The human brain is squishy; itís wrinkled; itís mysterious. Itís also more electrical than you may realize. All over your body, cells use electricity to communicate and to stimulate muscles, but the brain takes this to another level. If the brain was a battery, and you could tap all the electricity the neurons are generating, youíd have enough power to turn on a flashlight.
Consciousness is the sum of perceptions, which you must put together as a single event. It does not belong only to humans; it belongs to probably all forms of life that have a nervous system. The issue is the level of consciousness. Maybe in the very primitive animals, in which cells did not have a single systemic propertyóin which each cell was a little island, if you wishóthere may not have been consciousness, just primitive sensation, or irritability, and primitive movement. But as soon as cells talked to one another there would be a consensus. This is basically what consciousness is aboutó putting all this relevant stuff there is outside one's head inside, making an image with it, and deciding what to do. In order to make a decision you have to have a consensus.
Some people believe we are something beyond neurons, but of course we are not. We are just the sum total of the activity of neurons. We assume that we have free will and that we make decisions, but we don't. Neurons do. We decide that this sum total driving us is a decision we have made for ourselves. But it is not.