I believe that it is made out of the same cloth of mind, but it is an add-on, it was something that was specialized to create what we call the self. And it exists for very special purposes and it has very special, and I think by and large good consequences, although not only good consequences.
If I use the word consciousness, in our lab, in our institute, what we mean is the special quality of mind, the special features that exist in the mind, that permit us to know, for example, that we, ourselves, exist, and that things exist around us.
If you have just an emotion, you would not necessarily feel it. To feel an emotion, you need to represent in the brain in structures that are actually different from the structures that lead to the emotion, what is going on in the organs when you're having the emotion.
You know, mind allows us to portray in different sensory modalities, visual, auditory, olfactory, you name it, what we are like and what the world is like. But this very, very important quality of subjectivity, this quality that allows us to take a distant view and say, "I am here, I exist, I have a life and there are things around me that refer to me." That me-ness, M-E-hyphen, that is what really constitutes consciousness.
I think it's possible to a certain extent to make those comparisons. The problem is the detail with which the comparison can be made. Of course, the first place to make such a comparison would be to ask for a testimony from different people and have people report on what they experience.
So, you can define emotions very simply as the process of perceiving what is going on in the organs when you are in the throws of an emotion, and that is achieved by a collection of structures, some of which are in the brain stem, and some of which are in the cerebral cortex, namely the insular cortex, which I like to mention not because I think it's the most important, it's not.
The autobiographical self has prompted extended memory, reasoning, imagination, creativity and language. And out of that came the instruments of culture - religions, justice, trade, the arts, science, technology.