Many scientists certainly assume it does. Afterall, for every self-reported conscious experience there appears to exist a corresponding firing of neural synapses. But does that really establish causation? Similarly we may assume that since every fire is accompanied by the burning of a material, that the burning of the material is causing the flame. Yet we also allow for the flame's causation of the burning of material. Is not the flame burning the log? Does not a flame in fact ignite the whole process? So this notion of a one-way bottom up causation of consciousness appears abit simplistic upon analysis. Do we really attribute our thoughts and decisions to the mere sporadic firestorm crackling inside our brains? No. On a daily basis we freely attribute to ourselves an equally causal role on the course of our own mental processes. We assume we have moral responsibility for our actions, and take credit for the choices and reasonings that our mind generates. So what gives? What is really causing what? Perhaps our error here is that we fail to see that consciousness and brain processes are really just two manifestations of a third process. Perhaps as with the flame and its material, we trap ourselves into a game of reciprocal causation simply because we do not see that there is another underlying agency besides the mental and the physical that is generating them both. This position is known as neutral monism. That since consciousness and brain processes ARE ontically the same, they are not in fact causing each other but rather are unfolding out of an as yet unknown deeper order that we have yet to discover. Just as the flame and the burning of the material are really just two manifestations of one underlying thermal reaction.