Just finished reading an interesting book about consciousness, by someone who has been working on this from the neuroscience angle. The author is Christof Koch.
It is very personable from the authors point of view. It also is very informative.
The tentative conclusion is basically that consciousness is the result of the many independent functional centers in the brain sharing information. When we are conscious they share. When we are not conscious, they do not.
Of course the book is much more complex than my summary. And as I started out saying, it is highly personable from the authors point of view. It is not really very technical, but it is heavy reading. Took me a few weeks, but it was worth it.
Here is how you can find the book:
Consciousness: Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist, The MIT Press, (2012), ISBN 978-0-262-01749-7
wikipedia has a page on this guy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christof_Koch