Bjorn Merker says that “the tacit consensus concerning the cerebral cortex as the ‘organ of consciousness’ … may in fact be seriously in error.” But the real tacit consensus is that the cerebral cortex is the organ of conceptual consciousness, of thinking and reasoning, and that is not challenged by studies that identify the brain stem as orchestrating the basis of awareness. Awareness per se isn’t the same thing as conceptual awareness.

Tibor R. Machan
Silverado, Calif.

Merker argues that basic forms of thinking and reasoning occur in primary consciousness. —B. Bower