As we awaken from sleep, our consciousness undergoes a radical transformation composed of dramatic adjustments in neural processes. Some neural circuits go quiet while others come online. The entire orchestration of the symphony of mind unfolds like changes in a music score, and while there is no single, master conductor… the decentralized process does have hot spots of top-down modulation linked by connections built over evolutionary time. These ‘command centers,’ for lack of a more accurate but succinct term, do one thing really well: They create our sense of self, our sense of being a protagonist in a continuously unfolding nonlinear narrative through which we can travel again and again in our memories and plan possible and even impossible futures.

The science of waking up, from Antonio Damasio’s excellent Self Comes to Mind – an exploration of what makes us human.   (via)