Consciousness refers to the state of being aware of and able to perceive one's surroundings, thoughts, emotions, and sensations. It is the subjective experience of being alive and it is the quality of being aware of one's own existence. The nature of consciousness and how it arises from the brain and the body remains one of the most complex and debated topics in science and philosophy.
There are different ways to define and understand consciousness, including the following:
Access consciousness: the ability to access information in the mind and use it to guide behavior and decision making
Phenomenal consciousness: the subjective experience of having sensations, emotions, and thoughts
Self-consciousness: the awareness of one's own existence and the ability to reflect on oneself.
Scientists and philosophers have proposed different theories to explain the nature of consciousness, including materialist theories, which propose that consciousness arises from the brain and the body, and non-materialist theories, which propose that consciousness is a separate entity from the physical body.
Research on consciousness is interdisciplinary and involves fields such as neuroscience, psychology, philosophy, and cognitive science. Studying consciousness is challenging because it is a subjective experience and it is hard to measure and quantify.