If some children with hydranencephaly are conscious, then the brain does not require an intact cerebral cortex to produce consciousness. Still, research on hydranencephaly and Roger's case study indicate that self-awareness—this ostensibly sophisticated and unique cognitive process layered on consciousness—might be more universal than we realized. The insular cortex, anterior cingulate cortex and medial prefrontal cortex cannot by themselves account for conscious recognition of oneself as a thinking being. Instead they propose that self-awareness is a far more diffuse cognitive process, relying on many parts of the brain, including regions not located in the cerebral cortex.http://www.scientificamerican.com/artic ... mple-brain
What if the brain and nervous system relate to consciousness like the TV set to radio signals? Let's call this the nonlocal model of consciousness. If we accept the nonlocal model of consciousness provisionally, we can compare TV reception to sense perception. We can compare qualia (conscious experience) to TV images and sounds; we can compare memories to the recording function, thoughts to the playback and edit functions, and mental chatter to audiovisual noise. Furthermore, if the nervous system/brain functions as receiver/modulator of consciousness rather than its producer, it follows that consciousness is not based on the brain, but that the brain is based on consciousness. There are a number of theoretical considerations and phenomena that point in this direction. These phenomena show the limits of the current mainstream (materialistic) understanding of consciousness and provide theoretical support for the nonlocal model of consciousness.http://www.thebigview.com/mind/nonlocal.html
"We don't know how consciousness works, or what it does," says controversial biologist, Rupert Sheldrake. "This is one of the things which in science is called 'the hard problem,' because there is no known reason why we should be conscious at all, or exactly how the mind works."
"What I'm going to suggest," says Sheldrake, in a fascinating Google TechTalk, "is that our minds are field-like, that they are not confined to the inside of the head, that they spread out into the environment around us. And because our minds are extended beyond our brains, they can have effects at a distance."
"I'm suggesting, he says "that minds are field-like and spread out beyond brains in a similar way to the way that magnetic fields spread out beyond magnets, cell phone fields spread out beyond cell phones, and the Earth's gravitational field stretches out far beyond the Earth. These fields are within and around the systems that they organize, and I think the same is true of our brains."
Taking vision as an example, Sheldrake suggests that the mind is more than just the bio-chemical processes within the brain, that what we 'see' is not just an internal re-creation of an externality within the brain, but rather that the mind projects what we 'see' out to where it 'exists' in space-time.http://spiritualnotreligious.blogspot.c ... -mind.html