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The UK research scientist Susan Greenfield believes that neuronal assemblies – coalitions of millions of brain cells that activate and disband over a scale of millimetres and milliseconds – could be a Rosetta Stone for explaining shifts and differences in states of consciousness. Although research about these cellular systems is still in its early stages, Greenfield thinks that further study could help neuroscientists bridge the chasm between the local neural networks and large brain regions that currently characterise our framework for perception. And, as she proposes in this interview with Robert Lawrence Kuhn for the PBS series Closer to Truth (2000-), bridging this gap might be key to unlocking some of the foremost puzzles of consciousness – from sleep, dreams and wakefulness to mental illness.
Video by Closer to Truth
An artist grapples with the loss of his brother, and the problem of canine abduction
Sports and games
After a day’s toil in California’s fields, labourers let loose in street races
Sports and games
You’ve likely never heard of the only woman drafted into the NBA – and that’s fine by her
Consciousness and altered states
‘Meditation without meditating’ might be possible. Can it also be made ethical?
Information and communication
The modern world is littered with statistical noise. Here’s how to find the signal
Teaching and learning
The charity that teaches underprivileged kids to humanely hunt their next meal
Love evolves and death isn’t worth your worry – life lessons from an 88-year-old
Film and visual culture
A series of animated illusions illustrates how we project depth on to flat surfaces
When two punk bands came to a psychiatric hospital, beautiful chaos ensued