These references will probably
not be used as course readings.
Potential Course Readings
These references are
This color indicaates a
comment. Some comment are from Adam Vinueza, a philosopher of
This color indicates
availability. eprint = electronic version; reprint = hard copy
Definitions and Approaches
Koch, C. (2004). The question for consciousness: A neuroscientific
approach. Denver, CO: Roberts and Company Publishers.
Allport, A. (1988). What concept of consciousness? In A.J. Marcel &
E. Bisiach (Eds), Consciousness in Contemporary Science.
(pp. 159-182). Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Nagel, T. (1974). What is it like to
be a bat? Philosophical
[Vinueza: Possibly the most important philosophical
paper on consciousness
in the century. Sufficiently murky to invite an absurd range of
conflicting interpretations and refutations, Nagel's paper beautifully
articulates the deep worry that there's something about consciousness
we'll never be able to explain, at least in the way we explain ordinary physical
phenomena. Paper that made fashionable the idea that explaining P must
make not-P inconceivable given the explanation.]
D. (1995). Facing up to the problem of consciousness. Journal of
Consciousness Studies, 2, 200-219. <eprint> [Can consciousness be explained at
al? Vineuza: Chalmers updates the classic arguments from Nagel and
others (Frank Jackson, Saul Kripke), and offers his own
account of what an explanation of consciousness would
look like. Introduces
distinction between "easy" problems of consciousness and the
"hard" problem. By
the way, Chalmers has a new paper on his web site that expresses his
positive views on explaining consciousness, called, "How can we
construct a science of consciousness?"]
J.R. (1997). Consciousness and the philosophers (review of
Chalmers' The Conscious Mind:
In Search of a Fundamental Theory). The New York Times Review of Books,
March 6,pp. 43-50. <eprint>
Lewis, D, (1990). What
experience teaches. In Lycan (Ed.), Mind and
A response to Nagel and Frank Jackson that makes crystal-clear what's
at stake for most materialist philosophers of mind. Lewis also
articulates a brilliant though controversial diagnosis of the problem:
knowing what it's like is the having of abilities, not the having of
information, so it's no surprise that a theory can't tell us what it's
like. Requires no special expertise in philosophy.]
Block, N. (????). On a
confusion about the function of consciousness. Behavioral and
Brain Sciences. [Introduces distiinction between
phenomenal and access consciousness.]
I. B., & Churchland, P. S. (1995). Consciousness and the
neurosciences: Philosophical and theoretical issues. In M. S.
Gazzaniga (Ed.), The Cognitive Neurosciences (pp. 1295-1306).
Cambridge, MA: Bradford Books/MIT Press.
Goldman, A. I. (1993).
Consciousness, folk psychology, and cognitive
science. Consciousness and Cognition, 2, 364-382.
Mandler, G. (1996).
Consciousness redux. In J. D. Cohen & J. W.
approaches to consciousness.
Rosenthal, D. (1986). Two
concepts of consciousness. Philosophical
Studies, 49. [Vinueza: The
higher-order-thought model of consciousness. Very interesting view that has recently
scrutiny. Rosenthal's paper is important not just for
the theory, but also for the
taxonomy of consciousnes he
offers: no other philosopher has thought as carefully about differences between kinds of
conscious phenomena. Difficult reading.]
Levine, J. (1990). On
leaving out what it's like. In Davies and Humphreys (Eds.), Consciousness. Blackwell. [Vinueza: Levine's work on "the
explanatory gap" is influential and much-cited. He thinks that we'll
never explain consciousness, even if materialism is true, because the
"what-it's-like" aspect of conscious experience can't be explained by
any materialist theory. Key idea: Levine and many others think that for
a theory T to explain a phenomenon P, the conjunction of T with not-P
must be inconceivable.]
Frith, C., Perry, R., & Lumer, E. (1999). The neural
correlates of conscious experience: An experimental
framework. Trends in Cognitive
Science, 3, 105-114. <eprint>
Zeki, S. (2003). The disunity of consciousness. Trends in Cognitive Science, 7, 214-218. <eprint>
Attempts to decode what has become
known as the (singular) neural correlate of consciousness (NCC) suppose
that consciousness is a single unified entity, a belief that finds
expression in the term 'unity of consciousness'. Here, I propose that
the quest for the NCC will remain elusive until we acknowledge that
consciousness is not a unity, and that there are instead many
consciousnesses that are distributed in time and space.
Chalmers, D. (2000). What is a
Neural Correlate of
Metzinger (Ed.), Neural
Consciousness: Empirical and Conceptual Issues. MIT Press. <eprint>
Baars, B. (1994). A
empirical approach to consciousness.
interdisciplinary journal of research on consciousness,
Reingold, E. M., &
Merikle, P. M. (1990). On the
of theory and measurement in the study of unconscious processes. Mind
and Language, 5, 9-28.
Gregory, R.L. (1997). Visual illusions classified. Trends in Cognitive Science, 1, 190-194. <eprint>
Gray, J. (2003). How are qualia coupled to functions? Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 7, 192-194. <eprint>
determines the nature of subjective experience: associated behavioural
functions or mediating neural activity? A recent analysis by Hurley and
Noë of a variety of cases of behavioural and neural plasticity
shows that, under different conditions, either can predominate. This
adds to other efforts to transfer the doctrine of functionalism from
philosophical debate to empirical scrutiny, where it is hoped that it
may eventually be resolved.
Atkinson, AP, Thomas, MSC, Cleeremans, A.
(2000). Consciousness: Mapping the theoretical landscape. Trends in Cognitive
Science, 10, 372-382. <eprint>
Dennett, D., & Kinsbourne, M. (1992). Time and the observer: The
and when of consciousness in the brain. Behavioral and Brain
15, 183-247. [Vinueza:
The multiple-drafts model of consciousness, famouse for its attack on
what Dennett likes to call the "Cartesian theater," and for its
analysis of the phi phenomena.]
Schacter, D. L. (1989). On the relation between memory and
consciousness: Dissociable interactions and conscious experience. In H.
L. Roediger III and F. I. M. Craik (Eds.), Varieties of Memory and
Consciousness (pp. 355-389). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Shallice, T. (1988). Modularity and consciousness. In From
Neuropsychology to Mental Structure (Chapter 16). Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
Marcel, A. J. (1983). Conscious and unconscious perception: An
to the relations between phenomenal experience and perceptual
Cognitive Psychology, 15, 238-300.
Dehaene, S., & Naccache, L. (2001). Towards a cognitive
neuroscience of consciousness: Basic evidence and a workspace
framework. Cognition, 79, 1-37. <eprint>
Baars, B. (2002). The conscious access hypothesis: Origins and recent
evidence. Trends in Cognitive Science,
6, 47-52. <eprint>
Crick, F., & Koch, C. (2003). A framework for
consciousness. Nature, 6, 119-126. <eprint>
summarize our present approach to the problem of consciousness. After
an introduction outlining our general strategy, we describe what is
meant by the term 'framework' and set it out under ten headings. This
framework offers a coherent scheme for explaining the neural correlates
of (visual) consciousness in terms of competing cellular assemblies.
Most of the ideas we favor have been suggested before, but their
combination is original. We also outline some general experimental
approaches to the problem and, finally, acknowledge some relevant
aspects of the brain that have been left out of the proposed framework.
reviews and comments at http://www.sci-con.org/archive/200302.html
O'Brien, G., & Opie, J.
(1999). A connectionist theory of phenomenal experience. Behavioral and Brain
Sciences, 22, 127-196. <eprint>
Bechtel, W. (1995). Consciousness:
Perspectives from symbolic and
connectionist AI. Neuropsychologia, 33, 1075-1086.
Hardcastle, V. G. (1995). A
critique of information processing
of consciousness, Minds and Machines, 5, 89-107.
Lloyd, D. (1995). Consciousness: A
connectionist manifesto. Minds
and Machines, 5, 161-185.
Gray, J. (1995). The
contents of consciousness: A neuropsychological
and Brain Sciences, 18,
S. (1999). The
link between brain learning, attention, and consciousness. Consciousness
and Cognition, 8, 1-44.
Roy, J. E. (2003). A theory of
Directions in Psychological Science, 12, 244-250.
that two brain systems converge to create consciousness. The exogenous
system sends information about multimodal external stimuli to basal
dendrites in widely dispersed pyramidal cell ensembles in the cortex of
the brain; this system produces synchronized fragments of sensations.
The endogenous system distributes readout of representations of
memories, activated in systems established by associative learning,
diffusely to apical dendrites. Convergence of exogenous and endogenous
inputs enhances cellular excitability, and fragmented sensations are
thereby converted to fragments of perception. Local field potentials
periodically modulate all cortical membrane potentials and facilitate
synchronous discharge of these excited elements. Feedback between the
cortex and the thalamus results in a cortico-thalamo-cortical
reverberation, binding the fragments into a unified global percept.
Sustained reverberation produces a resonating electromagnetic field of
synchronized elements. The momentary content of information in the
brain is this distributed coherence, which is negative entropy.
Consciousness is a physical property of this field, producing the
subjective awareness of this information.
Farah, M.J., O'Reilly, R.C., & Vecera, S.P. (1993). Dissociated
and covert recognition as an emergent property of a lesioned neural
network. Psychological Review, 100, 571-588.
Mathis, D. W. & Mozer, M. C. (1996). Conscious and unconscious
perception: a computational theory. In G. Cottrell (Ed.),
Proceedings of the Eighteenth
Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 324-328).
Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum & Associates. <eprint>
Dehaene, S., Sergent, C., & Changeux, J.-P. (2003). A
neural network model linking subjective reports and objective
physiological data during conscious perception. Proceedings of the National Academy of
Colagrosso, M. D., & Mozer, M. C.
(2004). Theories of access consciousness. Submitted for
Mathis, D. A., & Mozer,
M. C. (1995). On the computational
utility of consciousness . In G. Tesauro, D. S. Touretzky, & T. K.
Leen (Eds.), Advances in
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(pp. 10-18). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Marcel, A. J. (1983). Conscious and unconscious perception: Experiments
on visual masking and word recognition. Cognitive Psychology,
Greenwald, A. G., Klinger, M. R., & Schuh E. S. (1995).
marginally perceptible ("subliminal") stimuli: Dissociation of
unconscious from conscious cognition. Journal of Experimental
Psychology: General, 124, 22-42.
Greenwald, A. G., Draine, S. C., & Abrams, R. L. (1996). Three
markers of unconscious semantic activation. Science, 273,
Debner, J. A., & Jacoby, L. L. (1994). Unconscious perception:
awareness, and control. Journal of Experimental Psychology:
Memory, and Cognition, 20, 304-317.
Bar, M., & Biederman, I. (1998). Subliminal visual priming. Psychological Science, 9, 464-469. <eprint>
Dehaene, S., Naccache, L., Cohen, L., LeBihan, D., Mangin, F. J.,
Poline, J.-B., & Rivière, D. (2001). Cerebral mechanisms of
word masking and unconscious repetition priming. Nature
Neuroscience, 4, 752--758. <eprint>
Fehrer, E., & Raab, D. (1962). Reaction time to stimuli masked by
metacontrast. Journal of
Experimental Psychology, 63,
Schiller, P. H. , & Smith, M. C. (1966). Detection in
Journal of Experimental Psychology, 71, 32-39.
Lachter, J., Durgin, F. H., & Washington, T. (2000).
Disappearing percepts: Evidence for retention failure in metacontrast
masking. Visual Cognition, 7, 269-279. <eprint>
Durlach, NI, Mason, CR, Kidd, G Jr., Arbogast, TL, Colburn, HS,
& Shinn-Cunningham, BG. (2003). Note on informational
masking. Journal of the
Acoustical Society of America,
113, 2984-2987. <eprint>
Multistable Visual Stimuli
Logothetis, N. K., & Schall, J. D. (1989). Neuronal correlates
subjective visual perception. Science, 245, 761-763. <eprint>
Sheinberg, D., & Logothetis, N. (1997). The role of temporal
cortical areas in perceptual organization. Proceedings of the national academy of
sciences USA, 94, 3408-3413. <eprint>
Leopold, D. A., & Logothetis, N.
K. (1999). Multistable phenomena: changing views in
perception. Trends in Cognitive
Science, 3, 254-264. <eprint>
Lumer, ED, Friston, KJ, & Rees,
G (1999). Neural correlates of perceptual rivalry in the human
brain. Science, 280, 1930-1934. <eprint>
Role of Early Visual Cortex in Awareness
Tong, F. (2003) Primary visual cortex and visual awareness. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 4, 219-229. <eprint>
Polonsky, A., Blake, R., Braun, J.,
& Heeger, D. J. (2000). Neuronal activity in human primary
corteex correlates with perception during binocular rivalry. Nature Neuroscience, 3, 1153-1159. <eprint>
F., & Koch, C.
(1995). Are we aware of neural activity in primary visual
cortex? 375, 121-123.
Milner, A. D. (1995).
Cerebral correlates of visual awareness. Neuropsychologia, 9,
Pins, D., & ffytch, D. (2003). The neural correlates of
conscious vision. Cerebral
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Rees, G., & Lavie, N. (2001). What can functional imaging reveal
about the role of visual awareness?
Moutoussis, K., & Zeki, S. (2002). The relationship
cortical activation and perception investigated with invisible
stimuli. Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences, 99,
aim of this work was to study the relationship between
cortical activity and visual perception. To do so, we developed a
psychophysical technique that is able to dissociate the visual percept
from the visual stimulus and thus distinguish brain activity reflecting
the perceptual state from that reflecting other stages of
stimulus processing. We used dichoptic color fusion to make identical
monocular stimuli of opposite color contrast "disappear" at the
binocular level and thus become "invisible" as far as conscious visual
perception is concerned. By imaging brain activity in subjects during a
discrimination task between face and house stimuli presented in this
way, we found that house-specific and face-specific brain areas
are always activated in a stimulus-specific way regardless of whether
the stimuli are perceived. Absolute levels of cortical activation,
however, were lower with invisible stimulation compared with
visible stimulation. We conclude that there is no terminal "perceptual"
area in the visual brain, but that the brain regions involved in
processing a visual stimulus are also involved in its
perception, the difference between the two being dictated by a higher
level of activity in the specific brain region when the stimulus is
Rauschenberger, R., & Yantis, S.
(2001). Masking unveils pre-amodal completion representation in
visual search. Nature, 410, 369-372. <eprint>
Farah, M.J. (1992). Visual perception and visual awareness after brain
damage: A tutorial overview. In C. Umilta & M. Moscovitch (Eds.),
Attention and Performance XV: Conscious and Nonconscious
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Kolb, F. C., & Braun, J. (1995). Blindsight in normal observers.
Nature, 377, 336-338.
Stoerig, P., & Cowey, A. (1997). Blindsight in man and
monkey. Brain, 120, 535-559. <eprint>
Weiskrantz, L. (1996). Blindsight
revisited. Current Opinion in
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Farah, M.J., Wilson, K.D., Drain, H.M., & Tanaka, J.R. (1994). The
inverted face inversion effect in prosopagnosia: evidence for
face-specific perceptual mechanisms. Vision Research, 14,
Schweinberger, S.R., Klos, T., & Sommer, W. (1995) Covert face
in prosopagnosia: a dissociable function? Cortex, 31, 517-529
Ramachandran, Hubbard (April
2003). Hearing colors, tasting shapes. Scientific
Gray, JA, Chopping, S, Nunn,
J, Parslow, D, Gregory, L, Williams, S, Brammer MJ, Baron-Cohen, S.
(2002). Implications of synaethesia for functionalism:
Theory and experiments. Journal
of Consciousness Studies, 9, 5-31.
Deouell, L. Y. (2002). Prerequisites for conscious
awareness: Clues from electrophysiological and behavioral studies
of unilateral neglect patients. Consciousness
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Lamme, V. A. F. (2003). Why visual attention and awareness are
different. Trends in Cognitive
Implicit versus Explicit Memory
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Tulving, E. (1985). Memory and consciousness. Canadian Psychology,
Jacoby, L. L., Toth, J. P., & Yonelinas, A. P. (1993).
conscious and unconscious influences of memory: Measuring recollection.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 2,
Roediger III, H. L. (1990). Implicit memory: Retention without
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[overview on implicit memory]
Jacoby, L. L., & Whitehouse, K. (1989). An illusion of memory:
False recognition influenced by unconscious perception. Journal of
Experimental Psychology: General, 118, 126-135.
[effect of awareness on false
Eichenbaum, H. (1999). Conscious
awareness, memory, and the hippocampus. Nature Neuroscience, 2,
A., Destrebecqz, A., & Boyer, M. (1998). Implicit learning:
News from the front. Trends in Cognitive
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Lucchelli, F., Muggia, S., & Spinnler, H. (1995). The 'petites
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[sudden recovery of forgotten
Schacter, D. L., Verfaellie, M., & Pradere, D. (1996). The
neuropsychology of memory illusions: False recall and recognition in
amnesic patients. Journal of Memory and Language, 35,
[covers both normals and
Bowers, K. S., & Woody, E. Z. (1996). Hypnotic amnesia and the
of intentional forgetting. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 105,
Kihlstrom, JF (1997). Hypnosis, memory, and amnesia. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal
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Squire, L. R., &
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Sleep and Anesthesia
Bosinelli, M. (1995). Mind and consciousness during sleep. Behavioral
Brain Research, 69, 195-201.
Bonebakker, A. E., Bonke, B., Klein, M. D., Wolters, G., Stijnen,
Th., Passchier, J., & Merikle, P. M. (1996). Information processing
during general anesthesia: Evidence for unconscious memory. Memory
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Merikle, P. M., & Daneman, M. (1996). Memory for
unconsciously perceived events: Evidence from anesthetized patients. Consciousness
and Cognition, 5,
Conscious access to mental processes
Nisbett, R. E., & Wilson, T. D. (1977). Telling more than we can
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Ramachandran, V. S. (1992). Filling in gaps in perception: Part I.
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Ramachandran, V. S. (1993). Filling in gaps in perception: Part II.
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Blakemore, S.-J., Oakley, D.A., & Frith, C. D.
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Dehaene, S., Artiges, E., Naccache, L., Martelli, C., Viard, A.,
Schürhoff, F., Recasens, C., Paillère-Martinot, M.-L.,
Leboyer, M. and Martinot, J.-L.(2003). Conscious and subliminal
conflicts in normal subjects and patients with schizophrenia: The role
of the anterior cingulate. Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences USA, 100(23), 13722-13727. <eprint>
Blakemore, S.-J., Oakley, D. A., & Frith, C. D.
(2003).Delusions of alien control in the normal brain.
Neuropsychologia, 41, 1058-1067
alien control, or passivity experiences, are symptoms associated with
schizophrenia in which patients misattribute self-generated actions to
an external source. In this study hypnosis was used to induce a similar
misattribution of self-generated movement in normal, healthy
individuals. Positron Emission Tomography (PET) was employed to
investigate the neural correlates of active movements correctly
attributed to the self, compared with identical active movements
misattributed to an external source. Active movements attributed to an
external source resulted in significantly higher activations in the
parietal cortex and cerebellum than identical active movements
correctly attributed to the self. We suggest that, as a result of
hypnotic suggestion, the functioning of this cerebellar-parietal
network is altered so that self-produced actions are experienced as
being external. These results have implications for the brain
mechanisms underlying delusions of control, which may be associated
with overactivation of the cerebellar-parietal network.
Crawford, H. J., & Gruzelier, J. H. (1992). A midstream view of
neuropsychophysiology of hypnosis: Recent research and future
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Frith, U., & Happe, F. (1999). Theory of mind and
self-consciousness: What is it like to be autistic? Mind and Language, 14, 1-22. <eprint>
Morin, A. (2001). The
split-brain debate revisited: On the importance of language and
self-recognition for right hemisphere consciousness. Journal of Mind and
Behavior, 22, 107-118. <eprint>
Brown, J. (1999). On aesthetic perception. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 6, 144-160. <eprint>
Goguen, J. A. (2000). What is
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Weiskrantz, L. (1995). The problem of animal consciousness in relation
to neuropsychology. Behavioral Brain Research, 71,
Griffin, D. R. (1995). Windows on animal minds. Consciousness
and Cognition, 4, 194-204.
Marten, K., & Psarakos, S. (1995). Using self-view television to
distinguish between self-examination and social behavior in the
bottlenose dolphin. Consciousness and Cognition, 4,
Reiss, D., & Marino, L. (2001). Mirror self-recognition in
the bottlenose dolphin: A case of cognitive convergence. Proceedings of the National Academy of
Science, 98, 5937-5942.
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