Annotated Bibliography + Ballroom Diagram

Amen, Daniel G. Making a Good Brain Great: The Amen Clinic Program for Achieving and Sustaining Optimal Mental Performance. New York: Three Rivers, 2005. Print.

Amen discusses ways of enhancing brain performativity in various ways that include lifestyle changes. One of his assertions is that there are many advantages for enhancing the brain through supplemental intake. While the supplements that Amen outlines primarily contain natural ingredients, there may still be a possible danger to constantly supplying the body with factory made substances. I will piggyback this idea for now as an alternative to using drugs to enhance the brain, but I may leapfrog later

Besser, Stephan. “From the Neuron to the World and Back: The Poetics of the Neuromolecular Gaze in Bart Koubaa’s Het Gebied Van Nevski and James Cameron’s Avatar.” Journal of Dutch Literaure (n.d.): 43-67. University of Amsterdam. Web.

I am primarily interested in Besser’s idea about the film, Avatar, and it’s depictions of the brain as a network. He discusses a larger scale example of what Limitless and Sherlock does with consciousness. The idea of connections between physical beings on a neuromolecular level may help me determine how this idea can be translated into my primary texts. I hope to use this idea of depicting the brain in film to show how the consciousness is also being depicted. I will piggyback this idea.

Damasio, Antonio R. Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain. New York: Pantheon, 2010. Print.

Damasio’s claim of a core self and an autobiographical self asserts that the core self remains the same while the other can be influenced; it permits the existence of a richer form of consciousness.  This concept will help me to explain how Limitless and Sherlock depict autobiographical consciousness through the physical depictions. I will piggyback this idea, but there is also a possibility to leapfrog this idea when it comes to multiple depictions of consciousness.

Dehaene, Stani slas. Consciousness and the Brain: Deciphering How the Brain Codes Our Thoughts. NY, NY: Viking, 2014. Print.

Deheane’s theory of conscious access determines what becomes conscious based on what we focus on. He argues that this is a code of consciousness which constitutes a “neuronal workspace” for conscious thought. I will use this idea to aide in assessing Limitless and the way the drug NZT may have an effect on this workspace and bring unfocused thoughts to the forefront of consciousness. I will be primarily piggybacking this idea to help establish a realistic scientific claim for a fictional representation of consciousness.

Dumit, Joseph. Picturing Personhood: Brain Scans and Biomedical Identity. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2004. Print.

I was not sure how to integrate Dumit’s research on brain imagining technology into my work at first. However, I am going to start by considering how the brain imaging idea translates in the (fictional) realm of consciousness imaging. This is meant to help determine whether an image of consciousness would help us understand the concept and its functions better. I will piggyback all the way.

Sommerhoff, Gerd, and Karl MacDorman. “An Account Of Consciousness In Physical And Functional Terms: A Target For Research In The..” Integrative Physiological & Behavioral Science 29.2 (1994): 151. Academic Search Complete. Web. 5 Dec. 2016.

Sommerhoff and MacDorman’s discussion of subliminal awareness, hallucinations, and readiness sensory perception directly relates consciousness to being a product of the brain. I will piggyback this notion to help me explain how the portrayal of consciousness as a physical entity in Limitless allows it to be assumed that the show is linking consciousness to be a product of the brain.

Sotirova, Violeta. Consciousness in Modernist Fiction: A Stylistic Study. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. Print.

Sotirova’s book discusses the representation of character consciousness from a dialogue standpoint in modern fiction. I am still waiting to get a copy of this from the library. This source seems to primarily focus on the dialogue between fictional character consciousness and it’s relation to real world dialog. I may piggyback this source or leapfrog depending on how much of it works for what I will be writing about.

Swaab, D. F. We Are Our Brains: A Neurobiography of the Brain, From the Womb to Alzheimer’s. Trans. Jane Hedley-Prole. New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2014. Print.

Swaab discusses the disadvantages of drugs. He outlines that the use of drugs they can manipulate and trigger brain performativity and give a temporary effect. However, he strongly argues that these substances may cause lasting permanent damages to the physical brain matter.  I will piggyback this idea in order to analyze the use of drugs by the main characters in my primary TV programs.

Ballroom Diagram



My ballroom diagram has me as the primary MC who is starting the conversation. My primary texts are both very modern and fairly new, therefore, there is very little analytic and scholarly information on the sources. I am using the various scholars depicted in order to show how these scholars will help me analyze the neurological aspects of the texts. Some of the scholars refer to each other in their works. Besser, Sommerhoff and MacDorman refer to Gerald Edelman who is a Darwinian neuroscientist. He discusses neuroscience and the philosophy of mind. He is depicted as a ghost in my diagram because he is not someone I have done much research on yet, but I hope to find some way that he can contribute to my research and insert him in the conversation. Besser also mentions Swaab’s argument about self-determinism in conjunction with Edelman’s Darwinian ideas. I will attempt to utilize the argument of these scholars as well as the arguments they make about each other’s work to analyze my primary texts.


2 thoughts on “Annotated Bibliography + Ballroom Diagram”

  1. First of all, your ballroom diagram is super cool and is making me feel bad about my lame stick-figure diagram. But anyway. Based on your annotated bibliography, it seems like you have two overarching threads running through your essay. One is about drugs being used for brain enhancement, and the second is about physical representations of consciousness in film. Honestly, I’m still not entirely sure how or why you’re connecting these two ideas. They seem kind of unrelated to each other. So I think one thing that you should try to consider as you write is exactly how you are going to connect these two ideas. I’m not saying you can’t, just that you shouldn’t assume that the reader will have a clear understanding of the connection. With that in mind, I do think you have plenty of research concerning brain enhancement and are slightly lacking in research concerning filmic representations of consciousness. For this aspect of your thesis, I would suggest looking into film theory in general; because its a visual medium, much of film theory involves questions of representation. Another suggestion that I think I mentioned in terms of your research proposal was that you may also want to consider genre as another way of analyzing your TV shows. The reason for this is because there are many TV shows and films out there that deal with the representation of consciousness, so it seems kind of random that you chose these two. So I think you may need a stronger link that unites them in particular that would make for a compelling comparison and analysis of the two together. Your topic seems really cool, though, and I’m excited to see where you take it ~

  2. Hi Asheka, sorry this comment is late.
    Your proposal is fascinating, and, like Sara, I am jealous of your ballroom, especially your brilliant move to put yourself within it!
    As I read your post, I kept thinking, “nature versus nurture!” Surely drug enhancement, (i.e. “Sherlock” and other pieces of your piece) would come under the heading of nurture. For neuro-discoverers (my term) it seems that nature is a vast mystery, and nurture, while difficult to collect and accurately study its pertinent data, is somewhat easier to grab. Your angle on “self determinism” is a thoughtful addition because it seems to contain both intrinsic elements and environmental influence.

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