Today there's an important story on physorg.com about the opposite end of the spectrum -- how consciousness disappears when we go to sleep or are put under an anesthetic. Scientists were able to monitor changes in the brain as consciousness fades away -- and the results bolster the notion that there are sub-assemblies in the brain that create the illusion of consciousness by linking together as one. I say "illusion" because that's what consciousness is: a virtual reality phenomenon caused by the brain's activities.
In the study, they monitored the brain as these sub-assemblies lost their ability to communicate with one another. As they became unlinked, consciousness faded away -- and therein lies the story. This fits perfectly with the sub-assembly theory. It's like your brain is composed of various electrical devices which, when wired together, focus as a unit on sensory input. This act of "focusing as a unit" is consciousness. I love this.