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Biological aspects of consciousness

Consciousness, although experienced in our every day life, has not been adequately discussed by biologists, because of the difficulties to analyse consciousness with the conventional established methods of biology. The observer is in an uncomfortable position. As a human being, he/she participates in the life processes and at the same time he/she has to become an isolated external observer in order to analyze life. In addition to those difficulties, lack of connective biological theories, lack of detail knowledge of the molecular structures and the resulting functions, of the mechanisms of transmission of genetic information, the propagation of the cells, has kept biology far from addressing the consciousness issue. Selected biological aspects of consciousness will be discussed taking into account three biological fundamentals: a) the structure and function (every structure facilitates a function, and every function depends on some structure), b) the understanding of link genotype – environment – phenotype and c) the definition of structural and functional groups under the detailed molecular-biochemical-anatomical analysis based on complexity. Thus, Evolution by means of natural selection, and by Selection as a generalization in a wider cultural context, is expected to contribute towards the clarification of certain aspects of consciousness.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Skouras, Z. Biological aspects of consciousness. Ann Gen Psychiatry 7 (Suppl 1), S28 (2008).

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