Theoretical Psychologist Questions the Reality and Purpose of Consciousness

In a video by The Royal Institution, theoretical psychologist Professor Nicholas Humphrey questions whether consciousness is just an illusion and what purpose it may serve.

Consciousness is at the core of our very existence. An intangible constant that underpins our experience of the world. But for centuries it has been the frustrating source of a seemingly impenetrable explanatory gap – it is largely a scientific mystery.

As we interact with the world, stimuli trigger physical processes in our body. Nerve cells transmit messages around the body and through the brain. But how do these physical interactions give rise to the conscious sensations we experience? Can we get conscious sensation from nerve cells alone?