I have actually been reading various works on consciousness, from both the substance dualist and materialist perspective. In psychology, I learned that consciousness is simply awareness. It involves awareness of one's thought and feelings. Consciousness entails visual awareness, auditory awareness, gustatory awareness, olfactory awareness and tactile awareness.
Charles G. Morris (Understanding Psychology) defines consciousness as the human awareness of mental processes such as making decisions, remembering, daydreaming, concentrating, reflecting, sleeping, and dreaming. It is also good to remember that consciousness evidently obtains on a graded continuum such that a person in a vegetative state or a young newborn can be considered to be aware, even though both entities experience awareness at different places on the graded continuum.
There are also two books I'd like to mention that you might find interesting. One is Synaptic Self: How Our Brains Become Who We Are by Joseph Ledoux. This work is very challenging to read because Ledoux writes in a somewhat technical manner at times. However, he makes a profound point about the "self" in the opening portion of his work.
Ledoux does not deny that an aesthetic, moral or social self possibly exists. However, he contends that one's feeling of self-awareness or one's ability to reason morally is rooted in the neural or synaptic self. In his own words, "My notion of personality is pretty simple: it's that your 'self,' the essence of who you are, reflects patterns of interconnectivity between neurons in your brain . . . Given the importance of synaptic transmission in brain function,
it should practically be a truism to say that the self is synaptic" (Ledoux, Synaptic Self, page 2).
The other book I have in mind is The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul written by Francis Crick. This book is even more difficult to read because of its demanding content. Nevertheless, it is of interest that Crick believes the notion of a "soul" (an immaterial aspect of humans) which gives us a sense of self-awareness or feeling of subjectivity is superfluous, redundant or pleonastic. Most scientists now think that the brain takes care of all things that were once attributed to the soul. Crick thus maintains:
"The Astonishing Hypothesis is that 'You,' your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules" (The Astonishing Hypothesis, page 3).
Yes, it seems that experiences, heredity and memories make us what we are. Long-term memories probably are coded and stored in the hippocampal area of the brain. Other parts of the brain play their role in storing and retrieving memory. Nurture and nature wire our synapses; our synapses, in turn, make us who we are.
But does the foregoing mean that the same brain must be placed in an individual, who is deemed worthy of the resurrection? In view of what we now believe as Jehovah's Witnesses, the answer cannot be in the affirmative. Firstly, those who receive an earthly resurrection will have new bodies, including presumably different brains. Yet, we believe that resurrected Job (supplied with a different body) will be the same PERSON that we read about in the OT book bearing his name. And what about those who will be granted immortal and incorruptible life in the heavens (2 Corinthians 5:1-2). Once again, they will have or already have different bodies of a spiritual nature. But it seems reasonable to suppose that Paul, Peter, and John are the same persons they were in the first century. Hence, restoring personhood to S1 or S2 (with S representing a subject/person) does not appear to be dependent on providing S1 or S2 with their original brains. What seems most important in this case is the memory of God rather than man. Even if God gives someone a different body or brain, he can still bring it about that the same person rises from the dead on the "last day." Nancey Murphy skillfully explains how personal identity is fulfilled by a various number of distinct criteria. In other words, not just one criterion determines personal identity or the persistence conditions for human personhood.