Hilary Putnam once held the position (i.e., in the 1960s) that consciousness is literally the brain computing. That also had the implication (for some people) that it's not necessarily the brain that causes consciousness: it's computation itself. This is the case even if it's computation of a particular kind (in conjunction with its physical or biological implementation) that's required for consciousness. Thus it followed from this, according to Putnam, that if computation is everything, then consciousness can occur in a computer or even in Putnam's own “brain in a vat”. Again, what matters are the computations, not the physical basis of those computations. (To be accurate, in his 1967 paper, Putnam hardly refers to consciousness as such. He talks about “mental states”.)
Searle, John. (1997) The Mystery of Consciousness.