consciousness. Anil K Seth is a professor of cognitive and computational neuroscience who has published over 100 scientific papers on this subject. In his TED conference (embedded below), he describes the experience of being anaesthetised and recalls a sense of detachment before “ceasing to exist”. He goes on to explain that when one falls into a deep sleep they may wake up confused and anxious about how much time has passed but they still have an understanding of time having passed, a sense of “continuity between then and now”. But with anesthesia he lost this sense and the experience, for him, affirmed the idea that consciousness is far more entangled in flesh and blood than in some other unknown realm. “My research is telling me that consciousness has less to do with pure intelligence and more to do with our nature as living and breathing organisms”.
Seth’s work has brought him to the conclusion that consciousness occurs when the brain is able to recreate the world around it, and simultaneously experience the world it created. This ultimately makes the brain a prediction machine.