WorldWideScience

Sample records for underlying conscious perception

  1. Perception, Action, and Consciousness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    What is the relationship between perception and action, between an organism and its environment, in explaining consciousness? These are issues at the heart of philosophy of mind and the cognitive sciences. This book explores the relationship between perception and action from a variety of interdi......What is the relationship between perception and action, between an organism and its environment, in explaining consciousness? These are issues at the heart of philosophy of mind and the cognitive sciences. This book explores the relationship between perception and action from a variety...... hypothesis The former champions the role of sensorimotor dynamics in perceptual awareness while the latter favours a functional dichotomy between perception and action. At least on the surface, these two approaches are in conflict. Where one emphasizes the interdependence of action and perception, the other...... suggests that action and perception are functionally distinct. The dialogue between these two approaches brings out wider theoretical issues underlying the research paradigm of cognitive sciences and philosophy of mind....

  2. Artificial perception and consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caulfield, H. John; Johnson, John L.

    2000-06-01

    Perception has both unconscious and conscious aspects. In all cases, however, what we perceive is a model of reality. By brain construction through evolution, we divide the world into two parts--our body and the outside world. But the process is the same in both cases. We perceive a construct usually governed by sensed data but always involving memory, goals, fears, expectations, etc. As a first step toward Artificial Perception in man-made systems, we examine perception in general here.

  3. Conscious sensation, conscious perception and sensorimotor theories of consciousness

    OpenAIRE

    Gamez, David

    2014-01-01

    This article explores the hypothesis that the differences between our conscious sensations (color, sound, smell, etc.) could be linked to the different ways in which our senses process and structure information. It is also proposed that the organization of our conscious sensations into a conscious perception of a three-dimensional world could be linked to our mastery of sensorimotor contingencies. These hypotheses are supported by a number of observations, including the appearance of consciou...

  4. Interference Control Modulations Over Conscious Perception

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    Colás, Itsaso; Triviño, Mónica; Chica, Ana B.

    2017-01-01

    The relation between attention and consciousness has been a controversial topic over the last decade. Although there seems to be an agreement on their distinction at the functional level, no consensus has been reached about attentional processes being or not necessary for conscious perception. Previous studies have explored the relation of alerting and orienting systems of attention and conscious perception, but the impact of the anterior executive attention system on conscious access remains unexplored. In the present study, we investigated the behavioral interaction between executive attention and conscious perception, testing control mechanisms both at stimulus-level representation and after error commission. We presented a classical Stroop task, manipulating the proportion of congruent and incongruent trials, and analyzed the effect of reactive and proactive control on the conscious perception of near-threshold stimuli. Reactive control elicited under high proportion congruent conditions influenced participants’ decision criterion, whereas proactive control elicited under low proportion congruent conditions was ineffective in modulating conscious perception. In addition, error commission affected both perceptual sensitivity to detect near-threshold information and response criterion. These results suggest that reactivation of task goals through reactive control strategies in conflict situations impacts decision stages of conscious processing, whereas interference control elicited by error commission impacts both perceptual sensitivity and decision stages of conscious processing. We discuss the implications of our results for the gateway hypothesis about attention and consciousness, as they showed that interference control (both at stimulus-level representation and after error commission) can modulate the conscious access of near-threshold stimuli. PMID:28539899

  5. Consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sejnowski, Terrence J

    2015-01-01

    No one did more to draw neuroscientists' attention to the problem of consciousness in the twentieth century than Francis Crick, who may be better known as the co-discoverer (with James Watson) of the structure of DNA. Crick focused his research on visual awareness and based his analysis on the progress made over the last fifty years in uncovering the neural mechanisms underlying visual perception. Because much of what happens in our brains occurs below the level of consciousness and many of our intuitions about unconscious processing are misleading, consciousness remains an elusive problem. In the end, when all of the brain mechanisms that underlie consciousness have been identified, will we still be asking: "What is consciousness?" Or will the question shift, just as the question "What is life?" is no longer the same as it was before Francis Crick?

  6. Split brain: divided perception but undivided consciousness.

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    Pinto, Yair; Neville, David A; Otten, Marte; Corballis, Paul M; Lamme, Victor A F; de Haan, Edward H F; Foschi, Nicoletta; Fabri, Mara

    2017-05-01

    In extensive studies with two split-brain patients we replicate the standard finding that stimuli cannot be compared across visual half-fields, indicating that each hemisphere processes information independently of the other. Yet, crucially, we show that the canonical textbook findings that a split-brain patient can only respond to stimuli in the left visual half-field with the left hand, and to stimuli in the right visual half-field with the right hand and verbally, are not universally true. Across a wide variety of tasks, split-brain patients with a complete and radiologically confirmed transection of the corpus callosum showed full awareness of presence, and well above chance-level recognition of location, orientation and identity of stimuli throughout the entire visual field, irrespective of response type (left hand, right hand, or verbally). Crucially, we used confidence ratings to assess conscious awareness. This revealed that also on high confidence trials, indicative of conscious perception, response type did not affect performance. These findings suggest that severing the cortical connections between hemispheres splits visual perception, but does not create two independent conscious perceivers within one brain. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. Isolating neural correlates of conscious perception from neural correlates of reporting one’s perception

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    Michael A Pitts

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available To isolate neural correlates of conscious perception (NCCs, a standard approach has been to contrast neural activity elicited by identical stimuli of which subjects are aware versus unaware. Because conscious experience is private, determining whether a stimulus was consciously perceived requires subjective report: e.g., button-presses indicating detection, visibility ratings, verbal reports, etc. This reporting requirement introduces a methodological confound when attempting to isolate NCCs: The neural processes responsible for accessing and reporting one’s percept are difficult to distinguish from those underlying the conscious percept itself. Here, we review recent attempts to circumvent this issue via a modified inattentional blindness paradigm (Pitts, Martinez, & Hillyard, 2012 and present new data from a backward masking experiment in which task-relevance and visual awareness were manipulated in a 2x2 crossed design. In agreement with our previous inattentional blindness results, stimuli that were consciously perceived yet not immediately accessed for report (aware, task-irrelevant condition elicited a mid-latency posterior ERP negativity (~200-240ms, while stimuli that were accessed for report (aware, task-relevant condition elicited additional components including a robust P3b (~380-480ms subsequent to the mid-latency negativity. Overall, these results suggest that some of the NCCs identified in previous studies may be more closely linked with accessing and maintaining perceptual information for reporting purposes than with encoding the conscious percept itself. An open question is whether the remaining NCC candidate (the ERP negativity at 200-240ms reflects visual awareness or object-based attention.

  8. Spatial frequency tuning during the conscious and non-conscious perception of emotional facial expressions—an intracranial ERP study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Verena eWillenbockel

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have shown that complex visual stimuli, such as emotional facial expressions, can influence brain activity independently of the observers’ awareness. Little is known yet, however, about the informational correlates of consciousness—i.e., which low-level information correlates with brain activation during conscious vs. non-conscious perception. Here, we investigated this question in the spatial frequency (SF domain. We examined which SFs in disgusted and fearful facial expressions modulate activation in the insula and amygdala over time and as a function of awareness, using a combination of intracranial event-related potentials (ERPs, SF Bubbles (Willenbockel et al., 2010a, and Continuous Flash Suppression (CFS; Tsuchiya and Koch, 2005. Patients implanted with electrodes for epilepsy monitoring viewed face photographs (13° x 7° that were randomly SF filtered trial-by-trial. In the conscious condition, the faces were visible; in the non-conscious condition, they were rendered invisible using CFS. Data were analyzed by performing multiple linear regressions on the SF filters from each trial and the transformed ERP amplitudes across time. The resulting classification images suggest that many SFs are involved in the conscious and non-conscious perception of emotional expressions, with those between 6 and 10 cycles per face width being particularly important early on. The results also revealed qualitative differences between the awareness conditions for both regions. Non-conscious processing relied on low SFs more and was faster than conscious processing. Overall, our findings are consistent with the idea that different pathways are employed for the processing of emotional stimuli under different degrees of awareness. The present study represents a first step to mapping with a high temporal resolution how SF information flows through the emotion-processing network and to shedding light on the informational correlates of

  9. Direct electrical stimulation of human cortex evokes high gamma activity that predicts conscious somatosensory perception

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    Muller, Leah; Rolston, John D.; Fox, Neal P.; Knowlton, Robert; Rao, Vikram R.; Chang, Edward F.

    2018-04-01

    Objective. Direct electrical stimulation (DES) is a clinical gold standard for human brain mapping and readily evokes conscious percepts, yet the neurophysiological changes underlying these percepts are not well understood. Approach. To determine the neural correlates of DES, we stimulated the somatosensory cortex of ten human participants at frequency-amplitude combinations that both elicited and failed to elicit conscious percepts, meanwhile recording neural activity directly surrounding the stimulation site. We then compared the neural activity of perceived trials to that of non-perceived trials. Main results. We found that stimulation evokes distributed high gamma activity, which correlates with conscious perception better than stimulation parameters themselves. Significance. Our findings suggest that high gamma activity is a reliable biomarker for perception evoked by both natural and electrical stimuli.

  10. The neurochemical correlate of consciousness: exploring neurotransmitter systems underlying conscious vision

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Loon, A.M.

    2014-01-01

    How and where does our brain integrated the information that we get into our eyes into a unifying percept and into a conscious experience? Although different neural correlates of consciousness (NCC) have been proposed, depending on the kind of neural signals recorded, the type of manipulation used,

  11. Socially Conscious Ventures and Experiential Learning: Perceptions of Student Engagement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasbinder, William; Koehler, William

    2015-01-01

    This qualitative study explored stakeholder perceptions of the outcomes of semester-long experiential learning projects in five selected business courses at a small, private college. Students worked with the owners of socially conscious startup firms to develop and present strategic marketing and business plans. The work draws upon interviews with…

  12. Intracranial markers of conscious face perception in humans.

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    Baroni, Fabiano; van Kempen, Jochem; Kawasaki, Hiroto; Kovach, Christopher K; Oya, Hiroyuki; Howard, Matthew A; Adolphs, Ralph; Tsuchiya, Naotsugu

    2017-11-15

    Investigations of the neural basis of consciousness have greatly benefited from protocols that involve the presentation of stimuli at perceptual threshold, enabling the assessment of the patterns of brain activity that correlate with conscious perception, independently of any changes in sensory input. However, the comparison between perceived and unperceived trials would be expected to reveal not only the core neural substrate of a particular conscious perception, but also aspects of brain activity that facilitate, hinder or tend to follow conscious perception. We take a step towards the resolution of these confounds by combining an analysis of neural responses observed during the presentation of faces partially masked by Continuous Flash Suppression, and those responses observed during the unmasked presentation of faces and other images in the same subjects. We employed multidimensional classifiers to decode physical properties of stimuli or perceptual states from spectrotemporal representations of electrocorticographic signals (1071 channels in 5 subjects). Neural activity in certain face responsive areas located in both the fusiform gyrus and in the lateral-temporal/inferior-parietal cortex discriminated seen vs. unseen faces in the masked paradigm and upright faces vs. other categories in the unmasked paradigm. However, only the former discriminated upright vs. inverted faces in the unmasked paradigm. Our results suggest a prominent role for the fusiform gyrus in the configural perception of faces, and possibly other objects that are holistically processed. More generally, we advocate comparative analysis of neural recordings obtained during different, but related, experimental protocols as a promising direction towards elucidating the functional specificities of the patterns of neural activation that accompany our conscious experiences. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Parietal cortex mediates conscious perception of illusory gestalt.

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    Zaretskaya, Natalia; Anstis, Stuart; Bartels, Andreas

    2013-01-09

    Grouping local elements into a holistic percept, also known as spatial binding, is crucial for meaningful perception. Previous studies have shown that neurons in early visual areas V1 and V2 can signal complex grouping-related information, such as illusory contours or object-border ownerships. However, relatively little is known about higher-level processes contributing to these signals and mediating global Gestalt perception. We used a novel bistable motion illusion that induced alternating and mutually exclusive vivid conscious experiences of either dynamic illusory contours forming a global Gestalt or moving ungrouped local elements while the visual stimulation remained the same. fMRI in healthy human volunteers revealed that activity fluctuations in two sites of the parietal cortex, the superior parietal lobe and the anterior intraparietal sulcus (aIPS), correlated specifically with the perception of the grouped illusory Gestalt as opposed to perception of ungrouped local elements. We then disturbed activity at these two sites in the same participants using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). TMS over aIPS led to a selective shortening of the duration of the global Gestalt percept, with no effect on that of local elements. The results suggest that aIPS activity is directly involved in the process of spatial binding during effortless viewing in the healthy brain. Conscious perception of global Gestalt is therefore associated with aIPS function, similar to attention and perceptual selection.

  14. Bridging consciousness and cognition in memory and perception: evidence for both state and strength processes.

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    Aly, Mariam; Yonelinas, Andrew P

    2012-01-01

    Subjective experience indicates that mental states are discrete, in the sense that memories and perceptions readily come to mind in some cases, but are entirely unavailable to awareness in others. However, a long history of psychophysical research has indicated that the discrete nature of mental states is largely epiphenomenal and that mental processes vary continuously in strength. We used a novel combination of behavioral methodologies to examine the processes underlying perception of complex images: (1) analysis of receiver operating characteristics (ROCs), (2) a modification of the change-detection flicker paradigm, and (3) subjective reports of conscious experience. These methods yielded converging results showing that perceptual judgments reflect the combined, yet functionally independent, contributions of two processes available to conscious experience: a state process of conscious perception and a strength process of knowing; processes that correspond to recollection and familiarity in long-term memory. In addition, insights from the perception experiments led to the discovery of a new recollection phenomenon in a long-term memory change detection paradigm. The apparent incompatibility between subjective experience and theories of cognition can be understood within a unified state-strength framework that links consciousness to cognition across the domains of perception and memory.

  15. Using ERPs for assessing the (sub) conscious perception of noise.

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    Porbadnigk, Anne K; Antons, Jan-N; Blankertz, Benjamin; Treder, Matthias S; Schleicher, Robert; Moller, Sebastian; Curio, Gabriel

    2010-01-01

    In this paper, we investigate the use of event-related potentials (ERPs) as a quantitative measure for quality assessment of disturbed audio signals. For this purpose, we ran an EEG study (N=11) using an oddball paradigm, during which subjects were presented with the phoneme /a/, superimposed with varying degrees of signal-correlated noise. Based on this data set, we address the question to which degree the degradation of the auditory stimuli is reflected on a neural level, even if the disturbance is below the threshold of conscious perception. For those stimuli that are consciously recognized as being disturbed, we suggest the use of the amplitude and latency of the P300 component for assessing the level of disturbance. For disturbed stimuli for which the noise is not perceived consciously, we show for two subjects that a classifier based on shrinkage LDA can be applied successfully to single out stimuli, for which the noise was presumably processed subconsciously.

  16. Basis on Human Consciousness and its Complex Perception

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emanuel George Oprea

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Scientific researches had demonstrated already that Humans and other beings from the Earth are not so different from biological and genetic point of view. Somewhere with millions years back in time qualitative changes were taken place when men were started to look to the sky not only with fear like any other wild animal but also with hope that in the very far future they will become at least as great as the sky. In this very hard road of mankind to perfection, some kind of immaterial inner superior being had suggested the right steps. Now we are calling this “Consciousness, Awareness” and this inner force without any doubt leads us to God. The main problem in Human Consciousness is to define the percentage of real pure man awareness separated from physical and biological nature. It is well known fact that many factors like education, weather, environment and other components influence, model and forms the human state of consciousness. The main method in the determination of real, pure awareness state is to separate it by examination of some human factors of life. It is considered that the basis of the pure state of human consciousness is the Word as it has the power to induce a pure way of perception. The human consciousness is considered pure for the most part, because the Word is able to move people with the strength of its full purity.

  17. Early Visual Responses Predict Conscious Face Perception within and between Subjects during Binocular Rivalry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sandberg, Kristian; Bahrami, Bahador; Kanai, Ryota

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies indicate that conscious face perception may be related to neural activity in a large time window around 170–800 msec after stimulus presentation, yet in the majority of these studies changes in conscious experience are confounded with changes in physical stimulation. Using...... to predict perception better than chance. In addition, source space analyses showed that sources in the early and late visual system predicted conscious perception more accurately than frontal and parietal sites, although conscious perception could also be decoded there. Finally, the patterns of neural...

  18. Magnetoencephalographic Activity Related to Conscious Perception Is Stable within Individuals across Years but Not between Individuals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sandberg, Kristian; Barnes, Gareth Robert; Rees, Geraint

    2014-01-01

    Studies indicate that conscious perception is related to changes in neural activity within a time window that varies between 130 and 320 msec after stimulus presentation, yet it is not known whether such neural correlates of conscious perception are stable across time. Here, we examined the gener......Studies indicate that conscious perception is related to changes in neural activity within a time window that varies between 130 and 320 msec after stimulus presentation, yet it is not known whether such neural correlates of conscious perception are stable across time. Here, we examined...... the generalization across time within individuals and across different individuals. We trained classification algorithms to decode conscious perception from neural activity recorded during binocular rivalry using magnetoencephalography (MEG). The classifiers were then used to predict the perception of the same...

  19. Early visual responses predict conscious face perception within and between subjects during binocular rivalry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandberg, Kristian; Bahrami, Bahador; Kanai, Ryota; Barnes, Gareth Robert; Overgaard, Morten; Rees, Geraint

    2013-06-01

    Previous studies indicate that conscious face perception may be related to neural activity in a large time window around 170-800 msec after stimulus presentation, yet in the majority of these studies changes in conscious experience are confounded with changes in physical stimulation. Using multivariate classification on MEG data recorded when participants reported changes in conscious perception evoked by binocular rivalry between a face and a grating, we showed that only MEG signals in the 120-320 msec time range, peaking at the M170 around 180 msec and the P2m at around 260 msec, reliably predicted conscious experience. Conscious perception could not only be decoded significantly better than chance from the sensors that showed the largest average difference, as previous studies suggest, but also from patterns of activity across groups of occipital sensors that individually were unable to predict perception better than chance. In addition, source space analyses showed that sources in the early and late visual system predicted conscious perception more accurately than frontal and parietal sites, although conscious perception could also be decoded there. Finally, the patterns of neural activity associated with conscious face perception generalized from one participant to another around the times of maximum prediction accuracy. Our work thus demonstrates that the neural correlates of particular conscious contents (here, faces) are highly consistent in time and space within individuals and that these correlates are shared to some extent between individuals.

  20. Visual perception from the perspective of a representational, non-reductionistic, level-dependent account of perception and conscious awareness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Overgaard, Morten; Mogensen, Jesper

    2014-01-01

    This article proposes a new model to interpret seemingly conflicting evidence concerning the correlation of consciousness and neural processes. Based on an analysis of research of blindsight and subliminal perception, the reorganization of elementary functions and consciousness framework suggests...... partly by too coarse-grained methodology, and partly by top-down enhancing of representations that normally would not be relevant to action....

  1. Attention increases the temporal precision of conscious perception: verifying the Neural-ST Model.

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    Srivas Chennu

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available What role does attention play in ensuring the temporal precision of visual perception? Behavioural studies have investigated feature selection and binding in time using fleeting sequences of stimuli in the Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP paradigm, and found that temporal accuracy is reduced when attentional control is diminished. To reduce the efficacy of attentional deployment, these studies have employed the Attentional Blink (AB phenomenon. In this article, we use electroencephalography (EEG to directly investigate the temporal dynamics of conscious perception. Specifically, employing a combination of experimental analysis and neural network modelling, we test the hypothesis that the availability of attention reduces temporal jitter in the latency between a target's visual onset and its consolidation into working memory. We perform time-frequency analysis on data from an AB study to compare the EEG trials underlying the P3 ERPs (Event-related Potential evoked by targets seen outside vs. inside the AB time window. We find visual differences in phase-sorted ERPimages and statistical differences in the variance of the P3 phase distributions. These results argue for increased variation in the latency of conscious perception during the AB. This experimental analysis is complemented by a theoretical exploration of temporal attention and target processing. Using activation traces from the Neural-ST(2 model, we generate virtual ERPs and virtual ERPimages. These are compared to their human counterparts to propose an explanation of how target consolidation in the context of the AB influences the temporal variability of selective attention. The AB provides us with a suitable phenomenon with which to investigate the interplay between attention and perception. The combination of experimental and theoretical elucidation in this article contributes to converging evidence for the notion that the AB reflects a reduction in the temporal acuity of

  2. The structure of conscious bodily self-perception during full-body illusions.

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    Dobricki, Martin; de la Rosa, Stephan

    2013-01-01

    Previous research suggests that bodily self-identification, bodily self-localization, agency, and the sense of being present in space are critical aspects of conscious full-body self-perception. However, none of the existing studies have investigated the relationship of these aspects to each other, i.e., whether they can be identified to be distinguishable components of the structure of conscious full-body self-perception. Therefore, the objective of the present investigation is to elucidate the structure of conscious full-body self-perception. We performed two studies in which we stroked the back of healthy individuals for three minutes while they watched the back of a distant virtual body being synchronously stroked with a virtual stick. After visuo-tactile stimulation, participants assessed changes in their bodily self-perception with a custom made self-report questionnaire. In the first study, we investigated the structure of conscious full-body self-perception by analyzing the responses to the questionnaire by means of multidimensional scaling combined with cluster analysis. In the second study, we then extended the questionnaire and validated the stability of the structure of conscious full-body self-perception found in the first study within a larger sample of individuals by performing a principle components analysis of the questionnaire responses. The results of the two studies converge in suggesting that the structure of conscious full-body self-perception consists of the following three distinct components: bodily self-identification, space-related self-perception (spatial presence), and agency.

  3. Different Signal Enhancement Pathways of Attention and Consciousness Underlie Perception in Humans.

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    van Boxtel, Jeroen J A

    2017-06-14

    It is not yet known whether attention and consciousness operate through similar or largely different mechanisms. Visual processing mechanisms are routinely characterized by measuring contrast response functions (CRFs). In this report, behavioral CRFs were obtained in humans (both males and females) by measuring afterimage durations over the entire range of inducer stimulus contrasts to reveal visual mechanisms behind attention and consciousness. Deviations relative to the standard CRF, i.e., gain functions, describe the strength of signal enhancement, which were assessed for both changes due to attentional task and conscious perception. It was found that attention displayed a response-gain function, whereas consciousness displayed a contrast-gain function. Through model comparisons, which only included contrast-gain modulations, both contrast-gain and response-gain effects can be explained with a two-level normalization model, in which consciousness affects only the first level and attention affects only the second level. These results demonstrate that attention and consciousness can effectively show different gain functions because they operate through different signal enhancement mechanisms. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The relationship between attention and consciousness is still debated. Mapping contrast response functions (CRFs) has allowed (neuro)scientists to gain important insights into the mechanistic underpinnings of visual processing. Here, the influence of both attention and consciousness on these functions were measured and they displayed a strong dissociation. First, attention lowered CRFs, whereas consciousness raised them. Second, attention manifests itself as a response-gain function, whereas consciousness manifests itself as a contrast-gain function. Extensive model comparisons show that these results are best explained in a two-level normalization model in which consciousness affects only the first level, whereas attention affects only the second level

  4. Direct behavioral and neural evidence for an offset-triggered conscious perception.

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    Noguchi, Yasuki; Kimijima, Shintaro; Kakigi, Ryusuke

    2015-04-01

    Many previous theories of perceptual awareness assume that a conscious representation of a stimulus is created from sensory information carried by an onset (appearance) of the stimulus. In contrast, here we provide behavioral and neural evidence for a new phenomenon in which conscious perception is directly triggered by an offset (disappearance) of a stimulus. When a stimulus made invisible by inter-ocular suppression physically disappeared from a screen, subjects reported an appearance (not disappearance) of that stimulus, correctly reporting a color of the disappeared stimulus. Measurements of brain activity further confirmed that the physical offset of an invisible stimulus evoked neural activity reflecting conscious perception of that stimulus. Those results indicate a new role of a stimulus offset to facilitate (rather than inhibit) an emergence of consciousness. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. When endogenous spatial attention improves conscious perception: effects of alerting and bottom-up activation.

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    Botta, Fabiano; Lupiáñez, Juan; Chica, Ana B

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies have consistently demonstrated that conscious perception interacts with exogenous attentional orienting, but it can be dissociated from endogenous attentional orienting (Chica Lasaponara, et al., 2011; Wyart & Tallon-Baudry, 2008). It has been hypothesized that enhanced conscious processing at exogenously attended locations results from a synergistic action of spatial orienting, bottom-up activation, and phasic alerting induced by the abrupt onset of the exogenous cue (Chica, Lasaponara, et al., 2011). Instead, as endogenous cues need more time to be interpreted, the phasic alerting they produce may have dissipated when the target appears. Furthermore, endogenous cues presumably elicit a weak bottom-up activation at the cued location. Consistent with these hypotheses, we observed that endogenous attention modulated conscious perception, but only when phasic alerting or bottom-up activation was increased. Results are discussed in the context of recent theoretical models of consciousness (Dehaene, Changeux, Naccache, Sackur, & Sergent, 2006). Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. The internal representation of head orientation differs for conscious perception and balance control.

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    Dalton, Brian H; Rasman, Brandon G; Inglis, J Timothy; Blouin, Jean-Sébastien

    2017-04-15

    We tested perceived head-on-feet orientation and the direction of vestibular-evoked balance responses in passively and actively held head-turned postures. The direction of vestibular-evoked balance responses was not aligned with perceived head-on-feet orientation while maintaining prolonged passively held head-turned postures. Furthermore, static visual cues of head-on-feet orientation did not update the estimate of head posture for the balance controller. A prolonged actively held head-turned posture did not elicit a rotation in the direction of the vestibular-evoked balance response despite a significant rotation in perceived angular head posture. It is proposed that conscious perception of head posture and the transformation of vestibular signals for standing balance relying on this head posture are not dependent on the same internal representation. Rather, the balance system may operate under its own sensorimotor principles, which are partly independent from perception. Vestibular signals used for balance control must be integrated with other sensorimotor cues to allow transformation of descending signals according to an internal representation of body configuration. We explored two alternative models of sensorimotor integration that propose (1) a single internal representation of head-on-feet orientation is responsible for perceived postural orientation and standing balance or (2) conscious perception and balance control are driven by separate internal representations. During three experiments, participants stood quietly while passively or actively maintaining a prolonged head-turned posture (>10 min). Throughout the trials, participants intermittently reported their perceived head angular position, and subsequently electrical vestibular stimuli were delivered to elicit whole-body balance responses. Visual recalibration of head-on-feet posture was used to determine whether static visual cues are used to update the internal representation of body configuration

  7. Temporal neural mechanisms underlying conscious access to different levels of facial stimulus contents.

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    Hsu, Shen-Mou; Yang, Yu-Fang

    2018-04-01

    activities together with stimulus-related activities may operate in combination to determine conscious face detection or identification. This finding is distinct from the previous notion that conscious face detection precedes identification and provides novel insights into the temporal dynamics of different levels of conscious face perception.

  8. Is conscious perception gradual or dichotomous? A comparison of report methodologies during a visual task

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Overgaard, M; Rote, J; Mouridsen, K

    2006-01-01

    In a recent article, [Sergent, C. & Dehaene, S. (2004). Is consciousness a gradual phenomenon? Evidence for an all-or-none bifurcation during the attentional blink, Psychological Science, 15(11), 720-729] claim to give experimental support to the thesis that there is a clear transition between...... study described in this article, we find support for this opposite notion that we should have a parsimonious account of conscious perception. Our reported finding relates to the hypothesis that there is more than one perceptual threshold [Merikle, P.M., Smilek, D. & Eastwood, J.D. (2001). Perception...

  9. Links of Consciousness, Perception and Memory by Means of Delta Oscillations of Brain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erol eBaşar

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACTThe aim of this report is threefold: 1.First, we accomplish a survey integrating the description of consciousness, perception, and memory according to the views of descriptions of Hermann Helmholtz, Sigmund Freud, Henri Bergson, and Gustav Jung. 2.In the second step, we present experimental results for defining the machineries of sensation and perception: (a electrical responses of isolated ganglion of Helix pomatia were measured upon odor stimuli that elicited varied degrees of responses. Such a model may give an idea of the control of sensation in the preconscious state of a living tissue. (b We also describe experiments at the human hearing threshold level. (c Further, the omission of working memory will be shown with the attenuation of delta response in Alzheimer’s subjects in P300 measurements. (d Finally, the measurement of auditory evoked potentials during slow-wave sleep in the cat brain explains the auditory responses that are not heard at this level of consciousness. 3.In the third step, we aim to provide a synopsis related to integration of perception, memory, and consciousness. By using concepts of important scientists as S. Freud on consciousness, we also tentatively discuss the boundaries of the transition of unconsciousness states to conscious states.

  10. Links of Consciousness, Perception, and Memory by Means of Delta Oscillations of Brain.

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    Başar, Erol; Düzgün, Aysel

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this report is threefold: (1) First, we accomplish a survey integrating the description of consciousness, perception, and memory according to the views of descriptions of Hermann Helmholtz, Sigmund Freud, Henri Bergson, and Gustav Jung. (2) In the second step, we present experimental results for defining the machineries of sensation and perception: (a) electrical responses of isolated ganglion of Helix pomatia were measured upon odor stimuli that elicited varied degrees of responses. Such a model may give an idea of the control of sensation in the preconscious state of a living tissue. (b) We also describe experiments at the human hearing threshold level. (c) Further, the omission of working memory will be shown with the attenuation of delta response in Alzheimer's subjects in P300 measurements. (d) Finally, the measurement of auditory evoked potentials during slow-wave sleep in the cat brain explains the auditory responses that are not heard at this level of consciousness. (3) In the third step, we aim to provide a synopsis related to integration of perception, memory, and consciousness. By using concepts of important scientists as S. Freud on consciousness, we also tentatively discuss the boundaries of the transition of unconsciousness states to conscious states.

  11. Conscious sedation attitudes and perceptions: a survey of american academy of pediatric dentistry members.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Cody; Weber-Gasparoni, Karin; Slayton, Rebecca L; Qian, Fang

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the attitudes and perceptions of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPDM) members regarding conscious sedation. A 22-item survey was e-mailed to 4,358 active AAPD members to identify factors that influence pediatric dentists' practice of conscious sedation in their dental offices. Bivariate and logistic regression models were used to analyze data. A total of 1,219 surveys were returned (28% response rate); 743 (63%) respondents practiced conscious sedation. Help in providing dental care for patients difficult to manage was the primary reason reported for practicing conscious sedation. Conversely, not wanting the liability related to conscious sedation was the main reason reported by those who don't sedate. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses indicated that dentists were significantly more likely to perform conscious sedation if they practiced more than 3 days a week (P>.03), had 11% or more patients with public insurance (P>.02), and rated their sedation training as "good or excellent" (P<.001). Among respondents, the attitudes of those who practice conscious sedation varied significantly from those who don't with location of the practice and the quality of their sedation training as significant influences on this decision.

  12. Pupillary responses reveal infants' discrimination of facial emotions independent of conscious perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jessen, Sarah; Altvater-Mackensen, Nicole; Grossmann, Tobias

    2016-05-01

    Sensitive responding to others' emotions is essential during social interactions among humans. There is evidence for the existence of subcortically mediated emotion discrimination processes that occur independent of conscious perception in adults. However, only recently work has begun to examine the development of automatic emotion processing systems during infancy. In particular, it is unclear whether emotional expressions impact infants' autonomic nervous system regardless of conscious perception. We examined this question by measuring pupillary responses while subliminally and supraliminally presenting 7-month-old infants with happy and fearful faces. Our results show greater pupil dilation, indexing enhanced autonomic arousal, in response to happy compared to fearful faces regardless of conscious perception. Our findings suggest that, early in ontogeny, emotion discrimination occurs independent of conscious perception and is associated with differential autonomic responses. This provides evidence for the view that automatic emotion processing systems are an early-developing building block of human social functioning. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Brain networks underlying bistable perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Daniel H; Karapanagiotidis, Theodoros; Coggan, David D; Wailes-Newson, Kirstie; Smallwood, Jonathan

    2015-10-01

    Bistable stimuli, such as the Necker Cube, demonstrate that experience can change in the absence of changes in the environment. Such phenomena can be used to assess stimulus-independent aspects of conscious experience. The current study used resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) to index stimulus-independent changes in neural activity to understand the neural architecture that determines dominance durations during bistable perception (using binocular rivalry and Necker cube stimuli). Anterior regions of the Superior Parietal Lobule (SPL) exhibited robust connectivity with regions of primary sensorimotor cortex. The strength of this region's connectivity with the striatum predicted shorter dominance durations during binocular rivalry, whereas its connectivity to pre-motor cortex predicted longer dominance durations for the Necker Cube. Posterior regions of the SPL, on the other hand, were coupled to associative cortex in the temporal and frontal lobes. The posterior SPL's connectivity to the temporal lobe predicted longer dominance during binocular rivalry. In conjunction with prior work, these data suggest that the anterior SPL contributes to perceptual rivalry through the inhibition of incongruent bottom up information, whereas the posterior SPL influences rivalry by supporting the current interpretation of a bistable stimulus. Our data suggests that the functional connectivity of the SPL with regions of sensory, motor, and associative cortex allows it to regulate the interpretation of the environment that forms the focus of conscious attention at a specific moment in time. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  14. Visual anticipation biases conscious perception but not bottom-up visual processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul F.M.J. Verschure

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Theories of consciousness can be grouped with respect to their stance on embodiment, sensori-motor contingencies, prediction and integration. In this list prediction plays a key role and it is not clear which aspects of prediction are most prominent in the conscious scene. An evolving view on the brain is that it can be seen as a prediction machine that optimizes its ability to predict states of the world and the self through the top-down propagation of predictions and the bottom-up presentation of prediction errors. There are competing views though on whether prediction or prediction errors dominate the conscious scene. Yet, due to the lack of efficient indirect measures, the dynamic effects of prediction on perception, decision making and consciousness have been difficult to assess and to model. We propose a novel mathematical framework and psychophysical paradigm that allows us to assess both the hierarchical structuring of perceptual consciousness, its content and the impact of predictions and / or errors on the conscious scene. Using a displacement detection task combined with reverse correlation we reveal signatures of the usage of prediction at three different levels of perception: bottom-up early saccades, top-down driven late saccades and conscious decisions. Our results suggest that the brain employs multiple parallel mechanisms at different levels of information processing to restrict the sensory field using predictions. We observe that cognitive load has a quantifiable effect on this dissociation of the bottom-up sensory and top-down predictive processes. We propose a probabilistic data association model from dynamical systems theory to model this predictive bias in different information processing levels.

  15. Timing of the brain events underlying access to consciousness during the attentional blink.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sergent, Claire; Baillet, Sylvain; Dehaene, Stanislas

    2005-10-01

    In the phenomenon of attentional blink, identical visual stimuli are sometimes fully perceived and sometimes not detected at all. This phenomenon thus provides an optimal situation to study the fate of stimuli not consciously perceived and the differences between conscious and nonconscious processing. We correlated behavioral visibility ratings and recordings of event-related potentials to study the temporal dynamics of access to consciousness. Intact early potentials (P1 and N1) were evoked by unseen words, suggesting that these brain events are not the primary correlates of conscious perception. However, we observed a rapid divergence around 270 ms, after which several brain events were evoked solely by seen words. Thus, we suggest that the transition toward access to consciousness relates to the optional triggering of a late wave of activation that spreads through a distributed network of cortical association areas.

  16. Quality of life following third molar removal under conscious sedation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sancho-Puchades, Manuel; Berini-Aytés, Leonardo; Gay-Escoda, Cosme

    2012-01-01

    Aim: The aim of this study was to assess quality of life (QoL) and degree of satisfaction among outpatients subjected to surgical extraction of all four third molars under conscious sedation. A second objective was to describe the evolution of self-reported pain measured in a visual analogue scale (VAS) in the 7 days after extraction. Study design: Fifty patients received a questionnaire assessing social isolation, working isolation, eating and speaking ability, diet modifications, sleep impairment, changes in physical appearance, discomfort at suture removal and overall satisfaction at days 4 and 7 after surgery. Pain was recorded by patients on a 100-mm pain visual analogue scale (VAS) every day after extraction until day 7. Results: Thirty-nine patients fulfilled correctly the questionnaire. Postoperative pain values suffered small fluctuations until day 5 (range: 23 to 33 mm in a 100-mm VAS), when dicreased significantly. A positive association was observed between difficult ranked surgeries and higher postoperative pain levels. The average number of days for which the patient stopped working was 4.9. Conclusion: The removal of all third molars in a single appointment causes an important deterioration of the patient’s QoL during the first postoperative week, especially due to local pain and eating discomfort. Key words:Third molar removal, quality of life, sedation. PMID:22926461

  17. Neuronal integration in visual cortex elevates face category tuning to conscious face perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fahrenfort, Johannes J; Snijders, Tineke M; Heinen, Klaartje; van Gaal, Simon; Scholte, H Steven; Lamme, Victor A F

    2012-12-26

    The human brain has the extraordinary capability to transform cluttered sensory input into distinct object representations. For example, it is able to rapidly and seemingly without effort detect object categories in complex natural scenes. Surprisingly, category tuning is not sufficient to achieve conscious recognition of objects. What neural process beyond category extraction might elevate neural representations to the level where objects are consciously perceived? Here we show that visible and invisible faces produce similar category-selective responses in the ventral visual cortex. The pattern of neural activity evoked by visible faces could be used to decode the presence of invisible faces and vice versa. However, only visible faces caused extensive response enhancements and changes in neural oscillatory synchronization, as well as increased functional connectivity between higher and lower visual areas. We conclude that conscious face perception is more tightly linked to neural processes of sustained information integration and binding than to processes accommodating face category tuning.

  18. Neural Signatures of Conscious Face Perception in an Inattentional Blindness Paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shafto, Juliet P; Pitts, Michael A

    2015-08-05

    Previous studies suggest that early stages of face-specific processing are performed preattentively and unconsciously, whereas conscious perception emerges with late-stage (>300 ms) neuronal activity. A conflicting view, however, posits that attention is necessary for face-specific processing and that early-to-mid latency neural responses (∼ 100-300 ms) correspond more closely with perceptual awareness. The current study capitalized on a recently developed method for manipulating attention and conscious perception during EEG recording (modified inattentional blindness paradigm) and used face stimuli that elicit a well known marker of early face processing, the N170 event-related potential (ERP). In Phase 1 of the experiment, subjects performed a demanding distracter task while line drawings of faces and matched control stimuli were presented in the center of their view. When queried, half of the subjects reported no awareness of the faces and were deemed inattentionally blind. In Phase 2, subjects performed the same distracter task, but now consciously perceived the face stimuli due to the intervening questioning. In Phase 3, subjects performed a discrimination task on the faces. Two primary contrasts were made: aware versus unaware (equally task irrelevant) and task-relevant versus task-irrelevant (equally aware). The N170 and a subsequent ERP component, the visual awareness negativity (∼ 260-300 ms), were absent during inattentional blindness and present in the aware conditions. The P3b (> 300 ms) was absent for task-irrelevant faces, even when consciously perceived, and present only when the faces were task relevant. These results inform contemporary theories of conscious face perception in particular and visual attention and perceptual awareness in general. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/3510940-09$15.00/0.

  19. Should a Few Null Findings Falsify Prefrontal Theories of Conscious Perception?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odegaard, Brian; Knight, Robert T; Lau, Hakwan

    2017-10-04

    Is activity in prefrontal cortex (PFC) critical for conscious perception? Major theories of consciousness make distinct predictions about the role of PFC, providing an opportunity to arbitrate between these views empirically. Here we address three common misconceptions: (1) PFC lesions do not affect subjective perception; (2) PFC activity does not reflect specific perceptual content; and (3) PFC involvement in studies of perceptual awareness is solely driven by the need to make reports required by the experimental tasks rather than subjective experience per se. These claims are incompatible with empirical findings, unless one focuses only on studies using methods with limited sensitivity. The literature highlights PFC's essential role in enabling the subjective experience in perception, contra the objective capacity to perform visual tasks; conflating the two can also be a source of confusion. Dual Perspectives Companion Paper: Are the Neural Correlates of Consciousness in the Front or in the Back of the Cerebral Cortex? Clinical and Neuroimaging Evidence, by Melanie Boly, Marcello Massimini, Naotsugu Tsuchiya, Bradley R. Postle, Christof Koch, and Giulio Tononi. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/379593-10$15.00/0.

  20. Medical Student Perceptions of Cost-Conscious Care in an Internal Medicine Clerkship: A Thematic Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tartaglia, Kimberly M; Kman, Nicholas; Ledford, Cynthia

    2015-10-01

    Although as much as 87 % of all healthcare spending is directed by physicians, studies have demonstrated that they lack knowledge about the costs of medical care. Similarly, learners have not traditionally received instruction on cost-conscious care. To examine medical students' perceptions of healthcare delivery as it relates to cost consciousness Retrospective qualitative analysis of medical student narratives Third-year medical students during their inpatient internal medicine clerkship Students completed a reflective exercise wherein they were asked to describe a scenario in which a patient experienced lack of attention to cost-conscious care, and were asked to identify solutions and barriers. We analyzed these reflections to learn more about students' awareness and perceptions regarding the practice of cost-conscious care within our medical center. Eighty students submitted the assignment between July and December 2012. The most common problems identified included unnecessary tests and treatments (n = 69) and duplicative tests and treatments (n = 20.) With regards to solutions, students described 82 scenarios, with 125 potential solutions identified. Students most commonly used discussion with the team (speak up, ask why) as the process they would use (n = 28) and most often wanted to focus lab testing (n = 38) as the intervention. The most common barriers to high-value care included increased time and effort (n = 19), ingrained practices (n = 17), and defensive medicine or fear of missing something (n = 18.) Even with minimal clinical experience, medical students were able to identify instances of lack of attention to cost-conscious care as well as potential solutions. Although students identified the hierarchy in healthcare teams as a potential barrier to improving high value care, most students stated they would feel comfortable engaging the team in discussion. Future efforts to empower learners at all levels to question value

  1. Brain dynamics underlying the nonlinear threshold for access to consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Cul, Antoine; Baillet, Sylvain; Dehaene, Stanislas

    2007-10-01

    When a flashed stimulus is followed by a backward mask, subjects fail to perceive it unless the target-mask interval exceeds a threshold duration of about 50 ms. Models of conscious access postulate that this threshold is associated with the time needed to establish sustained activity in recurrent cortical loops, but the brain areas involved and their timing remain debated. We used high-density recordings of event-related potentials (ERPs) and cortical source reconstruction to assess the time course of human brain activity evoked by masked stimuli and to determine neural events during which brain activity correlates with conscious reports. Target-mask stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) was varied in small steps, allowing us to ask which ERP events show the characteristic nonlinear dependence with SOA seen in subjective and objective reports. The results separate distinct stages in mask-target interactions, indicating that a considerable amount of subliminal processing can occur early on in the occipito-temporal pathway (270 ms) and highly distributed fronto-parieto-temporal activation as a correlate of conscious reportability.

  2. From Cortical Blindness to Conscious Visual Perception: Theories on Neuronal Networks and Visual Training Strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadid, Vanessa; Lepore, Franco

    2017-01-01

    Homonymous hemianopia (HH) is the most common cortical visual impairment leading to blindness in the contralateral hemifield. It is associated with many inconveniences and daily restrictions such as exploration and visual orientation difficulties. However, patients with HH can preserve the remarkable ability to unconsciously perceive visual stimuli presented in their blindfield, a phenomenon known as blindsight. Unfortunately, the nature of this captivating residual ability is still misunderstood and the rehabilitation strategies in terms of visual training have been insufficiently exploited. This article discusses type I and type II blindsight in a neuronal framework of altered global workspace, resulting from inefficient perception, attention and conscious networks. To enhance synchronization and create global availability for residual abilities to reach visual consciousness, rehabilitation tools need to stimulate subcortical extrastriate pathways through V5/MT. Multisensory bottom-up compensation combined with top-down restitution training could target pre-existing and new neuronal mechanisms to recreate a framework for potential functionality.

  3. Dissociation between the neural correlates of conscious face perception and visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navajas, Joaquin; Nitka, Aleksander W; Quian Quiroga, Rodrigo

    2017-08-01

    Given the higher chance to recognize attended compared to unattended stimuli, the specific neural correlates of these two processes, attention and awareness, tend to be intermingled in experimental designs. In this study, we dissociated the neural correlates of conscious face perception from the effects of visual attention. To do this, we presented faces at the threshold of awareness and manipulated attention through the use of exogenous prestimulus cues. We show that the N170 component, a scalp EEG marker of face perception, was modulated independently by attention and by awareness. An earlier P1 component was not modulated by either of the two effects and a later P3 component was indicative of awareness but not of attention. These claims are supported by converging evidence from (a) modulations observed in the average evoked potentials, (b) correlations between neural and behavioral data at the single-subject level, and (c) single-trial analyses. Overall, our results show a clear dissociation between the neural substrates of attention and awareness. Based on these results, we argue that conscious face perception is triggered by a boost in face-selective cortical ensembles that can be modulated by, but are still independent from, visual attention. © 2017 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  4. Modulating Conscious Movement Intention by Noninvasive Brain Stimulation and the Underlying Neural Mechanisms

    OpenAIRE

    Douglas, Zachary H.; Maniscalco, Brian; Hallett, Mark; Wassermann, Eric M.; He, Biyu J.

    2015-01-01

    Conscious intention is a fundamental aspect of the human experience. Despite long-standing interest in the basis and implications of intention, its underlying neurobiological mechanisms remain poorly understood. Using high-definition transcranial DC stimulation (tDCS), we observed that enhancing spontaneous neuronal excitability in both the angular gyrus and the primary motor cortex caused the reported time of conscious movement intention to be ∼60–70 ms earlier. Slow brain waves recorded ∼2–...

  5. Virtual lesion of right posterior superior temporal sulcus modulates conscious visual perception of fearful expressions in faces and bodies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Candidi, Matteo; Stienen, Bernard M C; Aglioti, Salvatore M; de Gelder, Beatrice

    2015-04-01

    The posterior Superior Temporal Suclus (pSTS) represents a central hub in the complex cerebral network for person perception and emotion recognition as also suggested by its heavy connections with face- and body-specific cortical (e.g., the fusiform face area, FFA and the extrastriate body area, EBA) and subcortical structures (e.g., amygdala). Information on whether pSTS is causatively involved in sustaining conscious visual perception of emotions expressed by faces and bodies is lacking. We explored this issue by combining a binocular rivalry procedure (where emotional and neutral face and body postures rivaled with house images) with off-line, 1-Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). We found that temporary inhibition of the right pSTS reduced perceptual dominance of fearful faces and increased perceptual dominance of fearful bodies, while leaving unaffected the perception of neutral face and body images. Inhibition of the vertex had no effect on conscious visual perception of neutral or emotional face or body stimuli. Thus, the right pSTS plays a causal role in shortening conscious vision of fearful faces and in prolonging conscious vision of fearful bodies. These results suggest that pSTS selectively modulates the activity of segregated networks involved in the conscious visual perception of emotional faces or bodies. We speculate that the opposite role of the right pSTS for conscious perception of fearful face and body may be explained by the different connections that this region entertains with face- and body-selective visual areas as well as with amygdalae and premotor regions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Modulating conscious movement intention by noninvasive brain stimulation and the underlying neural mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas, Zachary H; Maniscalco, Brian; Hallett, Mark; Wassermann, Eric M; He, Biyu J

    2015-05-06

    Conscious intention is a fundamental aspect of the human experience. Despite long-standing interest in the basis and implications of intention, its underlying neurobiological mechanisms remain poorly understood. Using high-definition transcranial DC stimulation (tDCS), we observed that enhancing spontaneous neuronal excitability in both the angular gyrus and the primary motor cortex caused the reported time of conscious movement intention to be ∼60-70 ms earlier. Slow brain waves recorded ∼2-3 s before movement onset, as well as hundreds of milliseconds after movement onset, independently correlated with the modulation of conscious intention by brain stimulation. These brain activities together accounted for 81% of interindividual variability in the modulation of movement intention by brain stimulation. A computational model using coupled leaky integrator units with biophysically plausible assumptions about the effect of tDCS captured the effects of stimulation on both neural activity and behavior. These results reveal a temporally extended brain process underlying conscious movement intention that spans seconds around movement commencement. Copyright © 2015 Douglas et al.

  7. Transcatheter aortic valve implantation under conscious sedation – the first Indian experience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Syed Maqbool

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI is maturing strongly as an alternative to surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR in patients who are inoperable/high risk for open heart surgery. General anesthesia (GA is the usual mode of anesthesia in these patients, but local anesthesia with conscious sedation (LACS has recently been described as a safe alternative with some added advantages. We report 2 cases who were unfit for GA and were done successfully under LACS.

  8. Transcatheter aortic valve implantation under conscious sedation – the first Indian experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maqbool, Syed; Kumar, Vijay; Rastogi, Vishal; Seth, Ashok

    2014-01-01

    Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is maturing strongly as an alternative to surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR) in patients who are inoperable/high risk for open heart surgery. General anesthesia (GA) is the usual mode of anesthesia in these patients, but local anesthesia with conscious sedation (LACS) has recently been described as a safe alternative with some added advantages. We report 2 cases who were unfit for GA and were done successfully under LACS. PMID:24814117

  9. ERP signatures of conscious and unconscious word and letter perception in an inattentional blindness paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schelonka, Kathryn; Graulty, Christian; Canseco-Gonzalez, Enriqueta; Pitts, Michael A

    2017-09-01

    A three-phase inattentional blindness paradigm was combined with ERPs. While participants performed a distracter task, line segments in the background formed words or consonant-strings. Nearly half of the participants failed to notice these word-forms and were deemed inattentionally blind. All participants noticed the word-forms in phase 2 of the experiment while they performed the same distracter task. In the final phase, participants performed a task on the word-forms. In all phases, including during inattentional blindness, word-forms elicited distinct ERPs during early latencies (∼200-280ms) suggesting unconscious orthographic processing. A subsequent ERP (∼320-380ms) similar to the visual awareness negativity appeared only when subjects were aware of the word-forms, regardless of the task. Finally, word-forms elicited a P3b (∼400-550ms) only when these stimuli were task-relevant. These results are consistent with previous inattentional blindness studies and help distinguish brain activity associated with pre- and post-perceptual processing from correlates of conscious perception. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. On Flanagan’s Ideas On Dreams And Ahead: An Attempt To Locate Dreaming Phenomenon Under The Superclass Of Consciousness

    OpenAIRE

    Gezgin, Dr. Ulas Basar

    2004-01-01

    In this paper, Owen Flanagan’s ideas on dreaming phenomenon are discussed and a thought experiment with four parallel trials is presented as an attempt to locate dreaming phenomenon under the superclass of consciousness.

  11. Effect of midazolam on memory during fiberoptic gastroscopy under conscious sedation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Yun Jeong; Jang, Eun Hye; Hwang, Jihye; Roh, Jee Hoon; Kwon, Miseon; Lee, Don; Lee, Jae-Hong

    2015-01-01

    As the fiberoptic gastroscopy using midazolam is being in widespread use, the exact nature of midazolam on memory should be clarified. We intended to examine whether midazolam causes selective anterograde amnesia and what impact it has on other aspects of memory and general cognitive function. We recruited healthy subjects undergoing fiberoptic gastroscopy under conscious sedation. At baseline, history taking for retrograde amnesia and the Korean version of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment were performed. A man's name and address were given immediately after intravenous midazolam administration. After gastroscopy, the subjects were asked to recall those items. By the time they had fully recovered consciousness, the same test was repeated along with the Korean version of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment and a test for retrograde amnesia. A total of 30 subjects were enrolled in this study. Subjects with high-dose midazolam showed lower scores in the immediate and delayed recall of "a man's name and address" compared with those with low-dose midazolam. The midazolam dose was inversely correlated with the delayed recall scores of "a man's name and address." On full recovery of consciousness, the subjects did not exhibit any of anterograde or retrograde amnesia. These findings suggest that midazolam causes transient selective anterograde amnesia in a dose-dependent manner.

  12. Transcatheter aortic valve implantation under conscious sedation - the first Indian experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maqbool, Syed; Kumar, Vijay; Rastogi, Vishal; Seth, Ashok

    2014-01-01

    Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is maturing strongly as an alternative to surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR) in patients who are inoperable/high risk for open heart surgery. General anesthesia (GA) is the usual mode of anesthesia in these patients, but local anesthesia with conscious sedation (LACS) has recently been described as a safe alternative with some added advantages. We report 2 cases who were unfit for GA and were done successfully under LACS. Copyright © 2014 Cardiological Society of India. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Consciousness, unconsciousness and death in the context of slaughter. Part I. Neurobiological mechanisms underlying stunning and killing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terlouw, Claudia; Bourguet, Cécile; Deiss, Véronique

    2016-08-01

    This review describes the neurobiological mechanisms that are relevant for the stunning and killing process of animals in the abattoir. The mechanisms underlying the loss of consciousness depend on the technique used: mechanical, electrical or gas stunning. Direct exsanguination (without prior stun) causes also a loss of consciousness before inducing death. The underlying mechanisms may involve cerebral anoxia or ischemia, or the depolarisation, acidification and/or the destruction of brain neurons. These effects may be caused by shock waves, electrical fields, the reduction or arrest of the cerebral blood circulation, increased levels of CO2 or low levels of O2 in the inhaled air, or the mechanical destruction of neurons. The targeted brain structures are the reticular formation, the ascending reticular activating system or thalamus, or the cerebral hemispheres in a general manner. Some of the techniques, when properly used, induce an immediate loss of consciousness; other techniques a progressive loss of consciousness. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. The compatibility between sociological and cognitive neuroscientific ideas on consciousness: is a neurosociology of consciousness possible?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shkurko, Yulia S

    2013-03-01

    This article considers the possibility of integrating sociological and cognitive neuroscience ideas on consciousness and developing a new research area: neurosociology of consciousnesses. Research was conducted taking into account the limited knowledge on consciousness produced in these disciplines and the necessity of finding ways to study the social roles concerning the neural correlates of consciousness. Applying several ideas on consciousness from these disciplines (intersubjectivity, close connection with collective forms representations, deriving awareness from the brain's processes, and so on), I show that it is difficult to reconcile the differences in the treatment of consciousness through the simple combination of the different ideas. The integration should be pursued in light of the neuroscientific findings concerning consciousness in different social contexts (role behavior, social interactions, and so on). In integrating the concepts, I predicted the role of time delay in conscious awareness in decision making, synchronization of neural oscillations under conscious perception, and the activations of certain brain zones in correspondence to different conscious cognitive processes for understanding in face-to-face situations. The study reveals that the optimal path for neurosociological research on consciousness is in its primary development without a rigid binding to either sociology or neuroscience.

  15. Volition and the Function of Consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, Hakwan C.

    What are the psychological functions that could only be performed consciously? People have intuitively assumed that many acts of volition are not influenced by unconscious information. These acts range from simple examples such as making a spontaneous motor movement, to higher cognitive control. How ever, the available evidence suggests that under suitable conditions, unconscious information can influence these behaviors and the underlying neural mechanisms. One possibility is that stimuli that are consciously perceived tend to yield strong signals in the brain, which makes us think that consciousness has the function of such strong signals. However, if we could create conditions where the stimuli could yield strong signals but not the conscious experience of perception, perhaps we would find that such stimuli are just as effective in influencing volitional be havior. Future studies that focus on clarifying this issue may tell us what the defining functions of consciousness are.

  16. Choking under the pressure of a positive stereotype: gender identification and self-consciousness moderate men's math test performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tagler, Michael J

    2012-01-01

    Choking under pressure occurs when an individual underperforms due to situational pressure. The present study examined whether being the target of a positive social stereotype regarding math ability causes choking among men. Gender identification and self-consciousness were hypothesized to moderate the effect of math-gender stereotypes on men's math test performance. Men high in self-consciousness but low in gender identification significantly underperformed when exposed to gender-relevant test instructions. No significant effects were found under a gender-irrelevant condition. These findings are discussed in the contexts of research on stereotype threat, stereotype lift, and choking under pressure.

  17. Onyx HD-500 embolization of intracranial aneurysms: modified technique using continuous balloon inflation under conscious sedation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahme, Ralph; Grande, Andrew; Jimenez, Lincoln; Abruzzo, Todd A; Ringer, Andrew J

    2014-08-01

    The conventional technique of intracranial aneurysm embolization using Onyx HD-500 (ev3 Neurovascular, Irvine, CA, USA) involves repetitive balloon inflation-deflation cycles under general anesthesia. By limiting parent artery occlusion to 5 minutes, this cyclic technique is thought to minimize cerebral ischemia. However, intermittent balloon deflation may lengthen procedure time and allow balloon migration, resulting in intimal injury or Onyx leakage. We report our experience using a modified technique of uninterrupted Onyx injection with continuous balloon occlusion under conscious sedation. All Onyx embolization procedures for unruptured aneurysms performed by the senior author (A.J.R.) between September 2008 and April 2010 were retrospectively reviewed. Demographic, clinical, angiographic, and procedural data were recorded. Twenty-four embolization procedures were performed in 21 patients with 23 aneurysms, including four recurrences. Twenty aneurysms (87%) involved the paraclinoid or proximal supraclinoid internal carotid artery. Size ranged from 2.5 to 24mm and neck diameter from 2 to 8mm. The modified technique was employed in 19 cases. All but one patient (94.4%) tolerated continuous balloon inflation. Complete occlusion was achieved in 20 aneurysms (83.3%) and subtotal occlusion in three (12.5%). Stable angiographic results were seen in 85%, 94%, 94%, and 100% of patients at 6, 12, 24, and 36months, respectively. There were no deaths. Permanent non-disabling neurological morbidity occurred in one patient (4.2%). Minor, transient, and/or angiographic complications were seen in three patients (12.5%), none related to the technique itself. Onyx embolization of unruptured intracranial aneurysms can be safely and effectively performed using continuous balloon inflation under conscious sedation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Using Brain Stimulation to Disentangle Neural Correlates of Conscious Vision

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tom Alexander de Graaf

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Research into the neural correlates of consciousness (NCCs has blossomed, due to the advent of new and increasingly sophisticated brain research tools. Neuroimaging has uncovered a variety of brain processes that relate to conscious perception, obtained in a range of experimental paradigms. But methods such as fMRI or EEG do not always afford inference on the role these brain processes play in conscious vision. Such empirical neural correlates of consciousness could reflect neural prerequisites, neural consequences, or neural substrates of a conscious experience. Here, we take a closer look at the use of non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS techniques in this context. We discuss and review how NIBS methodology can enlighten our understanding of brain mechanisms underlying conscious vision by disentangling the empirical neural correlates of consciousness.

  19. Visual consciousness and bodily self-consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faivre, Nathan; Salomon, Roy; Blanke, Olaf

    2015-02-01

    In recent years, consciousness has become a central topic in cognitive neuroscience. This review focuses on the relation between bodily self-consciousness - the feeling of being a subject in a body - and visual consciousness - the subjective experience associated with the perception of visual signals. Findings from clinical and experimental work have shown that bodily self-consciousness depends on specific brain networks and is related to the integration of signals from multiple sensory modalities including vision. In addition, recent experiments have shown that visual consciousness is shaped by the body, including vestibular, tactile, proprioceptive, and motor signals. Several lines of evidence suggest reciprocal relationships between vision and bodily signals, indicating that a comprehensive understanding of visual and bodily self-consciousness requires studying them in unison.

  20. Hippocampus and consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behrendt, Ralf-Peter

    2013-01-01

    An important assumption concerning the physiology of consciousness is that all varieties of conscious experience are closely related to each other and, hence, are subserved by the same neural mechanism. There are several considerations that lead us to implicate the hippocampus in the generation of conscious perception and, ultimately, of conscious experiences of all kinds. Firstly, conscious perception of external events is intricately linked with the formation of episodic (declarative) memories, a key function attributed to the hippocampus. Secondly, conscious experience is allocentric and contextualized. Consciousness creates or simulates an image of the world that appears to surround us and to be independent of our observation of it. What is characteristic of wakeful consciousness and dreaming alike is that objects or events are experienced as being embedded in an external, that is, allocentric, frame of space and time. The hippocampus has been implicated in the rapid formation and memorization of allocentric representations that embed objects or events in a world context. Thirdly, the hippocampus is ideally positioned to bind information processed in different sensory association cortices. It is argued that rapidly forming patterns of neuronal ensemble firing in the hippocampus, particularly in region CA3, which encode arbitrary associations between objects and their spatiotemporal and emotional context, that is, associations between information derived from different neocortical processing streams, define the informational content of consciousness. Evidence suggestive of an important contribution of the hippocampus to conscious observation, mental imagery, dreaming, conscious anticipation of outcomes, and hallucinations will be reviewed.

  1. Reinforcement of perceptual inference: reward and punishment alter conscious visual perception during binocular rivalry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregor eWilbertz

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Perception is an inferential process, which becomes immediately evident when sensory information is conflicting or ambiguous and thus allows for more than one perceptual interpretation. Thinking the idea of perception as inference through to the end results in a blurring of boundaries between perception and action selection, as perceptual inference implies the construction of a percept as an active process. Here we therefore wondered whether perception shares a key characteristic of action selection, namely that it is shaped by reinforcement learning. In two behavioral experiments, we used binocular rivalry to examine whether perceptual inference can be influenced by the association of perceptual outcomes with reward or punishment, respectively, in analogy to instrumental conditioning. Binocular rivalry was evoked by two orthogonal grating stimuli presented to the two eyes, resulting in perceptual alternations between the two gratings. Perception was tracked indirectly and objectively through a target detection task, which allowed us to preclude potential reporting biases. Monetary rewards or punishments were given repeatedly during perception of only one of the two rivalling stimuli. We found an increase in dominance durations for the percept associated with reward, relative to the non-rewarded percept. In contrast, punishment led to an increase of the non-punished compared to a relative decrease of the punished percept. Our results show that perception shares key characteristics with action selection, in that it is influenced by reward and punishment in opposite directions, thus narrowing the gap between the conceptually separated domains of perception and action selection. We conclude that perceptual inference is an adaptive process that is shaped by its consequences.

  2. Reinforcement of perceptual inference: reward and punishment alter conscious visual perception during binoculair rivalry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wilbertz, G.; van Slooten, J.C.; Sterzer, P.

    2014-01-01

    Perception is an inferential process, which becomes immediately evident when sensory information is conflicting or ambiguous and thus allows for more than one perceptual interpretation. Thinking the idea of perception as inference through to the end results in a blurring of boundaries between

  3. Predictors of Biased Self-perception in Individuals with High Social Anxiety: The Effect of Self-consciousness in the Private and Public Self Domains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henrik Nordahl

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available “Biased self-perception,” the tendency to perceive one’s social performance as more negative than observers do, is characteristic of socially anxious individuals. Self-attention processes are hypothesised to underlie biased self-perception, however, different models emphasise different aspects of self-attention, with attention to the public aspects of the self being prominent. The current study aimed to investigate the relative contribution of two types of dispositional self-attention; public- and private self-consciousness to biased self-perception in a high (n = 48 versus a low (n = 48 social anxiety group undergoing an interaction task. The main finding was that private self-consciousness explained substantial and unique variance in biased negative self-perception in individuals with high social anxiety, while public self-consciousness did not. This relationship was independent of increments in state anxiety. Private self-consciousness appeared to have a specific association with bias related to overestimation of negative social performance rather than underestimation of positive social performance. The implication of this finding is that current treatment models of Social anxiety disorder might include broader aspects of self-focused attention, especially in the context of formulating self-evaluation biases.

  4. Predictors of Biased Self-perception in Individuals with High Social Anxiety: The Effect of Self-consciousness in the Private and Public Self Domains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nordahl, Henrik; Plummer, Alice; Wells, Adrian

    2017-01-01

    “Biased self-perception,” the tendency to perceive one’s social performance as more negative than observers do, is characteristic of socially anxious individuals. Self-attention processes are hypothesised to underlie biased self-perception, however, different models emphasise different aspects of self-attention, with attention to the public aspects of the self being prominent. The current study aimed to investigate the relative contribution of two types of dispositional self-attention; public- and private self-consciousness to biased self-perception in a high (n = 48) versus a low (n = 48) social anxiety group undergoing an interaction task. The main finding was that private self-consciousness explained substantial and unique variance in biased negative self-perception in individuals with high social anxiety, while public self-consciousness did not. This relationship was independent of increments in state anxiety. Private self-consciousness appeared to have a specific association with bias related to overestimation of negative social performance rather than underestimation of positive social performance. The implication of this finding is that current treatment models of Social anxiety disorder might include broader aspects of self-focused attention, especially in the context of formulating self-evaluation biases. PMID:28725207

  5. Age differences in conscious versus subconscious social perception: the influence of face age and valence on gaze following.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Phoebe E; Slessor, Gillian; Rendell, Peter G; Bennetts, Rachel J; Campbell, Anna; Ruffman, Ted

    2014-09-01

    Gaze following is the primary means of establishing joint attention with others and is subject to age-related decline. In addition, young but not older adults experience an own-age bias in gaze following. The current research assessed the effects of subconscious processing on these age-related differences. Participants responded to targets that were either congruent or incongruent with the direction of gaze displayed in supraliminal and subliminal images of young and older faces. These faces displayed either neutral (Study 1) or happy and fearful (Study 2) expressions. In Studies 1 and 2, both age groups demonstrated gaze-directed attention by responding faster to targets that were congruent as opposed to incongruent with gaze-cues. In Study 1, subliminal stimuli did not attenuate the age-related decline in gaze-cuing, but did result in an own-age bias among older participants. In Study 2, gaze-cuing was reduced for older relative to young adults in response to supraliminal stimuli, and this could not be attributed to reduced visual acuity or age group differences in the perceived emotional intensity of the gaze-cue faces. Moreover, there were no age differences in gaze-cuing when responding to subliminal faces that were emotionally arousing. In addition, older adults demonstrated an own-age bias for both conscious and subconscious gaze-cuing when faces expressed happiness but not fear. We discuss growing evidence for age-related preservation of subconscious relative to conscious social perception, as well as an interaction between face age and valence in social perception. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

  6. Occupational Consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramugondo, Elelwani L

    2015-10-02

    Occupational consciousness refers to ongoing awareness of the dynamics of hegemony and recognition that dominant practices are sustained through what people do every day, with implications for personal and collective health. The emergence of the construct in post-apartheid South Africa signifies the country's ongoing struggle with negotiating long-standing dynamics of power that were laid down during colonialism, and maintained under black majority rule. Consciousness, a key component of the new terminology, is framed from post-colonial perspectives - notably work by Biko and Fanon - and grounded in the philosophy of liberation, in order to draw attention to continuing unequal intersubjective relations that play out through human occupation. The paper also draws important links between occupational consciousness and other related constructs, namely occupational possibilities, occupational choice, occupational apartheid, and collective occupation. The use of the term 'consciousness' in sociology, with related or different meanings, is also explored. Occupational consciousness is then advanced as a critical notion that frames everyday doing as a potentially liberating response to oppressive social structures. This paper advances theorizing as a scholarly practice in occupational science, and could potentially expand inter or transdisciplinary work for critical conceptualizations of human occupation.

  7. A mathematical model of embodied consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudrauf, David; Bennequin, Daniel; Granic, Isabela; Landini, Gregory; Friston, Karl; Williford, Kenneth

    2017-09-07

    We introduce a mathematical model of embodied consciousness, the Projective Consciousness Model (PCM), which is based on the hypothesis that the spatial field of consciousness (FoC) is structured by a projective geometry and under the control of a process of active inference. The FoC in the PCM combines multisensory evidence with prior beliefs in memory and frames them by selecting points of view and perspectives according to preferences. The choice of projective frames governs how expectations are transformed by consciousness. Violations of expectation are encoded as free energy. Free energy minimization drives perspective taking, and controls the switch between perception, imagination and action. In the PCM, consciousness functions as an algorithm for the maximization of resilience, using projective perspective taking and imagination in order to escape local minima of free energy. The PCM can account for a variety of psychological phenomena: the characteristic spatial phenomenology of subjective experience, the distinctions and integral relationships between perception, imagination and action, the role of affective processes in intentionality, but also perceptual phenomena such as the dynamics of bistable figures and body swap illusions in virtual reality. It relates phenomenology to function, showing the computational advantages of consciousness. It suggests that changes of brain states from unconscious to conscious reflect the action of projective transformations and suggests specific neurophenomenological hypotheses about the brain, guidelines for designing artificial systems, and formal principles for psychology. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Cortical Neural Synchronization Underlies Primary Visual Consciousness of Qualia: Evidence from Event-Related Potentials

    OpenAIRE

    Babiloni, Claudio; Marzano, Nicola; Soricelli, Andrea; Cordone, Susanna; Mill?n-Calenti, Jos? Carlos; Del Percio, Claudio; Buj?n, Ana

    2016-01-01

    This article reviews three experiments on event-related potentials (ERPs) testing the hypothesis that primary visual consciousness (stimulus self-report) is related to enhanced cortical neural synchronization as a function of stimulus features. ERP peak latency and sources were compared between “seen” trials and “not seen” trials, respectively related and unrelated to the primary visual consciousness. Three salient features of visual stimuli were considered (visuospatial, emotional face expre...

  9. Evaluation of single-stage adjustable strabismus surgery under conscious sedation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharma Pradeep

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: To evaluate the feasibility and stability of ocular alignment after single-stage adjustable strabismus surgery (SSASS performed under topical anesthesia. Materials and Methods: Forty-five patients of concomitant exodeviations were randomized into three groups of 15 cases each and were operated with three different techniques: Group I - conventional surgery, Group II - two-stage adjustable suture technique with suture adjustment performed 6h postoperatively and Group III- SSASS under topical anesthesia and intravenous conscious sedation with midazolam and fentanyl. Intraoperative suture adjustment was done by giving a cross target to the patient on the ceiling at the end of the procedure. Surgical results were compared among the three groups at three months follow-up. Intraoperative hemodynamic parameters and patients′ experience of the surgery (by questionnaire were also compared. Results: Mean preoperative deviation for distance in Groups I, II, III was -41.67 prism diopter (pd ±9.0, -38.93 pd ±11.05 and -41.87 pd ±8.91 ( P =0.6 respectively. At three months, mean correction achieved for distance was +31.87 pd ±11.71, +35.47 pd ±10.86 and +42.80 pd ±10.71 respectively which was significantly different between Group III and Group I ( P =0.03. Intraoperatively all hemodynamic parameters remained stable and comparable ( P =0. 5 in all groups. Intraoperative pain ( P < 0.001 and time taken for surgery ( P < 0.001 was more in the SSASS group. Amount of exodrift was 10-12 pd, comparable in all three groups ( P = 0.5. Conclusions: SSASS, performed under topical anesthesia, is safe and has better outcomes than conventional recession-resection surgery for concomitant exodeviation. An overcorrection of about 10-12 pd is recommended to check the exodrift and achieve stable alignment.

  10. AMisfit Theory of Spontaneous Conscious Odor Perception (MITSCOP: reflections on the role and function of odor memory in everyday life.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Egon P Köster

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Our senses have developed as an answer to the world we live in (Gibson, 1966 and so have the forms of memory that accompany them. All senses serve different purposes and do so in different ways. In vision, where orientation and object recognition are important, memory is strongly linked to identification. In olfaction, the guardian of vital functions such as breathing and food ingestion, perhaps the most important (and least noticed and researched role of odor memory is to help us not to notice the well-known odors or flavors in our everyday surroundings, but to react immediately to the unexpected ones. At the same time it provides us with a feeling of safety when our expectancies are met. All this happens without any smelling intention or conscious knowledge of our expectations. Identification by odor naming is not involved in this and people are notoriously bad at it. Odors are usually best identified via the episodic memory of the situation in which they once occurred. Spontaneous conscious odor perception normally only occurs in situations where attention is demanded, either because the inhaled air or the food smell is particularly good or particularly bad and people search for its source or because people want to actively enjoy the healthiness and pleasantness of their surroundings or food. Odor memory is concerned with novelty detection rather than with recollection of odors. In this paper, these points are illustrated with experimental results and their consequences for doing ecologically valid odor memory research are drawn. Furthermore, suggestions for ecologically valid research on everyday odor memory and some illustrative examples are given.

  11. Learning New Sensorimotor Contingencies: Effects of Long-Term Use of Sensory Augmentation on the Brain and Conscious Perception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schumann, Frank; Keyser, Johannes; Goeke, Caspar; Krause, Carina; Wache, Susan; Lytochkin, Aleksey; Ebert, Manuel; Brunsch, Vincent; Wahn, Basil; Kaspar, Kai; Nagel, Saskia K.; Meilinger, Tobias; Bülthoff, Heinrich; Wolbers, Thomas; Büchel, Christian; König, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Theories of embodied cognition propose that perception is shaped by sensory stimuli and by the actions of the organism. Following sensorimotor contingency theory, the mastery of lawful relations between own behavior and resulting changes in sensory signals, called sensorimotor contingencies, is constitutive of conscious perception. Sensorimotor contingency theory predicts that, after training, knowledge relating to new sensorimotor contingencies develops, leading to changes in the activation of sensorimotor systems, and concomitant changes in perception. In the present study, we spell out this hypothesis in detail and investigate whether it is possible to learn new sensorimotor contingencies by sensory augmentation. Specifically, we designed an fMRI compatible sensory augmentation device, the feelSpace belt, which gives orientation information about the direction of magnetic north via vibrotactile stimulation on the waist of participants. In a longitudinal study, participants trained with this belt for seven weeks in natural environment. Our EEG results indicate that training with the belt leads to changes in sleep architecture early in the training phase, compatible with the consolidation of procedural learning as well as increased sensorimotor processing and motor programming. The fMRI results suggest that training entails activity in sensory as well as higher motor centers and brain areas known to be involved in navigation. These neural changes are accompanied with changes in how space and the belt signal are perceived, as well as with increased trust in navigational ability. Thus, our data on physiological processes and subjective experiences are compatible with the hypothesis that new sensorimotor contingencies can be acquired using sensory augmentation. PMID:27959914

  12. Learning New Sensorimotor Contingencies: Effects of Long-Term Use of Sensory Augmentation on the Brain and Conscious Perception.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabine U König

    Full Text Available Theories of embodied cognition propose that perception is shaped by sensory stimuli and by the actions of the organism. Following sensorimotor contingency theory, the mastery of lawful relations between own behavior and resulting changes in sensory signals, called sensorimotor contingencies, is constitutive of conscious perception. Sensorimotor contingency theory predicts that, after training, knowledge relating to new sensorimotor contingencies develops, leading to changes in the activation of sensorimotor systems, and concomitant changes in perception. In the present study, we spell out this hypothesis in detail and investigate whether it is possible to learn new sensorimotor contingencies by sensory augmentation. Specifically, we designed an fMRI compatible sensory augmentation device, the feelSpace belt, which gives orientation information about the direction of magnetic north via vibrotactile stimulation on the waist of participants. In a longitudinal study, participants trained with this belt for seven weeks in natural environment. Our EEG results indicate that training with the belt leads to changes in sleep architecture early in the training phase, compatible with the consolidation of procedural learning as well as increased sensorimotor processing and motor programming. The fMRI results suggest that training entails activity in sensory as well as higher motor centers and brain areas known to be involved in navigation. These neural changes are accompanied with changes in how space and the belt signal are perceived, as well as with increased trust in navigational ability. Thus, our data on physiological processes and subjective experiences are compatible with the hypothesis that new sensorimotor contingencies can be acquired using sensory augmentation.

  13. Learning New Sensorimotor Contingencies: Effects of Long-Term Use of Sensory Augmentation on the Brain and Conscious Perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    König, Sabine U; Schumann, Frank; Keyser, Johannes; Goeke, Caspar; Krause, Carina; Wache, Susan; Lytochkin, Aleksey; Ebert, Manuel; Brunsch, Vincent; Wahn, Basil; Kaspar, Kai; Nagel, Saskia K; Meilinger, Tobias; Bülthoff, Heinrich; Wolbers, Thomas; Büchel, Christian; König, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Theories of embodied cognition propose that perception is shaped by sensory stimuli and by the actions of the organism. Following sensorimotor contingency theory, the mastery of lawful relations between own behavior and resulting changes in sensory signals, called sensorimotor contingencies, is constitutive of conscious perception. Sensorimotor contingency theory predicts that, after training, knowledge relating to new sensorimotor contingencies develops, leading to changes in the activation of sensorimotor systems, and concomitant changes in perception. In the present study, we spell out this hypothesis in detail and investigate whether it is possible to learn new sensorimotor contingencies by sensory augmentation. Specifically, we designed an fMRI compatible sensory augmentation device, the feelSpace belt, which gives orientation information about the direction of magnetic north via vibrotactile stimulation on the waist of participants. In a longitudinal study, participants trained with this belt for seven weeks in natural environment. Our EEG results indicate that training with the belt leads to changes in sleep architecture early in the training phase, compatible with the consolidation of procedural learning as well as increased sensorimotor processing and motor programming. The fMRI results suggest that training entails activity in sensory as well as higher motor centers and brain areas known to be involved in navigation. These neural changes are accompanied with changes in how space and the belt signal are perceived, as well as with increased trust in navigational ability. Thus, our data on physiological processes and subjective experiences are compatible with the hypothesis that new sensorimotor contingencies can be acquired using sensory augmentation.

  14. Percolation Model of Sensory Transmission and Loss of Consciousness Under General Anesthesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, David W.; Mowrey, David D.; Tang, Pei; Xu, Yan

    2015-09-01

    Neurons communicate with each other dynamically; how such communications lead to consciousness remains unclear. Here, we present a theoretical model to understand the dynamic nature of sensory activity and information integration in a hierarchical network, in which edges are stochastically defined by a single parameter p representing the percolation probability of information transmission. We validate the model by comparing the transmitted and original signal distributions, and we show that a basic version of this model can reproduce key spectral features clinically observed in electroencephalographic recordings of transitions from conscious to unconscious brain activities during general anesthesia. As p decreases, a steep divergence of the transmitted signal from the original was observed, along with a loss of signal synchrony and a sharp increase in information entropy in a critical manner; this resembles the precipitous loss of consciousness during anesthesia. The model offers mechanistic insights into the emergence of information integration from a stochastic process, laying the foundation for understanding the origin of cognition.

  15. [Newborn children under phototherapy: the mother's perception].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campos, Antonia do Carmo Soares; Cardoso, Maria Vera Lúcia Moreira Leitão

    2004-01-01

    Since 1958, phototherapy has been used as a method to cure jaundice, which is still an important disease in newborn children. Supported by a phenomenological and qualitative approach, this study aims to investigate the mothers' perception of the phototherapy treatment their children are submitted to. Research subjects were ten mothers of newborns under phototherapy treatment at the Neonatological Hospitalization Unit of a public maternity in Fortaleza-CE, Brazil. Data were collected between May and July 2002. We used group meetings with the mothers as suggested by Carl Rogers. Discourse was organized into categories according to Bardin, which revealed themes that were analyzed in view of Paterson's and Zderad's humanistic nursing theory, as follows: mothers' knowledge on phototherapy and concerns about the treatment. We concluded that the analyzed mothers' major concern is related to the babies' vision.

  16. Cortical Neural Synchronization Underlies Primary Visual Consciousness of Qualia: Evidence from Event-Related Potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babiloni, Claudio; Marzano, Nicola; Soricelli, Andrea; Cordone, Susanna; Millán-Calenti, José Carlos; Del Percio, Claudio; Buján, Ana

    2016-01-01

    This article reviews three experiments on event-related potentials (ERPs) testing the hypothesis that primary visual consciousness (stimulus self-report) is related to enhanced cortical neural synchronization as a function of stimulus features. ERP peak latency and sources were compared between "seen" trials and "not seen" trials, respectively related and unrelated to the primary visual consciousness. Three salient features of visual stimuli were considered (visuospatial, emotional face expression, and written words). Results showed the typical visual ERP components in both "seen" and "not seen" trials. There was no statistical difference in the ERP peak latencies between the "seen" and "not seen" trials, suggesting a similar timing of the cortical neural synchronization regardless the primary visual consciousness. In contrast, ERP sources showed differences between "seen" and "not seen" trials. For the visuospatial stimuli, the primary consciousness was related to higher activity in dorsal occipital and parietal sources at about 400 ms post-stimulus. For the emotional face expressions, there was greater activity in parietal and frontal sources at about 180 ms post-stimulus. For the written letters, there was higher activity in occipital, parietal and temporal sources at about 230 ms post-stimulus. These results hint that primary visual consciousness is associated with an enhanced cortical neural synchronization having entirely different spatiotemporal characteristics as a function of the features of the visual stimuli and possibly, the relative qualia (i.e., visuospatial, face expression, and words). In this framework, the dorsal visual stream may be synchronized in association with the primary consciousness of visuospatial and emotional face contents. Analogously, both dorsal and ventral visual streams may be synchronized in association with the primary consciousness of linguistic contents. In this line of reasoning, the ensemble of the cortical neural networks

  17. Occupational Consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramugondo, Elelwani L.

    2015-01-01

    Occupational consciousness refers to ongoing awareness of the dynamics of hegemony and recognition that dominant practices are sustained through what people do every day, with implications for personal and collective health. The emergence of the construct in post-apartheid South Africa signifies the country’s ongoing struggle with negotiating long-standing dynamics of power that were laid down during colonialism, and maintained under black majority rule. Consciousness, a key component of the new terminology, is framed from post-colonial perspectives – notably work by Biko and Fanon – and grounded in the philosophy of liberation, in order to draw attention to continuing unequal intersubjective relations that play out through human occupation. The paper also draws important links between occupational consciousness and other related constructs, namely occupational possibilities, occupational choice, occupational apartheid, and collective occupation. The use of the term ‘consciousness’ in sociology, with related or different meanings, is also explored. Occupational consciousness is then advanced as a critical notion that frames everyday doing as a potentially liberating response to oppressive social structures. This paper advances theorizing as a scholarly practice in occupational science, and could potentially expand inter or transdisciplinary work for critical conceptualizations of human occupation. PMID:26549984

  18. The conscious awareness of time distortions regulates the effect of emotion on the perception of time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Droit-Volet, S; Lamotte, M; Izaute, M

    2015-12-15

    This study examined how the awareness of emotion-related time distortions modifies the effect of emotion on time perception. Before performing a temporal bisection task with stimulus durations presented in the form of neutral or emotional facial expressions (angry, disgusted and ashamed faces), some of the participants read a scientific text providing either correct or incorrect information on the emotion-time relationship. Other participants did not receive any information. The results showed that the declarative knowledge allowed the participants to regulate (decrease) the intensity of emotional effects on the perception of time, but did not trigger temporal effects when the emotional stimuli did not automatically induce emotional reactions that distorted time. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Perceptual integration without conscious access.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fahrenfort, Johannes J; van Leeuwen, Jonathan; Olivers, Christian N L; Hogendoorn, Hinze

    2017-04-04

    The visual system has the remarkable ability to integrate fragmentary visual input into a perceptually organized collection of surfaces and objects, a process we refer to as perceptual integration. Despite a long tradition of perception research, it is not known whether access to consciousness is required to complete perceptual integration. To investigate this question, we manipulated access to consciousness using the attentional blink. We show that, behaviorally, the attentional blink impairs conscious decisions about the presence of integrated surface structure from fragmented input. However, despite conscious access being impaired, the ability to decode the presence of integrated percepts remains intact, as shown through multivariate classification analyses of electroencephalogram (EEG) data. In contrast, when disrupting perception through masking, decisions about integrated percepts and decoding of integrated percepts are impaired in tandem, while leaving feedforward representations intact. Together, these data show that access consciousness and perceptual integration can be dissociated.

  20. Objects of consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donald David Hoffman

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Current models of visual perception typically assume that human vision estimates true properties of physical objects, properties that exist even if unperceived. However, recent studies of perceptual evolution, using evolutionary games and genetic algorithms, reveal that natural selection often drives true perceptions to extinction when they compete with perceptions tuned to fitness rather than truth: Perception guides adaptive behavior; it does not estimate a preexisting physical truth. Moreover, shifting from evolutionary biology to quantum physics, there is reason to disbelieve in preexist-ing physical truths: Certain interpretations of quantum theory deny that dynamical properties of physical objects have defi-nite values when unobserved. In some of these interpretations the observer is fundamental, and wave functions are com-pendia of subjective probabilities, not preexisting elements of physical reality. These two considerations, from evolutionary biology and quantum physics, suggest that current models of object perception require fundamental reformulation. Here we begin such a reformulation, starting with a formal model of consciousness that we call a conscious agent. We develop the dynamics of interacting conscious agents, and study how the perception of objects and space-time can emerge from such dynamics. We show that one particular object, the quantum free particle, has a wave function that is identical in form to the harmonic functions that characterize the asymptotic dynamics of conscious agents; particles are vibrations not of strings but of interacting conscious agents. This allows us to reinterpret physical properties such as position, momentum, and energy as properties of interacting conscious agents, rather than as preexisting physical truths. We sketch how this approach might extend to the perception of relativistic quantum objects, and to classical objects of macroscopic scale.

  1. The effects of transcranial direct current stimulation on conscious perception of sensory inputs from hand palm and dorsum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westgeest, Annette; Morales, Merche; Cabib, Christopher; Valls-Sole, Josep

    2014-12-01

    Conscious perception of sensory signals depends in part on stimulus salience, relevance and topography. Letting aside differences at skin receptor level and afferent fibres, it is the CNS that makes a contextual selection of relevant sensory inputs. We hypothesized that subjective awareness (AW) of the time at which a sensory stimulus is perceived, a cortical function, may be differently modified by cortical stimulation, according to site and type of the stimulus. In 24 healthy volunteers, we examined the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on the assessment of AW to heat pain or weak electrical stimuli applied to either the hand palm or dorsum. We also recorded the vertex-evoked potentials to the same stimuli. The assessment was done before, during and after cathodal or anodal tDCS over the parietal cortex contralateral to the hand receiving the stimuli. At baseline, AW to thermal stimuli was significantly longer for palm than for dorsum (P stimulation sites were observed for the electrical stimuli. Both cathodal and anodal tDCS caused a significant shortening of AW to thermal stimuli in the palm but not in the dorsum, and no effects on AW to electrical stimuli. Longer AW in the palm than in the dorsum may be attributable to differences in skin thickness. However, the selectivity of the effects of tDCS on AW to thermal stimulation of the glabrous skin reflects the specificity of CNS processing for site and type of sensory inputs. © 2014 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Consciousness and confidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenthal, David

    2018-02-02

    It is natural to see conscious perceptions as typically bringing with them a degree of confidence about what is perceived. So one might also expect such confidence not to occur if a perception is not conscious. This has resulted in the use of confidence as a test or measure of consciousness, one that may be more reliable and fine-grained than the traditional appeal to subjective report as a test for a perception's being conscious. The following describes theoretical difficulties for the use of confidence as a reliable test for consciousness, which show that confidence is less reliable than subjective report. Difficulties are also presented for the use of confidence ratings in assessing degrees of consciousness, which cast doubt on any advantage confidence might have from being more fine-grained than subjective report. And an explanation is proposed for the wide appeal of using confidence to assess subjective awareness, an explanation that also makes clear why confidence is less reliable than subjective report. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. The informational correlates of conscious and nonconscious face-gender perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willenbockel, Verena; Lepore, Franco; Bacon, Benoit A; Gosselin, Frédéric

    2013-02-08

    We used a face-gender repetition priming paradigm to precisely map the spatial frequencies (SFs) that influence observers' responses under different prime awareness conditions. A visible prime condition was set up by presenting the stimulus sequence mask-blank-prime-blank-mask-target and an invisible prime condition by switching the order of the masks and the blanks (see also Dehaene et al., 2001). The prime faces (~4.6° × 3.1°) were randomly filtered trial-by-trial according to the SF bubbles technique (Willenbockel, Fiset et al., 2010). Classification vectors, derived by summing the SF filters from each trial weighted by observers' transformed response times, revealed that SFs around 12 cycles per face width modulated responses in both prime awareness conditions. The significant SFs closely matched those optimal for accurate performance in a direct face-gender classification paradigm. Surprisingly, the significant SFs facilitated observers' responses in the visible prime condition, whereas they slowed responses in the invisible prime condition. Our findings suggest that SF tuning per se remains robust under different prime awareness conditions but that diagnostic visual cues might be utilized in a qualitatively different fashion as a function of awareness.

  4. Using brain stimulation to disentangle neural correlates of conscious vision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Graaf, Tom A; Sack, Alexander T

    2014-01-01

    Research into the neural correlates of consciousness (NCCs) has blossomed, due to the advent of new and increasingly sophisticated brain research tools. Neuroimaging has uncovered a variety of brain processes that relate to conscious perception, obtained in a range of experimental paradigms. But methods such as functional magnetic resonance imaging or electroencephalography do not always afford inference on the functional role these brain processes play in conscious vision. Such empirical NCCs could reflect neural prerequisites, neural consequences, or neural substrates of a conscious experience. Here, we take a closer look at the use of non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) techniques in this context. We discuss and review how NIBS methodology can enlighten our understanding of brain mechanisms underlying conscious vision by disentangling the empirical NCCs.

  5. Using brain stimulation to disentangle neural correlates of conscious vision

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Graaf, Tom A.; Sack, Alexander T.

    2014-01-01

    Research into the neural correlates of consciousness (NCCs) has blossomed, due to the advent of new and increasingly sophisticated brain research tools. Neuroimaging has uncovered a variety of brain processes that relate to conscious perception, obtained in a range of experimental paradigms. But methods such as functional magnetic resonance imaging or electroencephalography do not always afford inference on the functional role these brain processes play in conscious vision. Such empirical NCCs could reflect neural prerequisites, neural consequences, or neural substrates of a conscious experience. Here, we take a closer look at the use of non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) techniques in this context. We discuss and review how NIBS methodology can enlighten our understanding of brain mechanisms underlying conscious vision by disentangling the empirical NCCs. PMID:25295015

  6. From sensation to perception: Using multivariate classification of visual illusions to identify neural correlates of conscious awareness in space and time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogendoorn, Hinze

    2015-01-01

    An important goal of cognitive neuroscience is understanding the neural underpinnings of conscious awareness. Although the low-level processing of sensory input is well understood in most modalities, it remains a challenge to understand how the brain translates such input into conscious awareness. Here, I argue that the application of multivariate pattern classification techniques to neuroimaging data acquired while observers experience perceptual illusions provides a unique way to dissociate sensory mechanisms from mechanisms underlying conscious awareness. Using this approach, it is possible to directly compare patterns of neural activity that correspond to the contents of awareness, independent from changes in sensory input, and to track these neural representations over time at high temporal resolution. I highlight five recent studies using this approach, and provide practical considerations and limitations for future implementations.

  7. Sociolinguistic Perception as Inference Under Uncertainty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinschmidt, Dave F; Weatherholtz, Kodi; Florian Jaeger, T

    2018-03-15

    Social and linguistic perceptions are linked. On one hand, talker identity affects speech perception. On the other hand, speech itself provides information about a talker's identity. Here, we propose that the same probabilistic knowledge might underlie both socially conditioned linguistic inferences and linguistically conditioned social inferences. Our computational-level approach-the ideal adapter-starts from the idea that listeners use probabilistic knowledge of covariation between social, linguistic, and acoustic cues in order to infer the most likely explanation of the speech signals they hear. As a first step toward understanding social inferences in this framework, we use a simple ideal observer model to show that it would be possible to infer aspects of a talker's identity using cue distributions based on actual speech production data. This suggests the possibility of a single formal framework for social and linguistic inferences and the interactions between them. Copyright © 2018 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  8. Animal consciousness

    OpenAIRE

    Bernard, Emilie; Boissy, Alain; Boivin, Xavier; Calandreau, Ludovic; Delon, Nicolas; Deputte, Bertrand; Desmoulin‐Canselier, Sonia; Dunier, Muriel; Faivre, Nathan; Giurfa, Martin; Guichet, Jean‐Luc; Lansade, Léa; Larrère, Raphaël; Mormède, Pierre; Prunet, Patrick

    2017-01-01

    After reviewing the literature on current knowledge about consciousness in humans, we present a state-of-the art discussion on consciousness and related key concepts in animals. Obviously much fewer publications are available on non-human species than on humans, most of them relating to laboratory or wild animal species, and only few to livestock species. Human consciousness is by definition subjective and private. Animal consciousness is usually assessed through behavioural performance. Beha...

  9. Consciousness, biology and quantum hypotheses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baars, Bernard J; Edelman, David B

    2012-09-01

    Natural phenomena are reducible to quantum events in principle, but quantum mechanics does not always provide the best level of analysis. The many-body problem, chaotic avalanches, materials properties, biological organisms, and weather systems are better addressed at higher levels. Animals are highly organized, goal-directed, adaptive, selectionist, information-preserving, functionally redundant, multicellular, quasi-autonomous, highly mobile, reproducing, dissipative systems that conserve many fundamental features over remarkably long periods of time at the species level. Animal brains consist of massive, layered networks of specialized signaling cells with 10,000 communication points per cell, and interacting up to 1000 Hz. Neurons begin to divide and differentiate very early in gestation, and continue to develop until middle age. Waking brains operate far from thermodynamic equilibrium under delicate homeostatic control, making them extremely sensitive to a range of physical and chemical stimuli, highly adaptive, and able to produce a remarkable range of goal-relevant actions. Consciousness is "a difference that makes a difference" at the level of massive neuronal interactions in the most parallel-interactive anatomical structure of the mammalian brain, the cortico-thalamic (C-T) system. Other brain structures are not established to result in direct conscious experiences, at least in humans. However, indirect extra-cortical influences on the C-T system are pervasive. Learning, brain plasticity and major life adaptations may require conscious cognition. While brains evolved over hundreds of millions of years, and individual brains grow over months, years and decades, conscious events appear to have a duty cycle of ∼100 ms, fading after a few seconds. They can of course be refreshed by inner rehearsal, re-visualization, or attending to recurrent stimulus sources. These very distinctive brain events are needed when animals seek out and cope with new

  10. Consciousness, biology and quantum hypotheses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baars, Bernard J.; Edelman, David B.

    2012-09-01

    Natural phenomena are reducible to quantum events in principle, but quantum mechanics does not always provide the best level of analysis. The many-body problem, chaotic avalanches, materials properties, biological organisms, and weather systems are better addressed at higher levels. Animals are highly organized, goal-directed, adaptive, selectionist, information-preserving, functionally redundant, multicellular, quasi-autonomous, highly mobile, reproducing, dissipative systems that conserve many fundamental features over remarkably long periods of time at the species level. Animal brains consist of massive, layered networks of specialized signaling cells with 10,000 communication points per cell, and interacting up to 1000 Hz. Neurons begin to divide and differentiate very early in gestation, and continue to develop until middle age. Waking brains operate far from thermodynamic equilibrium under delicate homeostatic control, making them extremely sensitive to a range of physical and chemical stimuli, highly adaptive, and able to produce a remarkable range of goal-relevant actions. Consciousness is “a difference that makes a difference” at the level of massive neuronal interactions in the most parallel-interactive anatomical structure of the mammalian brain, the cortico-thalamic (C-T) system. Other brain structures are not established to result in direct conscious experiences, at least in humans. However, indirect extra-cortical influences on the C-T system are pervasive. Learning, brain plasticity and major life adaptations may require conscious cognition. While brains evolved over hundreds of millions of years, and individual brains grow over months, years and decades, conscious events appear to have a duty cycle of ∼100 ms, fading after a few seconds. They can of course be refreshed by inner rehearsal, re-visualization, or attending to recurrent stimulus sources. These very distinctive brain events are needed when animals seek out and cope with new

  11. Seeing and feeling architecture: how bodily self-consciousness alters architectonic experience and affects the perception of interiors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabella ePasqualini

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Over the centuries architectural theory evolved several notions of embodiment, proposing in the 19th and 20th century that architectonic experience is related to physiological responses of the observer. Recent advances in the cognitive neuroscience of embodiment (or bodily self-consciousness enable empirical studies of architectonic embodiment. Here, we investigated how architecture modulates bodily self-consciousness by adapting a video-based virtual reality setup previously used to investigate visuo-tactile mechanisms of bodily self-consciousness. While standing in two different interiors, participants were filmed from behind and watched their own virtual body online on a head-mounted display. Visuo-tactile strokes were applied in synchronous or asynchronous mode to the participants and their virtual body. Two interiors were simulated in the laboratory by placing the sidewalls either far or near from the participants, generating a large and narrow room. We tested if bodily self-consciousness was differently modulated when participants were exposed to both rooms and whether these changes depend on visuo-tactile stimulation. We measured illusory touch, self-identification and performed length estimations. Our data show that synchronous stroking of the physical and the virtual body induces illusory touch and self-identification with the virtual body, independent of room-size. Moreover, in the narrow room we observed weak feelings of illusory touch with the sidewalls and of approaching walls. These subjective changes were complemented by a stroking-dependent modulation of length estimation only in the narrow room with participants judging the room-size more accurately during conditions of illusory self-identification. We discuss our findings and previous notions of architectonic embodiment in the context of the cognitive neuroscience of bodily self-consciousness and propose an empirical framework grounded in architecture, cognitive neuroscience

  12. Perceptual consciousness overflows cognitive access.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Block, Ned

    2011-12-01

    One of the most important issues concerning the foundations of conscious perception centers on the question of whether perceptual consciousness is rich or sparse. The overflow argument uses a form of 'iconic memory' to argue that perceptual consciousness is richer (i.e., has a higher capacity) than cognitive access: when observing a complex scene we are conscious of more than we can report or think about. Recently, the overflow argument has been challenged both empirically and conceptually. This paper reviews the controversy, arguing that proponents of sparse perception are committed to the postulation of (i) a peculiar kind of generic conscious representation that has no independent rationale and (ii) an unmotivated form of unconscious representation that in some cases conflicts with what we know about unconscious representation. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. A frontal but not parietal neural correlate of auditory consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brancucci, Alfredo; Lugli, Victor; Perrucci, Mauro Gianni; Del Gratta, Cosimo; Tommasi, Luca

    2016-01-01

    Hemodynamic correlates of consciousness were investigated in humans during the presentation of a dichotic sequence inducing illusory auditory percepts with features analogous to visual multistability. The sequence consisted of a variation of the original stimulation eliciting the Deutsch's octave illusion, created to maintain a stable illusory percept long enough to allow the detection of the underlying hemodynamic activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Two specular 500 ms dichotic stimuli (400 and 800 Hz) presented in alternation by means of earphones cause an illusory segregation of pitch and ear of origin which can yield up to four different auditory percepts per dichotic stimulus. Such percepts are maintained stable when one of the two dichotic stimuli is presented repeatedly for 6 s, immediately after the alternation. We observed hemodynamic activity specifically accompanying conscious experience of pitch in a bilateral network including the superior frontal gyrus (SFG, BA9 and BA10), medial frontal gyrus (BA6 and BA9), insula (BA13), and posterior lateral nucleus of the thalamus. Conscious experience of side (ear of origin) was instead specifically accompanied by bilateral activity in the MFG (BA6), STG (BA41), parahippocampal gyrus (BA28), and insula (BA13). These results suggest that the neural substrate of auditory consciousness, differently from that of visual consciousness, may rest upon a fronto-temporal rather than upon a fronto-parietal network. Moreover, they indicate that the neural correlates of consciousness depend on the specific features of the stimulus and suggest the SFG-MFG and the insula as important cortical nodes for auditory conscious experience.

  14. Consciousness disintegrates without conscious vectors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodovitz, Steven

    2008-01-01

    Consciousness is discontinuous. The transition from the raw output of parallel, distributed processors into the unified, serial content of consciousness is not instantaneous. Consciousness is divided into discrete cycles, yet appears to be continuous. The continuity requires temporal integration. The simplest mechanism is the calculation of the direction and magnitude of change from one conscious cycle to the next and then the fusion of these conscious vectors with the content of subsequent cycles. This mechanism, while putative, has supporting evidence. It is based on the same mechanism as motion vision, in which motion vectors are calculated in MT/V5 and then fused with discrete images. Moreover, it is based on the known separation of cognitive timing in the brain, in which temporal integrity is maintained in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the rest of the content of consciousness is maintained in the rest of the cortex. In fact, limited activity of the PFC matches the predicted effects of the absence of conscious vectors: thoughts strobe and consciousness disintegrates into a series of discrete cycles. The PFC, for example, is one of the primary brain regions deactivated during dreaming, when thoughts shift without any awareness of the transitions. In addition, the PFC is immature in infants, when there is no memory of the experience of consciousness because there is no temporal integrity to assemble the discrete cycles into a coherent experience. Without temporal integration, the human brain is an advanced biological computer, but is not sentient.

  15. Manipulation of pre-target activity on the right frontal eye field enhances conscious visual perception in humans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorena Chanes

    Full Text Available The right Frontal Eye Field (FEF is a region of the human brain, which has been consistently involved in visuo-spatial attention and access to consciousness. Nonetheless, the extent of this cortical site's ability to influence specific aspects of visual performance remains debated. We hereby manipulated pre-target activity on the right FEF and explored its influence on the detection and categorization of low-contrast near-threshold visual stimuli. Our data show that pre-target frontal neurostimulation has the potential when used alone to induce enhancements of conscious visual detection. More interestingly, when FEF stimulation was combined with visuo-spatial cues, improvements remained present only for trials in which the cue correctly predicted the location of the subsequent target. Our data provide evidence for the causal role of the right FEF pre-target activity in the modulation of human conscious vision and reveal the dependence of such neurostimulatory effects on the state of activity set up by cue validity in the dorsal attentional orienting network.

  16. Conscious Belief

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Pitt

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Tim Crane maintains that beliefs cannot be conscious because they persist in the absence of consciousness. Conscious judgments can share their contents with beliefs, and their occurrence can be evidence for what one believes; but they cannot be beliefs, because they don’t persist. I challenge Crane’s premise that belief attributions to the temporarily unconscious are literally true. To say of an unconscious agent that she believes that p is like saying that she sings well. To say she sings well is to say that when she sings, her singing is good. To say that she believes that p is (roughly to say that when she consciously considers the content that p she consciously affirms (believes it. I also argue that the phenomenal view of intentional content Crane appears to endorse prima facie commits him to the view, at least controversial, perhaps incoherent, that there is unconscious phenomenology (the intentional contents of unconscious beliefs.

  17. Perception of time under conditions of brief weightlessness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lebedev, V. I.; Chekidra, I. F.; Kolosov, I. A.

    1975-01-01

    Results of experiments under conditions of brief weightlessness confirmed the theoretical concepts of the dependence of time perception on the emotional state of a man. The time test, together with other methods, can be used to precisely define the emotional state of subjects in stress situations.

  18. Perception of Childhood Immunization among Mothers of Under ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This work is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. 59. Perception of. Childhood .... these successes, immunization is an unfinished agenda. An estimated 19.3 million ...

  19. The nature of consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ignacio Morgado Bernal

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Consciousness is a unified state of mind, a qualitative and subjective state. And one of its most special forms is self-awareness, which allows us to be aware that we are aware and reflect on our own thoughts (section 1. This consciousness endows the human being with the ability to interpret the world and also respond to it. Thus (therefore, thanks to qualia, we have the ability to behave according to the circumstances (section 2. It is important to know the brain correlates and causes that give rise to consciousness. The capacity to be conscious lies in the cerebral cortex. The unity of perception might be related to the synchronization of neurons or functional integration (section 3. However, the problem of consciousness is not only to know its nature (material, but also to know how the emergence of the subjective imagination occurs, question for which no answer exists at the moment and even if it did it would not have any practical benefit for the species (section 4.

  20. S6-3: Using Visual Consciousness to Explore Mental Imagery and Visual Working Memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joel Pearson

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Our ability to be conscious of the world around us is often discussed as one of the most amazing yet enigmatic processes under scientific investigation today. However, our ability to imagine the world around us in the absence of stimulation from that world is perhaps even more amazing. This talk will cover new methods for investigating mental imagery, its influence on visual perception, and its role in visual working memory. Mental imagery can have a pronounced facilitatory influence on subsequent conscious perception. Likewise, metacognitive reports of individual episodes of imagery can predict its influence on subsequent perception. These effects of imagery on conscious perception can also be used to predict an individual's ability to hold visual spatial information in working memory.

  1. The Neurogenetic Correlates of Consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grandy, John K.

    2013-09-01

    The neurogenetic correlates of consciousness (NgCC) is a new field of consciousness studies that focuses on genes that have an effect on or are involved in the continuum of neuron-based consciousness. A framework of consciousness based on the neural correlates of consciousness (NCC) has already been established by Francis Crick and Christof Kock. In this work I propose that there are NgCC underlying the NCC which are both active during the conscious experience. So how are genes involved? There are two significant connections between DNA and neurons that are involved in the conscious experience. First, any brain system can be adversely affected by underlying genetic abnormalities which can be expressed in an individual at birth, in adulthood, or later in life. Second, the DNA molecule does not lay dormant while the neuron runs on autopilot. DNA is active in translating and transcribing RNA and protein products that are utilized during neuron functioning. Without these products being continuously produced by the DNA during a conscious experience the neurons would cease to function correctly and be rendered unable to provide a continuum of human consciousness. Consequently, in addition to NCC, NgCC must be factored in when appreciating a conscious event. In this work I will discuss and explain some NgCC citing several examples.

  2. Perception and Cognition Are Largely Independent, but Still Affect Each Other in Systematic Ways: Arguments from Evolution and the Consciousness-Attention Dissociation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montemayor, Carlos; Haladjian, Harry H.

    2017-01-01

    The main thesis of this paper is that two prevailing theories about cognitive penetration are too extreme, namely, the view that cognitive penetration is pervasive and the view that there is a sharp and fundamental distinction between cognition and perception, which precludes any type of cognitive penetration. These opposite views have clear merits and empirical support. To eliminate this puzzling situation, we present an alternative theoretical approach that incorporates the merits of these views into a broader and more nuanced explanatory framework. A key argument we present in favor of this framework concerns the evolution of intentionality and perceptual capacities. An implication of this argument is that cases of cognitive penetration must have evolved more recently and that this is compatible with the cognitive impenetrability of early perceptual stages of processing information. A theoretical approach that explains why this should be the case is the consciousness and attention dissociation framework. The paper discusses why concepts, particularly issues concerning concept acquisition, play an important role in the interaction between perception and cognition. PMID:28174551

  3. Neural correlates of consciousness: progress and problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Christof; Massimini, Marcello; Boly, Melanie; Tononi, Giulio

    2016-05-01

    There have been a number of advances in the search for the neural correlates of consciousness--the minimum neural mechanisms sufficient for any one specific conscious percept. In this Review, we describe recent findings showing that the anatomical neural correlates of consciousness are primarily localized to a posterior cortical hot zone that includes sensory areas, rather than to a fronto-parietal network involved in task monitoring and reporting. We also discuss some candidate neurophysiological markers of consciousness that have proved illusory, and measures of differentiation and integration of neural activity that offer more promising quantitative indices of consciousness.

  4. Learning New Sensorimotor Contingencies: Effects of Long-Term Use of Sensory Augmentation on the Brain and Conscious Perception

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    König, Sabine U.; Schumann, Frank; Keyser, Johannes; Goeke, Caspar; Krause, Carina; Wache, Susan; Lytochkin, Aleksey; Ebert, Manuel; Brunsch, Vincent; Wahn, Basil; Kaspar, Kai; Nagel, Saskia K.; Nagel, Saskia Kathi; Meilinger, Tobias; Bülthoff, Heinrich; Wolbers, Thomas; Büchel, Christian; König, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Theories of embodied cognition propose that perception is shaped by sensory stimuli and by the actions of the organism. Following sensorimotor contingency theory, the mastery of lawful relations between own behavior and resulting changes in sensory signals, called sensorimotor contingencies, is

  5. Learning new sensorimotor contingencies: Effects of long-term use of sensory augmentation on the brain and conscious perception

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    König, S.U.; Schumann, F.; Keyser, J.; Goeke, C.M.; Krause, C.; Wache, S.; Lytochkin, A.; Ebert, M.; Brunsch, V.; Wahn, B.; Kaspar, K.; Nagel, S.K.; Meilinger, T.; Bülthoff, H.H.; Wolbers, T.; Büchel, C.; König, P.

    2016-01-01

    Theories of embodied cognition propose that perception is shaped by sensory stimuli and by the actions of the organism. Following sensorimotor contingency theory, the mastery of lawful relations between own behavior and resulting changes in sensory signals, called sensorimotor contingencies, is

  6. A “Misfit” Theory of Spontaneous Conscious Odor Perception (MITSCOP): reflections on the role and function of odor memory in everyday life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köster, Egon P.; Møller, Per; Mojet, Jozina

    2014-01-01

    Our senses have developed as an answer to the world we live in (Gibson, 1966) and so have the forms of memory that accompany them. All senses serve different purposes and do so in different ways. In vision, where orientation and object recognition are important, memory is strongly linked to identification. In olfaction, the guardian of vital functions such as breathing and food ingestion, perhaps the most important (and least noticed and researched) role of odor memory is to help us not to notice the well-known odors or flavors in our everyday surroundings, but to react immediately to the unexpected ones. At the same time it provides us with a feeling of safety when our expectancies are met. All this happens without any smelling intention or conscious knowledge of our expectations. Identification by odor naming is not involved in this and people are notoriously bad at it. Odors are usually best identified via the episodic memory of the situation in which they once occurred. Spontaneous conscious odor perception normally only occurs in situations where attention is demanded, either because the inhaled air or the food smell is particularly good or particularly bad and people search for its source or because people want to actively enjoy the healthiness and pleasantness of their surroundings or food. Odor memory is concerned with novelty detection rather than with recollection of odors. In this paper, these points are illustrated with experimental results and their consequences for doing ecologically valid odor memory research are drawn. Furthermore, suggestions for ecologically valid research on everyday odor memory and some illustrative examples are given. PMID:24575059

  7. Consciousness extended

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carrara-Augustenborg, Claudia

    2012-01-01

    There is no consensus yet regarding a conceptualization of consciousness able to accommodate all the features of such complex phenomenon. Different theoretical and empirical models lend strength to both the occurrence of a non-accessible informational broadcast, and to the mobilization of specific...... brain areas responsible for the emergence of the individual´s explicit and variable access to given segments of such broadcast. Rather than advocating one model over others, this chapter proposes to broaden the conceptualization of consciousness by letting it embrace both mechanisms. Within...... such extended framework, I propose conceptual and functional distinctions between consciousness (global broadcast of information), awareness (individual´s ability to access the content of such broadcast) and unconsciousness (focally isolated neural activations). My hypothesis is that a demarcation in terms...

  8. Creative Consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashok Natarajan

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Consciousness is creative. That creativity expresses in myriad ways – as moments in time in which decades of progress can be achieved overnight, as organizational innovations of immense power for social accomplishment; as creative social values that further influence the evolution of organizations and society; as the creativity of individuality in the leader, genius, artist and inventor; as social creativity that converts raw human experience into civilization; as cultural creativity that transforms human relationships into sources of rich emotional capacity; and as value-based educational creativity that can awaken and nurture young minds to develop and discover their own inherent capacity for knowledge in freedom. Through such moments do society and humanity evolve. Education is society’s most advanced institution for conscious social evolution. Values are the essence of society’s knowledge for highest accomplishment. Education that imparts values is an evolutionary social organization that can hasten the emergence of that creative consciousness.

  9. Demodernizing Consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Peter L.; And Others

    1973-01-01

    Youth culture and counterculture in contemporary Western societies are complex phenomena that may be viewed from a variety of social science perspectives. The authors analyze these cultures as embodiments of demodernizing consciousness with which they hold they have considerable firsthand experience. (RJ)

  10. Values underlying perceptions of breach of the psychological contract

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leon Botha

    2010-10-01

    Research purpose: The study identifies the most important breaches and investigates which values underlie employee perceptions of breach of the psychological contract. It also addresses values that lead to employees interpreting incidents as breaches. Motivation for the study: The study calls on the fact that employees make inconsequential contributions to the terms of many formal employment contracts may imply that such contracts cannot be viewed as documents between equals. Research design, approach and method: The study identifies the most prominent breaches of the psychological contract and the values underlying the perceptions that violations have occurred. Main findings: The data revealed lack of promotion, poor interpersonal relations between colleagues and bad treatment by seniors as three main breaches of the contract, and social recognition, world of peace and sense of accomplishment as three dominant values that underlie perceptions of contract violation. Practical/managerial implications: The competent and intelligent manner in which lack of promotion is handled and communicated to employees is vital because it has implications for their willingness to contribute, their career prospects and their intention to stay in the organisation. Contribution/value-add: This research can serve as the basis for the development of survey or research instruments that are appropriate and relevant to the population.

  11. What explains consciousness? Or…What consciousness explains?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dulany, Donelson E

    2014-01-01

    In this invited commentary I focus on the topic addressed in three papers: De Sousa's (2013[1617]) Toward an Integrative Theory of Consciousness, a monograph with Parts 1 & 2, as well as commentaries by Pereira (2013a[59]) and Hirstein (2013[42]). All three are impressively scholarly and can stand-and shout-on their own. But theory of consciousness? My aim is to slice that topic into the two fundamentally different kinds of theories of consciousness, say what appears to be an ideology, out of behaviourism into cognitivism, now also influencing the quest for an "explanation of consciousness" in cognitive neuroscience. I will then say what can be expected given what we know of the complexity of brain structure, the richness of a conscious "vocabulary", and current technological limits of brain imaging. This will then turn to the strategy for examining "what consciousness explains"-metatheory, theories, mappings, and a methodology of competitive support, a methodology especially important where there are competing commitments. There are also increasingly common identifications of methodological bias in, along with failures to replicate, studies reporting unconscious controls in decision, social priming-as there have been in perception, learning, problem solving, etc. The literature critique has provided evidence taken as reducing, and in some cases eliminating, a role for conscious controls-a position consistent with that ideology out of behaviourism into cognitivism. It is an ideological position that fails to recognize the fundamental distinction between theoretical and metaphysical assertions.

  12. Neuroimaging of consciousness

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cavanna, Andrea Eugenio; UCL Institute of Neurology, London; Nani, Andrea; Blumenfeld, Hal; Laureys, Steven

    2013-01-01

    An important reference work on a multidisciplinary and rapidly expanding area. Particular focus on the relevance of neuroimaging for the diagnosis and treatment of common neuropsychiatric disorders affecting consciousness. Written by world-class experts in the field. Relevant for clinicians, researchers, and scholars across different specialties. Within the field of neuroscience, the past few decades have witnessed an exponential growth of research into the brain mechanisms underlying both normal and pathological states of consciousness in humans. The development of sophisticated imaging techniques (above all fMRI and PET) to visualize and map brain activity in vivo has opened new avenues in our understanding of the pathological processes involved in common neuropsychiatric disorders affecting consciousness, such as epilepsy, coma, vegetative states, dissociative disorders, and dementia. This book presents the state of the art in neuroimaging exploration of the brain correlates of the alterations in consciousness across these conditions, with a particular focus on the potential applications for diagnosis and management. Although the book has a practical approach and is primarily targeted at neurologists, neuroradiologists, and psychiatrists, a wide range of researchers and health care professionals will find it an essential reference that explains the significance of neuroimaging of consciousness for clinical practice. Within the field of neuroscience, the past few decades have witnessed an exponential growth of research into the brain mechanisms underlying both normal and pathological states of consciousness in humans. The development of sophisticated imaging techniques (above all fMRI and PET) to visualize and map brain activity in vivo has opened new avenues in our understanding of the pathological processes involved in common neuropsychiatric disorders affecting consciousness, such as epilepsy, coma, vegetative states, dissociative disorders, and dementia. This

  13. Neuroimaging of consciousness

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cavanna, Andrea Eugenio [Birmingham Univ. (United Kingdom). Dept. of Neuropsychiatry; UCL Institute of Neurology, London (United Kingdom). Sobell Dept. of Motor, Neuroscience and Movement Disorders; Nani, Andrea [Birmingham Univ. (United Kingdom). Research Group BSMHFT; Blumenfeld, Hal [Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT (United States). Depts. of Neurology, Neurobiology and Neurosurgery; Laureys, Steven (ed.) [Liege Univ. (Belgium). Cyclotron Research Centre

    2013-07-01

    An important reference work on a multidisciplinary and rapidly expanding area. Particular focus on the relevance of neuroimaging for the diagnosis and treatment of common neuropsychiatric disorders affecting consciousness. Written by world-class experts in the field. Relevant for clinicians, researchers, and scholars across different specialties. Within the field of neuroscience, the past few decades have witnessed an exponential growth of research into the brain mechanisms underlying both normal and pathological states of consciousness in humans. The development of sophisticated imaging techniques (above all fMRI and PET) to visualize and map brain activity in vivo has opened new avenues in our understanding of the pathological processes involved in common neuropsychiatric disorders affecting consciousness, such as epilepsy, coma, vegetative states, dissociative disorders, and dementia. This book presents the state of the art in neuroimaging exploration of the brain correlates of the alterations in consciousness across these conditions, with a particular focus on the potential applications for diagnosis and management. Although the book has a practical approach and is primarily targeted at neurologists, neuroradiologists, and psychiatrists, a wide range of researchers and health care professionals will find it an essential reference that explains the significance of neuroimaging of consciousness for clinical practice. Within the field of neuroscience, the past few decades have witnessed an exponential growth of research into the brain mechanisms underlying both normal and pathological states of consciousness in humans. The development of sophisticated imaging techniques (above all fMRI and PET) to visualize and map brain activity in vivo has opened new avenues in our understanding of the pathological processes involved in common neuropsychiatric disorders affecting consciousness, such as epilepsy, coma, vegetative states, dissociative disorders, and dementia. This

  14. The conscious access hypothesis: Explaining the consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prakash, Ravi

    2008-01-01

    The phenomenon of conscious awareness or consciousness is complicated but fascinating. Although this concept has intrigued the mankind since antiquity, exploration of consciousness from scientific perspectives is not very old. Among myriad of theories regarding nature, functions and mechanism of consciousness, off late, cognitive theories have received wider acceptance. One of the most exciting hypotheses in recent times has been the "conscious access hypotheses" based on the "global workspace model of consciousness". It underscores an important property of consciousness, the global access of information in cerebral cortex. Present article reviews the "conscious access hypothesis" in terms of its theoretical underpinnings as well as experimental supports it has received.

  15. Brain, conscious experience and the observing self

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baars, Bernard J.; Ramsøy, Thomas; Laureys, Steven

    2003-01-01

    Conscious perception, like the sight of a coffee cup, seems to involve the brain identifying a stimulus. But conscious input activates more brain regions than are needed to identify coffee cups and faces. It spreads beyond sensory cortex to frontoparietal association areas, which do not serve...... as properties of the subject, rather than the object, of experience - the 'observing self' that appears to be needed to maintain the conscious state...

  16. A framework for consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crick, Francis; Koch, Christof

    2003-02-01

    Here we 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.

  17. Brain, conscious experience and the observing self

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baars, Bernard J.; Ramsøy, Thomas; Laureys, Steven

    2003-01-01

    Conscious perception, like the sight of a coffee cup, seems to involve the brain identifying a stimulus. But conscious input activates more brain regions than are needed to identify coffee cups and faces. It spreads beyond sensory cortex to frontoparietal association areas, which do not serve...

  18. A mathematical model of embodied consciousness

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rudrauf, D.; Bennequin, D.; Granic, I.; Landini, G.; Friston, K.; Williford, K.

    2017-01-01

    We introduce a mathematical model of embodied consciousness, the Projective Consciousness Model (PCM), which is based on the hypothesis that the spatial field of consciousness (FoC) is structured by a projective geometry and under the control of a process of active inference. The FoC in the PCM

  19. Concepts are not represented by conscious imagery

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    D. Pecher (Diane); S. van Dantzig (Saskia); H.N.J. Schifferstien (Hendrik)

    2009-01-01

    textabstractAccording to theories of grounded cognition, conceptual representation and perception share processing mechanisms. We investigated whether this overlap is due to conscious perceptual imagery. Participants filled out questionnaires to assess the vividness of their imagery (Questionnaire

  20. Perceptual integration without conscious access

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fahrenfort, Johannes J.; Van Leeuwen, Jonathan; Olivers, Christian N.L.; Hogendoorn, Hinze

    2017-01-01

    The visual system has the remarkable ability to integrate fragmentary visual input into a perceptually organized collection of surfaces and objects, a process we refer to as perceptual integration. Despite a long tradition of perception research, it is not known whether access to consciousness is

  1. The conscious access hypothesis: Explaining the consciousness

    OpenAIRE

    Prakash, Ravi

    2008-01-01

    The phenomenon of conscious awareness or consciousness is complicated but fascinating. Although this concept has intrigued the mankind since antiquity, exploration of consciousness from scientific perspectives is not very old. Among myriad of theories regarding nature, functions and mechanism of consciousness, off late, cognitive theories have received wider acceptance. One of the most exciting hypotheses in recent times has been the ?conscious access hypotheses? based on the ?global workspac...

  2. The Emerging Physics of Consciousness

    CERN Document Server

    Tuszynski, Jack A

    2006-01-01

    Consciousness remains one of the major unsolved problems in science. How do the feelings and sensations making up conscious experience arise from the concerted actions of nerve cells and their associated synaptic and molecular processes? Can such feelings be explained by modern science, or is there an entirely different kind of explanation needed? And how can this seemingly intractable problem be approached experimentally? How do the operations of the conscious mind emerge out of the specific interactions involving billions of neurons? This book seeks answers to these questions on the underlying assumption that consciousness can be understood using the intellectual potential of modern physics and other sciences. There are a number of theories of consciousness, some based on classical physics while others require the use of quantum concepts. The latter ones have drawn criticism from the parts of the scientific establishment while simultaneously claiming that classical approaches are doomed to failure. The cont...

  3. From sensation to perception: : Using multivariate classification of visual illusions to identify neural correlates of conscious awareness in space and time

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hogendoorn, Hinze

    2015-01-01

    An important goal of cognitive neuroscience is understanding the neural underpinnings of conscious awareness. Although the low-level processing of sensory input is well understood in most modalities, it remains a challenge to understand how the brain translates such input into conscious awareness.

  4. Preoperative Anxiety and Its Influence on Patient and Surgeon Satisfaction in Patients Receiving Dental Implant Surgeries Performed Under Intravenous Conscious Sedation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bovaira, Maite; Herrero Babiloni, Alberto; Jovaní, María; Peñarrocha-Diago, Miguel; González-Lemonnier, Sandra; Peñarrocha-Oltra, David

    The aims of this study were to evaluate the relationship of age, sex, and type and duration of the surgery with preoperative anxiety in patients undergoing dental implant surgeries under intravenous conscious sedation, and to assess preoperative anxiety association with the postoperative satisfaction of both the patient and surgeon. This prospective study included 180 patients receiving dental implant surgeries under intravenous conscious sedation by means of midazolam, fentanyl, and propofol. Preoperative anxiety (Corah Dental Anxiety Scale), number of implants, duration of surgery, surgeon satisfaction (evaluated as three categories: patient too awake and nervous, adequate sedation, or patient too asleep), and patient satisfaction (classified as five levels: agreeable, neither agreeable nor disagreeable, slightly uncomfortable, unpleasant, traumatic) were recorded. All 180 patients completed the study, and 72.2% of them experienced moderate or high levels of anxiety. The mean Corah scale score was 9.2 ± 3.5. Anxiety was significantly higher among men but showed no relation to age. A significant relationship was found between patient anxiety and the number of implants: those patients who received eight or more implants, with a duration of surgery longer than 60 minutes, had lower anxiety. Surgeon satisfaction was adequate in 90% of the cases. Patients evaluated the procedure as agreeable in 34.4% of cases, neither agreeable nor disagreeable in 26.7%, slightly uncomfortable in 29.4%, unpleasant in 7.8%, and traumatic in 1.7%. High anxiety levels were related with poor patient satisfaction but not with surgeon satisfaction. Preoperative anxiety was moderate or high in two-thirds of patients undergoing dental implant surgeries, having a negative influence on patient satisfaction, but not affecting surgeon satisfaction. Additionally, the intravenous conscious sedation technique was considered a satisfactory technique by the surgeon to control anxiety.

  5. The role of attention in conscious recollection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felipe eDe Brigard

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Most research on the relationship between attention and consciousness has been limited to perception. However, perceptions are not the only kinds of mental contents of which we can be conscious. An important set of conscious states that has not received proper treatment within this discussion is that of memories. This paper reviews compelling evidence indicating that attention may be necessary, but probably not sufficient, for conscious recollection. However, it is argued that unlike the case of conscious perception, the kind of attention required during recollection is internal, as opposed to external, attention. As such, the surveyed empirical evidence is interpreted as suggesting that internal attention is necessary, but probably not sufficient, for conscious recollection. The paper begins by justifying the need for clear distinctions among different kinds of attention, and then emphasizes the difference between internal and external attention. Next, evidence from behavioral, neuropsychological and neuroimaging studies suggesting that internal attention is required for the successful retrieval of memorial contents is reviewed. In turn, it is argued that internal attention during recollection is what makes us conscious of the contents of retrieved memories; further evidence in support of this claim is also provided. Finally, it is suggested that internal attention is probably not sufficient for conscious recollection. Open questions and possible avenues for future research are also mentioned.

  6. Role-Modelpan>ing Cost-Conscious Care--A National Evaluation of Perceptions of Faculty at Teaching Hospitals in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Mitesh S; Reed, Darcy A; Smith, Cynthia; Arora, Vineet M

    2015-09-01

    Little is known about how well faculty at teaching hospitals role-model behaviors consistent with cost-conscious care. We aimed to evaluate whether residents and program directors report that faculty at their program consistently role-model cost-conscious care, and whether the presence of a formal residency curriculum in cost-conscious care impacted responses. Cost-conscious care surveys were administered to internal medicine residents during the 2012 Internal Medicine In-Training Examination and to program directors during the 2012 Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine Annual Survey. Respondents stated whether or not they agreed that faculty in their program consistently role-model cost-conscious care. To evaluate a more comprehensive assessment of faculty behaviors, resident responses were matched with those of the director of their residency program. A multivariate logistic regression model was fit to the outcome variable, to identify predictors of responses that faculty do consistently role-model cost-conscious care from residency program, resident, and program director characteristics. Responses from 12,623 residents (58.4 % of total sample) and 253 program directors (68.4 %) from internal medicine residency programs in the United States were included. The primary outcome measure was responses to questionnaires on faculty role-modelpan>ing cost-conscious care. Among all responses in the final sample, 6,816 (54.0 %) residents and 121 (47.8 %) program directors reported that faculty in their program consistently role-model cost-conscious care. Among paired responses of residents and their program director, the proportion that both reported that faculty do consistently role-modeled cost-conscious care was 23.0 % for programs with a formal residency curriculum in cost-conscious care, 26.3 % for programs working on a curriculum, and 23.7 % for programs without a curriculum. In the adjusted model, the presence of a formal curriculum in cost-conscious

  7. Phenomenal and access consciousness in olfaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson, Richard J

    2009-12-01

    Contemporary literature on consciousness, with some exceptions, rarely considers the olfactory system. In this article the characteristics of olfactory consciousness, viewed from the standpoint of the phenomenal (P)/access (A) distinction, are examined relative to the major senses. The review details several qualitative differences in both olfactory P consciousness (shifts in the felt location, universal synesthesia-like and affect-rich experiences, and misperceptions) and A consciousness (recovery from habituation, capacity for conscious processing, access to semantic and episodic memory, learning, attention, and in the serial-unitary nature of olfactory percepts). The basis for these differences is argued to arise from the functions that the olfactory system performs and from the unique neural architecture needed to instantiate them. These data suggest, at a minimum, that P and A consciousness are uniquely configured in olfaction and an argument can be made that the P and A distinction may not hold for this sensory system.

  8. 78 FR 11965 - Agency Information Collection (Learner's Perception (LP) Survey) Activities Under OMB Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-20

    ...'s Perception (LP) Survey) Activities Under OMB Review AGENCY: Veterans Health Administration... ``OMB Control No. 2900-0691.'' SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: Learner's Perception (LP) Survey, VA... collection. Abstract: VA Form 10-0439 will be use to obtain health care trainees perception of their clinical...

  9. [Consciousness and the brain].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simonov, P V

    1993-01-01

    I.P. Pavlov wrote: "First of all it is important to comprehend psychologically and then translate into physiological language". On the examples of comparison of the evoked potentials with a theory of signal identification (A.M. Ivanitskiĭ) and need-informational theory of emotions (P.V. Simonov) with the "general low of human emotions" (D. Price, J. Barrell) is demonstrated the efficiency of the simultaneous study of the higher brain functions by neurophysiological and psychological methods. Recent experimental data are underlied by the natural-scientific bases of consciousness. From the author's point of view consciousness is knowledge, which by means of words, mathematical symbols and artistic images may be shared with other individuals, with other generations in a form of cultural monuments. Recent studies by O. Grindel' have shown that preservation of connections between the gnostic cortical areas with the verbal brain structures is a necessary condition of consciousness functioning. The subconsciousness is well automatized and because of that no longer conscious skills, well learned social norms controlling behaviour and experienced as "the voice of heart", "the call of duty" etc. Super-Ego by Freud belongs to the subconscious sphere of the psychic. The superconsciousness (creative intuition) is an initial stage of a creative venture, uncontrolled by consciousness and will: initial closing of new temporary connections (whether they conform to the reality or not is defined only later). Actual controversy between determinism and freedom of choice may be removed by the complementation principle. The man is not free (determined) from the point of view of an external observer, who considers the determination of the man by genetic factors and educational conditions.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  10. Psychic reality and the nature of consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonagy, Peter; Allison, Elizabeth

    2016-02-01

    In this paper we make the case for a psychoanalytically informed reconsideration of the phenomena of consciousness. Classically, following Freud, who viewed consciousness as merely a reflection or perception of unconscious mental activity, psychoanalysts have tended to regard a focus on conscious experience as potentially reductionistic and at risk of overlooking the mind's deeper structures. We describe the case of Mr K, a patient who experienced disturbances of consciousness that forced us to consider the possibility that the capacity to experience ourselves as conscious, intentional agents in a coherent world of objects is not merely a modality of perception but rather a maturational and developmental achievement that to some degree depends on adequate experiences of caregiving and is vital in ensuring the possibility of human communication. As such, it is a capacity that is vulnerable to experiences of neglect and maltreatment. We suggest that as well as compromising the capacity to think about one's own and other people's feelings, such experiences may have the further adverse consequence of leading the individual to experience and risk becoming conscious of certain dangerously maladaptive, destructive states of mind which in normal development remain inaccessible to conscious experience. Phenomenologically, such states of mind are experienced as fragmentation and disturbances of consciousness. We discuss the clinical implications of these reflections and the limitations they place on psychoanalytic work in the context of their impact on the work with Mr K. Copyright © 2015 Institute of Psychoanalysis.

  11. Artificial consciousness and the consciousness-attention dissociation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haladjian, Harry Haroutioun; Montemayor, Carlos

    2016-10-01

    Artificial Intelligence is at a turning point, with a substantial increase in projects aiming to implement sophisticated forms of human intelligence in machines. This research attempts to model specific forms of intelligence through brute-force search heuristics and also reproduce features of human perception and cognition, including emotions. Such goals have implications for artificial consciousness, with some arguing that it will be achievable once we overcome short-term engineering challenges. We believe, however, that phenomenal consciousness cannot be implemented in machines. This becomes clear when considering emotions and examining the dissociation between consciousness and attention in humans. While we may be able to program ethical behavior based on rules and machine learning, we will never be able to reproduce emotions or empathy by programming such control systems-these will be merely simulations. Arguments in favor of this claim include considerations about evolution, the neuropsychological aspects of emotions, and the dissociation between attention and consciousness found in humans. Ultimately, we are far from achieving artificial consciousness. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Neural mechanisms underlying melodic perception and memory for pitch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zatorre, R J; Evans, A C; Meyer, E

    1994-04-01

    The neural correlates of music perception were studied by measuring cerebral blood flow (CBF) changes with positron emission tomography (PET). Twelve volunteers were scanned using the bolus water method under four separate conditions: (1) listening to a sequence of noise bursts, (2) listening to unfamiliar tonal melodies, (3) comparing the pitch of the first two notes of the same set of melodies, and (4) comparing the pitch of the first and last notes of the melodies. The latter two conditions were designed to investigate short-term pitch retention under low or high memory load, respectively. Subtraction of the obtained PET images, superimposed on matched MRI scans, provides anatomical localization of CBF changes associated with specific cognitive functions. Listening to melodies, relative to acoustically matched noise sequences, resulted in CBF increases in the right superior temporal and right occipital cortices. Pitch judgments of the first two notes of each melody, relative to passive listening to the same stimuli, resulted in right frontal-lobe activation. Analysis of the high memory load condition relative to passive listening revealed the participation of a number of cortical and subcortical regions, notably in the right frontal and right temporal lobes, as well as in parietal and insular cortex. Both pitch judgment conditions also revealed CBF decreases within the left primary auditory cortex. We conclude that specialized neural systems in the right superior temporal cortex participate in perceptual analysis of melodies; pitch comparisons are effected via a neural network that includes right prefrontal cortex, but active retention of pitch involves the interaction of right temporal and frontal cortices.

  13. Paradigms for environmentally conscious manufacturing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edinbarough, Immanuel A.; Wells, Wayne E.

    2004-12-01

    There are several stories involving the industries that pledge themselves for the environmentally conscious manufacturing practices. Paradigms for environmentally conscious manufacturing are associated with one of the aspects of environmental quality, protection, resource management, commitment or sustainability. The engineering rules of thumb that can easily be adopted by aspiring companies need identification. The underlying thread that unifies the efforts of environmentally conscious manufacturing companies, in offering the environmentally safe products to the world, is grouped and presented in the paper as paradigms for successful practices. The various ways in which a start up company, that wants to excel in environmentally conscious manufacturing, can position itself based on the paradigms is also discussed in the paper.

  14. Sustained Rhythmic Brain Activity Underlies Visual Motion Perception in Zebrafish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Verónica Pérez-Schuster

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Following moving visual stimuli (conditioning stimuli, CS, many organisms perceive, in the absence of physical stimuli, illusory motion in the opposite direction. This phenomenon is known as the motion aftereffect (MAE. Here, we use MAE as a tool to study the neuronal basis of visual motion perception in zebrafish larvae. Using zebrafish eye movements as an indicator of visual motion perception, we find that larvae perceive MAE. Blocking eye movements using optogenetics during CS presentation did not affect MAE, but tectal ablation significantly weakened it. Using two-photon calcium imaging of behaving GCaMP3 larvae, we find post-stimulation sustained rhythmic activity among direction-selective tectal neurons associated with the perception of MAE. In addition, tectal neurons tuned to the CS direction habituated, but neurons in the retina did not. Finally, a model based on competition between direction-selective neurons reproduced MAE, suggesting a neuronal circuit capable of generating perception of visual motion.

  15. An information integration theory of consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tononi Giulio

    2004-11-01

    concerning consciousness. As shown here, these include the association of consciousness with certain neural systems rather than with others; the fact that neural processes underlying consciousness can influence or be influenced by neural processes that remain unconscious; the reduction of consciousness during dreamless sleep and generalized seizures; and the time requirements on neural interactions that support consciousness. Implications of the hypothesis The theory entails that consciousness is a fundamental quantity, that it is graded, that it is present in infants and animals, and that it should be possible to build conscious artifacts.

  16. A global attentional scope setting prioritizes faces for conscious detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Sol Z; Cant, Jonathan S; Ferber, Susanne

    2016-01-01

    The scope of visual attention is known to affect conscious object perception, with recent studies showing that a global attentional scope boosts holistic face processing, relative to a local scope. Here we show that attentional scope settings can also modulate the availability of information for conscious visual awareness. In an initial experiment, we show that adopting a global attentional scope accelerates conscious detection of initially invisible faces, presented under continuous flash suppression (CFS). Furthermore, face detection time was not modulated by attentional scope in a nonrivalrous control condition, which emulated the experience of CFS without inducing binocular rivalry. In a follow-up experiment, we report an exact replication of the original effect, as well as data suggesting that this effect is specific to upright faces, and is abolished when using both inverted faces and images of houses in an otherwise identical task. Thus, attentional scope settings can modulate the availability of information to conscious awareness, fundamentally altering the contents of our subjective visual experience.

  17. Self-Consciousness, Caring, Relationality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Montes Sanchez, Alba

    In the studies of emotion, shame is classified under several labels: a self-conscious emotion, an emotion of self-assessment, a social emotion, and a moral emotion. All of them are supposed to pick out a defining characteristic of shame. Though all of these labels will be under scrutiny at some p...

  18. 77 FR 7244 - Agency Information Collection (Supplier Perception Survey) Activity Under OMB Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-10

    ... Perception Survey) Activity Under OMB Review AGENCY: Office of Acquisition, Logistics and Construction... Veterans Affairs Supplier Perception Survey. OMB Control Number: 2900-2900-0751. Type of Review: Extension... and logistics operations across VA enterprise. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is...

  19. 75 FR 1119 - Agency Information Collection (Supplier Perception Survey) Activity Under OMB Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-08

    ... (Supplier Perception Survey) Activity Under OMB Review AGENCY: Office of Acquisition, Logistics and...).'' SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: Department of Veterans Affairs Supplier Perception Survey. OMB Control Number..., and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently...

  20. “Seeing” and “feeling” architecture: how bodily self-consciousness alters architectonic experience and affects the perception of interiors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasqualini, Isabella; Llobera, Joan; Blanke, Olaf

    2013-01-01

    Over the centuries architectural theory evolved several notions of embodiment, proposing in the nineteenth and twentieth century that architectonic experience is related to physiological responses of the observer. Recent advances in the cognitive neuroscience of embodiment (or bodily self-consciousness) enable empirical studies of architectonic embodiment. Here, we investigated how architecture modulates bodily self-consciousness by adapting a video-based virtual reality (VR) setup previously used to investigate visuo-tactile mechanisms of bodily self-consciousness. While standing in two different interiors, participants were filmed from behind and watched their own virtual body online on a head-mounted display (HMD). Visuo-tactile strokes were applied in synchronous or asynchronous mode to the participants and their virtual body. Two interiors were simulated in the laboratory by placing the sidewalls either far or near from the participants, generating a large and narrow room. We tested if bodily self-consciousness was differently modulated when participants were exposed to both rooms and whether these changes depend on visuo-tactile stimulation. We measured illusory touch, self-identification, and performed length estimations. Our data show that synchronous stroking of the physical and the virtual body induces illusory touch and self-identification with the virtual body, independent of room-size. Moreover, in the narrow room we observed weak feelings of illusory touch with the sidewalls and of approaching walls. These subjective changes were complemented by a stroking-dependent modulation of length estimation only in the narrow room with participants judging the room-size more accurately during conditions of illusory self-identification. We discuss our findings and previous notions of architectonic embodiment in the context of the cognitive neuroscience of bodily self-consciousness and propose an empirical framework grounded in architecture, cognitive

  1. Neural mechanisms underlying temporal modulation of visual perception

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jong, M.C. de

    2015-01-01

    However confident we feel about the way we perceive the visual world around us, there is not a one-to-one relation between visual stimulation and visual perception. Our eyes register reflections of the visual environment and our brain has the difficult task of constructing ‘reality’ from this

  2. Repeated Loss of Consciousness in a Young Woman: A Suspicious SMAD3 Mutation Underlying Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Bermúdez, Míriam; Moustafa, Abdel-Hakim; Barrós-Membrilla, Antonio; Tizón-Marcos, Helena

    2017-02-01

    Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is an infrequent cause of acute coronary syndrome and is often underdiagnosed. Intramural hematoma is the most frequent angiographic presentation and is a challenging diagnosis that may require intravascular imaging techniques to confirm it and guide treatment. It affects mostly young women without coronary risk factors and is usually associated with fibromuscular dysplasia. SCAD has an underlying disease in 80% of patients. A SMAD3 mutation has been linked to aneurysm-osteoarthritis syndrome and has been identified as a cause of familial thoracic aortic aneurysm and dissection. The first reported case, to our knowledge, of a SMAD3 mutation underlying SCAD is described here. Copyright © 2016 Canadian Cardiovascular Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. The neural bases underlying social risk perception in purchase decisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yokoyama, Ryoichi; Nozawa, Takayuki; Sugiura, Motoaki; Yomogida, Yukihito; Takeuchi, Hikaru; Akimoto, Yoritaka; Shibuya, Satoru; Kawashima, Ryuta

    2014-05-01

    Social considerations significantly influence daily purchase decisions, and the perception of social risk (i.e., the anticipated disapproval of others) is crucial in dissuading consumers from making purchases. However, the neural basis for consumers' perception of social risk remains undiscovered, and this novel study clarifies the relevant neural processes. A total of 26 volunteers were scanned while they evaluated purchase intention of products (purchase intention task) and their anticipation of others' disapproval for possessing a product (social risk task), using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The fMRI data from the purchase intention task was used to identify the brain region associated with perception of social risk during purchase decision making by using subjective social risk ratings for a parametric modulation analysis. Furthermore, we aimed to explore if there was a difference between participants' purchase decisions and their explicit evaluations of social risk, with reference to the neural activity associated with social risk perception. For this, subjective social risk ratings were used for a parametric modulation analysis on fMRI data from the social risk task. Analysis of the purchase intention task revealed a significant positive correlation between ratings of social risk and activity in the anterior insula, an area of the brain that is known as part of the emotion-related network. Analysis of the social risk task revealed a significant positive correlation between ratings of social risk and activity in the temporal parietal junction and the medial prefrontal cortex, which are known as theory-of-mind regions. Our results suggest that the anterior insula processes consumers' social risk implicitly to prompt consumers not to buy socially unacceptable products, whereas ToM-related regions process such risk explicitly in considering the anticipated disapproval of others. These findings may prove helpful in understanding the mental

  4. Embodied mind and phenomenal consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria VENIERI

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, a central debate in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science concerns the role of the body in perception and cognition. For many contemporary philosophers, not only cognition but also perception is connected mainly with the brain, where the processing of input from the senses takes place; whereas for the proponents of ‘embodied cognition’ other aspects of the body beyond the brain, including the environment, play a constitutive role in cognitive processes. In terms of perception, a new theory has emerged which stresses percep‑ tion’s active character and claims that the embodied subject and the environment, with which it interacts, form a dynamic system. Supporters of ‘enactive perception’ such as Susan Hurley and Alva Noë maintain that the physical substrate or the supervenience basis of perceptual experience and phenomenal consciousness may include besides the brain and the nervous system other bodily and environmental features. Yet, it will be argued in this paper that the interaction between the subject and the environment forms a system of causal relations, so we can theoretically interfere in the causal chains and create hallucinations, which cannot be distinguished from veridical perception, or a virtual reality as in the film Matrix (1999. This kind of argument and its related thought experiments aim to stress the primacy of the brain in determining phenomenal states, and show that the body and certain interactions with the environment have a causal, but not a constitutive or essential role, in forming phenomenal consciousness.

  5. Consciousness from neurons and waves

    Science.gov (United States)

    John, E. R.

    2004-05-01

    This paper presents a theory of consciousness based on the following evidence: [1] Complex stimuli are decomposed by the exogenous system into attributes transmitted to synapses of pyramidal neurons in lower cortical layers, encoding fragments of sensations as nonrandom synchronization that increases local voltages; [2] Endogenous readouts from representational systems encoding memories in a mesolimbic system are transmitted to synapses of the pyramidal neurons in upper layers; [3] Excitability of pyramidal neurons receiving convergent exogenous and endogenous inputs is enhanced, converting fragments of sensations to fragments of perception and creating high voltage islands of non-random synchrony; [4] Local Field Potential (LFP) oscillations are homeostatically regulated, imposing dynamically maintained local voltage thresholds that define a "Ground State" [5] Deviations from these most probable levels constitute local perturbations of entropy; [6] Modulation of cortex by LFPs, facilitating coherent cortico-thalamic (C-T) volleys of cells with suprathreshold excitability, binds dispersed fragments of local perturbations of entropy; [7] The thalamic cells from which convergence arose respond to these volleys by coherent T-C-T-C reverberations; [8] Sustained reverberation establishes a resonating electromagnetic field of information, the vehicle sustaining unified perception; [9] The resonating field of information constitutes Global Negative and generates the content of consciousness; [10] Invariant reversible LFP changes occur upon loss of consciousness and persistent shifts accompany many clinical disorders.

  6. Opposing effects of attention and consciousness on afterimages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Boxtel, Jeroen J A; Tsuchiya, Naotsugu; Koch, Christof

    2010-05-11

    The brain's ability to handle sensory information is influenced by both selective attention and consciousness. There is no consensus on the exact relationship between these two processes and whether they are distinct. So far, no experiment has simultaneously manipulated both. We carried out a full factorial 2 x 2 study of the simultaneous influences of attention and consciousness (as assayed by visibility) on perception, correcting for possible concurrent changes in attention and consciousness. We investigated the duration of afterimages for all four combinations of high versus low attention and visible versus invisible. We show that selective attention and visual consciousness have opposite effects: paying attention to the grating decreases the duration of its afterimage, whereas consciously seeing the grating increases the afterimage duration. These findings provide clear evidence for distinctive influences of selective attention and consciousness on visual perception.

  7. Attention and Olfactory Consciousness

    OpenAIRE

    Keller, Andreas

    2011-01-01

    Understanding the relation between attention and consciousness is an important part of our understanding of consciousness. Attention, unlike consciousness, can be systematically manipulated in psychophysical experiments and a law-like relation between attention and consciousness is waiting to be discovered. Most attempts to discover the nature of this relation are focused on a special type of attention: spatial visual attention. In this review I want to introduce another type of attention to ...

  8. Nonneurocognitive Extended Consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wojcik, Kevin; Chemero, Anthony

    2012-01-01

    One of the attributes necessary for Watson to be considered human is that it must be conscious. From Rachlin's (2012) point of view, that of teleological behaviorism, consciousness refers to the organization of behavioral complexity in which overt behavior is distributed widely over time. Consciousness is something that humans do, or achieve, in…

  9. A higher-order theory of emotional consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeDoux, Joseph E.; Brown, Richard

    2017-01-01

    Emotional states of consciousness, or what are typically called emotional feelings, are traditionally viewed as being innately programmed in subcortical areas of the brain, and are often treated as different from cognitive states of consciousness, such as those related to the perception of external stimuli. We argue that conscious experiences, regardless of their content, arise from one system in the brain. In this view, what differs in emotional and nonemotional states are the kinds of inputs that are processed by a general cortical network of cognition, a network essential for conscious experiences. Although subcortical circuits are not directly responsible for conscious feelings, they provide nonconscious inputs that coalesce with other kinds of neural signals in the cognitive assembly of conscious emotional experiences. In building the case for this proposal, we defend a modified version of what is known as the higher-order theory of consciousness. PMID:28202735

  10. The neural correlates of consciousness: new experimental approaches needed?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hohwy, Jakob

    2009-06-01

    It appears that consciousness science is progressing soundly, in particular in its search for the neural correlates of consciousness. There are two main approaches to this search, one is content-based (focusing on the contrast between conscious perception of, e.g., faces vs. houses), the other is state-based (focusing on overall conscious states, e.g., the contrast between dreamless sleep vs. the awake state). Methodological and conceptual considerations of a number of concrete studies show that both approaches are problematic: the content-based approach seems to set aside crucial aspects of consciousness; and the state-based approach seems over-inclusive in a way that is hard to rectify without losing sight of the crucial conscious-unconscious contrast. Consequently, the search for the neural correlates of consciousness is in need of new experimental paradigms.

  11. An Empirical Investigation of Consumer Price Perception and Reputation Dimensions’ Effects on Attitude Toward Private Label Brands

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Haidong; Sadeque, Saalem

    2007-01-01

    The study empirically investigated the effects of consumer price perception dimension and reputation dimension on attitude toward private label brands among young Swedish consumers. Consumer price perception dimension includes value consciousness, price consciousness, and price-quality association factors. Reputation dimension includes retailer’s reputation, existence of word-of-mouth (WOM), positive WOM, and negative WOM. Previous studies have found that factors under the consumer price perc...

  12. Influence of gender, self-consciousness and stigmatisation on ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study investigates the influence of perceived acceptance of people living with HIV in Nigeria. The results reveal that gender and public self-consciousness jointly and significantly influenced an individual's perception of acceptance. Also, males with a high level of private self-consciousness scored higher on a scale ...

  13. Perception of nursing workers humanization under intensive therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Cecilia de Azevedo Michelan

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Objective: understand the perception of nursing workers working in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU regarding humanization in the work environment. Method: we used the reference of phenomenology, structure of the phenomenon. Participated 25 nursing professionals working in an adult ICU of a university hospital, through focused interviews, answering the guiding question: What do you understand by humanization of the working conditions of the nursing team working in the ICU? Results: the analysis revealed the themes: humanization in the ICU; working condition in the ICU; management of people in the ICU and management process in the ICU. Final considerations: humanization is necessary through the change of the work environment and the managerial process, privileging the participatory management model as a way to transform theory into practice and value the worker.

  14. Impaired Consciousness in Epilepsy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blumenfeld, Hal

    2013-01-01

    Consciousness is essential to normal human life. In epileptic seizures consciousness is often transiently lost making it impossible for the individual to experience or respond. This has huge consequences for safety, productivity, emotional health and quality of life. To prevent impaired consciousness in epilepsy it is necessary to understand the mechanisms leading to brain dysfunction during seizures. Normally the “consciousness system”—a specialized set of cortical-subcortical structures—maintains alertness, attention and awareness. Recent advances in neuroimaging, electrophysiology and prospective behavioral testing have shed new light on how epileptic seizures disrupt the consciousness system. Diverse seizure types including absence, generalized tonic-clonic and complex partial seizures converge on the same set of anatomical structures through different mechanisms to disrupt consciousness. Understanding these mechanisms may lead to improved treatment strategies to prevent impaired consciousness and improve quality of life in people with epilepsy. PMID:22898735

  15. Children's Dreaming and the Development of Consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foulkes, David

    Noting that scientific observation of children's dreaming offers unparalleled opportunities to study experience of conscious mental states, this book presents findings from two studies on children's dreaming. Following an argument outlining the problems in equating dreaming with perception, the book explains the use of sleep laboratories and…

  16. Conscious motor processing and movement self-consciousness: two dimensions of personality that influence laparoscopic training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malhotra, Neha; Poolton, Jamie M; Wilson, Mark R; Fan, Joe K M; Masters, Rich S W

    2014-01-01

    Identifying personality factors that account for individual differences in surgical training and performance has practical implications for surgical education. Movement-specific reinvestment is a potentially relevant personality factor that has a moderating effect on laparoscopic performance under time pressure. Movement-specific reinvestment has 2 dimensions, which represent an individual's propensity to consciously control movements (conscious motor processing) or to consciously monitor their 'style' of movement (movement self-consciousness). This study aimed at investigating the moderating effects of the 2 dimensions of movement-specific reinvestment in the learning and updating (cross-handed technique) of laparoscopic skills. Medical students completed the Movement-Specific Reinvestment Scale, a psychometric assessment tool that evaluates the conscious motor processing and movement self-consciousness dimensions of movement-specific reinvestment. They were then trained to a criterion level of proficiency on a fundamental laparoscopic skills task and were tested on a novel cross-handed technique. Completion times were recorded for early-learning, late-learning, and cross-handed trials. Propensity for movement self-consciousness but not conscious motor processing was a significant predictor of task completion times both early (p = 0.036) and late (p = 0.002) in learning, but completion times during the cross-handed trials were predicted by the propensity for conscious motor processing (p = 0.04) rather than movement self-consciousness (p = 0.21). Higher propensity for movement self-consciousness is associated with slower performance times on novel and well-practiced laparoscopic tasks. For complex surgical techniques, however, conscious motor processing plays a more influential role in performance than movement self-consciousness. The findings imply that these 2 dimensions of movement-specific reinvestment have a differential influence in the learning and updating

  17. "Binaural Rivalry": Dichotic Listening as a Tool for the Investigation of the Neural Correlate of Consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brancucci, Alfredo; Tommasi, Luca

    2011-01-01

    Since about two decades neuroscientists have systematically faced the problem of consciousness: the aim is to discover the neural activity specifically related to conscious perceptions, i.e. the biological properties of what philosophers call qualia. In this view, a neural correlate of consciousness (NCC) is a precise pattern of brain activity…

  18. [Anesthesia and Consciousness].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogino, Yuichi; Kawamichi, Hiroaki; Saiot, Shigeru

    2016-05-01

    The mechanism of consciousness and loss of conciousness by general anesthetics are crucial issue for the anesthesiologists. Recent non-invasive brain-imaging technology brings about light to various our emotions and sensations in human brain; however, neural correlate of consciousness is not yet still elucidated. The concept "the seat of the consciousness (is in the subcortical nuclei)" is now completely denied, but instead the consciousness is based on the idea that connectivity and communications across cortical and thalamocortical networks. Anesthetics and sleep disrupt the networks that encompass complexity and integration. The compatibility between complexity and integration is the key feature of the consciousness, which is represented by complex, extensive, communicative and integrative electroencephalograph currents evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation, provoking a single unified conscious experience in us, humans.

  19. The Science of Consciousness

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN. Geneva

    2015-01-01

    We not only act in the world but we consciously perceive it. The interactions of myriad of neuronal and sub-neuronal processes that are responsible for visual behaviors also give rise to the daily movie screened for our benefit in the privacy of our own skull. I will discuss the empirical progress that has been achieved over the past several decades in characterizing the behavioral and the neuronal correlates of consciousness in human and non-human animals and in dissociating selective visual attention from visual consciousness. I will introduce Tononi’s integrated Information Theory (IIT) that explains in a principled manner which physical systems are capable of conscious, subjective experience. The theory explains many empirical facts about consciousness and its pathologies in humans. It can also be extrapolated to more difficult cases, such as fetuses, mice, or bees. The theory predicts that many, seemingly complex, systems are not conscious, in particular digital computers running software, even if thes...

  20. Consciousness: A Neurological Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea E. Cavanna

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Consciousness is a state so essentially entwined with human experience, yet so difficult to conceptually define and measure. In this article, we explore how a bidimensional model of consciousness involving both level of arousal and subjective awareness of the contents of consciousness can be used to differentiate a range of healthy and altered conscious states. These include the different sleep stages of healthy individuals and the altered states of consciousness associated with neurological conditions such as epilepsy, vegetative state and coma. In particular, we discuss how arousal and awareness are positively correlated in normal physiological states with the exception of REM sleep, while a disturbance in this relationship is characteristic of vegetative state, minimally conscious state, complex partial seizures and sleepwalking.

  1. The content of visual working memory alters processing of visual input prior to conscious access: Evidence from pupillometry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gayet, S.; Paffen, C.L.E.; Guggenmos, M.; Sterzer, P.; Stigchel, S. van der

    2017-01-01

    Visual working memory (VWM) allows for keeping relevant visual information available after termination of its sensory input. Storing information in VWM, however, affects concurrent conscious perception of visual input: initially suppressed visual input gains prioritized access to consciousness when

  2. Consciousness, brain, neuroplasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Askenasy, Jean; Lehmann, Joseph

    2013-01-01

    Subjectivity, intentionality, self-awareness and will are major components of consciousness in human beings. Changes in consciousness and its content following different brain processes and malfunction have long been studied. Cognitive sciences assume that brain activities have an infrastructure, but there is also evidence that consciousness itself may change this infrastructure. The two-way influence between brain and consciousness has been at the center of philosophy and less so, of science. This so-called bottom-up and top-down interrelationship is controversial and is the subject of our article. We would like to ask: how does it happen that consciousness may provoke structural changes in the brain? The living brain means continuous changes at the synaptic level with every new experience, with every new process of learning, memorizing or mastering new and existing skills. Synapses are generated and dissolved, while others are preserved, in an ever-changing process of so-called neuroplasticity. Ongoing processes of synaptic reinforcements and decay occur during wakefulness when consciousness is present, but also during sleep when it is mostly absent. We suggest that consciousness influences brain neuroplasticity both during wakefulness as well as sleep in a top-down way. This means that consciousness really activates synaptic flow and changes brain structures and functional organization. The dynamic impact of consciousness on brain never stops despite the relative stationary structure of the brain. Such a process can be a target for medical intervention, e.g., by cognitive training. PMID:23847580

  3. Is Your Gut Conscious? Is an Extraterrestrial?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vos Post, Jonathan

    2011-10-01

    This paper speculates on questions intending to be taken scientifically rather than metaphysically: "Can the human gut (enteric nervous system) be conscious?"; "Can your immune system think?"; "Could consciousness be coded in DNA?"; "What do we mean when asserting that an Extraterrestrial is Thinking, or is Conscious? We explore through reference to theory, experiment, and computational models by Christof Koch (Caltech), Barbara Wold (Caltech), and Stuart Kauffman (University of Calgary, Tampere University of Technology, Santa Fe Institute). We use a tentative new definition of thinking, designed to be applicable for humans, cetecea, corvids, artificial intelligences, and extraterrestrial intelligences of any substrate (i.e. Life as We Do Not Know It): "Thinking is the occurrence, transformation, and storage in a mind or brain (or simulation thereof) of information-bearing structures (representations) of one kind or another, such as thoughts, concept, percepts, ideas, impressions, notions, rules, schemas, images, phantasms, or subpersonal representations." We use the framework for Consciousness developed by Francis Crick and Christof Koch. We try to describe scientific goals, but discuss Philosophy sufficient to avoid naïve philosophical category errors (thus are careful not to conflate thought, consciousness, and language) Penrose, Hameroff, and Kauffman speculate (differently) that CNS consciousness is a macroscopic quantum phenomenon. Might intestinal, immune system, or genetic regulatory network dynamics exhibit emergent cooperative quantum effects? The speculations are in the context of Evolution by Natural Selection, presumed to operate throughout the Cosmos, and recent work in the foundations of Computational Biology and Quantum Mechanics.

  4. [Cognitive neuroscience of consciousness: from theory to bedside].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naccache, Lionel

    2013-05-01

    The exploration of the neural bases of consciousness (both conscious states and conscious mental contents) has progressed significantly over the last 15 years, in particular concerning the investigation of conscious access during perception. These advancements stem both from original neuropsychological studies, and from the rapid development of functional brain-imaging tools and methods. Only since recently these discoveries lead to medical applications aiming at improving the evaluation and follow-up of patients suffering from impairments of functional communication and/or of consciousness (comatose, vegetative, minimally conscious states, or paralyzed patients such as the "locked in" syndrome or similar conditions). By contributing to possible improvements of diagnosis and prognosis evaluations of these complex medical situations, these new tools open new perspectives associated with noteworthy ethical, social and philosophic implications.

  5. A global workspace model for phenomenal and access consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raffone, Antonino; Pantani, Martina

    2010-06-01

    Both the global workspace theory and Block's distinction between phenomenal and access consciousness, are central in the current debates about consciousness and the neural correlates of consciousness. In this article, a unifying global workspace model for phenomenal and access consciousness is proposed. In the model, recurrent neural interactions take place in distinct yet interacting access and phenomenal brain loops. The effectiveness of feedback signaling onto sensory cortical maps is emphasized for the neural correlates of phenomenal consciousness. Two forms of top-down attention, attention for perception and attention for access, play differential roles for phenomenal and access consciousness. The model is implemented in a neural network form, with the simulation of single and multiple visual object processing, and of the attentional blink. 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Changes in health perceptions after exposure to human suffering: using discrete emotions to understand underlying processes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonia A Paschali

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to examine whether exposure to human suffering is associated with negative changes in perceptions about personal health. We further examined the relation of possible health perception changes, to changes in five discrete emotions (i.e., fear, guilt, hostility/anger, and joviality, as a guide to understand the processes underlying health perception changes, provided that each emotion conveys information regarding triggering conditions. METHODOLOGY/FINDINGS: An experimental group (N = 47 was exposed to images of human affliction, whereas a control group (N = 47 was exposed to relaxing images. Participants in the experimental group reported more health anxiety and health value, as well as lower health-related optimism and internal health locus of control, in comparison to participants exposed to relaxing images. They also reported more fear, guilt, hostility and sadness, as well as less joviality. Changes in each health perception were related to changes in particular emotions. CONCLUSION: These findings imply that health perceptions are shaped in a constant dialogue with the representations about the broader world. Furthermore, it seems that the core of health perception changes lies in the acceptance that personal well-being is subject to several potential threats, as well as that people cannot fully control many of the factors the determine their own well-being.

  7. Intentionality and Consciousness

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ierna, Carlo; Jacquette, Dale

    2018-01-01

    In this chapter I concentrate on the notion of intentionality and its relation to consciousness. Ever since its re-introduction into contemporary philosophy in the works of Franz Brentano, intentionality has been associated in various ways with consciousness. In the continental and analytic

  8. Consciousness and neural plasticity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    have direct consequences for a theory about consciousness. For instance, theories of strict identity between consciousness and structure may face the serious dilemma to either accept that, say, the experience of the colour red is fundamentally different in one individual over time due to cortical...

  9. Neural correlates of consciousness

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    memory.13 If one could extrapolate on the view of Nobel laureate Crick and his colleague Koch34,35 on conscious awareness of visual stimuli, it would appear that we may have conscious access to information processing when it occurs in areas with connections to the working memory circuitry of the prefrontal cortex, ...

  10. The evolution of consciousness

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stapp, H.P.

    1996-08-16

    It is argued that the principles of classical physics are inimical to the development of an adequate science of consciousness. The problem is that insofar as the classical principles are valid consciousness can have no effect on the behavior, and hence on the survival prospects, of the organisms in which it inheres. Thus within the classical framework it is not possible to explain in natural terms the development of consciousness to the high-level form found in human beings. In quantum theory, on the other hand, consciousness can be dynamically efficacious: quantum theory does allow consciousness to influence behavior, and thence to evolve in accordance with the principles of natural selection. However, this evolutionary requirement places important constraints upon the details of the formulation of the quantum dynamical principles.

  11. Inner Consciousness Tindakan Nabi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moh. Helmi Umam

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The article is written to examine deeds and actions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him within inner consciousness analysis of Husserl’s phenomenology. The article is formulated to explore the significance of phenomenology of religious study, Prophet’s deeds as well as his inner consciousness, and inner consciousness analysis of Prophet’s deeds. This article is written using phenomenological method, i.e. a comprehensive interpretation about the source of information or object’s phenomenon as long as it can be traced. Inner consciousness of Prophet’s actions sees that his deeds in deciding important religious pronouncements were results of long-term memory based on divine and social argumentations, which have came into Prophet’s consciousness as a human.

  12. What is not csr: extremes of csr perception in the world of business and strategic view on it in the era of conscious capitalism

    OpenAIRE

    OKOROCHKOVA ANASTASIA

    2016-01-01

    Extremes of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) perception are evident in the business world today. Business leaders and other stakeholders can’t understand what in particular, how and for what purpose they should practice CSR and they often narrow it down to different business activities that do not have any connection with sustainable development of business. By opposing it to philanthropy and charity; to practice of social investments; to marketing activities and PR; tothe concept of sha...

  13. Spatiotemporal dissociation of brain activity underlying subjective awareness, objective performance and confidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qi; Hill, Zachary; He, Biyu J

    2014-03-19

    Despite intense recent research, the neural correlates of conscious visual perception remain elusive. The most established paradigm for studying brain mechanisms underlying conscious perception is to keep the physical sensory inputs constant and identify brain activities that correlate with the changing content of conscious awareness. However, such a contrast based on conscious content alone would not only reveal brain activities directly contributing to conscious perception, but also include brain activities that precede or follow it. To address this issue, we devised a paradigm whereby we collected, trial-by-trial, measures of objective performance, subjective awareness, and the confidence level of subjective awareness. Using magnetoencephalography recordings in healthy human volunteers, we dissociated brain activities underlying these different cognitive phenomena. Our results provide strong evidence that widely distributed slow cortical potentials (SCPs) correlate with subjective awareness, even after the effects of objective performance and confidence were both removed. The SCP correlate of conscious perception manifests strongly in its waveform, phase, and power. In contrast, objective performance and confidence were both contributed by relatively transient brain activity. These results shed new light on the brain mechanisms of conscious, unconscious, and metacognitive processing.

  14. Disruption of Conscious Access in Schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berkovitch, Lucie; Dehaene, Stanislas; Gaillard, Raphaël

    2017-11-01

    Schizophrenia is a severe and complex psychiatric disorder resulting in delusions, hallucinations, and cognitive impairments. Across a variety of paradigms, an elevated threshold for conscious perception has been repeatedly observed in persons with schizophrenia. Remarkably, even subtle measures of subliminal processing appear to be preserved. We argue here that the dissociation between impaired conscious access and intact unconscious processing may be due to a specific disruption of top-down attentional amplification. This proposal is compatible with the neurophysiological disturbances observed in schizophrenia, including dysconnectivity, abnormal neural oscillations, and glutamatergic and cholinergic dysregulation. Therefore, placing impaired conscious access as a central feature of schizophrenia can help researchers develop a coherent and parsimonious pathophysiological framework of the disease. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. The science of consciousness - Basics, models, and visions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinterberger, Thilo

    2015-12-01

    This article presents a few models and aspects of the phenomenon consciousness that are emerging from modern neuroscience and might serve as a basis for scientific discourse in the field of Applied Consciousness Sciences. A first model describes the dynamics of information processing in the brain. The evoked electric brain potentials represent a hierarchical sequence of functions playing an important role in conscious perception. These range from primary processing, attention, pattern recognition, categorization, associations to judgments, and complex thoughts. Most functions seem to be implemented in the brain's neural network operating as a neurobiological computer. Another model treats conscious perception as a process of internalisation leading to the "self" as conscious observer. As a consequence, every conscious perception can be seen as a reduced and already interpreted observation of an inner representation of an outer or imagined "world." Subjective experience thus offers properties which can only be experienced from the inside and cannot be made objective. Basic values of humanity such as responsibility, love, compassion, freedom, and dignity can be derived from these subjective qualities. Therefore, in contrast to the Natural Sciences, the Science of Consciousness additionally is challenged to deal with those subjective qualities, emphasizing the resulting influence on health, social interactions, and the whole society. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Consciousness during dreams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cicogna, P C; Bosinelli, M

    2001-03-01

    Two aspects of consciousness are first considered: consciousness as awareness (phenomenological meaning) and consciousness as strategic control (functional meaning). As to awareness, three types can be distinguished: first, awareness as the phenomenal experiences of objects and events; second, awareness as meta-awareness, i.e., the awareness of mental life itself; third, awareness as self-awareness, i.e., the awareness of being oneself. While phenomenal experience and self-awareness are usually present during dreaming (even if many modifications are possible), meta-awareness is usually absent (apart from some particular experiences of self-reflectiveness) with the major exception of lucid dreaming. Consciousness as strategic control may also be present in dreams. The functioning of consciousness is then analyzed, following a cognitive model of dream production. In such a model, the dream is supposed to be the product of the interaction of three components: (a) the bottom-up activation of mnemonic elements coming from LTM systems, (b) interpretative and elaborative top-down processes, and (c) monitoring of phenomenal experience. A feedback circulation is activated among the components, where the top-down interpretative organization and the conscious monitoring of the oneiric scene elicitates other mnemonic contents, according to the requirements of the dream plot. This dream productive activity is submitted to unconscious and conscious processes. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

  17. Consciousness in dreams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahn, David; Gover, Tzivia

    2010-01-01

    This chapter argues that dreaming is an important state of consciousness and that it has many features that complement consciousness in the wake state. The chapter discusses consciousness in dreams and how it comes about. It discusses the changes that occur in the neuromodulatory environment and in the neuronal connectivity of the brain as we fall asleep and begin our night journeys. Dreams evolve from internal sources though the dream may look different than any one of these since something entirely new may emerge through self-organizing processes. The chapter also explores characteristics of dreaming consciousness such as acceptance of implausibility and how that might lead to creative insight. Examples of studies, which have shown creativity in dream sleep, are provided to illustrate important characteristics of dreaming consciousness. The chapter also discusses the dream body and how it relates to our consciousness while dreaming. Differences and similarities between wake, lucid, non-lucid and day dreaming are explored and the chapter concludes with a discussion on what we can learn from each of these expressions of consciousness. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Face processing pattern under top-down perception: a functional MRI study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jun; Liang, Jimin; Tian, Jie; Liu, Jiangang; Zhao, Jizheng; Zhang, Hui; Shi, Guangming

    2009-02-01

    Although top-down perceptual process plays an important role in face processing, its neural substrate is still puzzling because the top-down stream is extracted difficultly from the activation pattern associated with contamination caused by bottom-up face perception input. In the present study, a novel paradigm of instructing participants to detect faces from pure noise images is employed, which could efficiently eliminate the interference of bottom-up face perception in topdown face processing. Analyzing the map of functional connectivity with right FFA analyzed by conventional Pearson's correlation, a possible face processing pattern induced by top-down perception can be obtained. Apart from the brain areas of bilateral fusiform gyrus (FG), left inferior occipital gyrus (IOG) and left superior temporal sulcus (STS), which are consistent with a core system in the distributed cortical network for face perception, activation induced by top-down face processing is also found in these regions that include the anterior cingulate gyrus (ACC), right oribitofrontal cortex (OFC), left precuneus, right parahippocampal cortex, left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), right frontal pole, bilateral premotor cortex, left inferior parietal cortex and bilateral thalamus. The results indicate that making-decision, attention, episodic memory retrieving and contextual associative processing network cooperate with general face processing regions to process face information under top-down perception.

  19. Science, conscience, consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hennig, Boris

    2010-01-01

    Descartes' metaphysics lays the foundation for the special sciences, and the notion of consciousness ("conscientia") belongs to metaphysics rather than to psychology. I argue that as a metaphysical notion, "consciousness" refers to an epistemic version of moral conscience. As a consequence, the activity on which science is based turns out to be conscientious thought. The consciousness that makes science possible is a double awareness: the awareness of what one is thinking, of what one should be doing, and of the possibility of a gap between the two.

  20. Homing in on consciousness: Why is a dream conscious?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porte, Helene Sophrin

    2016-01-01

    Morsella et al. argue convincingly that consciousness is for adaptive voluntary action. What, then, is consciousness in a dream for? Two prior questions present themselves. In a dream, how do contents get into the conscious field? What are the properties of consciousness in a dream?

  1. Networks of conscious experience: computational neuroscience in understanding life, death, and consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leisman, Gerry; Koch, Paul

    2009-01-01

    We demonstrate brain locations appearing to correlate with consciousness, but not being directly responsible for it. Technology reveals that brain activity is associated with consciousness but is not equivalent to it. We examine how consciousness occurs at critical levels of complexity. Conventional explanations portray consciousness as an emergent property of classical computer-like activities in the brain's neural networks. Prevailing views in this camp are that patterns of neural network activities correlate with mental states, that synchronous network oscillations in the thalamus and cerebral cortex temporally bind information, and that consciousness emerges as a novel property of computational complexity among neurons. A hard-wired theory is enigmatic for explaining consciousness because the nature of subjective experience, or 'qualia'- 'inner life' - is a "hard problem" to understand; binding spatially distributed brain activity into unitary objects, and a coherent sense of self, or 'oneness' is difficult to explain as is the transition from pre- to conscious states. Consciousness is non-computable and involves factors that are neither random nor algorithmic - consciousness cannot be simulated; explanations are also needed for free will and for subjective time flow. Convention argues that neurons and their chemical synapses are the fundamental units of information in the brain, and that conscious experience emerges when a critical level of complexity is reached in the brain's neural networks. The basic idea is that the mind is a computer functioning in the brain. In fitting the brain to a computational view, such explanations omit incompatible neurophysiological details, including widespread apparent randomness at all levels of neural processes (is it really noise, or underlying levels of complexity?); glial cells (which account for some 80% of the brain); dendritic-dendritic processing; electrotonic gap junctions; cytoplasmic/cytoskeletal activities; living

  2. Conscious visual memory with minimal attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinto, Yair; Vandenbroucke, Annelinde R; Otten, Marte; Sligte, Ilja G; Seth, Anil K; Lamme, Victor A F

    2017-02-01

    Is conscious visual perception limited to the locations that a person attends? The remarkable phenomenon of change blindness, which shows that people miss nearly all unattended changes in a visual scene, suggests the answer is yes. However, change blindness is found after visual interference (a mask or a new scene), so that subjects have to rely on working memory (WM), which has limited capacity, to detect the change. Before such interference, however, a much larger capacity store, called fragile memory (FM), which is easily overwritten by newly presented visual information, is present. Whether these different stores depend equally on spatial attention is central to the debate on the role of attention in conscious vision. In 2 experiments, we found that minimizing spatial attention almost entirely erases visual WM, as expected. Critically, FM remains largely intact. Moreover, minimally attended FM responses yield accurate metacognition, suggesting that conscious memory persists with limited spatial attention. Together, our findings help resolve the fundamental issue of how attention affects perception: Both visual consciousness and memory can be supported by only minimal attention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  3. Virtual reality and consciousness inference in dreaming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hobson, J Allan; Hong, Charles C-H; Friston, Karl J

    2014-01-01

    This article explores the notion that the brain is genetically endowed with an innate virtual reality generator that - through experience-dependent plasticity - becomes a generative or predictive model of the world. This model, which is most clearly revealed in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep dreaming, may provide the theater for conscious experience. Functional neuroimaging evidence for brain activations that are time-locked to rapid eye movements (REMs) endorses the view that waking consciousness emerges from REM sleep - and dreaming lays the foundations for waking perception. In this view, the brain is equipped with a virtual model of the world that generates predictions of its sensations. This model is continually updated and entrained by sensory prediction errors in wakefulness to ensure veridical perception, but not in dreaming. In contrast, dreaming plays an essential role in maintaining and enhancing the capacity to model the world by minimizing model complexity and thereby maximizing both statistical and thermodynamic efficiency. This perspective suggests that consciousness corresponds to the embodied process of inference, realized through the generation of virtual realities (in both sleep and wakefulness). In short, our premise or hypothesis is that the waking brain engages with the world to predict the causes of sensations, while in sleep the brain's generative model is actively refined so that it generates more efficient predictions during waking. We review the evidence in support of this hypothesis - evidence that grounds consciousness in biophysical computations whose neuronal and neurochemical infrastructure has been disclosed by sleep research.

  4. VIRTUAL REALITY IN WAKING AND DREAMING CONSCIOUSNESS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allan eHobson

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available This article explores the notion that the brain is genetically endowed with an innate virtual reality generator that – through experience-dependent plasticity –becomes a generative or predictive model of the world. This model, which is most clearly revealed in rapid eye movement (REM sleep dreaming, may provide the theatre for conscious experience. Functional neuroimaging evidence for brain activations that are time-locked to rapid eye movements endorses the view that waking consciousness emerges from REM sleep – and dreaming lays the foundations for waking perception. In this view, the brain is equipped with a virtual model of the world that generates predictions of its sensations. This model is continually updated and entrained by sensory prediction errors in wakefulness to ensure veridical perception, but not in dreaming. In contrast, dreaming plays an essential role in maintaining and enhancing the capacity to model the world by minimizing model complexity and thereby maximizing both statistical and thermodynamic efficiency. This perspective suggests that consciousness corresponds to the embodied process of inference, realized through the generation of virtual realities (in both sleep and wakefulness. In short, our premise or hypothesis is that the waking brain engages with the sensorium to predict the causes of sensations, while in sleep the brain's generative model is actively refined so that it generates more efficient predictions during waking. We review the evidence in support of this hypothesis – evidence that grounds consciousness in biophysical computations whose neuronal and neurochemical infrastructure has been disclosed by sleep research.

  5. Intrathecal baclofen: effects on spasticity, pain, and consciousness in disorders of consciousness and locked-in syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pistoia, Francesca; Sacco, Simona; Sarà, Marco; Franceschini, Marco; Carolei, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    Disorders of consciousness (DOCs) include coma, vegetative state (VS), and minimally conscious state (MCS). Coma is characterized by impaired wakefulness and consciousness, while VS and MCS are defined by lacking or discontinuous consciousness despite recovered wakefulness. Conversely, locked-in syndrome (LIS) is characterized by quadriplegia and lower cranial nerve paralysis with preserved consciousness. Intrathecal baclofen (ITB) is a useful treatment to improve spasticity both in patients with DOCs and LIS. Moreover, it supports the recovery of consciousness in some patients with VS or MCS. The precise mechanism underlying this recovery has not yet been elucidated. It has been hypothesized that ITB may act by reducing the overload of dysfunctional sensory stimuli reaching the injured brain or by stabilizing the imbalanced circadian rhythms. Although the current indication of ITB is the management of severe spasticity, its potential use in speeding the recovery of consciousness merits further investigation.

  6. GABA shapes the dynamics of bistable perception

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Loon, A.M.; Knapen, T.; Scholte, H.S.; St. John-Saaltink, E.; Donner, T.H.; Lamme, V.A.F.

    2013-01-01

    Sometimes, perception fluctuates spontaneously between two distinct interpretations of a constant sensory input. These bistable perceptual phenomena provide a unique window into the neural mechanisms that create the contents of conscious perception. Models of bistable perception posit that mutual

  7. How quantum brain biology can rescue conscious free will

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hameroff, Stuart

    2012-01-01

    Conscious “free will” is problematic because (1) brain mechanisms causing consciousness are unknown, (2) measurable brain activity correlating with conscious perception apparently occurs too late for real-time conscious response, consciousness thus being considered “epiphenomenal illusion,” and (3) determinism, i.e., our actions and the world around us seem algorithmic and inevitable. The Penrose–Hameroff theory of “orchestrated objective reduction (Orch OR)” identifies discrete conscious moments with quantum computations in microtubules inside brain neurons, e.g., 40/s in concert with gamma synchrony EEG. Microtubules organize neuronal interiors and regulate synapses. In Orch OR, microtubule quantum computations occur in integration phases in dendrites and cell bodies of integrate-and-fire brain neurons connected and synchronized by gap junctions, allowing entanglement of microtubules among many neurons. Quantum computations in entangled microtubules terminate by Penrose “objective reduction (OR),” a proposal for quantum state reduction and conscious moments linked to fundamental spacetime geometry. Each OR reduction selects microtubule states which can trigger axonal firings, and control behavior. The quantum computations are “orchestrated” by synaptic inputs and memory (thus “Orch OR”). If correct, Orch OR can account for conscious causal agency, resolving problem 1. Regarding problem 2, Orch OR can cause temporal non-locality, sending quantum information backward in classical time, enabling conscious control of behavior. Three lines of evidence for brain backward time effects are presented. Regarding problem 3, Penrose OR (and Orch OR) invokes non-computable influences from information embedded in spacetime geometry, potentially avoiding algorithmic determinism. In summary, Orch OR can account for real-time conscious causal agency, avoiding the need for consciousness to be seen as epiphenomenal illusion. Orch OR can rescue conscious

  8. How quantum brain biology can rescue conscious free will

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stuart eHameroff

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Conscious ‘free will’ is problematic because 1 brain mechanisms causing consciousness are unknown, 2 measurable brain activity correlating with conscious perception apparently occurs too late for real-time conscious response, consciousness thus being considered ‘epiphenomenal illusion’, and 3 determinism, i.e. our actions and the world around us seem algorithmic and inevitable. The Penrose-Hameroff theory of ‘orchestrated objective reduction’ (‘Orch OR’ identifies discrete conscious moments with quantum computations in microtubules inside brain neurons, e.g. 40 per second in concert with gamma synchrony EEG. Microtubules organize neuronal interiors and regulate synapses. In Orch OR, microtubule quantum computations occur in integration phases in dendrites and cell bodies of integrate-and-fire brain neurons connected and synchronized by gap junctions, allowing entanglement of microtubules among many neurons. Quantum computations in entangled microtubules terminate by Penrose ‘objective reduction’ (‘OR’, a proposal for quantum state reduction and conscious moments linked to fundamental spacetime geometry. Each OR reduction selects microtubule states which can trigger axonal firings, and control behavior. The quantum computations are ‘orchestrated’ by synaptic inputs and memory (thus ‘Orch OR’. If correct, Orch OR can account for conscious causal agency, resolving problem 1. Regarding problem 2, Orch OR can cause temporal non-locality, sending quantum information backward in classical time, enabling conscious control of behavior. Three lines of evidence for brain backward time effects are presented. Regarding problem 3 Penrose OR (and Orch OR invoke non-computable influences from information embedded in spacetime geometry, potentially avoiding algorithmic determinism. In summary, Orch OR can account for real-time conscious causal agency, avoiding the need for consciousness to be seen as epiphenomenal illusion. Orch

  9. How quantum brain biology can rescue conscious free will.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hameroff, Stuart

    2012-01-01

    Conscious "free will" is problematic because (1) brain mechanisms causing consciousness are unknown, (2) measurable brain activity correlating with conscious perception apparently occurs too late for real-time conscious response, consciousness thus being considered "epiphenomenal illusion," and (3) determinism, i.e., our actions and the world around us seem algorithmic and inevitable. The Penrose-Hameroff theory of "orchestrated objective reduction (Orch OR)" identifies discrete conscious moments with quantum computations in microtubules inside brain neurons, e.g., 40/s in concert with gamma synchrony EEG. Microtubules organize neuronal interiors and regulate synapses. In Orch OR, microtubule quantum computations occur in integration phases in dendrites and cell bodies of integrate-and-fire brain neurons connected and synchronized by gap junctions, allowing entanglement of microtubules among many neurons. Quantum computations in entangled microtubules terminate by Penrose "objective reduction (OR)," a proposal for quantum state reduction and conscious moments linked to fundamental spacetime geometry. Each OR reduction selects microtubule states which can trigger axonal firings, and control behavior. The quantum computations are "orchestrated" by synaptic inputs and memory (thus "Orch OR"). If correct, Orch OR can account for conscious causal agency, resolving problem 1. Regarding problem 2, Orch OR can cause temporal non-locality, sending quantum information backward in classical time, enabling conscious control of behavior. Three lines of evidence for brain backward time effects are presented. Regarding problem 3, Penrose OR (and Orch OR) invokes non-computable influences from information embedded in spacetime geometry, potentially avoiding algorithmic determinism. In summary, Orch OR can account for real-time conscious causal agency, avoiding the need for consciousness to be seen as epiphenomenal illusion. Orch OR can rescue conscious free will.

  10. Gender differences in emotion experience perception under different facial muscle manipulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yufeng; Zhang, Dongjun; Zou, Feng; Li, Hao; Luo, Yanyan; Zhang, Meng; Liu, Yijun

    2016-04-01

    According to embodied emotion theory, facial manipulations should modulate and initiate particular emotions. However, whether there are gender differences in emotion experience perception under different facial muscle manipulations is not clear. Therefore, we conducted two behavioral experiments to examine gender differences in emotional perception in response to facial expressions (sad, neutral, and happy) under three conditions: (1) holding a pen using only the teeth (HPT), which facilitates the muscles typically associated with smiling; (2) holding a pen using only the lips (HPL), which inhibits the muscles typically associated with smiling; and (3) a control condition--hold no pen (HNP). We found that HPT made the emotional feelings more positive, and that the change degree of female's ratings of sad facial expressions between conditions (HPL to HPT) was larger than males'. These results suggested cognition can be affected by the interaction of the stimuli and the body, especially the female. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Disorders of Consciousness: Painless or Painful Conditions?—Evidence from Neuroimaging Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesca Pistoia

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The experience of pain in disorders of consciousness is still debated. Neuroimaging studies, using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI, Positron Emission Tomography (PET, multichannel electroencephalography (EEG and laser-evoked potentials, suggest that the perception of pain increases with the level of consciousness. Brain activation in response to noxious stimuli has been observed in patients with unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (UWS, which is also referred to as a vegetative state (VS, as well as those in a minimally conscious state (MCS. However, all of these techniques suggest that pain-related brain activation patterns of patients in MCS more closely resemble those of healthy subjects. This is further supported by fMRI findings showing a much greater functional connectivity within the structures of the so-called pain matrix in MCS as compared to UWS/VS patients. Nonetheless, when interpreting the results, a distinction is necessary between autonomic responses to potentially harmful stimuli and conscious experience of the unpleasantness of pain. Even more so if we consider that the degree of residual functioning and cortical connectivity necessary for the somatosensory, affective and cognitive-evaluative components of pain processing are not yet clear. Although procedurally challenging, the particular value of the aforementioned techniques in the assessment of pain in disorders of consciousness has been clearly demonstrated. The study of pain-related brain activation and functioning can contribute to a better understanding of the networks underlying pain perception while addressing clinical and ethical questions concerning patient care. Further development of technology and methods should aim to increase the availability of neuroimaging, objective assessment of functional connectivity and analysis at the level of individual cases as well as group comparisons. This will enable neuroimaging to truly become a clinical tool to

  12. Quantum Cosmology and the Hard Problem of the Conscious Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Chris

    The conscious brain poses the most serious unsolved problem for science at the beginning of the third millennium. Not only is the whole basis of subjective conscious experience lacking adequate physical explanation, but the relationship between causality and intentionally willed action remains equally obscure. We explore a model resolving major features of the so-called "hard problem in consciousness research" through cosmic subject-object complementarity. The model combines transactional quantum theory, with chaotic and fractal dynamics as a basis for a direct relationship between phase coherence in global brain states and anticipatory boundary conditions in quantum systems, complementing these with key features of conscious perception, and intentional will. The aim is to discover unusual physical properties of excitable cells that may form a basis for the evolutionary selection of subjective consciousness, because the physics involved in its emergence permits anticipatory choices that strongly favor survival.

  13. Consciousness and the "Causal Paradox"

    OpenAIRE

    Velmans, Max

    1996-01-01

    Viewed from a first-person perspective consciousness appears to be necessary for complex, novel human activity - but viewed from a third-person perspective consciousness appears to play no role in the activity of brains, producing a "causal paradox". To resolve this paradox one needs to distinguish consciousness of processing from consciousness accompanying processing or causing processing. Accounts of consciousness/brain causal interactions switch between first- and third-person perspectives...

  14. How to study consciousness scientifically.

    OpenAIRE

    Searle, J R

    1998-01-01

    The neurosciences have advanced to the point that we can now treat consciousness as a scientific problem like any other. The problem is to explain how brain processes cause consciousness and how consciousness is realized in the brain. Progress is impeded by a number of philosophical mistakes, and the aim of this paper is to remove nine of those mistakes: (i) consciousness cannot be defined; (ii) consciousness is subjective but science is objective; (iii) brain processes cannot explain conscio...

  15. Skill transfer specificity shapes perception and action under varying environmental constraints.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seifert, Ludovic; Wattebled, Léo; Orth, Dominic; L'Hermette, Maxime; Boulanger, Jérémie; Davids, Keith

    2016-08-01

    Using an ecological dynamics framework, this study investigated the generality and specificity of skill transfer processes in organisation of perception and action using climbing as a task vehicle. Fluency of hip trajectory and orientation was assessed using normalized jerk coefficients exhibited by participants as they adapted perception and action under varying environmental constraints. Twelve recreational climbers were divided into two groups: one completing a 10-m high route on an indoor climbing wall; a second undertaking a 10-m high route on an icefall in a top-rope condition. We maintained the same level of difficulty between these two performance environments. An inertial measurement unit was attached each climber's hips to collect 3D acceleration and 3D orientation data to compute jerk coefficient values. Video footage was used to record the ratio of exploratory/performatory movements. Results showed higher jerk coefficient values and number of exploratory movements for performance on the icefall route, perhaps due to greater functional complexity in perception and action required when climbing icefalls, which involves use of specific tools for anchorage. Findings demonstrated how individuals solve different motor problems, exploiting positive general transfer processes enabling participants to explore the pick-up of information for the perception of affordances specific to icefall climbing. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. The metaphor-gestalt synergy underlying the self-organisation of perception as a semiotic process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rail, David

    2013-04-01

    Recently the basis of concept and language formation has been redefined by the proposal that they both stem from perception and embodiment. The experiential revolution has lead to a far more integrated and dynamic understanding of perception as a semiotic system. The emergence of meaning in the perceptual process stems from the interaction between two key mechanisms. These are first, the generation of schemata through recurrent sensorimotor activity (SM) that underlies category and language formation (L). The second is the interaction between metaphor (M) and gestalt mechanisms (G) that generate invariant mappings beyond the SM domain that both conserve and diversify our understanding and meaning potential. We propose an important advance in our understanding of perception as a semiotic system through exploring the affect of self-organising to criticality where hierarchical behaviour becomes widely integrated through 1/f process and isomorphisms. Our proposal leads to several important implications. First, that SM and L form a functional isomorphism depicted as SM L. We contend that SM L is emergent, corresponding to the phenomenal self. Second, meaning structures the isomorphism SM L through the synergy between M and G (M-G). M-G synergy is based on a combination of structuring and imagination. We contend that the interaction between M-G and SM L functions as a macro-micro comutation that governs perception as semiosis. We discuss how our model relates to current research in fractal time and verb formation.

  17. Study of Black Consciousness in A Raisin in The Sun

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rehana Kousar

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available This work explores Black Consciousness in A Raisin in the Sun by Hansberry. Black Consciousness elaborates an awareness of and pride in one’s identity as a black person. It analyzes A Raisin in the Sun by applying the theory of Black Consciousness under the perspective of Fanon. This study analysis the drama at three levels: sense of pride on black culture and identity, struggle against Apartheid and Blacks’ resolution to accept the challenges of White Community.

  18. No Correlation between Distorted Body Representations Underlying Tactile Distance Perception and Position Sense

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew R. Longo

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Both tactile distance perception and position sense are believed to require that immediate afferent signals be referenced to a stored representation of body size and shape (the body model. For both of these abilities, recent studies have reported that the stored body representations involved are highly distorted, at least in the case of the hand, with the hand dorsum represented as wider and squatter than it actually is. Here, we investigated whether individual differences in the magnitude of these distortions are shared between tactile distance perception and position sense, as would be predicted by the hypothesis that a single distorted body model underlies both tasks. We used established task to measure distortions of the represented shape of the hand dorsum. Consistent with previous results, in both cases there were clear biases to overestimate distances oriented along the medio-lateral axis of the hand compared to the proximo-distal axis. Moreover, within each task there were clear split-half correlations, demonstrating that both tasks show consistent individual differences. Critically, however, there was no correlation between the magnitudes of distortion in the two tasks. This casts doubt on the proposal that a common body model underlies both tactile distance perception and position sense.

  19. Environmentally conscious patent histories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crouch, Dennis D.; Crouch, Henry L.

    2004-02-01

    There is a need for investigators, legislators, and business leaders to understand the magnitude of innovation and discovery in the field of environmentally conscious technologies (ECTs). Knowledge of the "big picture" is important to providing a national and global account of actual environmental stewardship over the last twenty-five years. A recitation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) supported Acts which have been enacted into law reveals one facet of the multifaceted dynamic of environmental consciousness. The popular discussion and debate, as well as partisan lobbying, which created the political forces leading to environmentally conscious legislation is another facet. A third facet is the corporate response to the threats and opportunities predicted by CEO"s and others through environmental scanning. This paper examines changes in environmentally conscious inventive effort by comparing data from United States Patents issued from 1976 through 2003. Patents are useful tool for measuring technological innovation because they are publicly available records of innovative activity. Although not all inventions result in patent applications, the monopoly rights granted on the invention give the inventor a strong incentive to obtain patents on any viable product or process. Among the results, we found a significant increase in patents relating to environmentally conscious products and processes during the period in question. Specifically, a dramatic increase in patent activity was seen for the decade of the 1990"s. Surprisingly, the patenting rate from 2000 to 2003 seems to have stabilized. Additionally public discussion of ECTs appears to have a positive impact on patent filings.

  20. Psychometric properties of a caregiver illness perception measure for caries in children under 6 years old.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Suchitra; Slusar, Mary Beth; Albert, Jeffrey M; Liu, Yiying; Riedy, Christine A

    2016-02-01

    Based on the Common-Sense Model of Self-Regulation (CSM), the Revised Illness Perception Questionnaire (IPQ-R) was developed to measure patients' perceptions of their chronic medical illness. Such a measure does not exist for dental conditions. This study describes psychometric properties of the IPQ-R for Dental (IPQ-RD) for parent/caregivers of children under 6 years of age. Parent/caregivers (n=160) of children aged 0.74). The IPQ-RD is a valid and reliable measure to assess parent/caregivers' representation of young children's cavities with potential to be a valuable risk assessment tool for oral health behavioral research. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. How neuroscience will change our view on consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamme, Victor A F

    2010-09-01

    Is there consciousness in machines? Or in animals? What happens to consciousness when we are asleep, or in vegetative state? These are just a few examples of the many questions about consciousness that are troubling scientists and laypersons alike. Moreover, these questions share a striking feature: They seem to have been around forever, yet neither science nor philosophy has been able to provide an answer. Why is that? In my view, the main reason is that the study of consciousness is dominated by what we know from introspection and behavior. This has fooled us into thinking that we know what we are conscious of. The scientific equivalent of this is Global Workspace theory. But in fact we don't know what we are conscious of, as I will explain from a simple experiment in visual perception. Once we acknowledge that, it is clear that we need other evidence about the presence or absence of a conscious sensation than introspection or behavior. Assuming the brain has something to do with it, I will demonstrate how arguments from neuroscience, together with theoretical and ontological arguments, can help us resolve what the exact nature of our conscious sensation is. It turns out that we see much more than we think, and that Global Workspace theory is all about access but not about seeing. The exercise is an example of how neuroscience will move us away from psychological intuitions about consciousness, and hence depict a notion of consciousness that may go against our deepest conviction: "My consciousness is mine, and mine alone." It's not.

  2. [The mind-brain problem (II): about consciousness].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tirapu-Ustarroz, J; Goni-Saez, F

    2016-08-16

    Consciousness is the result of a series of neurobiological processes in the brain and is, in turn, a feature of the level of its complexity. In fact, being conscious and being aware place us before what Chalmers called the 'soft problem' and the 'hard problem' of consciousness. The first refers to aspects such as wakefulness, attention or knowledge, while the second is concerned with such complex concepts as self-awareness, 'neural self' or social cognition. In this sense it can be said that the concept of consciousness as a unitary thing poses problems of approaching a highly complex reality. We outline the main models that have addressed the topic of consciousness from a neuroscientific perspective. On the one hand, there are the conscious experience models of Crick, Edelman and Tononi, and Llinas, and, on the other, the models and neuronal bases of self-consciousness by authors such as Damasio (core and extended consciousness), Tulving (autonoetic and noetic consciousness and chronesthesia), the problem of qualia (Dennett, Popper, Ramachandran) and the cognit model (Fuster). All the stimuli we receive from the outside world and from our own internal world are converted and processed by the brain so as to integrate them, and from there they become part of our identity. The perception of a dog and being able to recognise it as such or the understanding of our own consciousness are the result of the functioning of brain, neuronal and synaptic structures. The more complex processes of consciousness, such as self-awareness or empathy, are probably emergent brain processes.

  3. Conscious Experience and Episodic Memory: Hippocampus at the Crossroads

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ralf-Peter eBehrendt

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available If an instance of conscious experience of the seemingly objective world around us could be regarded as a newly formed event memory, much as an instance of mental imagery has the content of a retrieved event memory, and if, therefore, the stream of conscious experience could be seen as evidence for ongoing formation of event memories that are linked into episodic memory sequences, then unitary conscious experience could be defined as a symbolic representation of the pattern of hippocampal neuronal firing that encodes an event memory – a theoretical stance that may shed light into the mind-body and binding problems in consciousness research. Exceedingly detailed symbols that describe patterns of activity rapidly self-organizing, at each cycle of the θ rhythm, in the hippocampus are instances of unitary conscious experience that jointly constitute the stream of consciousness. Integrating object information (derived from the ventral visual stream and orbitofrontal cortex with contextual emotional information (from the anterior insula and spatial environmental information (from the dorsal visual stream, the hippocampus rapidly forms event codes that have the informational content of objects embedded in an emotional and spatiotemporally extending context. Event codes, formed in the CA3-dentate network for the purpose of their memorization, are not only contextualized but also allocentric representations, similarly to conscious experiences of events and objects situated in a seemingly objective and observer-independent framework of phenomenal space and time. Conscious perception is likely to be related to more fleeting and seemingly internal forms of conscious experience, such as autobiographical memory recall, mental imagery, including goal anticipation, and to other forms of externalized conscious experience, namely dreaming and hallucinations; and evidence pointing to an important contribution of the hippocampus to these conscious phenomena will

  4. Lack of information underlies women's perceptions of erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mita, Koji; Kakehashi, Masayuki; Hasegawa, Yasuhisa; Inoue, Yoji; Shigeta, Masanobu; Matsubara, Akio; Usui, Tsuguru

    2008-12-01

    Some Japanese women are known to have negative attitudes toward erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs, but the environment underlying these perceptions is unclear. To reveal the underlying environment that shapes women's perceptions of ED drugs in Japan. A web-based questionnaire was conducted through an Internet-based market research company. A total of 2,593 women in five age groups (20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s or older) were randomly invited to participate in this study, with an almost equal number in each age group. The questionnaire contained 30 items related to individual background and sexual information, concerns about the image of ED drugs, ED drug-related perceptions, and attitude toward sexual information media. The women's attitude and the independent predictors that affect their partner's use of ED drugs were clarified. Answers were obtained from 1,077 women, of whom 35.4% (n=381) had a negative image of ED drugs. Although 69.5% (n=749) agreed that a sexual relationship with a male partner was important, only 26.7% (n=288) agreed that this remained important if ED drugs were used. However, 56.7% (n=611) and 57.7% (n=621) of respondents, respectively, answered that they would allow their partner's use of ED drugs if they imagined that they understood the safety and effectiveness of ED drugs and that their quality of life was improved by their partner's use of the drugs. Lack of information about ED drugs was a significant predictor for acceptance of a partner's use of ED drugs among women with a negative image of ED drugs, since they were more likely to accept the use of these drugs if they were convinced about their safety and effectiveness or positive effect on quality of life. Lack of information about ED drugs may influence the perception of women in Japan regarding these drugs.

  5. Cajal and consciousness. Introduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marijuán, P C

    2001-04-01

    One hundred years after Santiago Ramón Cajal established the bases of modern neuroscience in his masterpiece Textura del sistema nervioso del hombre y de los vertebrados, the question is stated again: What is the status of consciousness today? The responses in this book, by contemporary leading figures of neuroscience, evolution, molecular biology, computer science, and quantum physics, collectively compose a fascinating conceptual landscape. Both the evolutionary emergence of consciousness and its development towards the highest level may be analyzed by a wealth of new theories and hypotheses, including Cajal's prescient ones. Some noticeable gaps remain, however. Celebrating the centennial of Textura is a timely occasion to reassess how close--and how far--our system of the sciences is to explaining consciousness.

  6. Making CSB + -Trees Processor Conscious

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Samuel, Michael; Pedersen, Anders Uhl; Bonnet, Philippe

    2005-01-01

    Cache-conscious indexes, such as CSB+-tree, are sensitive to the underlying processor architecture. In this paper, we focus on how to adapt the CSB+-tree so that it performs well on a range of different processor architectures. Previous work has focused on the impact of node size on the performan...... a systematic method for adapting CSB+-tree to new platforms. This work is a first step towards integrating CSB+-tree in MySQL’s heap storage manager....

  7. Making CSB + -Trees Processor Conscious

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Samuel, Michael; Pedersen, Anders Uhl; Bonnet, Philippe

    2005-01-01

    Cache-conscious indexes, such as CSB+-tree, are sensitive to the underlying processor architecture. In this paper, we focus on how to adapt the CSB+-tree so that it performs well on a range of different processor architectures. Previous work has focused on the impact of node size on the performance...... of the CSB+-tree. We argue that it is necessary to consider a larger group of parameters in order to adapt CSB+-tree to processor architectures as different as Pentium and Itanium. We identify this group of parameters and study how it impacts the performance of CSB+-tree on Itanium 2. Finally, we propose...

  8. Are the neural correlates of conscious contents stable or plastic?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sandberg, Kristian; Overgaard, Morten; Rees, Geraint

    2012-01-01

    of the same recording session. Very similar accuracies were obtained when the data used to train and test the classifier were gathered on different days within a week. However, when training/testing data were separated by 2.5 years, prediction accuracy was reduced drastically, to a level comparable to when...... the classifier was trained on a different participant. We discuss whether this drop in accuracy can best be explained by changes in the predictive signal in terms of timing, topography or underlying sources. Our results thus show that the neural correlates of conscious perception of a particular stimulus...... are stable within a time frame of days, but not across years. This may be taken as an indication that our experience of the same visual stimulus changes slowly across long periods of time, or alternatively the results may be understood in terms of multiple realizability....

  9. Consciousness in the Universe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khalil Chamcham

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available So far we can identify at least three concepts within modern cosmology that bring into debate the question of consciousness in the universe: 1 Fine Tuning; 2 The Anthropic Principle and 3 The Multiverse. This does not exclude the question of the role of observer (i.e. consciousness in cosmology as developed within Quantum Physics: we observe the universe through quanta and any breakthrough in understanding the origin and nature of the universe will come only through a quantum theory of gravity […

  10. Global workspace dynamics: Cortical "binding and propagation enables conscious contents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernard J Baars

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available A global workspace is a hub of binding and propagation in a population of loosely coupled signaling elements. Global workspace (GW architectures recruit many distributed, specialized agents to help resolve focal ambiguities. In the brain, conscious experiences may reflect a global workspace function. For animals the natural world is full of fitness-related ambiguities, suggesting a general adaptive pressure for brains to resolve focal ambiguities quickly and accurately. In humans and related species the cortico-thalamic (C-T core is believed to underlie conscious aspects of perception, thinking, learning, feelings of knowing, emotions, imagery, working memory and executive control. The C-T core has many anatomical hubs, but conscious percepts are unitary and internally consistent at any given moment. The repertoire of conscious contents is a large, open set. These points suggest that a brain-based GW capacity cannot be localized in a single anatomical hub. Rather, it should be sought in a dynamic capacity for adaptive binding and propagation of neural signals over multi-hub networks. We refer to this as dynamic global workspace theory (dGW. In this view, conscious contents can arise in any region of the C-T core when multiple signal streams settle on a winner-take-all equilibrium. The resulting bound gestalt may ignite an any-to-many broadcast, lasting ~100-200 ms, and trigger widespread adaptation in established networks. Binding and broadcasting may involve theta/gamma or alpha/gamma phase coupling. Conscious contents (qualia may reflect their sources in cortex. Sensory percepts may bind and broadcast from posterior regions, while non-sensory feelings of knowing (FOKs may be frontotemporal. The small focal capacity of conscious contents may be the biological price to pay for global access. We propose that in the intact brain the hippocampal/rhinal complex may support conscious event organization as well as episodic memory coding.

  11. On the neural mechanisms subserving consciousness and attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine eTallon-Baudry

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Consciousness, as described in the experimental literature, is a multi-faceted phenomenon, that impinges on other well-studied concepts such as attention and control. Do consciousness and attention refer to different aspects of the same core phenomenon, or do they correspond to distinct functions? One possibility to address this question is to examine the neural mechanisms underlying consciousness and attention. If consciousness and attention pertain to the same concept, they should rely on shared neural mechanisms. Conversely, if their underlying mechanisms are distinct, then consciousness and attention should be considered as distinct entities. This paper therefore reviews neurophysiological facts arguing in favor or against a tight relationship between consciousness and attention. Three neural mechanisms that have been associated with both attention and consciousness are examined (neural amplification, involvement of the fronto-parietal network, and oscillatory synchrony, to conclude that the commonalities between attention and consciousness at the neural level may have been overestimated. Last but not least, experiments in which both attention and consciousness were probed at the neural level point toward a dissociation between the two concepts. It therefore appears from this review that consciousness and attention rely on distinct neural properties, although they can interact at the behavioral level. It is proposed that a "cumulative influence model", in which attention and consciousness correspond to distinct neural mechanisms feeding a single decisional process leading to behavior, fits best with available neural and behavioral data. In this view, consciousness should not be considered as a top-level executive function but should rather be defined by its experiential properties.

  12. GABA shapes the dynamics of bistable perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Loon, Anouk M; Knapen, Tomas; Scholte, H Steven; St John-Saaltink, Elexa; Donner, Tobias H; Lamme, Victor A F

    2013-05-06

    Sometimes, perception fluctuates spontaneously between two distinct interpretations of a constant sensory input. These bistable perceptual phenomena provide a unique window into the neural mechanisms that create the contents of conscious perception. Models of bistable perception posit that mutual inhibition between stimulus-selective neural populations in visual cortex plays a key role in these spontaneous perceptual fluctuations. However, a direct link between neural inhibition and bistable perception has not yet been established experimentally. Here, we link perceptual dynamics in three distinct bistable visual illusions (binocular rivalry, motion-induced blindness, and structure from motion) to measurements of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) concentrations in human visual cortex (as measured with magnetic resonance spectroscopy) and to pharmacological stimulation of the GABAA receptor by means of lorazepam. As predicted by a model of neural interactions underlying bistability, both higher GABA concentrations in visual cortex and lorazepam administration induced slower perceptual dynamics, as reflected in a reduced number of perceptual switches and a lengthening of percept durations. Thus, we show that GABA, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter, shapes the dynamics of bistable perception. These results pave the way for future studies into the competitive neural interactions across the visual cortical hierarchy that elicit conscious perception. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. The mystery of consciousness

    CERN Document Server

    Searle, John R

    1997-01-01

    It has long been one of the most fundamental problems of philosophy, and it is now, John Searle writes, "the most important problem in the biological sciences": What is consciousness? Is my inner awareness of myself something separate from my body? In what began as a series of essays in The New York Review of Books, John Searle evaluates the positions on consciousness of such well-known scientists and philosophers as Francis Crick, Gerald Edelman, Roger Penrose, Daniel Dennett, David Chalmers, and Israel Rosenfield. He challenges claims that the mind works like a computer, and that brain functions can be reproduced by computer programs. With a sharp eye for confusion and contradiction, he points out which avenues of current research are most likely to come up with a biological examination of how conscious states are caused by the brain. Only when we understand how the brain works will we solve the mystery of consciousness, and only then will we begin to understand issues ranging from artificial intelligence...

  14. The Problem of Consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crick, Francis; Koch, Christof

    1992-01-01

    Discusses approaches to the problem presented in understanding consciousness as a yet undiscovered process of interacting neuron activity. Presents the historical context of research in the area of human awareness and identifies research necessary to scientifically explain how the brain relates to the mind. (MCO)

  15. Consciousness: Emergent and Real

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reza Maleeh

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we propose three lines of argumentation against Nannini’s eliminativist approach towards consciousness and the Self. First, we argue that the premises he uses to argue for eliminativism can equally well be used to draw a completely different conclusion in favor of naturalistic dualism according to which phenomenal consciousness irreducibly emerges from a physical substrate by virtue of certain psychophysical laws of nature. Nannini proposes that in contrast to dualistic theses which represent the manifest image of the world, eliminativism represents the world’s scientific image just as classical physics and theories of relativity respectively represent the world’s manifest image and scientific image. And if developments in a scientific field reveal a conflict between these two images we should always vote for the scientific image. In our second line of argument, we challenge this claim by comparing two rival interpretations of quantum mechanics, i.e. the Copenhagen and Bohmian interpretation of quantum mechanics. Finally, we argue that Nannini’s identification of consciousness and the Self as illusions does not shed any light on the hard problem of consciousness since illusions themselves are instances of phenomenal experiences and need to be explained.

  16. The Mind of Consciousness

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Human mind, often considered synonymous with consciousness, has been called the last frontier of science. In addition to neuro- biologists, psychologists and cognitive scientists, in recent years it has increasingly attracted the attention of physicists. This book is yet another in the series by a physicist who believes that ...

  17. The Mind of Consciousness

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    To dissect it further he attempts to provide some quantitative information regarding the various inner spaces like the five senses along with thinking space, feeling space, memory and other higher functions; he points out that in its single- minded pursuit of unity, consciousness strives to integrate sensations, memories,.

  18. Pain and consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Larrea, Luis; Bastuji, Hélène

    2017-10-12

    The aversive experience we call "pain" results from the coordinated activation of multiple brain areas, commonly described as a "pain matrix". This is not a fixed arrangement of structures but rather a fluid system composed of several interacting networks: A 'nociceptive matrix' includes regions receiving input from ascending nociceptive systems, and ensures the bodily characteristics of physical pain. A further set of structures receiving secondary input supports the 'salience' attributes of noxious stimuli, triggers top-down cognitive controls, and -most importantly- ensures the passage from pre-conscious nociception to conscious pain. Expectations and beliefs can still modulate the conscious experience via activity in supramodal regions with widespread cortical projections such as the ventral tegmental area. Intracortical EEG responses in humans show that nociceptive cortical processing is initiated in parallel in sensory, motor and limbic areas; it progresses rapidly to the recruitment of anterior insular and fronto-parietal networks, and finally to the activation of perigenual, posterior cingulate and hippocampal structures. Functional connectivity between sensory and high-level networks increases during the first second post-stimulus, which may be determinant for access to consciousness. A model is described, progressing from unconscious sensori-motor and limbic processing of spinothalamic and spino-parabrachial input, to an immediate sense of awareness supported by coordinated activity in sensorimotor and fronto-parieto-insular networks, and leading to full declarative consciousness through integration with autobiographical memories and self-awareness, involving posterior cingulate and medial temporal areas. This complete sequence is only present during full vigilance states. We contend, however, that even in unconscious subjects, repeated limbic and vegetative activation by painful stimuli via spino-amygdalar pathways can generate implicit memory traces and

  19. Volitional components of consciousness vary across wakefulness, dreaming and lucid dreaming

    OpenAIRE

    Dresler, Martin; Eibl, Leandra; Fischer, Christian F. J.; Wehrle, Renate; Spoormaker, Victor I.; Steiger, Axel; Czisch, Michael; Pawlowski, Marcel

    2014-01-01

    Consciousness is a multifaceted concept; its different aspects vary across species, vigilance states, or health conditions. While basal aspects of consciousness like perceptions and emotions are present in many states and species, higher-order aspects like reflective or volitional capabilities seem to be most pronounced in awake humans. Here we assess the experience of volition across different states of consciousness: 10 frequent lucid dreamers rated different aspects of volition according t...

  20. A Heuristic Model of Consciousness with Applications to the Development of Science and Society

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter A. Curreri

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available A working model of consciousness is fundamental to understanding of the interactions of the observer in science. This paper examines contemporary understanding of consciousness. A heuristic model of consciousness is suggested that is consistent with psycophysics measurements of bandwidth of consciousness relative to unconscious perception. While the self reference nature of consciousness confers a survival benefit by assuring the all points of view regarding a problem are experienced in sufficiently large population, conscious bandwidth is constrained by design to avoid chaotic behavior. The multiple hypotheses provided by conscious reflection enable the rapid progression of science and technology. The questions of free will and the problem of attention are discussed in relation to the model. Finally the combination of rapid technology growth with the assurance of many unpredictable points of view is considered in respect to contemporary constraints to the development of society.

  1. A Heuristic Model of Consciousness with Applications to the Development of Science and Society

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curreri, Peter A.

    2010-01-01

    A working model of consciousness is fundamental to understanding of the interactions of the observer in science. This paper examines contemporary understanding of consciousness. A heuristic model of consciousness is suggested that is consistent with psycophysics measurements of bandwidth of consciousness relative to unconscious perception. While the self reference nature of consciousness confers a survival benefit by assuring the all points of view regarding a problem are experienced in sufficiently large population, conscious bandwidth is constrained by design to avoid chaotic behavior. The multiple hypotheses provided by conscious reflection enable the rapid progression of science and technology. The questions of free will and the problem of attention are discussed in relation to the model. Finally the combination of rapid technology growth with the assurance of many unpredictable points of view is considered in respect to contemporary constraints to the development of society.

  2. A theory of working memory without consciousness or sustained activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trübutschek, Darinka; Marti, Sébastien; Ojeda, Andrés; King, Jean-Rémi; Mi, Yuanyuan; Tsodyks, Misha; Dehaene, Stanislas

    2017-01-01

    Working memory and conscious perception are thought to share similar brain mechanisms, yet recent reports of non-conscious working memory challenge this view. Combining visual masking with magnetoencephalography, we investigate the reality of non-conscious working memory and dissect its neural mechanisms. In a spatial delayed-response task, participants reported the location of a subjectively unseen target above chance-level after several seconds. Conscious perception and conscious working memory were characterized by similar signatures: a sustained desynchronization in the alpha/beta band over frontal cortex, and a decodable representation of target location in posterior sensors. During non-conscious working memory, such activity vanished. Our findings contradict models that identify working memory with sustained neural firing, but are compatible with recent proposals of ‘activity-silent’ working memory. We present a theoretical framework and simulations showing how slowly decaying synaptic changes allow cell assemblies to go dormant during the delay, yet be retrieved above chance-level after several seconds. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.23871.001 PMID:28718763

  3. Does Consciousness Disappear in Dreamless Sleep?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Windt, Jennifer M; Nielsen, Tore; Thompson, Evan

    2016-12-01

    Consciousness is often said to disappear in deep, dreamless sleep. We argue that this assumption is oversimplified. Unless dreamless sleep is defined as unconscious from the outset there are good empirical and theoretical reasons for saying that a range of different types of sleep experience, some of which are distinct from dreaming, can occur in all stages of sleep. We introduce a novel taxonomy for describing different kinds of dreamless sleep experiences and suggest research methods for their investigation. Future studies should focus on three areas: memory consolidation, sleep disorders, and sleep state (mis)perception. Our proposal suggests new directions for sleep and dream science, as well as for the neuroscience of consciousness, and can also inform the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Consciousness as a useful concept in epilepsy classification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blumenfeld, Hal; Meador, Kimford J

    2014-08-01

    Impaired consciousness has important practical consequences for people living with epilepsy. Recent pathophysiologic studies show that seizures with impaired level of consciousness always affect widespread cortical networks and subcortical arousal systems. In light of these findings and their clinical significance, efforts are underway to revise the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) 2010 report to include impaired consciousness in the classification of seizures. Lüders and colleagues have presented one such effort, which we discuss here. We then propose an alternative classification of impaired consciousness in epilepsy based on functional neuroanatomy. Some seizures involve focal cortical regions and cause selective deficits in the content of consciousness but without impaired overall level of consciousness or awareness. These include focal aware conscious seizures (FACS) with lower order cortical deficits such as somatosensory or visual impairment as well as FACS with higher cognitive deficits including ictal aphasia or isolated epileptic amnesia. Another category applies to seizures with impaired level of consciousness leading to deficits in multiple cognitive domains. For this category, we believe the terms "dyscognitive" or "dialeptic" should be avoided because they may create confusion. Instead we propose that seizures with impaired level of consciousness be described based on underlying pathophysiology. Widespread moderately severe deficits in corticothalamic function are seen in absence seizures and in focal impaired consciousness seizures (FICS), including many temporal lobe seizures and other focal seizures with impaired consciousness. Some simple responses or automatisms may be preserved in these seizures. In contrast, generalized tonic-clonic seizures usually produce widespread severe deficits in corticothalamic function causing loss of all meaningful responses. Further work is needed to understand and prevent impaired consciousness in

  5. "Wanting," "liking," and their relation to consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anselme, Patrick; Robinson, Mike J F

    2016-04-01

    Most animal and human behaviors emanate from goal-directedness and pleasure seeking, suggesting that they are primarily under conscious control. However, "wanting" and "liking" are believed to be adaptive core subcortical processes working at an unconscious level and responsible for guiding behavior toward appropriate rewards. Here we examine whether "wanting" is an inherent property of conscious goals and "liking" an intrinsic component of conscious feelings. We argue that "wanting" and "liking" depend on mechanisms acting below the level of consciousness, explaining why individuals often struggle to enhance or refrain their motivations and emotions by means of conscious control. In particular, hyperreactivity of subcortical "wanting" systems has been tied to pathological behaviors such as drug addiction and gambling disorder. In addicts, cognitive processes intended to curb drug-seeking wage a constant battle against subcortical urges to take more drug that often ends in relapse following repeated assaults. Nevertheless, we suggest that in nonpathological contexts, "wanting" and "liking" interact with major cognitive processes to guide goal-directed actions. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  6. The quantitative measurement of consciousness during epileptic seizures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nani, Andrea; Cavanna, Andrea E

    2014-01-01

    The assessment of consciousness is a fundamental element in the classification of epileptic seizures. It is, therefore, of great importance for clinical practice to develop instruments that enable an accurate and reliable measurement of the alteration of consciousness during seizures. Over the last few years, three psychometric scales have been specifically proposed to measure ictal consciousness: the Ictal Consciousness Inventory (ICI), the Consciousness Seizure Scale (CSS), and the Responsiveness in Epilepsy Scale--versions I and II (RES-I and RES-II). The ICI is a self-report psychometric instrument which retrospectively assesses ictal consciousness along the dimensions of the level/arousal and contents/awareness. The CSS has been used by clinicians to quantify the impairment of consciousness in order to establish correlations with the brain mechanisms underlying alterations of consciousness during temporal lobe seizures. The most recently developed observer-rated instrument is the RES-I, which has been used to assess responsiveness during epileptic seizures in patients undergoing video-EEG. The implementation of standardized psychometric tools for the assessment of ictal consciousness can complement clinical observations and contribute to improve accuracy in seizure classification. © 2013.

  7. Subjective and objective characteristics of altered consciousness during epileptic seizures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campora, Nuria; Kochen, Silvia

    2016-02-01

    Conscious states are inner states and processes of awareness. These states are by definition subjective. We analyzed subjective and objective characteristics of alteration of consciousness (AOC) during epileptic seizures, including its involvement in both the level of awareness and subjective content of consciousness. We evaluated AOC using the Consciousness Seizure Scale, the Ictal Consciousness Inventory, and a new structured survey developed by our group: the Seizure Perception Survey, which incorporates patients' subjective experiences before and after they watch a video-electroencephalographic recording of their own seizure. We included 35 patients (105 seizures) with drug-resistant epilepsy. Most seizures caused profound AOC. The content of consciousness was lower during temporal seizures with profound AOC. We uncovered a correlation between the subjective perception and objective duration of a seizure using the Seizure Perception Survey regarding memory; the patients had a better recall of ictal onset during wakefulness regardless of the epileptogenic zone, laterality, or magnitude of AOC. Nonetheless, the recovery of memory at the end of a seizure took more time in patients who showed greater AOC, less vivid content of consciousness, or a longer seizure. For 85% of the patients, this was the first time they were able to view their own seizures. The majority of the patients requested to view them again because this procedure allowed them to compare the recordings with their own memories and emotions during a seizure and to verify the real duration of the seizure. Alteration of consciousness is one of the most dramatic clinical manifestations of epilepsy. Usually, practitioners or relatives assume that the patients with AOC may not have any knowledge on their seizures. In this study, however, we found that most patients with AOC had a fairly accurate perception of the duration of a seizure and retained their memory of ictal onset. In contrast, for the

  8. Understanding visual consciousness in autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yatziv, Tal; Jacobson, Hilla

    2015-01-01

    The paper focuses on the question of what the (visual) perceptual differences are between individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and typically developing (TD) individuals. We argue against the view that autistic subjects have a deficiency in the most basic form of perceptual consciousness-namely, phenomenal consciousness. Instead, we maintain, the perceptual atypicality of individuals with autism is of a more conceptual and cognitive sort-their perceptual experiences share crucial aspects with TD individuals. Our starting point is Ben Shalom's (2005, 2009) three-level processing framework for explaining atypicality in several domains of processing among autistics, which we compare with two other tripartite models of perception-Jackendoff's (1987) and Prinz's (2000, 2005a, 2007) Intermediate Level Hypothesis and Lamme's (2004, 2006, 2010) neural account of consciousness. According to these models, whereas the second level of processing is concerned with viewer-centered visual representations of basic visual properties and incorporates some early forms of integration, the third level is more cognitive and conceptual. We argue that the data suggest that the atypicality in autism is restricted mainly to the third level. More specifically, second-level integration, which is the mark of phenomenal consciousness, is typical, yet third-level integration of perceptual objects and concepts is atypical. Thus, the basic experiences of individuals with autism are likely to be similar to typical subjects' experiences; the main difference lies in the sort of cognitive access the subjects have to their experiences. We conclude by discussing implications of the suggested analysis of experience in autism for conceptions of phenomenal consciousness.

  9. Psychotherapy, consciousness, and brain plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel eCollerton

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Purely psychological treatments for emotional distress produce lasting, measureable, and reproducible changes in cognitive and emotional consciousness and brain function. How these changes come about illustrates the interplay between brain and consciousness. Studies of the effects of psychotherapy highlight the holistic nature of consciousness. Pre and post treatment functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging localises the brain changes following psychotherapy to frontal, cingulate, and limbic circuits, but emphasise that these areas support a wide range of conscious experiences. Multivoxel Pattern Analysis of distributed changes in function across these brain areas may be able to provide the ability to distinguish between different states of consciousness.

  10. Volitional components of consciousness vary across wakefulness, dreaming and lucid dreaming

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dresler, M.; Eibl, L.; Fischer, C.F.; Wehrle, R.; Spoormaker, V.I.; Steiger, A.; Czisch, M.; Pawlowski, M.

    2014-01-01

    Consciousness is a multifaceted concept; its different aspects vary across species, vigilance states, or health conditions. While basal aspects of consciousness like perceptions and emotions are present in many states and species, higher-order aspects like reflective or volitional capabilities seem

  11. How the hierarchical organization of the brain and increasing cognitive abilities may result in consciousness

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spruijt, B.M.

    2001-01-01

    Defining perception, awareness, consciousness and reflexive or self-reflexive consciousness is difficult. I will not linger on definitions of fuzzy concepts but will attempt to put forward evidence for the rationale that awareness is likely to emerge as a consequence of how the brain processes

  12. Early Childhood Educators' Perceptions of Conscious Discipline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldarella, Paul; Page, Nate W.; Gunter, Leslie

    2012-01-01

    Classroom management is a significant challenge for school teachers and administrators, often rated as the primary area of concern for first-year teachers and the most common reason many choose to leave the profession. Recently there has been an increased interest in social and emotional learning and its' relationship to improved student behavior,…

  13. Inferior Frontal Gyrus Activation Underlies the Perception of Emotions, While Precuneus Activation Underlies the Feeling of Emotions during Music Listening

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken-ichi Tabei

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available While music triggers many physiological and psychological reactions, the underlying neural basis of perceived and experienced emotions during music listening remains poorly understood. Therefore, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI, I conducted a comparative study of the different brain areas involved in perceiving and feeling emotions during music listening. I measured fMRI signals while participants assessed the emotional expression of music (perceived emotion and their emotional responses to music (felt emotion. I found that cortical areas including the prefrontal, auditory, cingulate, and posterior parietal cortices were consistently activated by the perceived and felt emotional tasks. Moreover, activity in the inferior frontal gyrus increased more during the perceived emotion task than during a passive listening task. In addition, the precuneus showed greater activity during the felt emotion task than during a passive listening task. The findings reveal that the bilateral inferior frontal gyri and the precuneus are important areas for the perception of the emotional content of music as well as for the emotional response evoked in the listener. Furthermore, I propose that the precuneus, a brain region associated with self-representation, might be involved in assessing emotional responses.

  14. Inferior Frontal Gyrus Activation Underlies the Perception of Emotions, While Precuneus Activation Underlies the Feeling of Emotions during Music Listening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabei, Ken-ichi

    2015-01-01

    While music triggers many physiological and psychological reactions, the underlying neural basis of perceived and experienced emotions during music listening remains poorly understood. Therefore, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), I conducted a comparative study of the different brain areas involved in perceiving and feeling emotions during music listening. I measured fMRI signals while participants assessed the emotional expression of music (perceived emotion) and their emotional responses to music (felt emotion). I found that cortical areas including the prefrontal, auditory, cingulate, and posterior parietal cortices were consistently activated by the perceived and felt emotional tasks. Moreover, activity in the inferior frontal gyrus increased more during the perceived emotion task than during a passive listening task. In addition, the precuneus showed greater activity during the felt emotion task than during a passive listening task. The findings reveal that the bilateral inferior frontal gyri and the precuneus are important areas for the perception of the emotional content of music as well as for the emotional response evoked in the listener. Furthermore, I propose that the precuneus, a brain region associated with self-representation, might be involved in assessing emotional responses.

  15. Effects of integral breath consciousness workshops on spirituality ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The aim of the present investigation was to evaluate the effect of breath consciousness workshops on perceptions of spirituality and health. An integral psychological approach using quantitative and qualitative methods in a pre-and post-test, quasi experimental and control group design was used to assess changes in ...

  16. Preserved consciousness in vegetative and minimal conscious states

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kondziella, Daniel; Nielsen, Christian Thomas Friberg; Frokjaer, Vibe G

    2016-01-01

    Active, passive and resting state paradigms using functional MRI (fMRI) or EEG may reveal consciousness in the vegetative (VS) and the minimal conscious state (MCS). A meta-analysis was performed to assess the prevalence of preserved consciousness in VS and MCS as revealed by fMRI and EEG.......0001)) and to show preserved functional cortical connectivity during passive paradigms (55% vs 26%; OR 3.53 (95% CI 2.49 to 4.99; ppreserved consciousness more often than active paradigms (38% vs 24%; OR 1.98 (95% CI 1.54 to 2.54; p... were insufficient for statistical evaluation. In conclusion, active paradigms may underestimate the degree of consciousness as compared to passive paradigms. While MCS patients show signs of preserved consciousness more frequently in both paradigms, roughly 15% of patients with a clinical diagnosis...

  17. Moral significance of phenomenal consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Neil; Savulescu, Julian

    2009-01-01

    Recent work in neuroimaging suggests that some patients diagnosed as being in the persistent vegetative state are actually conscious. In this paper, we critically examine this new evidence. We argue that though it remains open to alternative interpretations, it strongly suggests the presence of consciousness in some patients. However, we argue that its ethical significance is less than many people seem to think. There are several different kinds of consciousness, and though all kinds of consciousness have some ethical significance, different kinds underwrite different kinds of moral value. Demonstrating that patients have phenomenal consciousness--conscious states with some kind of qualitative feel to them--shows that they are moral patients, whose welfare must be taken into consideration. But only if they are subjects of a sophisticated kind of access consciousness--where access consciousness entails global availability of information to cognitive systems--are they persons, in the technical sense of the word employed by philosophers. In this sense, being a person is having the full moral status of ordinary human beings. We call for further research which might settle whether patients who manifest signs of consciousness possess the sophisticated kind of access consciousness required for personhood.

  18. The biological function of consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Earl, Brian

    2014-01-01

    This research is an investigation of whether consciousness—one's ongoing experience—influences one's behavior and, if so, how. Analysis of the components, structure, properties, and temporal sequences of consciousness has established that, (1) contrary to one's intuitive understanding, consciousness does not have an active, executive role in determining behavior; (2) consciousness does have a biological function; and (3) consciousness is solely information in various forms. Consciousness is associated with a flexible response mechanism (FRM) for decision-making, planning, and generally responding in nonautomatic ways. The FRM generates responses by manipulating information and, to function effectively, its data input must be restricted to task-relevant information. The properties of consciousness correspond to the various input requirements of the FRM; and when important information is missing from consciousness, functions of the FRM are adversely affected; both of which indicate that consciousness is the input data to the FRM. Qualitative and quantitative information (shape, size, location, etc.) are incorporated into the input data by a qualia array of colors, sounds, and so on, which makes the input conscious. This view of the biological function of consciousness provides an explanation why we have experiences; why we have emotional and other feelings, and why their loss is associated with poor decision-making; why blindsight patients do not spontaneously initiate responses to events in their blind field; why counter-habitual actions are only possible when the intended action is in mind; and the reason for inattentional blindness. PMID:25140159

  19. Factors underlying anxiety in HIV testing: risk perceptions, stigma, and the patient-provider power dynamic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worthington, Catherine; Myers, Ted

    2003-05-01

    Client anxiety is often associated with diagnostic testing. In this study, the authors used a grounded theory approach to examine the situational and social factors underlying anxiety associated with HIV testing, analyzing transcripts from semistructured interviews with 39 HIV test recipients in Ontario, Canada (selected based on HIV serostatus, risk experience, geographic region, gender, and number of HIV tests), then integrating emergent themes with existing research literature. Analysis revealed four themes: perceptions of risk and responsibility for health, stigma associated with HIV, the patient-provider power dynamic, and techniques used by test recipients to enhance control in their interactions with providers. Service implications include modifications to information provision during the test session, attention to privacy and anonymity, and sensitivity to patient-provider interactions.

  20. Impact of emotion on consciousness: positive stimuli enhance conscious reportability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rømer Thomsen, Kristine; Lou, Hans C; Joensson, Morten; Hyam, Jonathan A; Holland, Peter; Parsons, Christine E; Young, Katherine S; Møller, Arne; Stein, Alan; Green, Alex L; Kringelbach, Morten L; Aziz, Tipu Z

    2011-04-11

    Emotion and reward have been proposed to be closely linked to conscious experience, but empirical data are lacking. The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) plays a central role in the hedonic dimension of conscious experience; thus potentially a key region in interactions between emotion and consciousness. Here we tested the impact of emotion on conscious experience, and directly investigated the role of the ACC. We used a masked paradigm that measures conscious reportability in terms of subjective confidence and objective accuracy in identifying the briefly presented stimulus in a forced-choice test. By manipulating the emotional valence (positive, neutral, negative) and the presentation time (16 ms, 32 ms, 80 ms) we measured the impact of these variables on conscious and subliminal (i.e. below threshold) processing. First, we tested normal participants using face and word stimuli. Results showed that participants were more confident and accurate when consciously seeing happy versus sad/neutral faces and words. When stimuli were presented subliminally, we found no effect of emotion. To investigate the neural basis of this impact of emotion, we recorded local field potentials (LFPs) directly in the ACC in a chronic pain patient. Behavioural findings were replicated: the patient was more confident and accurate when (consciously) seeing happy versus sad faces, while no effect was seen in subliminal trials. Mirroring behavioural findings, we found significant differences in the LFPs after around 500 ms (lasting 30 ms) in conscious trials between happy and sad faces, while no effect was found in subliminal trials. We thus demonstrate a striking impact of emotion on conscious experience, with positive emotional stimuli enhancing conscious reportability. In line with previous studies, the data indicate a key role of the ACC, but goes beyond earlier work by providing the first direct evidence of interaction between emotion and conscious experience in the human ACC.

  1. Impact of emotion on consciousness: positive stimuli enhance conscious reportability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristine Rømer Thomsen

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Emotion and reward have been proposed to be closely linked to conscious experience, but empirical data are lacking. The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC plays a central role in the hedonic dimension of conscious experience; thus potentially a key region in interactions between emotion and consciousness. Here we tested the impact of emotion on conscious experience, and directly investigated the role of the ACC. We used a masked paradigm that measures conscious reportability in terms of subjective confidence and objective accuracy in identifying the briefly presented stimulus in a forced-choice test. By manipulating the emotional valence (positive, neutral, negative and the presentation time (16 ms, 32 ms, 80 ms we measured the impact of these variables on conscious and subliminal (i.e. below threshold processing. First, we tested normal participants using face and word stimuli. Results showed that participants were more confident and accurate when consciously seeing happy versus sad/neutral faces and words. When stimuli were presented subliminally, we found no effect of emotion. To investigate the neural basis of this impact of emotion, we recorded local field potentials (LFPs directly in the ACC in a chronic pain patient. Behavioural findings were replicated: the patient was more confident and accurate when (consciously seeing happy versus sad faces, while no effect was seen in subliminal trials. Mirroring behavioural findings, we found significant differences in the LFPs after around 500 ms (lasting 30 ms in conscious trials between happy and sad faces, while no effect was found in subliminal trials. We thus demonstrate a striking impact of emotion on conscious experience, with positive emotional stimuli enhancing conscious reportability. In line with previous studies, the data indicate a key role of the ACC, but goes beyond earlier work by providing the first direct evidence of interaction between emotion and conscious experience in the human

  2. Could conscious sedation with midazolam for dental procedures be ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2012-04-25

    Wilk test. As the data ... recovery, whereas patients under GA experienced a more tranquil phase during recovery. .... Evaluation of SEDline to improve the safety and efficiency of conscious sedation. Proc (Bayl Univ Med Cent) ...

  3. Conscious thoughts from reflex-like processes: a new experimental paradigm for consciousness research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Allison K; Wilkins, Kevin; Gazzaley, Adam; Morsella, Ezequiel

    2013-12-01

    The contents of our conscious mind can seem unpredictable, whimsical, and free from external control. When instructed to attend to a stimulus in a work setting, for example, one might find oneself thinking about household chores. Conscious content thus appears different in nature from reflex action. Under the appropriate conditions, reflexes occur predictably, reliably, and via external control. Despite these intuitions, theorists have proposed that, under certain conditions, conscious content resembles reflexes and arises reliably via external control. We introduce the Reflexive Imagery Task, a paradigm in which, as a function of external control, conscious content is triggered reliably and unintentionally: When instructed to not subvocalize the name of a stimulus object, participants reliably failed to suppress the set-related imagery. This stimulus-elicited content is considered 'high-level' content and, in terms of stages of processing, occurs late in the processing stream. We discuss the implications of this paradigm for consciousness research. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Identifying phenomenal consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schier, Elizabeth

    2009-03-01

    This paper examines the possibility of finding evidence that phenomenal consciousness is independent of access. The suggestion reviewed is that we should look for isomorphisms between phenomenal and neural activation spaces. It is argued that the fact that phenomenal spaces are mapped via verbal report is no problem for this methodology. The fact that activation and phenomenal space are mapped via different means does not mean that they cannot be identified. The paper finishes by examining how data addressing this theoretical question could be obtained.

  5. Animal Mind and Consciousness

    OpenAIRE

    Richterová, Klaudie

    2017-01-01

    Název diplomové práce: Mysl a vědomí u zvířat Vedoucí práce: prof. Karel Thein, Ph.D. Vypracovala: Bc. Klaudie Richterová Abstract This thesis examines the issue of cognition, mind and consciousness of living beings other than humans. It starts with the attitudes of two contemporary thinkers: Thomas Nagel and Daniel C. Dennett. In connection with their opinions, this thesis examines a certain number of questions: Might there be something like a subjective experience of life or being? How can ...

  6. Study of Consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel Lee

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The human brain is a powerful organ that controls most of the body. Researchers around the world have long tried to uncover how the brain operates, how memories are formed and stored. Our understanding of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease has been rapidly improving, yet much remains to be done. In this work, we attempt to study changes in intracranial pressure (ICP for a 12-hour period and discuss whether the resulting estimates could be used as a measure of consciousness.

  7. Large scale functional brain networks underlying temporal integration of audio-visual speech perception: An EEG study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Vinodh Kumar

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Observable lip movements of the speaker influence perception of auditory speech. A classical example of this influence is reported by listeners who perceive an illusory (cross-modal speech sound (McGurk-effect when presented with incongruent audio-visual (AV speech stimuli. Recent neuroimaging studies of AV speech perception accentuate the role of frontal, parietal and the integrative brain sites in the vicinity of the superior temporal sulcus (STS for multisensory speech perception. However, if and how does the network across the whole brain participates during multisensory perception processing remains an open question. We posit that a large-scale functional connectivity among the neural population situated in distributed brain sites may provide valuable insights involved in processing and fusing of AV speech. Varying the psychophysical parameters in tandem with electroencephalogram (EEG recordings, we exploited the trial-by-trial perceptual variability of incongruent audio-visual (AV speech stimuli to identify the characteristics of the large-scale cortical network that facilitates multisensory perception during synchronous and asynchronous AV speech. We evaluated the spectral landscape of EEG signals during multisensory speech perception at varying AV lags. Functional connectivity dynamics for all sensor pairs was computed using the time-frequency global coherence, the vector sum of pairwise coherence changes over time. During synchronous AV speech, we observed enhanced global gamma-band coherence and decreased alpha and beta-band coherence underlying cross-modal (illusory perception compared to unisensory perception around a temporal window of 300-600 ms following onset of stimuli. During asynchronous speech stimuli, a global broadband coherence was observed during cross-modal perception at earlier times along with pre-stimulus decreases of lower frequency power, e.g., alpha rhythms for positive AV lags and theta rhythms for negative AV

  8. Developing critical consciousness or justifying the system? A qualitative analysis of attributions for poverty and wealth among low-income racial/ethnic minority and immigrant women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godfrey, Erin B; Wolf, Sharon

    2016-01-01

    Economic inequality is a growing concern in the United States and globally. The current study uses qualitative techniques to (a) explore the attributions low-income racial/ethnic minority and immigrant women make for poverty and wealth in the U.S., and (b) clarify important links between attributions, critical consciousness development, and system justification theory. In-depth interview transcripts from 19 low-income immigrant Dominican and Mexican and native African American mothers in a large Northeastern city were analyzed using open coding techniques. Interview topics included perceptions of current economic inequality and mobility and experiences of daily economic hardships. Almost all respondents attributed economic inequality to individual factors (character flaws, lack of hard work). Structural explanations for poverty and wealth were expressed by fewer than half the sample and almost always paired with individual explanations. Moreover, individual attributions included system-justifying beliefs such as the belief in meritocracy and equality of opportunity and structural attributions represented varying levels of critical consciousness. Our analysis sheds new light on how and why individuals simultaneously hold individual and structural attributions and highlights key links between system justification and critical consciousness. It shows that critical consciousness and system justification do not represent opposite stances along a single underlying continuum, but are distinct belief systems and motivations. It also suggests that the motive to justify the system is a key psychological process impeding the development of critical consciousness. Implications for scholarship and intervention are discussed. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  9. Developing critical consciousness or justifying the system? A qualitative analysis of attributions for poverty and wealth among low-income racial/ethnic minority and immigrant women

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godfrey, Erin B.; Wolf, Sharon

    2015-01-01

    Objectives Economic inequality is a growing concern in the United States and globally. The current study uses qualitative techniques to (1) explore the attributions low-income racial/ethnic minority and immigrant women make for poverty and wealth in the U.S., and (2) clarify important links between attributions, critical consciousness development and system justification theory. Methods In-depth interview transcripts from 19 low-income immigrant Dominican and Mexican and native African-American mothers in a large Northeastern city were analyzed using open coding techniques. Interview topics included perceptions of current economic inequality and mobility and experiences of daily economic hardships. Results Almost all respondents attributed economic inequality to individual factors (character flaws, lack of hard work). Structural explanations for poverty and wealth were expressed by less than half the sample and almost always paired with individual explanations. Moreover, individual attributions included system-justifying beliefs such as the belief in meritocracy and equality of opportunity and structural attributions represented varying levels of critical consciousness. Conclusions Our analysis sheds new light on how and why individuals simultaneously hold individual and structural attributions and highlights key links between system justification and critical consciousness. It shows that critical consciousness and system justification do not represent opposite stances along a single underlying continuum, but are distinct belief systems and motivations. It also suggests that the motive to justify the system is a key psychological process impeding the development of critical consciousness. Implications for scholarship and intervention are discussed. PMID:25915116

  10. Environmental Consciousness in Daily Activities Measured by Negative Prompts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ai Hiramatsu

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The gap between people’s attitude and action as regards environmental issues has been pointed out even while surveys registered an increase in people’s environmental awareness. Among the possible reasons is that people tend to automatically answer “yes”, as most surveys on environmental consciousness use positively-phrased questions or prompts. To remove the “yes-bias” in previous surveys, this present study conducted in Japan a large-scale questionnaire survey on environmental consciousness using negative prompts and free-answered prompts on which behaviors people feel good/bad/uncertain for the environment. This study also investigated peoples’ psychological factors and concrete pro-environmental behaviors (PEBs in daily life. The results of the questionnaire with negative prompts showed that the rate of people’s consciousness to the environment was lower compared with other surveys. Through factor analysis, five psychological factors were extracted as the explanatory factors of environmental attitude. Demographic effects on the consciousness and PEBs were also observed. Comparison of free-answers on concrete daily behaviors among five different environmentally conscious groups showed there were certain phases in the perception of PEBs based on consciousness level. Similar common behaviors were highly ranked as both PEB and doubtful behaviors, indicating that people were worried about actions that involve a trade-off relationship from diversified standpoints.

  11. Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase function at very early symbiont perception: a local nodulation control under stress conditions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert, Germán; Muñoz, Nacira; Alvarado-Affantranger, Xochitl; Saavedra, Laura; Davidenco, Vanina; Rodríguez-Kessler, Margarita; Estrada-Navarrete, Georgina; Sánchez, Federico; Lascano, Ramiro

    2018-04-09

    Root hair curling is an early and essential morphological change required for the success of the symbiotic interaction between legumes and rhizobia. At this stage rhizobia grow as an infection thread within root hairs and are internalized into the plant cells by endocytosis, where the PI3K enzyme plays important roles. Previous observations show that stress conditions affect early stages of the symbiotic interaction, from 2 to 30 min post-inoculation, which we term as very early host responses, and affect symbiosis establishment. Herein, we demonstrated the relevance of the very early host responses for the symbiotic interaction. PI3K and the NADPH oxidase complex are found to have key roles in the microsymbiont recognition response, modulating the apoplastic and intracellular/endosomal ROS induction in root hairs. Interestingly, compared with soybean mutant plants that do not perceive the symbiont, we demonstrated that the very early symbiont perception under sublethal saline stress conditions induced root hair death. Together, these results highlight not only the importance of the very early host-responses on later stages of the symbiont interaction, but also suggest that they act as a mechanism for local control of nodulation capacity, prior to the abortion of the infection thread, preventing the allocation of resources/energy for nodule formation under unfavorable environmental conditions.

  12. Posing for awareness: proprioception modulates access to visual consciousness in a continuous flash suppression task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salomon, Roy; Lim, Melanie; Herbelin, Bruno; Hesselmann, Guido; Blanke, Olaf

    2013-06-03

    The rules governing the selection of which sensory information reaches consciousness are yet unknown. Of our senses, vision is often considered to be the dominant sense, and the effects of bodily senses, such as proprioception, on visual consciousness are frequently overlooked. Here, we demonstrate that the position of the body influences visual consciousness. We induced perceptual suppression by using continuous flash suppression. Participants had to judge the orientation a target stimulus embedded in a task-irrelevant picture of a hand. The picture of the hand could either be congruent or incongruent with the participants' actual hand position. When the viewed and the real hand positions were congruent, perceptual suppression was broken more rapidly than during incongruent trials. Our findings provide the first evidence of a proprioceptive bias in visual consciousness, suggesting that proprioception not only influences the perception of one's own body and self-consciousness, but also visual consciousness.

  13. Could combined sleep and pain evaluation be useful in the diagnosis of disorders of consciousness (DOC)? Preliminary findings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aricò, Irene; Naro, Antonino; Pisani, Laura Rosa; Leo, Antonino; Muscarà, Nunzio; De Salvo, Simona; Silvestri, Rosalia; Bramanti, Placido; Calabrò, Rocco Salvatore

    2016-01-01

    The diagnosis of Disorders of Consciousness (DOC) is still challenging. Indeed, ~ 40% of patients in vegetative state (VS) are misdiagnosed, suggesting the need of more appropriate diagnostic tools. Emerging data are showing that EEG, including sleep structure evaluation and multimodal evoked potential recording could be helpful in DOC diagnosis. Moreover, pain perception evaluation could further increase diagnosis accuracy in such individuals. Fourteen individuals with DOC, due to severe brain injury, were enrolled and admitted to the Intensive Neurorehabilitation Unit of the Research Institute. All patients were evaluated by means of the Coma Recovery Scale-Revised, a 24(hh)-polysomnography and a Laser Evoked Potential (LEP) paradigm. Clinically-defined patients in Minimally Consciousness State showed a more preserved sleep structure, physiologic hypnic figures and preserved REM/NREM sleep distribution than subjects in VS. LEP showed increased latencies and reduced amplitudes and were also detectable in patients with more structured sleep. The data support previous findings concerning the importance of sleep study in DOC diagnosis, with more specific neurophysiological paradigms. Interestingly, the findings shed some light on the possible correlations among global brain connectivity, sleep structure and pain perception, which are related to the activity of the wide thalamo-cortical and cortico-cortical networks underlying consciousness.

  14. Psychopathy and a Model for Disturbed Affective Consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khetrapal, Neha

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available This article deals with the interaction of emotion and consciousness. It focuses on the perception of fearful stimuli and how such a perception can have implications for psychopathy. Amygdala has been found to be lesioned in the disorder and this compromise of integrity leads to deficits in fear perception, moral socialization and curtailing of aggression. This in turn leads to deficits in adaptive behavior as amygdala is responsible for influencing motor and perceptual responses in response to a fearful stimulus. Amygdala also plays an important role in bringing a fearful stimulus, detected at the attentional periphery, to the focus of attention and awareness so that it can receive enhanced processing which is found to be eficient in psychopathy. This role is supported by its connectivity to different cortical and subcortical areas. Hence this article provides an emphasis on the disturbed affective consciousness of psychopathy and its role in adaptive behavior deficits

  15. Consciousness: individuated information in action

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonkisz, Jakub

    2015-01-01

    Within theoretical and empirical enquiries, many different meanings associated with consciousness have appeared, leaving the term itself quite vague. This makes formulating an abstract and unifying version of the concept of consciousness – the main aim of this article –into an urgent theoretical imperative. It is argued that consciousness, characterized as dually accessible (cognized from the inside and the outside), hierarchically referential (semantically ordered), bodily determined (embedded in the working structures of an organism or conscious system), and useful in action (pragmatically functional), is a graded rather than an all-or-none phenomenon. A gradational approach, however, despite its explanatory advantages, can lead to some counterintuitive consequences and theoretical problems. In most such conceptions consciousness is extended globally (attached to primitive organisms or artificial systems), but also locally (connected to certain lower-level neuronal and bodily processes). For example, according to information integration theory (as introduced recently by Tononi and Koch, 2014), even such simple artificial systems as photodiodes possess miniscule amounts of consciousness. The major challenge for this article, then, is to establish reasonable, empirically justified constraints on how extended the range of a graded consciousness could be. It is argued that conscious systems are limited globally by the ability to individuate information (where individuated information is understood as evolutionarily embedded, socially altered, and private), whereas local limitations should be determined on the basis of a hypothesis about the action-oriented nature of the processes that select states of consciousness. Using these constraints, an abstract concept of consciousness is arrived at, hopefully contributing to a more unified state of play within consciousness studies itself. PMID:26283987

  16. Consciousness: individuated information in action

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jakub Adam Jonkisz

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Within theoretical and empirical enquiries, many different meanings associated with consciousness have appeared, leaving the term itself quite vague. This makes formulating an abstract and unifying version of the concept of consciousness – the main aim of this article –into an urgent theoretical imperative. It is argued that consciousness, characterized as dually accessible (cognized from the inside and the outside, hierarchically referential (semantically ordered, bodily determined (embedded in the working structures of an organism or conscious system and useful in action (pragmatically functional, is a graded rather than an all-or-none phenomenon. A gradational approach, however, despite its explanatory advantages, can lead to some counterintuitive consequences and theoretical problems. In most such conceptions consciousness is extended globally (attached to primitive organisms or artificial systems, but also locally (connected to certain lower-level neuronal and bodily processes. For example, according to information integration theory (as introduced recently by Tononi and Koch, even such simple artificial systems as photodiodes possess miniscule amounts of consciousness. The major challenge for this article, then, is to establish reasonable, empirically justified constraints on how extended the range of a graded consciousness could be. It is argued that conscious systems are limited globally by the ability to individuate information (where individuated information is understood as evolutionarily embedded, socially altered and private, whereas local limitations should be determined on the basis of a hypothesis about the action-oriented nature of the processes that select states of consciousness. Using these constraints, an abstract concept of consciousness is arrived at, hopefully contributing to a more unified state of play within consciousness studies itself.

  17. Consciousness, cognition and brain networks: New perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldana, E M; Valverde, J L; Fábregas, N

    2016-10-01

    A detailed analysis of the literature on consciousness and cognition mechanisms based on the neural networks theory is presented. The immune and inflammatory response to the anesthetic-surgical procedure induces modulation of neuronal plasticity by influencing higher cognitive functions. Anesthetic drugs can cause unconsciousness, producing a functional disruption of cortical and thalamic cortical integration complex. The external and internal perceptions are processed through an intricate network of neural connections, involving the higher nervous activity centers, especially the cerebral cortex. This requires an integrated model, formed by neural networks and their interactions with highly specialized regions, through large-scale networks, which are distributed throughout the brain collecting information flow of these perceptions. Functional and effective connectivity between large-scale networks, are essential for consciousness, unconsciousness and cognition. It is what is called the "human connectome" or map neural networks. Copyright © 2014 Sociedad Española de Anestesiología, Reanimación y Terapéutica del Dolor. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  18. Consciousness, accessibility, and the mesh between psychology and neuroscience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Block, Ned

    2007-12-01

    How can we disentangle the neural basis of phenomenal consciousness from the neural machinery of the cognitive access that underlies reports of phenomenal consciousness? We see the problem in stark form if we ask how we can tell whether representations inside a Fodorian module are phenomenally conscious. The methodology would seem straightforward: Find the neural natural kinds that are the basis of phenomenal consciousness in clear cases--when subjects are completely confident and we have no reason to doubt their authority--and look to see whether those neural natural kinds exist within Fodorian modules. But a puzzle arises: Do we include the machinery underlying reportability within the neural natural kinds of the clear cases? If the answer is "Yes," then there can be no phenomenally conscious representations in Fodorian modules. But how can we know if the answer is "Yes"? The suggested methodology requires an answer to the question it was supposed to answer! This target article argues for an abstract solution to the problem and exhibits a source of empirical data that is relevant, data that show that in a certain sense phenomenal consciousness overflows cognitive accessibility. I argue that we can find a neural realizer of this overflow if we assume that the neural basis of phenomenal consciousness does not include the neural basis of cognitive accessibility and that this assumption is justified (other things being equal) by the explanations it allows.

  19. Conscience and consciousness: a definition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vithoulkas, G; Muresanu, D F

    2014-03-15

    While consciousness has been examined extensively in its different aspects, like in philosophy, psychiatry, neurophysiology, neuroplasticity, etc., conscience though it is an equal important aspect of the human existence, which remains an unknown to a great degree as an almost transcendental aspect of the human mind. It has not been examined as thoroughly as consciousness and largely remains a "terra incognita" for its neurophysiology, brain topography, etc. Conscience and consciousness are part of a system of information that governs our experience and decision making process. The intent of this paper is to define these terms, to discuss about consciousness from both neurological and quantum physics point of view, the relationship between the dynamics of consciousness and neuroplasticity and to highlight the relationship between conscience, stress and health.

  20. Impact of Emotion on Consciousness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, Kristine Rømer; Lou, Hans Olav Christensen; Jønsson, Morten

    2011-01-01

    -choice test. By manipulating the emotional valence (positive, neutral, negative) and the presentation time (16 ms, 32 ms, 80 ms) we measured the impact of these variables on conscious and subliminal (i.e. below threshold) processing. First, we tested normal participants using face and word stimuli. Results...... showed that participants were more confident and accurate when consciously seeing happy versus sad/neutral faces and words. When stimuli were presented subliminally, we found no effect of emotion. To investigate the neural basis of this impact of emotion, we recorded local field potentials (LFPs...... after around 500 ms (lasting 30 ms) in conscious trials between happy and sad faces, while no effect was found in subliminal trials. We thus demonstrate a striking impact of emotion on conscious experience, with positive emotional stimuli enhancing conscious reportability. In line with previous studies...

  1. Temporal ventriloquism along the path of apparent motion: speed perception under different spatial grouping principles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogulmus, Cansu; Karacaoglu, Merve; Kafaligonul, Hulusi

    2018-03-01

    The coordination of intramodal perceptual grouping and crossmodal interactions plays a critical role in constructing coherent multisensory percepts. However, the basic principles underlying such coordinating mechanisms still remain unclear. By taking advantage of an illusion called temporal ventriloquism and its influences on perceived speed, we investigated how audiovisual interactions in time are modulated by the spatial grouping principles of vision. In our experiments, we manipulated the spatial grouping principles of proximity, uniform connectedness, and similarity/common fate in apparent motion displays. Observers compared the speed of apparent motions across different sound timing conditions. Our results revealed that the effects of sound timing (i.e., temporal ventriloquism effects) on perceived speed also existed in visual displays containing more than one object and were modulated by different spatial grouping principles. In particular, uniform connectedness was found to modulate these audiovisual interactions in time. The effect of sound timing on perceived speed was smaller when horizontal connecting bars were introduced along the path of apparent motion. When the objects in each apparent motion frame were not connected or connected with vertical bars, the sound timing was more influential compared to the horizontal bar conditions. Overall, our findings here suggest that the effects of sound timing on perceived speed exist in different spatial configurations and can be modulated by certain intramodal spatial grouping principles such as uniform connectedness.

  2. Spontaneous default mode network phase-locking moderates performance perceptions under stereotype threat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leitner, Jordan B.; Duran-Jordan, Kelly; Magerman, Adam B.; Schmader, Toni; Allen, John J. B.

    2015-01-01

    This study assessed whether individual differences in self-oriented neural processing were associated with performance perceptions of minority students under stereotype threat. Resting electroencephalographic activity recorded in white and minority participants was used to predict later estimates of task errors and self-doubt on a presumed measure of intelligence. We assessed spontaneous phase-locking between dipole sources in left lateral parietal cortex (LPC), precuneus/posterior cingulate cortex (P/PCC), and medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC); three regions of the default mode network (DMN) that are integral for self-oriented processing. Results revealed that minorities with greater LPC-P/PCC phase-locking in the theta band reported more accurate error estimations. All individuals experienced less self-doubt to the extent they exhibited greater LPC-MPFC phase-locking in the alpha band but this effect was driven by minorities. Minorities also reported more self-doubt to the extent they overestimated errors. Findings reveal novel neural moderators of stereotype threat effects on subjective experience. Spontaneous synchronization between DMN regions may play a role in anticipatory coping mechanisms that buffer individuals from stereotype threat. PMID:25398433

  3. Strengthening affective organizational commitment: the influence of fairness perceptions of management practices and underlying employee cynicism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    English, Brian; Chalon, Christopher

    2011-01-01

    This study investigates the relationship between cynicism, the perceived fairness of change management and personnel practices, and affective organizational commitment. High levels of affective organizational commitment have been shown to reduce voluntary turnover in the nursing workforce. Previous research suggests that "unfair" management practices and employee cynicism lead to lower commitment. It is not clear, however, whether the perceived fairness of particular practices influences affective commitment beyond that accounted for by underlying employee cynicism. Data were obtained from a study involving 1104 registered nurses that formed part of a larger investigation of the general well-being of nurses in Western Australia. Only nurses who were permanent or employed on fixed term or temporary contracts were included. Findings indicated that although higher levels of cynicism among nurses were associated with lower levels of affective commitment, their perception of the fairness of change management and personnel practices influenced their affective commitment over and above their cynicism. The perceived fairness of management practices is an important influence on nurses' affective commitment beyond that accounted for by cynicism. The implication for managers is that the affective organizational commitment of nurses is likely to be strengthened by addressing the perceived fairness of change management and personnel practices notwithstanding their beliefs about the integrity of the organization.

  4. Journalistic identity and audience perceptions: paradigm and models under construction in the African Great Lakes region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie-Soleil Frère

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available This article is based on a research conducted in three African countries (Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, focusing on the recent evolution of the journalistic profession and the way journalists are perceived today and represented by members of the audience polled in five localities of the region. In the last twenty years, journalism has been deeply transformed, following the liberalization of the media sector, on one hand, and the murderous civil wars which marked the three countries on the other hand. New formats and new roles have appeared for the media, as well as new professional standards for journalists (codes of ethics, regulations from regulatory authorities, journalists education and training curricula, professional associations, often encouraged by foreign donors and international NGOs. This paper aims at showing that, behind these changes, a new « journalistic paradigm » has taken shape, a consequence of both internal dynamics within the profession and external assignments (imposed by the State and the evolution of the market, and also of new demands emanating from the public. In an unstable political, economic and security context, the changes of the journalistic paradigm have transfigured media content, as well as the perception by the local public of the role that journalists have to play in society, and of what the citizens may expect from them, in a region where democracy is still widely under construction.

  5. Journalistic identity and audience perceptions: paradigm and models under construction in the African Great Lakes region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie-Soleil Frère

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available This article is based on a research conducted in three African countries (Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, focusing on the recent evolution of the journalistic profession and the way journalists are perceived today and represented by members of the audience polled in five localities of the region. In the last twenty years, journalism has been deeply transformed, following the liberalization of the media sector, on one hand, and the murderous civil wars which marked the three countries on the other hand. New formats and new roles have appeared for the media, as well as new professional standards for journalists (codes of ethics, regulations from regulatory authorities, journalists education and training curricula, professional associations, often encouraged by foreign donors and international NGOs. This paper aims at showing that, behind these changes, a new « journalistic paradigm » has taken shape, a consequence of both internal dynamics within the profession and external assignments (imposed by the State and the evolution of the market, and also of new demands emanating from the public. In an unstable political, economic and security context, the changes of the journalistic paradigm have transfigured media content, as well as the perception by the local public of the role that journalists have to play in society, and of what the citizens may expect from them, in a region where democracy is still widely under construction.

  6. Spontaneous default mode network phase-locking moderates performance perceptions under stereotype threat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbes, Chad E; Leitner, Jordan B; Duran-Jordan, Kelly; Magerman, Adam B; Schmader, Toni; Allen, John J B

    2015-07-01

    This study assessed whether individual differences in self-oriented neural processing were associated with performance perceptions of minority students under stereotype threat. Resting electroencephalographic activity recorded in white and minority participants was used to predict later estimates of task errors and self-doubt on a presumed measure of intelligence. We assessed spontaneous phase-locking between dipole sources in left lateral parietal cortex (LPC), precuneus/posterior cingulate cortex (P/PCC), and medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC); three regions of the default mode network (DMN) that are integral for self-oriented processing. Results revealed that minorities with greater LPC-P/PCC phase-locking in the theta band reported more accurate error estimations. All individuals experienced less self-doubt to the extent they exhibited greater LPC-MPFC phase-locking in the alpha band but this effect was driven by minorities. Minorities also reported more self-doubt to the extent they overestimated errors. Findings reveal novel neural moderators of stereotype threat effects on subjective experience. Spontaneous synchronization between DMN regions may play a role in anticipatory coping mechanisms that buffer individuals from stereotype threat. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. Appearance concerns among women with neurofibromatosis: examining sexual/bodily and social self-consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Kelly B; Wang, Daphne L; Plotkin, Scott R; Park, Elyse R

    2013-12-01

    Neurofibromatosis (NF) 1 and 2 have distinct appearance effects, yet little research has examined patients' appearance concerns. We assessed appearance concerns and self-consciousness, self-esteem, and loneliness among women with NF. Women with NF1 (n = 79) and NF2 (n = 48) completed the Derriford Appearance Scale to assess appearance concerns and sexual/bodily and social self-consciousness, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, and UCLA Loneliness Scale. Women's appearance concerns were coded to determine whether they were NF-related and whether psychosocial factors contributed to the concerns. A total of 85% of women reported appearance concerns, many of which were NF-related and attributed to psychosocial factors. Women with NF1 reported significantly more sexual/bodily self-consciousness but similar levels of social self-consciousness compared with women with NF2. Significantly higher sexual/bodily self-consciousness was found among married/cohabiting women regardless of NF group. Compared with general population norms and breast cancer survivors (BCS), women with NF1 reported significantly greater sexual/bodily and social self-consciousness. Women with NF2 reported less sexual/bodily self-consciousness compared with population norms, yet tended to report greater sexual/bodily self-consciousness than BCS. Women with NF2 reported significantly greater social self-consciousness compared with population norms and BCS. For both NF1 and NF2, higher levels of sexual/bodily and social self-consciousness were related to lower self-esteem and higher levels of social self-consciousness to more loneliness. Appearance concerns are prevalent, and social self-consciousness is high, among women with NF1 and NF2. Women with NF1 compared with NF2 experience more sexual/bodily self-consciousness. Providers should assess the impact of NF on women's self-perceptions and address sexual, body image, and social concerns. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  8. Neural correlates of processing "self-conscious" vs. "basic" emotions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilead, Michael; Katzir, Maayan; Eyal, Tal; Liberman, Nira

    2016-01-29

    Self-conscious emotions are prevalent in our daily lives and play an important role in both normal and pathological behavior. Despite their immense significance, the neural substrates that are involved in the processing of such emotions are surprisingly under-studied. In light of this, we conducted an fMRI study in which participants thought of various personal events which elicited feelings of negative and positive self-conscious (i.e., guilt, pride) or basic (i.e., anger, joy) emotions. We performed a conjunction analysis to investigate the neural correlates associated with processing events that are related to self-conscious vs. basic emotions, irrespective of valence. The results show that processing self-conscious emotions resulted in activation within frontal areas associated with self-processing and self-control, namely, the mPFC extending to the dACC, and within the lateral-dorsal prefrontal cortex. Processing basic emotions resulted in activation throughout relatively phylogenetically-ancient regions of the cortex, namely in visual and tactile processing areas and in the insular cortex. Furthermore, self-conscious emotions differentially activated the mPFC such that the negative self-conscious emotion (guilt) was associated with a more dorsal activation, and the positive self-conscious emotion (pride) was associated with a more ventral activation. We discuss how these results shed light on the nature of mental representations and neural systems involved in self-reflective and affective processing. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. THE PECULIARITIES OF PERCEPTION OF A COURSE OF LIFE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF TRAUMATIC CORPORAL EXPERIENCE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. I. Shebanova

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Background. Different aspects of the in?uence of traumatic corporal experience on life context have been established, the most signi?cant of which is ?xed on negative experiences of the past (?xation. Objective. The objective of this research was to investigate the peculiarities of perception of life context under the in?uence of traumatic corporal experience (weight deformations, eating disorders and reproductive function. Method. The respondents for this empirical research were selected according to certain criteria and are presented by three groups: – Group 1 (N = 27 consisted of women with the ?rst pregnancy experience (late 2nd trimester, 3rd trimester, who in the past could not become pregnant because of eating behavior and weight deformations (excessively high or low problems. The characteristic feature of this group of women was their strong incentive to maternity. The age of women in this group is from 23 to 29 (an average age is 25, 9 years old. The important selection criterion in this group was the criterion of dissatisfaction with their own weight. The group was balanced by the number of people who have distorted eating behavior strategies «overeating type», «food restriction type»; – Group 2 (N = 27 consisted of women who are dissatis?ed with their weight and were treated for «obesity» or «eating disorders» (anorexia, bulimia, psychogenic overeating. Another characteristic feature of women of this group was their unwillingness to have children. The age of women in this group is from 21 to 27(an average age is 24,4 years old; – Group 3 (control included women with the ?rst pregnancy experience (end of 2nd trimester, 3rd trimester, who are satis?ed with their own weight and do not have any complaints about the state of their health (N = 27. Forming this group we focused our attention to the questions that allowed us to feel certain in the absence of maladaptive patterns of eating behavior and reproductive health. The

  10. Behavioral, Neural, and Computational Principles of Bodily Self-Consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanke, Olaf; Slater, Mel; Serino, Andrea

    2015-10-07

    Recent work in human cognitive neuroscience has linked self-consciousness to the processing of multisensory bodily signals (bodily self-consciousness [BSC]) in fronto-parietal cortex and more posterior temporo-parietal regions. We highlight the behavioral, neurophysiological, neuroimaging, and computational laws that subtend BSC in humans and non-human primates. We propose that BSC includes body-centered perception (hand, face, and trunk), based on the integration of proprioceptive, vestibular, and visual bodily inputs, and involves spatio-temporal mechanisms integrating multisensory bodily stimuli within peripersonal space (PPS). We develop four major constraints of BSC (proprioception, body-related visual information, PPS, and embodiment) and argue that the fronto-parietal and temporo-parietal processing of trunk-centered multisensory signals in PPS is of particular relevance for theoretical models and simulations of BSC and eventually of self-consciousness. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Exploring implicit dimensions underlying risk perception of waste from mining and milling of uranium ores in France

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guillaume, B.; Charron, S.

    2000-01-01

    Understanding public perceptions of risks is increasingly considered to be important in order to make sound policy decisions. For many years, social scientists have been working to understand why the public is so concerned about nuclear energy and radioactive waste. Indeed, risk perception studies have essentially focused on high-level nuclear waste. As a result, there is now a fair understanding of what determines public support or opposition to high-level nuclear waste storage and disposal facilities. However, to date, little research has been conducted into radioactive waste from mining and milling of uranium ores. In France, such waste have a much debated legal status, which illustrates their ambiguous origin (natural versus artificial) and the manner people can perceive them. Therefore, it seems relevant to explore the individual judgements, attitudes and beliefs towards risk associated with uranium mill tailings. The present study provides a structural model based on both the identification and analysis of implicit dimensions underlying risk perception (psychological, cultural, moral...) applied to the case of french uranium mill tailings. One objective of the research has been to develop an interview grid based on this conceptual model in order to elicit social demand beyond public attitudes. Semi-structured interviews have been conducted on site in french uranium bearing areas. The relationships inferred between identified risk characteristics and contextual risk perceptions suggest that five majors thematics (time, space, nature, ethics and trust) build determinants of the public's perceptions of risk related to waste from mining and milling of uranium ores. (author)

  12. Time, Memory, and Consciousness a View from the Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markowitsch, Hans J.

    2005-10-01

    Memory can be defined as mental time traveling. Seen in this way, memory provides the glue which combines different time episodes and leads to a coherent view of one's own person. The importance of time becomes apparent in a neuroscientific comparison of animals and human beings. All kinds of animals have biorhythms -- times when they sleep, prefer or avoid sex, or move to warmer places. Mammalian brains have a number of time sensitive structures damage to which alters a subject's behavior to his or her environment. For human beings, damage to certain brain regions may alter the sense of time and consciousness of time in quite different ways. Furthermore, brain damage, drugs, or psychiatric disturbances may lead to an impaired perception of time, sometimes leading to major positive or negative accelerations in time perception. An impaired time perception alters consciousness and awareness of oneself. A proper synchronized action of time perception, brain activation, memory processing, and autonoetic (self-aware) consciousness provides the bases of an integrated personality.

  13. New evidence of animal consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffin, Donald R; Speck, Gayle B

    2004-01-01

    This paper reviews evidence that increases the probability that many animals experience at least simple levels of consciousness. First, the search for neural correlates of consciousness has not found any consciousness-producing structure or process that is limited to human brains. Second, appropriate responses to novel challenges for which the animal has not been prepared by genetic programming or previous experience provide suggestive evidence of animal consciousness because such versatility is most effectively organized by conscious thinking. For example, certain types of classical conditioning require awareness of the learned contingency in human subjects, suggesting comparable awareness in similarly conditioned animals. Other significant examples of versatile behavior suggestive of conscious thinking are scrub jays that exhibit all the objective attributes of episodic memory, evidence that monkeys sometimes know what they know, creative tool-making by crows, and recent interpretation of goal-directed behavior of rats as requiring simple nonreflexive consciousness. Third, animal communication often reports subjective experiences. Apes have demonstrated increased ability to use gestures or keyboard symbols to make requests and answer questions; and parrots have refined their ability to use the imitation of human words to ask for things they want and answer moderately complex questions. New data have demonstrated increased flexibility in the gestural communication of swarming honey bees that leads to vitally important group decisions as to which cavity a swarm should select as its new home. Although no single piece of evidence provides absolute proof of consciousness, this accumulation of strongly suggestive evidence increases significantly the likelihood that some animals experience at least simple conscious thoughts and feelings. The next challenge for cognitive ethologists is to investigate for particular animals the content of their awareness and what life is

  14. Conceptualizing Mind and Consciousness: Using Constructivist Ideas to Transcend the Physical Bind

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Joe

    2008-01-01

    Philosophers and scientists seeking to conceptualize consciousness, and subjective experience in particular, have focused on sensation and perception, and have emphasized binding--how a percept holds together. Building on a constructivist approach to conception centered on separistic-holistic complexes incorporating multiple levels of abstraction,…

  15. Human perception of the conservation and biodiversity state of forest remnants under different levels of urbanization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thallita Oliveira de Grande

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Human perception of local environmental biodiversity and conservation may provide another dimension to understanding the ecology of urban ecosystems. This perception can vary according to the environmental urbanization level and may contribute towards its conservation. We investigated the relationship between the human perception of the conservation and state of animal richness in urban remnants and level of landscape urbanization, and between the human perception of animal richness and the remnants’ area. In addition, we tested the effectiveness of interviews as the means for evaluating animal richness. The subjects' perception of the conservation of remnants did not correlate with the level of urbanization. Richness was reported as high and varied with the remnant’s area - indicating maintenance of a possible species-area relationship in the studied landscape - but did not correlate with the level of urbanization. Urbanization can standardize the popular knowledge about conservation. Interviews with local residents proved to bring efficient insights into urban animal richness, especially for primates, and can be supplemented by camera-trapping. Human perception, obtained through interviews, is relevant and useful for the description of ecological aspects of urban regions and supports environmental awareness, actions, research projects, and management for conservation purposes.

  16. [Conscious awareness of cognitive processes and their dysfunction].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Kyoko

    2009-11-01

    Conscious awareness is the state in which external and internal stimuli are perceived and can be intentionally acted on. Although various investigations have provided new insights into the neural mechanisms of conscious awareness, its whole network in human remains to be solved. Anosognosia for visual dysfunction and unconscious processing of visual stimuli are good examples of dissociation between cognitive processes and conscious awareness. Anton syndrome, anosognosia for blind or deaf, could be observed in blindness caused by cerebral as well as ophthalmological diseases, when general cognitive function or attention is impaired. Unawareness of hemianopia is not an exception but a common phenomenon, which seems to be related to a completion phenomenon and macular sparing. Patients with visual agnosia are not consciously aware of the nature of their visual dysfunction but have a vague feeling of visual impairment. Blindsight, unconscious visual processing in the blind field, might be partly related to the dorso-dorsal visual stream that takes roles in the control of actions "on line" without awareness of spatial perception. In patients with unilateral spatial neglect, unconscious processing of visual stimuli on the neglected space was also observed. Better understanding of neural mechanisms of conscious awareness would provide insights into various neurological disorders and therapeutic approaches.

  17. Autonoetic Consciousness in Autobiographical Memories after Medial Temporal Lobe Resection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Noulhiane

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available This study aims to investigate autonoetic consciousness associated with episodic autobiographical memory in patients who had undergone unilateral medial temporal lobe resection for intractable epilepsy. Autonoetic consciousness, defined as the conscious feeling of mentally travelling back in time to relive a specific event, was assessed using the Remember/Know (R/K paradigm across different time periods as proposed in the autobiographical memory task developed by Piolino et al. (TEMPau task. Results revealed that the two patient groups (left and right temporal resection gave reduced sense of reliving (R responses and more familiarity (K responses than healthy controls. This poor autonoetic consciousness was highlighted when patients were asked to justify their Remember responses by recalling sensory-perceptive, affective or spatiotemporal specific details across all life periods. These results support the bilateral MTL contribution to episodic autobiographical memory covering the entire lifespan, which is consistent with the multiple trace theory of MTL function [7,9]. This study also demonstrates the bilateral involvement of MTL structures in recalling specific details of personal events characterized by autonoetic consciousness.

  18. Autonoetic Consciousness in Autobiographical Memories after Medial Temporal Lobe Resection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noulhiane, M.; Piolino, P.; Hasboun, D.; Clemenceau, S.; Baulac, M.; Samson, S.

    2008-01-01

    This study aims to investigate autonoetic consciousness associated with episodic autobiographical memory in patients who had undergone unilateral medial temporal lobe resection for intractable epilepsy. Autonoetic consciousness, defined as the conscious feeling of mentally travelling back in time to relive a specific event, was assessed using the Remember/Know (R/K) paradigm across different time periods as proposed in the autobiographical memory task developed by Piolino et al. (TEMPau task). Results revealed that the two patient groups (left and right temporal resection) gave reduced sense of reliving (R) responses and more familiarity (K) responses than healthy controls. This poor autonoetic consciousness was highlighted when patients were asked to justify their Remember responses by recalling sensory-perceptive, affective or spatiotemporal specific details across all life periods. These results support the bilateral MTL contribution to episodic autobiographical memory covering the entire lifespan, which is consistent with the multiple trace theory of MTL function [7,9]. This study also demonstrates the bilateral involvement of MTL structures in recalling specific details of personal events characterized by autonoetic consciousness. PMID:18413911

  19. Human Development IX: A Model of the Wholeness of Man, His Consciousness, and Collective Consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Søren Ventegodt

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we look at the rational and the emotional interpretation of reality in the human brain and being, and discuss the representation of the brain-mind (ego, the body-mind (Id, and the outer world in the human wholeness (the I or “soul”. Based on this we discuss a number of factors including the coherence between perception, attention and consciousness, and the relation between thought, fantasies, visions and dreams. We discuss and explain concepts as intent, will, morals and ethics. The Jungian concept of the human collective conscious and unconscious is also analyzed. We also hypothesis on the nature of intuition and consider the source of religious experience of man. These phenomena are explained based on the concept of deep quantum chemistry and infinite dancing fractal spirals making up the energetic backbone of the world. In this paper we consider man as a real wholeness and debate the concepts of subjectivity, consciousness and intent that can be deduced from such a perspective.

  20. Temporal dynamics of access to consciousness in the attentional blink.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kranczioch, Cornelia; Debener, Stefan; Maye, Alexander; Engel, Andreas K

    2007-09-01

    Presentation of two targets in close temporal succession often results in an impairment of conscious perception for the second stimulus. Previous studies have identified several electrophysiological correlates for this so-called 'attentional blink'. Components of the event-related potential (ERP) such as the N2 and the P3, but also oscillatory brain signals have been shown to distinguish between detected and missed stimuli, and thus, conscious perception. Here we investigate oscillatory responses that specifically relate to conscious stimulus processing together with potential ERP predictors. Our results show that successful target detection is associated with enhanced coherence in the low beta frequency range, but a decrease in alpha coherence before and during target presentation. In addition, we find an inverse relation between the P3 amplitudes associated with the first and second target. We conclude that the resources allocated to first and second target processing are directly mirrored by the P3 component and, moreover, that brain states before and during stimulus presentation, as reflected by oscillatory brain activity, strongly determine the access to consciousness. Thus, becoming aware of a stimulus seems to depend on the dynamic interaction between a number of widely distributed neural processes, rather than on the modulation of one single process or component.

  1. Fringe consciousness in sequence learning: the influence of individual differences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norman, Elisabeth; Price, Mark C; Duff, Simon C

    2006-12-01

    We first describe how the concept of "fringe consciousness" () can characterise gradations of consciousness between the extremes of implicit and explicit learning. We then show that the NEO-PI-R personality measure of openness to feelings, chosen to reflect the ability to introspect on fringe feelings, influences both learning and awareness in the serial reaction time (SRT) task under conditions that have previously been associated with implicit learning (). This provides empirical evidence for the proposed phenomenology and functional role of fringe consciousness in so-called implicit learning paradigms (). Introducing an individual difference variable also helped to identify possible limitations of the exclusion task as a measure of conscious sequence knowledge. Further exploration of individual differences in fringe awareness may help to avoid polarity in the implicit learning debate, and to resolve apparent inconsistencies between previous SRT studies.

  2. Neurorehabilitation in disorders of consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giacino, Joseph T; Katz, Douglas I; Whyte, John

    2013-04-01

    Survivors of severe acquired brain injury often experience prolonged disturbance in consciousness following emergence from coma. Most individuals pass through the vegetative or minimally conscious states en route to eventual recovery of consciousness, although either condition may be permanent. Rehabilitation clinicians charged with the care of these patients face numerous challenges as there are many open questions concerning diagnostic and prognostic accuracy, the natural history of recovery, and the most effective approaches to prevent medical complications and facilitate functional recovery. The last 5 years have been witness to a marked increase in well-designed empirical investigations concerning the rehabilitation of patients with disorders of consciousness. In this article, the authors review recent evidence concerning key factors that influence the course of recovery, present a model of care designed to mitigate medical complications, describe a systematic approach to assessment, and review the effectiveness of treatment interventions utilized in the rehabilitation setting. Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

  3. Loss of Consciousness Is Associated with Stabilization of Cortical Activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solovey, Guillermo; Alonso, Leandro M; Yanagawa, Toru; Fujii, Naotaka; Magnasco, Marcelo O; Cecchi, Guillermo A; Proekt, Alex

    2015-07-29

    regardless of the specific activity characteristics. To give an analogy, our analysis suggests that loss of consciousness is akin to depressing the damper pedal on the piano, which makes the sounds dissipate quicker regardless of the specific melody being played. This approach may prove useful in detecting consciousness on the basis of brain activity under anesthesia and other settings. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/3510866-12$15.00/0.

  4. Do cortical midline variability and low frequency fluctuations mediate William James' "Stream of Consciousness"? "Neurophenomenal Balance Hypothesis" of "Inner Time Consciousness".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Northoff, Georg

    2014-11-01

    William James famously characterized consciousness by 'stream of consciousness' which describes the temporal continuity and flow of the contents of consciousness in our 'inner time consciousness'. More specifically he distinguished between "substantive parts", the contents of consciousness, and "transitive parts", the linkages between different contents. While much research has recently focused on the substantive parts, the neural mechanisms underlying the transitive parts and their characterization by the balance between 'sensible continuity' and 'continuous change' remain unclear. The aim of this paper is to develop so-called neuro-phenomenal hypothesis about specifically the transitive parts and their two phenomenal hallmark features, sensible continuity and continuous change in 'inner time consciousness'. Based on recent findings, I hypothesize that the cortical midline structures and their high degree of variability and strong low frequency fluctuations play an essential role in mediating the phenomenal balance between sensible continuity and continuous change. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Four-Dimensional Graded Consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonkisz, Jakub; Wierzchoń, Michał; Binder, Marek

    2017-01-01

    Both the multidimensional phenomenon and the polysemous notion of consciousness continue to prove resistant to consistent measurement and unambiguous definition. This is hardly surprising, given that there is no agreement even as regards the most fundamental issues they involve. One of the basic disagreements present in the continuing debate about consciousness pertains to its gradational nature. The general aim of this article is to show how consciousness might be graded and multidimensional at the same time. We therefore focus on the question of what it is, exactly, that is or could be graded in cases of consciousness, and how we can measure it. Ultimately, four different gradable aspects of consciousness will be described: quality, abstractness, complexity and usefulness, which belong to four different dimensions, these being understood, respectively, as phenomenal, semantic, physiological, and functional. Consequently, consciousness may be said to vary with respect to phenomenal quality, semantic abstraction, physiological complexity, and functional usefulness. It is hoped that such a four-dimensional approach will help to clarify and justify claims about the hierarchical nature of consciousness. The approach also proves explanatorily advantageous, as it enables us not only to draw attention to certain new and important differences in respect of subjective measures of awareness and to justify how a given creature may be ranked higher in one dimension of consciousness and lower in terms of another, but also allows for innovative explanations of a variety of well-known phenomena (amongst these, the interpretations of blindsight and locked-in syndrome will be briefly outlined here). Moreover, a 4D framework makes possible many predictions and hypotheses that may be experimentally tested (We point out a few such possibilities pertaining to interdimensional dependencies). PMID:28377738

  6. Social Consciousness, Education and Transformative Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlidis, Periklis

    2015-01-01

    This paper examines two aspects of social consciousness: consciousness in the sense of knowledge of the objective reality and consciousness in the sense of awareness of oneself as a subject in his/her social ties with other persons-subjects. In the light of such an approach to consciousness in this essay we discuss the importance of education and…

  7. Retrospective Attention Gates Discrete Conscious Access to Past Sensory Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thibault, Louis; van den Berg, Ronald; Cavanagh, Patrick; Sergent, Claire

    2016-01-01

    Cueing attention after the disappearance of visual stimuli biases which items will be remembered best. This observation has historically been attributed to the influence of attention on memory as opposed to subjective visual experience. We recently challenged this view by showing that cueing attention after the stimulus can improve the perception of a single Gabor patch at threshold levels of contrast. Here, we test whether this retro-perception actually increases the frequency of consciously perceiving the stimulus, or simply allows for a more precise recall of its features. We used retro-cues in an orientation-matching task and performed mixture-model analysis to independently estimate the proportion of guesses and the precision of non-guess responses. We find that the improvements in performance conferred by retrospective attention are overwhelmingly determined by a reduction in the proportion of guesses, providing strong evidence that attracting attention to the target's location after its disappearance increases the likelihood of perceiving it consciously.

  8. Conscious awareness is required for holistic face processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Axelrod, Vadim; Rees, Geraint

    2014-07-01

    Investigating the limits of unconscious processing is essential to understand the function of consciousness. Here, we explored whether holistic face processing, a mechanism believed to be important for face processing in general, can be accomplished unconsciously. Using a novel "eyes-face" stimulus we tested whether discrimination of pairs of eyes was influenced by the surrounding face context. While the eyes were fully visible, the faces that provided context could be rendered invisible through continuous flash suppression. Two experiments with three different sets of face stimuli and a subliminal learning procedure converged to show that invisible faces did not influence perception of visible eyes. In contrast, surrounding faces, when they were clearly visible, strongly influenced perception of the eyes. Thus, we conclude that conscious awareness might be a prerequisite for holistic face processing. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Evidence for distinct mechanisms underlying attentional priming and sensory memory for bistable perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brinkhuis, M A B; Kristjánsson, Á; Brascamp, J W

    2015-08-01

    Attentional selection in visual search paradigms and perceptual selection in bistable perception paradigms show functional similarities. For example, both are sensitive to trial history: They are biased toward previously selected targets or interpretations. We investigated whether priming by target selection in visual search and sensory memory for bistable perception are related. We did this by presenting two trial types to observers. We presented either ambiguous spheres that rotated over a central axis and could be perceived as rotating in one of two directions, or search displays in which the unambiguously rotating target and distractor spheres closely resembled the two possible interpretations of the ambiguous stimulus. We interleaved both trial types within experiments, to see whether priming by target selection during search trials would affect the perceptual outcome of bistable perception and, conversely, whether sensory memory during bistable perception would affect target selection times during search. Whereas we found intertrial repetition effects among consecutive search trials and among consecutive bistable trials, we did not find cross-paradigm effects. Thus, even though we could ascertain that our experiments robustly elicited processes of both search priming and sensory memory for bistable perception, these same experiments revealed no interaction between the two.

  10. Conscious and Non-conscious Representations of Emotional Faces in Asperger's Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chien, Vincent S C; Tsai, Arthur C; Yang, Han Hsuan; Tseng, Yi-Li; Savostyanov, Alexander N; Liou, Michelle

    2016-07-31

    Several neuroimaging studies have suggested that the low spatial frequency content in an emotional face mainly activates the amygdala, pulvinar, and superior colliculus especially with fearful faces(1-3). These regions constitute the limbic structure in non-conscious perception of emotions and modulate cortical activity either directly or indirectly(2). In contrast, the conscious representation of emotions is more pronounced in the anterior cingulate, prefrontal cortex, and somatosensory cortex for directing voluntary attention to details in faces(3,4). Asperger's syndrome (AS)(5,6) represents an atypical mental disturbance that affects sensory, affective and communicative abilities, without interfering with normal linguistic skills and intellectual ability. Several studies have found that functional deficits in the neural circuitry important for facial emotion recognition can partly explain social communication failure in patients with AS(7-9). In order to clarify the interplay between conscious and non-conscious representations of emotional faces in AS, an EEG experimental protocol is designed with two tasks involving emotionality evaluation of either photograph or line-drawing faces. A pilot study is introduced for selecting face stimuli that minimize the differences in reaction times and scores assigned to facial emotions between the pretested patients with AS and IQ/gender-matched healthy controls. Information from the pretested patients was used to develop the scoring system used for the emotionality evaluation. Research into facial emotions and visual stimuli with different spatial frequency contents has reached discrepant findings depending on the demographic characteristics of participants and task demands(2). The experimental protocol is intended to clarify deficits in patients with AS in processing emotional faces when compared with healthy controls by controlling for factors unrelated to recognition of facial emotions, such as task difficulty, IQ and

  11. Causal role of prefrontal cortex in the threshold for access to consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Cul, A; Dehaene, S; Reyes, P; Bravo, E; Slachevsky, A

    2009-09-01

    What neural mechanisms support our conscious perception of briefly presented stimuli? Some theories of conscious access postulate a key role of top-down amplification loops involving prefrontal cortex (PFC). To test this issue, we measured the visual backward masking threshold in patients with focal prefrontal lesions, using both objective and subjective measures while controlling for putative attention deficits. In all conditions of temporal or spatial attention cueing, the threshold for access to consciousness was systematically shifted in patients, particular after a lesion of the left anterior PFC. The deficit affected subjective reports more than objective performance, and objective performance conditioned on subjective visibility was essentially normal. We conclude that PFC makes a causal contribution to conscious visual perception of masked stimuli, and outline a dual-route signal detection theory of objective and subjective decision making.

  12. Perceiving a story outside of conscious awareness: When we infer narrative attributes from subliminal sequential stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawakami, Naoaki; Yoshida, Fujio

    2015-05-01

    Perceiving a story behind successive movements plays an important role in our lives. From a general perspective, such higher mental activity would seem to depend on conscious processes. Using a subliminal priming paradigm, we demonstrated that such story perception occurs without conscious awareness. In the experiments, participants were subliminally presented with sequential pictures that represented a story in which one geometrical figure was chased by the other figure, and in which one fictitious character defeated the other character in a tug-of-war. Although the participants could not report having seen the pictures, their automatic mental associations (i.e., associations that are activated unintentionally, difficult to control, and not necessarily endorsed at a conscious level) were shifted to line up with the story. The results suggest that story perception operates outside of conscious awareness. Implications for research on the unconscious were also briefly discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Cognitive processes underlying human mate choice: The relationship between self-perception and mate preference in Western society.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buston, Peter M; Emlen, Stephen T

    2003-07-22

    This study tested two hypotheses concerning the cognitive processes underlying human mate choice in Western society: (i) mate preference is conditional in that the selectivity of individuals' mate preference is based on their perception of themselves as long-term partners, and (ii) the decision rule governing such conditional mate preference is based on translating perception of oneself on a given attribute into a comparable selectivity of preference for the same attribute in a mate. Both hypotheses were supported. A two-part questionnaire was completed by 978 heterosexual residents of Ithaca, New York, aged 18-24; they first rated the importance they placed on 10 attributes in a long-term partner and then rated their perception of themselves on those same attributes. Both women and men who rated themselves highly were significantly more selective in their mate preference. When the 10 attributes were grouped into four evolutionarily relevant categories (indicative of wealth and status, family commitment, physical appearance, and sexual fidelity), the greatest amount of variation in the selectivity of mate preference in each category was explained by self-perception in the same category of attributes. We conclude that, in Western society, humans use neither an "opposites-attract" nor a "reproductive-potentials-attract" decision rule in their choice of long-term partners but rather a "likes-attract" rule based on a preference for partners who are similar to themselves across a number of characteristics.

  14. The Presence of Consciousness in Absence Seizures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayne, Tim

    2011-01-01

    This paper examines three respects in which the study of epileptic absence seizures promises to inform our understanding of consciousness. Firstly, it has the potential to bear on debates concerning the behavioural and cognitive functions associated with consciousness. Secondly, it has the potential to illuminate the relationship between background states (or ‘levels’) of consciousness and the contents of consciousness. Thirdly, it has the potential to bear on our understanding of the unity of consciousness. PMID:21447898

  15. Avian reflex and electroencephalogram responses in different states of consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandercock, Dale A; Auckburally, Adam; Flaherty, Derek; Sandilands, Victoria; McKeegan, Dorothy E F

    2014-06-22

    Defining states of clinical consciousness in animals is important in veterinary anaesthesia and in studies of euthanasia and welfare assessment at slaughter. The aim of this study was to validate readily observable reflex responses in relation to different conscious states, as confirmed by EEG analysis, in two species of birds under laboratory conditions (35-week-old layer hens (n=12) and 11-week-old turkeys (n=10)). We evaluated clinical reflexes and characterised electroencephalograph (EEG) activity (as a measure of brain function) using spectral analyses in four different clinical states of consciousness: conscious (fully awake), semi-conscious (sedated), unconscious-optimal (general anaesthesia), unconscious-sub optimal (deep hypnotic state), as well as assessment immediately following euthanasia. Jaw or neck muscle tone was the most reliable reflex measure distinguishing between conscious and unconscious states. Pupillary reflex was consistently observed until respiratory arrest. Nictitating membrane reflex persisted for a short time (power (PTOT) significantly increased, whereas median (F50) and spectral edge (F95) frequencies significantly decreased. This study demonstrates that EEG analysis can differentiate between clinical states (and loss of brain function at death) in birds and provides a unique integration of reflex responses and EEG activity. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Neurostimulation to improve level of consciousness in patients with epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gummadavelli, Abhijeet; Kundishora, Adam J; Willie, Jon T; Andrews, John P; Gerrard, Jason L; Spencer, Dennis D; Blumenfeld, Hal

    2015-06-01

    When drug-resistant epilepsy is poorly localized or surgical resection is contraindicated, current neurostimulation strategies such as deep brain stimulation and vagal nerve stimulation can palliate the frequency or severity of seizures. However, despite medical and neuromodulatory therapy, a significant proportion of patients continue to experience disabling seizures that impair awareness, causing disability and risking injury or sudden unexplained death. We propose a novel strategy in which neuromodulation is used not only to reduce seizures but also to ameliorate impaired consciousness when the patient is in the ictal and postictal states. Improving or preventing alterations in level of consciousness may have an effect on morbidity (e.g., accidents, drownings, falls), risk for death, and quality of life. Recent studies may have elucidated underlying networks and mechanisms of impaired consciousness and yield potential novel targets for neuromodulation. The feasibility, benefits, and pitfalls of potential deep brain stimulation targets are illustrated in human and animal studies involving minimally conscious/vegetative states, movement disorders, depth of anesthesia, sleep-wake regulation, and epilepsy. We review evidence that viable therapeutic targets for impaired consciousness associated with seizures may be provided by key nodes of the consciousness system in the brainstem reticular activating system, hypothalamus, basal ganglia, thalamus, and basal forebrain.

  17. Asymmetries in spatial perception are more prevalent under explicit than implicit attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noël, B.; van der Kamp, J.; Weigelt, M.; Memmert, D.

    2015-01-01

    Observers typically show systematic errors in spatial perception when asked to bisect a line. We examined whether misbisection relates to the extent by which the midpoint is scrutinized explicitly. Participants were required to position a soccer goalkeeper at the exact midpoint of the goal line,

  18. Under Construction: Undergraduates' Perceptions of Their Music Teacher Role-Identities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Draves, Tami J.

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this research was to explore how participants perceived themselves as preservice music teachers. Bouij's (1998) salient role-identities in music education served as an a priori theoretical framework. By investigating participants' perceptions of role-identity, some of the socialization processes that contributed to identity…

  19. Neural mechanisms underlying sound-induced visual motion perception: An fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hidaka, Souta; Higuchi, Satomi; Teramoto, Wataru; Sugita, Yoichi

    2017-07-01

    Studies of crossmodal interactions in motion perception have reported activation in several brain areas, including those related to motion processing and/or sensory association, in response to multimodal (e.g., visual and auditory) stimuli that were both in motion. Recent studies have demonstrated that sounds can trigger illusory visual apparent motion to static visual stimuli (sound-induced visual motion: SIVM): A visual stimulus blinking at a fixed location is perceived to be moving laterally when an alternating left-right sound is also present. Here, we investigated brain activity related to the perception of SIVM using a 7T functional magnetic resonance imaging technique. Specifically, we focused on the patterns of neural activities in SIVM and visually induced visual apparent motion (VIVM). We observed shared activations in the middle occipital area (V5/hMT), which is thought to be involved in visual motion processing, for SIVM and VIVM. Moreover, as compared to VIVM, SIVM resulted in greater activation in the superior temporal area and dominant functional connectivity between the V5/hMT area and the areas related to auditory and crossmodal motion processing. These findings indicate that similar but partially different neural mechanisms could be involved in auditory-induced and visually-induced motion perception, and neural signals in auditory, visual, and, crossmodal motion processing areas closely and directly interact in the perception of SIVM. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. On the visual system's architecture underlying binocular rivalry and motion perception

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boxtel, J.J.A. van

    2008-01-01

    Our everyday visual perception is supported by a complicated set of interactions between different brain areas. These areas often have a specific function. A lot of communication takes place between, and also within, these areas. The total set of interactions between and within the different brain

  1. A relative frame of reference underlies reversed depth perception in anticorrelated random-dot stereograms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aoki, Shuntaro C; Shiozaki, Hiroshi M; Fujita, Ichiro

    2017-10-01

    Binocular disparity is represented by interocular cross-correlation of visual images in the striate and some extrastriate cortices. This correlation-based representation produces reversed depth perception in a binocularly anticorrelated random-dot stereogram (aRDS) when it is accompanied by an adjacent correlated RDS (cRDS). Removal of the cRDS or spatial separation between the aRDS and cRDS abolishes reversed depth perception. However, how an immediate plane supports reversed depth perception is unclear. One possible explanation is that the correlation-based representation generates reversed depth based on the relative disparity between the aRDS and cRDS rather than the absolute disparity of the aRDS. Here, we psychophysically tested this hypothesis. We found that participants perceived reversed depth in an aRDS with zero absolute disparity when it was surrounded by a cRDS with nonzero absolute disparity (i.e., nonzero relative disparity), suggesting a role of relative disparity on the depth reversal. In addition, manipulation of the absolute disparities of the central aRDS and surrounding cRDS caused depth perception to reverse with respect to the depth of the surround. Further, depth reversal persisted after swapping the locations of the two RDSs. A model of relative-disparity encoding explains all these results. We conclude that reversed depth perception in aRDSs occurs in a relative frame of reference and suggest that the visual system contains correlation-based representation that encodes relative disparity.

  2. Consciousness: here, there and everywhere?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tononi, Giulio; Koch, Christof

    2015-05-19

    The science of consciousness has made great strides by focusing on the behavioural and neuronal correlates of experience. However, while such correlates are important for progress to occur, they are not enough if we are to understand even basic facts, for example, why the cerebral cortex gives rise to consciousness but the cerebellum does not, though it has even more neurons and appears to be just as complicated. Moreover, correlates are of little help in many instances where we would like to know if consciousness is present: patients with a few remaining islands of functioning cortex, preterm infants, non-mammalian species and machines that are rapidly outperforming people at driving, recognizing faces and objects, and answering difficult questions. To address these issues, we need not only more data but also a theory of consciousness-one that says what experience is and what type of physical systems can have it. Integrated information theory (IIT) does so by starting from experience itself via five phenomenological axioms: intrinsic existence, composition, information, integration and exclusion. From these it derives five postulates about the properties required of physical mechanisms to support consciousness. The theory provides a principled account of both the quantity and the quality of an individual experience (a quale), and a calculus to evaluate whether or not a particular physical system is conscious and of what. Moreover, IIT can explain a range of clinical and laboratory findings, makes a number of testable predictions and extrapolates to a number of problematic conditions. The theory holds that consciousness is a fundamental property possessed by physical systems having specific causal properties. It predicts that consciousness is graded, is common among biological organisms and can occur in some very simple systems. Conversely, it predicts that feed-forward networks, even complex ones, are not conscious, nor are aggregates such as groups of individuals

  3. Proposal for an Approach to Artificial Consciousness Based on Self-Consciousness

    OpenAIRE

    Menant, Mr. Christophe

    2007-01-01

    Current research on artificial consciousness is focused on phenomenal consciousness and on functional consciousness. We propose to shift the focus to self-consciousness in order to open new areas of investigation. We use an existing scenario where self-consciousness is considered as the result of an evolution of representations. Application of the scenario to the possible build up of a conscious robot also introduces questions relative to emotions in robots. Areas of investigation...

  4. Dynamic functional connectivity and brain metastability during altered states of consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavanna, Federico; Vilas, Martina G; Palmucci, Matías; Tagliazucchi, Enzo

    2017-10-03

    The scientific study of human consciousness has greatly benefited from the development of non-invasive brain imaging methods. The quest to identify the neural correlates of consciousness combined psychophysical experimentation with neuroimaging tools such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to map the changes in neural activity associated with conscious vs. unconscious percepts. Different neuroimaging methods have also been applied to characterize spontaneous brain activity fluctuations during altered states of consciousness, and to develop quantitative metrics for the level of consciousness. Most of these studies, however, have not explored the dynamic nature of the whole-brain imaging data provided by fMRI. A series of empirical and computational studies strongly suggests that the temporal fluctuations observed in this data present a non-trivial structure, and that this structure is compatible with the exploration of a discrete repertoire of states. In this review we focus on how dynamic neuroimaging can be used to address theoretical accounts of consciousness based on the hypothesis of a dynamic core, i.e. a constantly evolving and transiently stable set of coordinated neurons that constitute an integrated and differentiated physical substrate for each conscious experience. We review work exploring the possibility that metastability in brain dynamics leads to a repertoire of dynamic core states, and discuss how it might be modified during altered states of consciousness. This discussion prompts us to review neuroimaging studies aimed to map the dynamic exploration of the repertoire of states as a function of consciousness. Complementary studies of the dynamic core hypothesis using perturbative methods are also discussed. Finally, we propose that a link between metastability in brain dynamics and the level of consciousness could pave the way towards a mechanistic understanding of altered states of consciousness using tools from dynamical systems

  5. Decomposing fear perception: A combination of psychophysics and neurometric modeling of fear perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forscher, Emily C; Zheng, Yan; Ke, Zijun; Folstein, Jonathan; Li, Wen

    2016-10-01

    Emotion perception is known to involve multiple operations and waves of analysis, but specific nature of these processes remains poorly understood. Combining psychophysical testing and neurometric analysis of event-related potentials (ERPs) in a fear detection task with parametrically varied fear intensities (N=45), we sought to elucidate key processes in fear perception. Building on psychophysics marking fear perception thresholds, our neurometric model fitting identified several putative operations and stages: four key processes arose in sequence following face presentation - fear-neutral categorization (P1 at 100ms), fear detection (P300 at 320ms), valuation (early subcomponent of the late positive potential/LPP at 400-500ms) and conscious awareness (late subcomponent LPP at 500-600ms). Furthermore, within-subject brain-behavior association suggests that initial emotion categorization was mandatory and detached from behavior whereas valuation and conscious awareness directly impacted behavioral outcome (explaining 17% and 31% of the total variance, respectively). The current study thus reveals the chronometry of fear perception, ascribing psychological meaning to distinct underlying processes. The combination of early categorization and late valuation of fear reconciles conflicting (categorical versus dimensional) emotion accounts, lending support to a hybrid model. Importantly, future research could specifically interrogate these psychological processes in various behaviors and psychopathologies (e.g., anxiety and depression). Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Magnetic correlates in electromagnetic consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liboff, A R

    2016-01-01

    We examine the hypothesis that consciousness is a manifestation of the electromagnetic field, finding supportive factors not previously considered. It is not likely that traditional electrophysiological signaling modes can be readily transmitted throughout the brain to properly enable this field because of electric field screening arising from the ubiquitous distribution of high dielectric lipid membranes, a problem that vanishes for low-frequency magnetic fields. Many reports over the last few decades have provided evidence that living tissue is robustly sensitive to ultrasmall (1-100 nT) ELF magnetic fields overlapping the γ-frequency range often associated with awareness. An example taken from animal behavior (coherent bird flocking) lends support to the possibility of a disembodied electromagnetic consciousness. In contrast to quantum consciousness hypotheses, the present approach is open to experimental trial.

  7. Making CSB+-Tree Processor Conscious

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Samuel, Michael; Pedersen, Anders Uhl; Bonnet, Philippe

    2005-01-01

    Cache-conscious indexes, such as CSB+-tree, are sensitive to the underlying processor architecture. In this paper, we focus on how to adapt the CSB+-tree so that it performs well on a range of different processor architectures. Previous work has focused on the impact of node size on the performance...... of the CSB+-tree. We argue that it is necessary to consider a larger group of parameters in order to adapt CSB+-tree to processor architectures as different as Pentium and Itanium. We identify this group of parameters and study how it impacts the performance of CSB+-tree on Itanium 2. Finally, we propose...

  8. Neural circuits underlying mother's voice perception predict social communication abilities in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abrams, Daniel A; Chen, Tianwen; Odriozola, Paola; Cheng, Katherine M; Baker, Amanda E; Padmanabhan, Aarthi; Ryali, Srikanth; Kochalka, John; Feinstein, Carl; Menon, Vinod

    2016-05-31

    The human voice is a critical social cue, and listeners are extremely sensitive to the voices in their environment. One of the most salient voices in a child's life is mother's voice: Infants discriminate their mother's voice from the first days of life, and this stimulus is associated with guiding emotional and social function during development. Little is known regarding the functional circuits that are selectively engaged in children by biologically salient voices such as mother's voice or whether this brain activity is related to children's social communication abilities. We used functional MRI to measure brain activity in 24 healthy children (mean age, 10.2 y) while they attended to brief (auditory regions in the midbrain and cortex; voice-selective superior temporal sulcus (STS); the amygdala, which is crucial for processing of affect; nucleus accumbens and orbitofrontal cortex of the reward circuit; anterior insula and cingulate of the salience network; and a subregion of fusiform gyrus associated with face perception. The strength of brain connectivity between voice-selective STS and reward, affective, salience, memory, and face-processing regions during mother's voice perception predicted social communication skills. Our findings provide a novel neurobiological template for investigation of typical social development as well as clinical disorders, such as autism, in which perception of biologically and socially salient voices may be impaired.

  9. Interactive communication and political consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pikula Mykola Mykolayovych

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The article presents the research of the new communication technologies’ influence on the political consciousness formation. According to the author, today the Internet has become a kind of environment where people spend a lot of time and where the huge flow of information streams, unlimited with national borders and language barriers. This gives the Internet communication a mediating role in the display of the real world in people's minds. Such forms of interactive communication like social networks, blogs, forums and chats have a particularly important role in development of the society political consciousness.

  10. Reading embodied consciousness in "Emma".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harbus, Antonina

    2011-01-01

    The language of Emma (1815) reflects Jane Austen's developing view of embodied consciousness and her particular interest in this novel in the physical manifestations of emotions, such as blushes and nervous responses. The discursive exploration of the inner life in Emma is the product of a cultural context that features emerging brain science and Austen's own conceptualization of the psychophysical nature of emotions. This article analyzes the language of mind and emotion in Emma, to contend that Austen grapples with the implications of the idea of embodied consciousness in a narrative that contrasts mind reading with interpreting the body.

  11. "Conscious Consumption": Ecocapitalism as Ideology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria das Graças e Silva

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this article is to raise a set of questions about “conscious consumption.” It is an essay of a bibliographic nature whose central thesis consists in affirming that in a capitalist society conscious consumption cannot be instituted as an affirmation of the principle of socioenvironmental sustainability. The paper presents the ideological nature of this formulation, which associates consumerism and the possibility of overcoming it only to the need for behavioral changes, without explaining its socioeconomic dimensions and its functionality as a mechanism for the reproduction of the destructive logic of capital.

  12. Global workspace dynamics: cortical "binding and propagation" enables conscious contents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baars, Bernard J; Franklin, Stan; Ramsoy, Thomas Zoega

    2013-01-01

    A global workspace (GW) is a functional hub of binding and propagation in a population of loosely coupled signaling elements. In computational applications, GW architectures recruit many distributed, specialized agents to cooperate in resolving focal ambiguities. In the brain, conscious experiences may reflect a GW function. For animals, the natural world is full of unpredictable dangers and opportunities, suggesting a general adaptive pressure for brains to resolve focal ambiguities quickly and accurately. GW theory aims to understand the differences between conscious and unconscious brain events. In humans and related species the cortico-thalamic (C-T) core is believed to underlie conscious aspects of perception, thinking, learning, feelings of knowing (FOK), felt emotions, visual imagery, working memory, and executive control. Alternative theoretical perspectives are also discussed. The C-T core has many anatomical hubs, but conscious percepts are unitary and internally consistent at any given moment. Over time, conscious contents constitute a very large, open set. This suggests that a brain-based GW capacity cannot be localized in a single anatomical hub. Rather, it should be sought in a functional hub - a dynamic capacity for binding and propagation of neural signals over multiple task-related networks, a kind of neuronal cloud computing. In this view, conscious contents can arise in any region of the C-T core when multiple input streams settle on a winner-take-all equilibrium. The resulting conscious gestalt may ignite an any-to-many broadcast, lasting ∼100-200 ms, and trigger widespread adaptation in previously established networks. To account for the great range of conscious contents over time, the theory suggests an open repertoire of binding coalitions that can broadcast via theta/gamma or alpha/gamma phase coupling, like radio channels competing for a narrow frequency band. Conscious moments are thought to hold only 1-4 unrelated items; this small

  13. On the number of neurons and time scale of integration underlying the formation of percepts in the brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wohrer, Adrien; Machens, Christian K

    2015-03-01

    All of our perceptual experiences arise from the activity of neural populations. Here we study the formation of such percepts under the assumption that they emerge from a linear readout, i.e., a weighted sum of the neurons' firing rates. We show that this assumption constrains the trial-to-trial covariance structure of neural activities and animal behavior. The predicted covariance structure depends on the readout parameters, and in particular on the temporal integration window w and typical number of neurons K used in the formation of the percept. Using these predictions, we show how to infer the readout parameters from joint measurements of a subject's behavior and neural activities. We consider three such scenarios: (1) recordings from the complete neural population, (2) recordings of neuronal sub-ensembles whose size exceeds K, and (3) recordings of neuronal sub-ensembles that are smaller than K. Using theoretical arguments and artificially generated data, we show that the first two scenarios allow us to recover the typical spatial and temporal scales of the readout. In the third scenario, we show that the readout parameters can only be recovered by making additional assumptions about the structure of the full population activity. Our work provides the first thorough interpretation of (feed-forward) percept formation from a population of sensory neurons. We discuss applications to experimental recordings in classic sensory decision-making tasks, which will hopefully provide new insights into the nature of perceptual integration.

  14. Driving under the influence among frequent ecstasy consumers in Australia: trends over time and the role of risk perceptions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Allison Jane; Bruno, Raimondo; Dietze, Paul; Butler, Kerryn; Burns, Lucy

    2014-11-01

    Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol and illicit drugs is a serious road safety concern. This research aimed to examine trends in DUI across time and changes in attitudes towards the risks (crash and legal) associated with DUI among regular ecstasy users (REU) interviewed in Australia. Participants were regular (at least monthly) ecstasy users surveyed in 2007 (n=573) or 2011 (n=429) who had driven a car in the last six months. Face to face interviews comprised questions about recent engagement of DUI and roadside breath (alcohol) and saliva (drug) testing. Participants also reported the risk of crash and of being apprehended by police if DUI of alcohol, cannabis, ecstasy, and methamphetamine. There were significant reductions in DUI of psychostimulants (ecstasy, methamphetamine, cocaine, LSD) but not alcohol or cannabis between 2007 and 2011. This was accompanied by increased experience of roadside saliva testing and increases in crash and legal risk perceptions for ecstasy and methamphetamine, but not alcohol or cannabis. When the relationship between DUI and risk variables was examined, low crash risk perceptions were associated with DUI of all substances and low legal risk perceptions were associated with DUI of ecstasy. The observed reduction in DUI of psychostimulants among frequent ecstasy consumers may be related to increased risk awareness stemming from educational campaigns and the introduction of saliva testing on Australian roads. Such countermeasures may be less effective in relation to deterring or changing attitudes towards DUI of cannabis and alcohol among this group. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. The Questionnaire in the Interactive Educational Environment as a Means to Form a New Level of a Person’s Consciousness under the Conditions of Informatization of University Education.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. O. Malyuchenko

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available The article deals with possibilities of a questionnaire in the interactive educational environment of Petro Mohyla Black Sea State University installed on the electronic platform MOODLE with the purpose of determining the people’s attitude to different problematic situations of ethic and ecological character, which takes into account the concept of sustainable development and helps to form a new level of a person’s consciousness.

  16. simEye: computer-based simulation of visual perception under various eye defects using Zernike polynomials

    OpenAIRE

    Fink, Wolfgang; Micol, Daniel

    2006-01-01

    We describe a computer eye model that allows for aspheric surfaces and a three-dimensional computer-based ray-tracing technique to simulate optical properties of the human eye and visual perception under various eye defects. Eye surfaces, such as the cornea, eye lens, and retina, are modeled or approximated by a set of Zernike polynomials that are fitted to input data for the respective surfaces. A ray-tracing procedure propagates light rays using Snell’s law of refraction from an input objec...

  17. Human perception of indoor environment generated by chilled ceiling combined with mixing ventilation or localised chilled beam under cooling mode

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bolashikov, Zhecho Dimitrov; Nygaard, Linette; Uth, Simon C.

    2014-01-01

    Experiments with 24 subjects were performed to study and compare the human perception of the indoor environment under summer conditions generated by a chilled ceiling combined with overhead mixing ventilation and localised chilled beam. The experiments were performed in an experimental chamber (4....../s during the 20 min period of physical activity, when the occupant was not at the desk with the localised chilled beam, resulting in increase of the air temperature in the room. Subjects used questionnaires to answer on thermal sensation and acceptability, perceived air quality, air movement and SBS...

  18. The concept possession hypothesis of self-consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savanah, Stephane

    2012-06-01

    This paper presents the hypothesis that concept possession is sufficient and necessary for self-consciousness. If this is true it provides a yardstick for gauging the validity of different research paradigms in which claims for self-consciousness in animals or human infants are made: a convincing demonstration of concept possession in a research subject, such as a display of inferential reasoning, may be taken as conclusive evidence of self-consciousness. Intuitively, there appears to be a correlation between intelligence in animals (which presupposes concept possession) and the existence of self-consciousness. I present three discussions to support the hypothesis: an analogy between perception and conception, where both are self-specifying; an argument that any web of concepts will always include the self-concept; and a fresh interpretation of Bermũdez (1998) showing how his theory of non-conceptual content provides strong support for the concept possession hypothesis. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Analysis of Under Graduated Students' Perceptions Concerning Green House Effect, Global Warming and Climate Change

    OpenAIRE

    Oluk, Esin Akçam; Oluk, Sami

    2007-01-01

    History education coııtributes sigııifıcantly to the individuals to provide themselves a plural This study was done at the Celal Bayar Universiry, Education Faculty (Demirci-Manisa). The sample of the study included 24 students, trainning at the 7th semestry. The aim of the study was to determine the higher students perception of green house effect, global warming and climate change. Data was gathered by semi structured interview and analyzed by content analysis. Although all students said th...

  20. Behavioral Methods in Consciousness Research

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Why are we conscious? How can it be that information processed in the brains of living creatures is accompanied by subjective experience? While such questions have been topics of philosophical debates for centuries, the past decades have seen a surge of scientific interest with the result that th...

  1. The Influence of Consciousness Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Exceptional Children, 1978

    1978-01-01

    Presented is a conversation with Stanley Krippner, Program Planning Coordinator at the Humanistic Psychology Institute (San Francisco, California), on the field of psychoenergetics (the interdisciplinary investigation of the relationships among consciousness, energy, and matter) and its relation to special education. (SBH)

  2. Consciousness: The flipside of anaesthesia

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Adele

    will, and you affect consciousness. Penrose-Hameroff Quantum Computation in. Microtubules. Much interest has been shown in the potentially vast increases in computational power theoretically available through the use of quantum computation. In addition, the property whereby collections of particles can blend together ...

  3. Beyond determinism and materialism, or isn't it time we took consciousness seriously?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locke, E A

    1995-09-01

    This essay argues: (1) that the fundamental conflict between the behaviorist and cognitive approaches to psychology are philosophical, not scientific; (2) that the philosophical premises underlying behaviorism (materialism, epiphenomenalism, functional model of causality, and the rejection of concepts referring to conscious states and processes) are false; and (3) that an objective, scientific approach to psychology must take consciousness and volition as axiomatic starting points.

  4. On the evolution of phenomenal consciousness

    OpenAIRE

    Dessalles, Jean-Louis; Zalla, Tiziana

    1998-01-01

    jld-98072405; A number of concepts are included in the term 'consciousness'. We choose to concentrate here on phenomenal consciousness, the process through which we are able to experience aspects of our environment or of our physical state. We probably share this aspect of consciousness with many animals which, like us, feel pain or pleasure and experience colours, sounds, flavours, etc. Since phenomenal consciousness is a feature of some living species, we should be able to account for it in...

  5. Cross-matching: A modified cross-correlation underlying threshold energy model and match-based depth perception

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takahiro eDoi

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Three-dimensional visual perception requires correct matching of images projected to the left and right eyes. The matching process is faced with an ambiguity: part of one eye’s image can be matched to multiple parts of the other eye’s image. This stereo correspondence problem is complicated for random-dot stereograms (RDSs, because dots with an identical appearance produce numerous potential matches. Despite such complexity, human subjects can perceive a coherent depth structure. A coherent solution to the correspondence problem does not exist for anticorrelated RDSs (aRDSs, in which luminance contrast is reversed in one eye. Neurons in the visual cortex reduce disparity selectivity for aRDSs progressively along the visual processing hierarchy. A disparity-energy model followed by threshold nonlinearity (threshold energy model can account for this reduction, providing a possible mechanism for the neural matching process. However, the essential computation underlying the threshold energy model is not clear. Here, we propose that a nonlinear modification of cross-correlation, which we term ‘cross-matching’, represents the essence of the threshold energy model. We placed half-wave rectification within the cross-correlation of the left-eye and right-eye images. The disparity tuning derived from cross-matching was attenuated for aRDSs. We simulated a psychometric curve as a function of graded anticorrelation (graded mixture of aRDS and normal RDS; this simulated curve reproduced the match-based psychometric function observed in human near/far discrimination. The dot density was 25% for both simulation and observation. We predicted that as the dot density increased, the performance for aRDSs should decrease below chance (i.e., reversed depth, and the level of anticorrelation that nullifies depth perception should also decrease. We suggest that cross-matching serves as a simple computation underlying the match-based disparity signals in

  6. Consciousness without a cortex, but what kind of consciousness is this? [editorial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Coenen, A.M.L.

    2007-01-01

    Merker suggests that the thalamocortical system is not an essential system for consciousness, but, instead, that the midbrain reticular system is responsible for consciousness. Indeed, the latter is a crucial system for consciousness, when consciousness is regarded as the waking state. However, when

  7. 8 Questions About the Conscious Mind

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dooremalen, A.J.P.W.

    Can the mind function separately from the brain? Can machines have conscious minds? Is Google Maps part of the conscious mind? Hans Dooremalen provides answers to these three and five other questions about the conscious mind in an easy to read introduction to the philosophy of mind.

  8. The Neuroethological Paradox of Animal Consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutfreund, Yoram

    2017-04-01

    The more advanced our understanding of the brain of an animal is, the less likely that this animal is a conscious being. This provocative logical paradox is explained and analyzed, leading to the conclusion that to advance understanding of animal consciousness it is necessary to resolve first how our consciousness is produced by our brain. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Minimally conscious state or cortically mediated state?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naccache, Lionel

    2018-04-01

    Durable impairments of consciousness are currently classified in three main neurological categories: comatose state, vegetative state (also recently coined unresponsive wakefulness syndrome) and minimally conscious state. While the introduction of minimally conscious state, in 2002, was a major progress to help clinicians recognize complex non-reflexive behaviours in the absence of functional communication, it raises several problems. The most important issue related to minimally conscious state lies in its criteria: while behavioural definition of minimally conscious state lacks any direct evidence of patient's conscious content or conscious state, it includes the adjective 'conscious'. I discuss this major problem in this review and propose a novel interpretation of minimally conscious state: its criteria do not inform us about the potential residual consciousness of patients, but they do inform us with certainty about the presence of a cortically mediated state. Based on this constructive criticism review, I suggest three proposals aiming at improving the way we describe the subjective and cognitive state of non-communicating patients. In particular, I present a tentative new classification of impairments of consciousness that combines behavioural evidence with functional brain imaging data, in order to probe directly and univocally residual conscious processes.

  10. Consciousness Development for the Learning Organization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heaton, Dennis

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: This paper presents a philosophical and practical discussion of the role of development of consciousness for realization of a learning organization. Consciousness is the capacity to know, the capacity to learn. As the knower is, so is the knowledge. Development of consciousness can lead to more profound and holistic learning and enable…

  11. Intrinsic Functional Connectivity Patterns Predict Consciousness Level and Recovery Outcome in Acquired Brain Injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xuehai; Zou, Qihong; Hu, Jin; Tang, Weijun; Mao, Ying; Gao, Liang; Zhu, Jianhong; Jin, Yi; Wu, Xin; Lu, Lu; Zhang, Yaojun; Zhang, Yao; Dai, Zhengjia; Gao, Jia-Hong; Weng, Xuchu; Zhou, Liangfu; Northoff, Georg; Giacino, Joseph T; He, Yong; Yang, Yihong

    2015-09-16

    For accurate diagnosis and prognostic prediction of acquired brain injury (ABI), it is crucial to understand the neurobiological mechanisms underlying loss of consciousness. However, there is no consensus on which regions and networks act as biomarkers for consciousness level and recovery outcome in ABI. Using resting-state fMRI, we assessed intrinsic functional connectivity strength (FCS) of whole-brain networks in a large sample of 99 ABI patients with varying degrees of consciousness loss (including fully preserved consciousness state, minimally conscious state, unresponsive wakefulness syndrome/vegetative state, and coma) and 34 healthy control subjects. Consciousness level was evaluated using the Glasgow Coma Scale and Coma Recovery Scale-Revised on the day of fMRI scanning; recovery outcome was assessed using the Glasgow Outcome Scale 3 months after the fMRI scanning. One-way ANOVA of FCS, Spearman correlation analyses between FCS and the consciousness level and recovery outcome, and FCS-based multivariate pattern analysis were performed. We found decreased FCS with loss of consciousness primarily distributed in the posterior cingulate cortex/precuneus (PCC/PCU), medial prefrontal cortex, and lateral parietal cortex. The FCS values of these regions were significantly correlated with consciousness level and recovery outcome. Multivariate support vector machine discrimination analysis revealed that the FCS patterns predicted whether patients with unresponsive wakefulness syndrome/vegetative state and coma would regain consciousness with an accuracy of 81.25%, and the most discriminative region was the PCC/PCU. These findings suggest that intrinsic functional connectivity patterns of the human posteromedial cortex could serve as a potential indicator for consciousness level and recovery outcome in individuals with ABI. Varying degrees of consciousness loss and recovery are commonly observed in acquired brain injury patients, yet the underlying neurobiological

  12. Signal detection theory, the exclusion failure paradigm and weak consciousness--evidence for the access/phenomenal distinction?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irvine, Elizabeth

    2009-06-01

    Block [Block, N. (2005). Two neural correlates of consciousness. Trends in Cognitive Science, 9, 46-52] and Snodgrass (2006) claim that a signal detection theory (SDT) analysis of qualitative difference paradigms, in particular the exclusion failure paradigm, reveals cases of phenomenal consciousness without access consciousness. This claim is unwarranted on several grounds. First, partial cognitive access rather than a total lack of cognitive access can account for exclusion failure results. Second, Snodgrass's Objective Threshold/Strategic (OT/S) model of perception relies on a problematic 'enable' approach to perception that denies the possibility of intentional control of unconscious perception and any effect of following different task instructions on the presence/absence of phenomenal consciousness. Many of Block's purported examples of phenomenal consciousness without cognitive access also rely on this problematic approach. Third, qualitative difference paradigms may index only a subset of access consciousness. Thus, qualitative difference paradigms like exclusion failure cannot be used to isolate phenomenal consciousness, any attempt to do so still faces serious methodological problems.

  13. Early and late activity in somatosensory cortex reflects changes in bodily self-consciousness: an evoked potential study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aspell, J E; Palluel, E; Blanke, O

    2012-08-02

    How can we investigate the brain mechanisms underlying self-consciousness? Recent behavioural studies on multisensory bodily perception have shown that multisensory conflicts can alter bodily self-consciousness such as in the "full body illusion" (FBI) in which changes in self-identification with a virtual body and tactile perception are induced. Here we investigated whether experimental changes in self-identification during the FBI are accompanied by activity changes in somatosensory cortex by recording somatosensory-evoked potentials (SEPs). To modulate self-identification, participants were filmed by a video camera from behind while their backs were stroked, either synchronously (illusion condition) or asynchronously (control condition) with respect to the stroking seen on their virtual body. Tibial nerve SEPs were recorded during the FBI and analysed using evoked potential (EP) mapping. Tactile mislocalisation was measured using the crossmodal congruency task. SEP mapping revealed five sequential periods of brain activation during the FBI, of which two differed between the illusion condition and the control condition. Activation at 30-50 ms (corresponding to the P40 component) in primary somatosensory cortex was stronger in the illusion condition. A later activation at ∼110-200 ms, likely originating in higher-tier somatosensory regions in parietal cortex, was stronger and lasted longer in the control condition. These data show that changes in bodily self-consciousness modulate activity in primary and higher-tier somatosensory cortex at two distinct processing steps. We argue that early modulations of primary somatosensory cortex may be a consequence of (1) multisensory integration of synchronous vs. asynchronous visuo-tactile stimuli and/or (2) differences in spatial attention (to near or far space) between the conditions. The later activation in higher-tier parietal cortex (and potentially other regions in temporo-parietal and frontal cortex) likely

  14. Edmund Husserl’s Transcendence of the Early Buddhist Theory of Consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saman Pushpakumara

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Edmund Husserl, the founding father of western philosophical movement known as phenomenology, formulated a theory of consciousness writing Logical Investigations (1900. The Gautama the Buddha, as far back as the 6th century B.C., had provided an analysis of the conscious phenomena. Many scholars who trace parallels between the Buddhist view of consciousness and Husserl’s phenomenology of the structures of consciousness deal mostly with the similarities between the two, and such a comparison could also be regarded as a worthwhile contribution to the field of comparative philosophy.This paper argues that Husserl's analysis of consciousness, despite its limitations, as elaborated by Derrida, (and also by Heidegger, is more advanced than the Buddha's formulation. Husserl articulated his phenomenology of consciousness as a result of his encounter with Cartesian cogito, (or the Cartesian psychology on the one hand and the positivistic foundation of empirical sciences on the other. Husserl’s notion of phenomenological consciousness was situated within an industrially advanced capitalist society and nurtured by scientific epistemology, despite his criticism of its underlying positivism, which set the basis for his philosophy of internal consciousness. He lived in a controversial era, the rise of National Socialism in Germany, which has to be taken seriously when assessing his philosophy of consciousness.  The Buddha, in contrast, theorized his notion of consciousness within a backward, slow-moving, agricultural and feudal setting .He developed his notion of consciousness as a normative concept as a basis for achieving the spiritual objective he envisaged. While acknowledging the fact that no other philosophy that existed during the Buddha’s time had articulated such a meticulous and in depth analysis of the phenomenology of consciousness, his analysis seems to be less advanced when assessed and compared with the twentieth century phenomenology of

  15. Working under a clinic-level quality incentive: primary care clinicians' perceptions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greene, Jessica; Kurtzman, Ellen T; Hibbard, Judith H; Overton, Valerie

    2015-01-01

    A key consideration in designing pay-for-performance programs is determining what entity the incentive should be awarded to-individual clinicians or to groups of clinicians working in teams. Some argue that team-level incentives, in which clinicians who are part of a team receive the same incentive based on the team's performance, are most effective; others argue for the efficacy of clinician-level incentives. This study examines primary care clinicians' perceptions of a team-based quality incentive awarded at the clinic level. This research was conducted with Fairview Health Services, where 40% of the primary care compensation model was based on clinic-level quality performance. We conducted 48 in-depth interviews to explore clinicians' perceptions of the clinic-level incentive, as well as an online survey of 150 clinicians (response rate 56%) to investigate which entity the clinicians would consider optimal to target for quality incentives. Clinicians reported the strengths of the clinic-based quality incentive were quality improvement for the team and less patient "dumping," or shifting patients with poor outcomes to other clinicians. The weaknesses were clinicians' lack of control and colleagues riding the coattails of higher performers. There were mixed reports on the model's impact on team dynamics. Although clinicians reported greater interaction with colleagues, some described an increase in tension. Most clinicians surveyed (73%) believed that there should be a mix of clinic and individual-level incentives to maintain collaboration and recognize individual performance. The study highlights the important advantages and disadvantages of using incentives based upon clinic-level performance. Future research should test whether hybrid incentives that mix group and individual incentives can maintain some of the best elements of each design while mitigating the negative impacts. © 2015 Annals of Family Medicine, Inc.

  16. The Rhetorics of Audience Consciousness: A Dialogic Approach to ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Myrtle Hooper: University of Zululand. My intentions in this paper are: to consider two separate but related ... academics still predominate in the domain of English studies. One of the issues that underlies both .... takes place between speaker and listener in highly self-conscious terms, by turning it into a performance or ...

  17. Conscious wireless electroretinogram and visual evoked potentials in rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason Charng

    Full Text Available The electroretinogram (ERG, retina and visual evoked potential (VEP, brain are widely used in vivo tools assaying the integrity of the visual pathway. Current recordings in preclinical models are conducted under anesthesia, which alters neural physiology and contaminates responses. We describe a conscious wireless ERG and VEP recording platform in rats. Using a novel surgical technique to chronically implant electrodes subconjunctivally on the eye and epidurally over the visual cortex, we are able to record stable and repeatable conscious ERG and VEP signals over at least 1 month. We show that the use of anaesthetics, necessary for conventional ERG and VEP measurements, alters electrophysiology recordings. Conscious visual electrophysiology improves the viability of longitudinal studies by eliminating complications associated with repeated anaesthesia. It will also enable uncontaminated assessment of drug effects, allowing the eye to be used as an effective biomarker of the central nervous system.

  18. White matter damage impairs access to consciousness in multiple sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reuter, Françoise; Del Cul, Antoine; Malikova, Irina; Naccache, Lionel; Confort-Gouny, Sylviane; Cohen, Laurent; Cherif, André Ali; Cozzone, Patrick J; Pelletier, Jean; Ranjeva, Jean-Philippe; Dehaene, Stanislas; Audoin, Bertrand

    2009-01-15

    Global neuronal workspace theory predicts that damage to long-distance white matter (WM) tracts should impair access to consciousness during the perception of brief stimuli. To address this issue, we studied visual backward masking in 18 patients at the very first clinical stage of multiple sclerosis (MS), a neurological disease characterized by extensive WM damage, and in 18 matched healthy subjects. In our masking paradigm, the visibility of a digit stimulus increases non-linearly as a function of the interval duration between this target and a subsequent mask. In order to characterize quantitatively, for each subject, the transition between non-conscious and conscious perception of the stimulus, we used non-linear regression to fit a sigmoid curve to objective performance and subjective visibility reports as a function of target-mask delay. The delay corresponding to the inflexion point of the sigmoid, where visibility suddenly increases, was termed the "non-linear transition threshold" and used as a summary measure of masking efficiency. Objective and subjective non-linear transition thresholds were highly correlated across subjects in both groups, and were higher in patients compared to controls. In patients, variations in the non-linear transition threshold were inversely correlated to the Magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) values inside the right dorsolateral prefrontal WM, the right occipito-frontal fasciculus and the left cerebellum. This study provides clinical evidence of a relationship between impairments of conscious access and integrity of large WM bundles, particularly involving prefrontal cortex, as predicted by global neuronal workspace theory.

  19. Predictable Internal Brain Dynamics in EEG and Its Relation to Conscious States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaewook eYoo

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Consciousness is a complex and multi-faceted phenomenon defying scientific explanation. Part of the reason why this is the case is due to its subjective nature. In our previous computational experiments, to avoid such a subjective trap, we took a strategy to investigate objective necessary conditions of consciousness. Our basic hypothesis was that predictive internal dynamics serves as such a condition. This is in line with theories of consciousness that treat retention (memory, protention (anticipation, and primary impression as the tripartite temporal structure of consciousness. To test our hypothesis, we analyzed publicly available sleep and awake electroencephalogram (EEG data. Our results show that EEG signals from awake or rapid eye movement (REM sleep states have more predictable dynamics compared to those from slow-wave sleep (SWS. Since awakeness and REM sleep are associated with conscious states and SWS with unconscious or less consciousness states, these results support our hypothesis. The results suggest an intricate relationship among prediction, consciousness, and time, with potential applications to time perception and neurorobotics.

  20. Volitional components of consciousness vary across wakefulness, dreaming and lucid dreaming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin eDresler

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Consciousness is a multifaceted concept; its different aspects vary across species, vigilance states or health conditions. While basal aspects of consciousness like perceptions and emotions are present in many states and species, higher-order aspects like reflective or volitional capabilities seem to be most pronounced in awake humans. Here we assess the experience of volition across different states of consciousness: 10 frequent lucid dreamers rated different aspects of volition according to the Volitional Components Questionnaire for phases of normal dreaming, lucid dreaming and wakefulness. Overall, experienced volition was comparable for lucid dreaming and wakefulness, and rated significantly higher for both states compared to non-lucid dreaming. However, three subscales showed specific differences across states of consciousness: planning ability was most pronounced during wakefulness, intention enactment most pronounced during lucid dreaming, and self-determination most pronounced during both wakefulness and lucid dreaming. Our data confirm the multifaceted nature of consciousness: different higher-order aspects of consciousness are differentially expressed across different conscious states.

  1. Volitional components of consciousness vary across wakefulness, dreaming and lucid dreaming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dresler, Martin; Eibl, Leandra; Fischer, Christian F J; Wehrle, Renate; Spoormaker, Victor I; Steiger, Axel; Czisch, Michael; Pawlowski, Marcel

    2014-01-01

    Consciousness is a multifaceted concept; its different aspects vary across species, vigilance states, or health conditions. While basal aspects of consciousness like perceptions and emotions are present in many states and species, higher-order aspects like reflective or volitional capabilities seem to be most pronounced in awake humans. Here we assess the experience of volition across different states of consciousness: 10 frequent lucid dreamers rated different aspects of volition according to the Volitional Components Questionnaire for phases of normal dreaming, lucid dreaming, and wakefulness. Overall, experienced volition was comparable for lucid dreaming and wakefulness, and rated significantly higher for both states compared to non-lucid dreaming. However, three subscales showed specific differences across states of consciousness: planning ability was most pronounced during wakefulness, intention enactment most pronounced during lucid dreaming, and self-determination most pronounced during both wakefulness and lucid dreaming. Our data confirm the multifaceted nature of consciousness: different higher-order aspects of consciousness are differentially expressed across different conscious states.

  2. Volitional components of consciousness vary across wakefulness, dreaming and lucid dreaming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dresler, Martin; Eibl, Leandra; Fischer, Christian F. J.; Wehrle, Renate; Spoormaker, Victor I.; Steiger, Axel; Czisch, Michael; Pawlowski, Marcel

    2014-01-01

    Consciousness is a multifaceted concept; its different aspects vary across species, vigilance states, or health conditions. While basal aspects of consciousness like perceptions and emotions are present in many states and species, higher-order aspects like reflective or volitional capabilities seem to be most pronounced in awake humans. Here we assess the experience of volition across different states of consciousness: 10 frequent lucid dreamers rated different aspects of volition according to the Volitional Components Questionnaire for phases of normal dreaming, lucid dreaming, and wakefulness. Overall, experienced volition was comparable for lucid dreaming and wakefulness, and rated significantly higher for both states compared to non-lucid dreaming. However, three subscales showed specific differences across states of consciousness: planning ability was most pronounced during wakefulness, intention enactment most pronounced during lucid dreaming, and self-determination most pronounced during both wakefulness and lucid dreaming. Our data confirm the multifaceted nature of consciousness: different higher-order aspects of consciousness are differentially expressed across different conscious states. PMID:24427149

  3. Clinical Holistic Medicine: Tools for a Medical Science Based on Consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Søren Ventegodt

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Biomedicine focuses on the biochemistry of the body, while consciousness-based medicine — holistic medicine — focuses on the individual's experiences and conscious whole (Greek: holos, whole. Biomedicine perceives diseases as mechanical errors at the micro level, while consciousness-based medicine perceives diseases as disturbances in attitudes, perceptions, and experiences at the macro level — in the organism as a whole. Thus, consciousness-based medicine is based on the whole individual, while biomedicine is based on its smallest parts, the molecules. These two completely different points of departure make the two forms of medicine very different; they represent two different mind sets and two different frames of reference or medical paradigms. This paper explains the basic tools of clinical holistic medicine based on the life mission theory and holistic process theory, with examples of holistic healing from the holistic medical clinic.

  4. Consciousness in non-epileptic attack disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reuber, Markus; Kurthen, M

    2011-01-01

    Non-epileptic attack disorder (NEAD) is one of the most important differential diagnoses of epilepsy. Impairment of consciousness is the key feature of non-epileptic attacks (NEAs). The first half of this review summarises the clinical research literature featuring observations relating to consciousness in NEAD. The second half places this evidence in the wider context of the recent discourse on consciousness in neuroscience and the philosophy of mind. We argue that studies of consciousness should not only distinguish between the 'level' and `content' of consciousness but also between 'phenomenal consciousness' (consciousness of states it somehow "feels to be like") and 'access consciousness' (having certain 'higher' cognitive processes at one's disposal). The existing evidence shows that there is a great intra- and interindividual variability of NEA experience. However, in most NEAs phenomenal experience - and, as a precondition for that experience, vigilance or wakefulness - is reduced to a lesser degree than in those epileptic seizures involving impairment of consciousness. In fact, complete loss of "consciousness" is the exception rather than the rule in NEAs. Patients, as well as external observers, may have a tendency to overestimate impairments of consciousness during the seizures.

  5. Consciousness and the prefrontal parietal network: insights from attention, working memory, and chunking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bor, Daniel; Seth, Anil K

    2012-01-01

    Consciousness has of late become a "hot topic" in neuroscience. Empirical work has centered on identifying potential neural correlates of consciousness (NCCs), with a converging view that the prefrontal parietal network (PPN) is closely associated with this process. Theoretical work has primarily sought to explain how informational properties of this cortical network could account for phenomenal properties of consciousness. However, both empirical and theoretical research has given less focus to the psychological features that may account for the NCCs. The PPN has also been heavily linked with cognitive processes, such as attention. We describe how this literature is under-appreciated in consciousness science, in part due to the increasingly entrenched assumption of a strong dissociation between attention and consciousness. We argue instead that there is more common ground between attention and consciousness than is usually emphasized: although objects can under certain circumstances be attended to in the absence of conscious access, attention as a content selection and boosting mechanism is an important and necessary aspect of consciousness. Like attention, working memory and executive control involve the interlinking of multiple mental objects and have also been closely associated with the PPN. We propose that this set of cognitive functions, in concert with attention, make up the core psychological components of consciousness. One related process, chunking, exploits logical or mnemonic redundancies in a dataset so that it can be recoded and a given task optimized. Chunking has been shown to activate PPN particularly robustly, even compared with other cognitively demanding tasks, such as working memory or mental arithmetic. It is therefore possible that chunking, as a tool to detect useful patterns within an integrated set of intensely processed (attended) information, has a central role to play in consciousness. Following on from this, we suggest that a key

  6. Consciousness and the Prefrontal Parietal Network: Insights from Attention, Working Memory, and Chunking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bor, Daniel; Seth, Anil K.

    2012-01-01

    Consciousness has of late become a “hot topic” in neuroscience. Empirical work has centered on identifying potential neural correlates of consciousness (NCCs), with a converging view that the prefrontal parietal network (PPN) is closely associated with this process. Theoretical work has primarily sought to explain how informational properties of this cortical network could account for phenomenal properties of consciousness. However, both empirical and theoretical research has given less focus to the psychological features that may account for the NCCs. The PPN has also been heavily linked with cognitive processes, such as attention. We describe how this literature is under-appreciated in consciousness science, in part due to the increasingly entrenched assumption of a strong dissociation between attention and consciousness. We argue instead that there is more common ground between attention and consciousness than is usually emphasized: although objects can under certain circumstances be attended to in the absence of conscious access, attention as a content selection and boosting mechanism is an important and necessary aspect of consciousness. Like attention, working memory and executive control involve the interlinking of multiple mental objects and have also been closely associated with the PPN. We propose that this set of cognitive functions, in concert with attention, make up the core psychological components of consciousness. One related process, chunking, exploits logical or mnemonic redundancies in a dataset so that it can be recoded and a given task optimized. Chunking has been shown to activate PPN particularly robustly, even compared with other cognitively demanding tasks, such as working memory or mental arithmetic. It is therefore possible that chunking, as a tool to detect useful patterns within an integrated set of intensely processed (attended) information, has a central role to play in consciousness. Following on from this, we suggest that a key

  7. The Moral Insignificance of Self-consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepherd, Joshua

    2017-06-01

    In this paper, I examine the claim that self-consciousness is highly morally significant, such that the fact that an entity is self-conscious generates strong moral reasons against harming or killing that entity. This claim is apparently very intuitive, but I argue it is false. I consider two ways to defend this claim: one indirect, the other direct. The best-known arguments relevant to self-consciousness's significance take the indirect route. I examine them and argue that (a) in various ways they depend on unwarranted assumptions about self-consciousness's functional significance, and (b) once these assumptions are undermined, motivation for these arguments dissipates. I then consider the direct route to self-consciousness's significance, which depends on claims that self-consciousness has intrinsic value or final value. I argue what intrinsic or final value self-consciousness possesses is not enough to generate strong moral reasons against harming or killing.

  8. People living under threat of volcanic hazard in southern Iceland: vulnerability and risk perception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jóhannesdóttir, G.; Gísladóttir, G.

    2010-02-01

    Residents in the village of Vík and in the farming community of Álftaver in southern Iceland are living with the threat of volcanic hazards. The highly active subglacial volcano Katla has erupted approximately twice per century since the beginning of settlement around 874 AD. The last major eruption was in 1918 and Katla has recently entered an agitated stage. The purpose of this research was to (1) review residents' responses in relation to vulnerability, (2) examine their risk perception, preparedness and mitigation in relation to an eruption of Katla, and (3) investigate the public and the representative of the local authorities and emergency manager's knowledge of the official evacuation plan. In 2004, we conducted in-depth, face-to-face interviews with local residents using a snowball sample technique. All participants were permanent residents of the two communities, between the ages of 25-95 and most had lived in the area their entire lives. Regardless of the residents' knowledge about past volcanic activity of Katla and the associated future risk, many residents were doubtful about the imminent eruption forecast by scientists and they believed that the volcano is no longer active. In both communities, different social, cultural and economic factors played a central role in how people perceived natural hazards and how they dealt with the fact that their lives and livelihoods could be at risk. The participants had good knowledge about the existing evacuation plan and had participated in evacuation exercises. However, they had not made personal mitigation or preparedness plans in the event of a future eruption. In contrast to the residents of Vík, the inhabitants in Álftaver are concerned about the evacuation process and found it very confusing; they neither found the emergency plan nor the proposed methods for risk communication relevant for their farming community. The perception of the inhabitants, especially in Álftaver, does not correspond to those

  9. Evidence for a communal consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bobrow, Robert S

    2011-01-01

    Recently described social network phenomena show that emotionally connected people come to share certain traits, including obesity, happiness, and loneliness. These do not appear to be mediated by face-to-face contact. Other examples of groups with a common connection that act in unison are mass hysteria, menstrual synchrony, and the ability of a group to guess the number of jelly beans in a jar. The animal kingdom abounds with examples of groups functioning as a single whole: fish school, birds flock, hoofed animals herd, ant and bee colonies work as a single organism. Try as they might, neuroscientists have been unable to find an anatomical seat of consciousness within the brain. C.G. Jung's realization of a collective unconscious began with an observation of a patient whose thoughts matched previous writings that the patient had never seen. The "emotional telepathy" of social network phenomena suggests a collective/communal consciousness as well. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. ECG telemetry in conscious guinea pigs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruppert, Sabine; Vormberge, Thomas; Igl, Bernd-Wolfgang; Hoffmann, Michael

    2016-01-01

    During preclinical drug development, monitoring of the electrocardiogram (ECG) is an important part of cardiac safety assessment. To detect potential pro-arrhythmic liabilities of a drug candidate and for internal decision-making during early stage drug development an in vivo model in small animals with translatability to human cardiac function is required. Over the last years, modifications/improvements regarding animal housing, ECG electrode placement, and data evaluation have been introduced into an established model for ECG recordings using telemetry in conscious, freely moving guinea pigs. Pharmacological validation using selected reference compounds affecting different mechanisms relevant for cardiac electrophysiology (quinidine, flecainide, atenolol, dl-sotalol, dofetilide, nifedipine, moxifloxacin) was conducted and findings were compared with results obtained in telemetered Beagle dogs. Under standardized conditions, reliable ECG data with low variability allowing largely automated evaluation were obtained from the telemetered guinea pig model. The model is sensitive to compounds blocking cardiac sodium channels, hERG K(+) channels and calcium channels, and appears to be even more sensitive to β-blockers as observed in dogs at rest. QT interval correction according to Bazett and Sarma appears to be appropriate methods in conscious guinea pigs. Overall, the telemetered guinea pig is a suitable model for the conduct of early stage preclinical ECG assessment. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Value definitions and consumer consciousness

    OpenAIRE

    Wakenshaw, Susan Y. L.; Phillips, Laura; Ng, Irene C. L.

    2014-01-01

    This paper contributes to the understanding of value within the service science and management literature, a literature that currently defines and measures value in various ways, making assumptions about how value is created and judged. We present this paper in two parts: in the first, we reprise six core themes of value understanding in the management literature, highlighting their implicit philosophical, chronological and consciousness assumptions; in the second, we elaborate on consciousne...

  12. Clear signals or mixed messages: inter-individual emotion congruency modulates brain activity underlying affective body perception

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Gelder, B.

    2016-01-01

    The neural basis of emotion perception has mostly been investigated with single face or body stimuli. However, in daily life one may also encounter affective expressions by groups, e.g. an angry mob or an exhilarated concert crowd. In what way is brain activity modulated when several individuals express similar rather than different emotions? We investigated this question using an experimental design in which we presented two stimuli simultaneously, with same or different emotional expressions. We hypothesized that, in the case of two same-emotion stimuli, brain activity would be enhanced, while in the case of two different emotions, one emotion would interfere with the effect of the other. The results showed that the simultaneous perception of different affective body expressions leads to a deactivation of the amygdala and a reduction of cortical activity. It was revealed that the processing of fearful bodies, compared with different-emotion bodies, relied more strongly on saliency and action triggering regions in inferior parietal lobe and insula, while happy bodies drove the occipito-temporal cortex more strongly. We showed that this design could be used to uncover important differences between brain networks underlying fearful and happy emotions. The enhancement of brain activity for unambiguous affective signals expressed by several people simultaneously supports adaptive behaviour in critical situations. PMID:27025242

  13. Clear signals or mixed messages: inter-individual emotion congruency modulates brain activity underlying affective body perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Borst, A W; de Gelder, B

    2016-08-01

    The neural basis of emotion perception has mostly been investigated with single face or body stimuli. However, in daily life one may also encounter affective expressions by groups, e.g. an angry mob or an exhilarated concert crowd. In what way is brain activity modulated when several individuals express similar rather than different emotions? We investigated this question using an experimental design in which we presented two stimuli simultaneously, with same or different emotional expressions. We hypothesized that, in the case of two same-emotion stimuli, brain activity would be enhanced, while in the case of two different emotions, one emotion would interfere with the effect of the other. The results showed that the simultaneous perception of different affective body expressions leads to a deactivation of the amygdala and a reduction of cortical activity. It was revealed that the processing of fearful bodies, compared with different-emotion bodies, relied more strongly on saliency and action triggering regions in inferior parietal lobe and insula, while happy bodies drove the occipito-temporal cortex more strongly. We showed that this design could be used to uncover important differences between brain networks underlying fearful and happy emotions. The enhancement of brain activity for unambiguous affective signals expressed by several people simultaneously supports adaptive behaviour in critical situations. © The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Leftward lateralization of auditory cortex underlies holistic sound perception in Williams syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wengenroth, Martina; Blatow, Maria; Bendszus, Martin; Schneider, Peter

    2010-08-23

    Individuals with the rare genetic disorder Williams-Beuren syndrome (WS) are known for their characteristic auditory phenotype including strong affinity to music and sounds. In this work we attempted to pinpoint a neural substrate for the characteristic musicality in WS individuals by studying the structure-function relationship of their auditory cortex. Since WS subjects had only minor musical training due to psychomotor constraints we hypothesized that any changes compared to the control group would reflect the contribution of genetic factors to auditory processing and musicality. Using psychoacoustics, magnetoencephalography and magnetic resonance imaging, we show that WS individuals exhibit extreme and almost exclusive holistic sound perception, which stands in marked contrast to the even distribution of this trait in the general population. Functionally, this was reflected by increased amplitudes of left auditory evoked fields. On the structural level, volume of the left auditory cortex was 2.2-fold increased in WS subjects as compared to control subjects. Equivalent volumes of the auditory cortex have been previously reported for professional musicians. There has been an ongoing debate in the neuroscience community as to whether increased gray matter of the auditory cortex in musicians is attributable to the amount of training or innate disposition. In this study musical education of WS subjects was negligible and control subjects were carefully matched for this parameter. Therefore our results not only unravel the neural substrate for this particular auditory phenotype, but in addition propose WS as a unique genetic model for training-independent auditory system properties.

  15. Strategic planning and progress under the All Wales Strategy: reflecting the perceptions of stakeholders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd, S; Felce, D; Beyer, S; Shearn, J; Perry, J; Kilsby, M

    2000-02-01

    Nominated representatives from the various stakeholder interests, i.e. social services, health, education, voluntary organizations, parent groups and self-advocacy groups, involved in the implementation of the All Wales Strategy for the development of services for people with intellectual disability were interviewed 2 years after the end of the initial 10-year phase. Interviewees were asked to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of policy implementation, including: changing priorities, planning arrangements, agency roles, central guidance and financial mechanisms, consumer participation, and the impact of more recent policy or structural developments. Despite recognition of the leadership of the Welsh Office, the shift in thinking achieved, the developments made in joint agency collaboration and in consumer participation in planning, and an increasing competence to plan effectively over time, the overriding perception was that more could have been made of the opportunity afforded by the clearest and best resourced central government policy within the UK in this area. At the heart of this judgement lay concerns about pragmatic rather than strategic planning, a failure to link annual service developments to a final comprehensive end point and a related failure to integrate planning to meet community needs with hospital resettlement Factors which may have contributed to these weaknesses are discussed, as are lessons for subsequent community care policy.

  16. Exposure of fluid milk to LED light negatively affects consumer perception and alters underlying sensory properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Nicole; Carey, Nancy; Murphy, Steven; Kent, David; Bang, Jae; Stubbs, Tim; Wiedmann, Martin; Dando, Robin

    2016-06-01

    Fluid milk consumption per capita in the United States has been steadily declining since the 1940s. Many factors have contributed to this decline, including the increasing consumption of carbonated beverages and bottled water. To meet the challenge of stemming the decline in consumption of fluid milk, the dairy industry must take a systematic approach to identifying and correcting for factors that negatively affect consumers' perception of fluid milk quality. To that end, samples of fluid milk were evaluated to identify factors, with a particular focus on light-emitting diode (LED) light exposure, which negatively affect the perceived sensory quality of milk, and to quantify their relative effect on the consumer's experience. Fluid milk samples were sourced from 3 processing facilities with varying microbial postprocessing contamination patterns based on historical testing. The effect of fat content, light exposure, age, and microbiological content were assayed across 23 samples of fluid milk, via consumer, descriptive sensory, and instrumental analyses. Most notably, light exposure resulted in a broad negative reaction from consumers, more so than samples with microbiological contamination exceeding 20,000 cfu/mL on days approaching code. The predominant implication of the study is that a component of paramount importance in ensuring the success of the dairy industry would be to protect fluid milk from all sources of light exposure, from processing plant to consumer. Copyright © 2016 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. What difference does consciousness make?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Neil

    2009-06-01

    The question whether and when it is morally appropriate to withdraw life-support from patients diagnosed as being in the persistent vegetative state is one of the most controversial in bioethics. Recent work on the neuroscience of consciousness seems to promise fundamentally to alter the debate, by demonstrating that some entirely unresponsive patients are in fact conscious. In this paper, I argue that though this work is extremely important scientifically, it ought to alter the debate over the moral status of the patients very little. First, the data presented is complex and difficult to interpret; we should be wary of taking the claimed discovery entirely at face value (though the remaining questions will probably be settled by future research). Second, though the demonstration that some of the patients are in fact conscious would show that they are moral patients, and therefore beings whose welfare must be taken into account, it would not, by itself at any rate, show that they have an interest in continued life.

  18. The measurement of consciousness: a framework for the scientific study of consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamez, David

    2014-01-01

    Scientists studying consciousness are attempting to identify correlations between measurements of consciousness and the physical world. Consciousness can only be measured through first-person reports, which raises problems about the accuracy of first-person reports, the possibility of non-reportable consciousness and the causal closure of the physical world. Many of these issues could be resolved by assuming that consciousness is entirely physical or functional. However, this would sacrifice the theory-neutrality that is a key attraction of a correlates-based approach to the study of consciousness. This paper puts forward a different solution that uses a framework of definitions and assumptions to explain how consciousness can be measured. This addresses the problems associated with first-person reports and avoids the issues with the causal closure of the physical world. This framework is compatible with most of the current theories of consciousness and it leads to a distinction between two types of correlates of consciousness. PMID:25071677

  19. Thematic elements underlying risk perception amongst small and medium enterprise owner-managers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Udechukwu Ojiako

    2014-02-01

    Research purpose: This article draws on research suggesting that interactions between industry-sector (situational differences and cognitive biases may often be decisive in moulding risk perceptions. Motivation for the study: Literature suggests that one of the most significant challenges facing entrepreneurs is the development of a clear understanding of what it means to experience and conceptualise ‘risk’ within the context of business entrepreneurship. Research design, approach and method: Utilising data obtained from a random sample of 446 SME owner-managers in the south-east of England, this study employs a combination of tests, including a non-parametric test, Chi-square test and Cramer’s V statistics test, to derive a series of thematic propositions that contribute to our understanding of how these entrepreneurs perceive decision risk. Main findings: Findings highlight the situational decision factors that influence SME owner-managers to overemphasise possible negative outcomes, thus constraining the creative imagination upon which their entrepreneurship depends. Practical/managerial implications: It is generally accepted that decisions that may be highly innovative are not necessarily risky, unless the entity concerned is innovating in order to survive and its innovations have strategic significance. Based on this, we posit that there is an urgent need for entrepreneurs to focus less on risk associated with innovation and more on comprehensive analysis of all risk and uncertainty present around business-critical decisions. Contribution/value-add: This study contributes to growing research examining the relationship between SME risk and innovation, which is at present sparse.

  20. Leftward lateralization of auditory cortex underlies holistic sound perception in Williams syndrome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Wengenroth

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Individuals with the rare genetic disorder Williams-Beuren syndrome (WS are known for their characteristic auditory phenotype including strong affinity to music and sounds. In this work we attempted to pinpoint a neural substrate for the characteristic musicality in WS individuals by studying the structure-function relationship of their auditory cortex. Since WS subjects had only minor musical training due to psychomotor constraints we hypothesized that any changes compared to the control group would reflect the contribution of genetic factors to auditory processing and musicality. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using psychoacoustics, magnetoencephalography and magnetic resonance imaging, we show that WS individuals exhibit extreme and almost exclusive holistic sound perception, which stands in marked contrast to the even distribution of this trait in the general population. Functionally, this was reflected by increased amplitudes of left auditory evoked fields. On the structural level, volume of the left auditory cortex was 2.2-fold increased in WS subjects as compared to control subjects. Equivalent volumes of the auditory cortex have been previously reported for professional musicians. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: There has been an ongoing debate in the neuroscience community as to whether increased gray matter of the auditory cortex in musicians is attributable to the amount of training or innate disposition. In this study musical education of WS subjects was negligible and control subjects were carefully matched for this parameter. Therefore our results not only unravel the neural substrate for this particular auditory phenotype, but in addition propose WS as a unique genetic model for training-independent auditory system properties.

  1. CCTV Surveillance in Primary Schools: Normalisation, Resistance, and Children's Privacy Consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birnhack, Michael; Perry-Hazan, Lotem; German Ben-Hayun, Shiran

    2018-01-01

    This study explored how primary school children perceive school surveillance by Closed Circuit TV systems (CCTVs) and how their perceptions relate to their privacy consciousness. It drew on interviews with 57 children, aged 9-12, who were enrolled in three Israeli public schools that had installed CCTVs, and on information gathered from members of…

  2. The evolutionary and genetic origins of consciousness in the Cambrian Period over 500 million years ago

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    Todd E Feinberg

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Vertebrates evolved in the Cambrian Period before 520 million years ago, but we do not know when or how consciousness arose in the history of the vertebrate brain. Here we propose multiple levels of isomorphic or somatotopic neural representations as an objective marker for sensory consciousness. All extant vertebrates have these, so we deduce that consciousness extends back to the group’s origin. The first conscious sense may have been vision. Then vision, coupled with additional sensory systems derived from ectodermal placodes and neural crest, transformed primitive reflexive systems into image forming brains that map and perceive the external world and the body’s interior. We posit that the minimum requirement for sensory consciousness and qualia is a brain including a forebrain (but not necessarily a developed cerebral cortex/pallium, midbrain and hindbrain. This brain must also have 1 hierarchical systems of intercommunicating, isomorphically organized, processing nuclei that extensively integrate the different senses into representations that emerge in upper levels of the neural hierarchy; and 2 a widespread reticular formation that integrates the sensory inputs and contributes to attention, awareness, and neural synchronization. We propose a two-step evolutionary history, in which the optic tectum was the original center of multi-sensory conscious perception (as in fish and amphibians: step 1, followed by a gradual shift of this center to the dorsal pallium or its cerebral cortex (in mammals, reptiles, birds: step 2. We address objections to the hypothesis and call for more studies of fish and amphibians. In our view, the lamprey has all the neural requisites and is likely the simplest extant vertebrate with sensory consciousness and qualia. Genes that pattern the proposed elements of consciousness (isomorphism, neural crest, placodes have been identified in all vertebrates. Thus, consciousness is in the genes, some of which are

  3. The evolutionary and genetic origins of consciousness in the Cambrian Period over 500 million years ago

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feinberg, Todd E.; Mallatt, Jon

    2013-01-01

    Vertebrates evolved in the Cambrian Period before 520 million years ago, but we do not know when or how consciousness arose in the history of the vertebrate brain. Here we propose multiple levels of isomorphic or somatotopic neural representations as an objective marker for sensory consciousness. All extant vertebrates have these, so we deduce that consciousness extends back to the group's origin. The first conscious sense may have been vision. Then vision, coupled with additional sensory systems derived from ectodermal placodes and neural crest, transformed primitive reflexive systems into image forming brains that map and perceive the external world and the body's interior. We posit that the minimum requirement for sensory consciousness and qualia is a brain including a forebrain (but not necessarily a developed cerebral cortex/pallium), midbrain, and hindbrain. This brain must also have (1) hierarchical systems of intercommunicating, isomorphically organized, processing nuclei that extensively integrate the different senses into representations that emerge in upper levels of the neural hierarchy; and (2) a widespread reticular formation that integrates the sensory inputs and contributes to attention, awareness, and neural synchronization. We propose a two-step evolutionary history, in which the optic tectum was the original center of multi-sensory conscious perception (as in fish and amphibians: step 1), followed by a gradual shift of this center to the dorsal pallium or its cerebral cortex (in mammals, reptiles, birds: step 2). We address objections to the hypothesis and call for more studies of fish and amphibians. In our view, the lamprey has all the neural requisites and is likely the simplest extant vertebrate with sensory consciousness and qualia. Genes that pattern the proposed elements of consciousness (isomorphism, neural crest, placodes) have been identified in all vertebrates. Thus, consciousness is in the genes, some of which are already known. PMID

  4. The nature of consciousness in the visually deprived brain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kupers, Ron; Pietrini, Pietro; Ricciardi, Emiliano

    2011-01-01

    or later in life, affects brain organization and the way the world is perceived and acted upon. In this paper, we address a number of issues on the nature of consciousness in people deprived of vision. Do brains from sighted and blind individuals differ, and how? How does the brain of someone who has never...... had any visual perception form an image of the external world? What is the subjective correlate of activity in the visual cortex of a subject who has never seen in life? More in general, what can we learn about the functional development of the human brain in physiological conditions by studying...

  5. Decreased pain perception by unconscious emotional pictures

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    Irene Peláez

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Pain perception arises from a complex interaction between a nociceptive stimulus and different emotional and cognitive factors, which appear to be mediated by both automatic and controlled systems. Previous evidence has shown that whereas conscious processing of unpleasant stimuli enhances pain perception, emotional influences on pain under unaware conditions are much less known. The aim of the present study was to investigate the modulation of pain perception by unconscious emotional pictures through an emotional masking paradigm. Two kinds of both somatosensory (painful and non-painful and emotional stimulation (negative and neutral pictures were employed. Fifty pain-free participants were asked to rate the perception of pain they were feeling in response to laser-induced somatosensory stimuli as faster as they can. Data from pain intensity and reaction times were measured. Statistical analyses revealed a significant effect for the interaction between pain and emotional stimulation, but surprisingly this relationship was opposite to expected. In particular, lower pain intensity scores and longer reaction times were found in response to negative images being strengthened this effect for painful stimulation. Present findings suggest a clear pain perception modulation by unconscious emotional contexts. Attentional capture mechanisms triggered by unaware negative stimulation could explain this phenomenon leading to a withdrawal of processing resources from pain.

  6. Suprathreshold perception of tonal components in noise under conditions of masking release

    OpenAIRE

    Verhey, Jesko L.; Heise, Stephan J.

    2012-01-01

    Many technical sounds contain tonal components in a noise background. The present study investigates how such tonal components embedded in noise are perceived under conditions of enhanced detectability of the tone due to (i) amplitude modulation of the noise background or (ii) interaural disparities in the signal's phase. To quantify the sensation elicited by a tonal component in these masking-release conditions, the listeners are asked to adjust the level of the tone to have the same magnitu...

  7. Consciousness cannot be separated from function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Michael A; Dennett, Daniel C

    2011-08-01

    Numerous theories of consciousness hold that there are separate neural correlates of conscious experience and cognitive function, aligning with the assumption that there are 'hard' and 'easy' problems of consciousness. Here, we argue that any neurobiological theory based on an experience/function division cannot be empirically confirmed or falsified and is thus outside the scope of science. A 'perfect experiment' illustrates this point, highlighting the unbreachable boundaries of the scientific study of consciousness. We describe a more nuanced notion of cognitive access that captures personal experience without positing the existence of inaccessible conscious states. Finally, we discuss the criteria necessary for forming and testing a falsifiable theory of consciousness. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Consciousness and the Invention of Morel

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    Lampros ePerogamvros

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available A scientific study of consciousness should take into consideration both objective and subjective measures of conscious experiences. To this date, very few studies have tried to integrate third-person data, or data about the neurophysiological correlates of conscious states, with first-person data, or data about subjective experience. Inspired by Morel’s invention (Casares, 1940, a literary machine capable of reproducing sensory-dependent external reality, this article suggests that combination of virtual reality techniques and brain reading technologies, that is, decoding of conscious states by brain activity alone, can offer this integration. It is also proposed that the multimodal, simulating and integrative capacities of the dreaming brain render it an 'endogenous' Morel's machine, which can potentially be used in studying consciousness, but not always in a reliable way. Both the literary machine and dreaming could contribute to a better understanding of conscious states.

  9. On the evolution of conscious attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haladjian, Harry Haroutioun; Montemayor, Carlos

    2015-06-01

    This paper aims to clarify the relationship between consciousness and attention through theoretical considerations about evolution. Specifically, we will argue that the empirical findings on attention and the basic considerations concerning the evolution of the different forms of attention demonstrate that consciousness and attention must be dissociated regardless of which definition of these terms one uses. To the best of our knowledge, no extant view on the relationship between consciousness and attention has this advantage. Because of this characteristic, this paper presents a principled and neutral way to settle debates concerning the relationship between consciousness and attention, without falling into disputes about the meaning of these terms. A decisive conclusion of this approach is that extreme views on the relationship between consciousness and attention must be rejected, including identity and full dissociation views. There is an overlap between the two within conscious attention, but developing a full understanding of this mechanism requires further empirical investigations.

  10. Electrocortical (EEG correlates of music and states of consciousness

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    Lazar Skaric

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available The study of the perception of music is a paramount example of multidisciplinary research. In spite of a lot of theoretical and experimental efforts to understand musical processing, attempts to localize musical abilities in particular brain regions were largely unsuccessful, save for the difference between musicians and non musicians, especially in hemispheric specialization and in EEG correlational dimensions. Having in mind that human emotional response to music and to art in general is limbic dependent, this motivated us to address our question to a similar possible neurobiological origin of musicogenic altered states of consciousness and its possible EEG correlates, “resonantly” induced by deep spiritual music. For example, as in sound-induced altered states of consciousness cultivated in some Eastern yogic practices. The musicogenic states of consciousness are evaluated within a group of 6 adults, upon the influence of 4 types of spiritual music. The most prominent changes in theta or alpha frequency bands were induced in two subjects, upon the influence of Indian spiritual music, Bhajan.

  11. Can binocular rivalry reveal neural correlates of consciousness?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, Randolph; Brascamp, Jan; Heeger, David J

    2014-05-05

    This essay critically examines the extent to which binocular rivalry can provide important clues about the neural correlates of conscious visual perception. Our ideas are presented within the framework of four questions about the use of rivalry for this purpose: (i) what constitutes an adequate comparison condition for gauging rivalry's impact on awareness, (ii) how can one distinguish abolished awareness from inattention, (iii) when one obtains unequivocal evidence for a causal link between a fluctuating measure of neural activity and fluctuating perceptual states during rivalry, will it generalize to other stimulus conditions and perceptual phenomena and (iv) does such evidence necessarily indicate that this neural activity constitutes a neural correlate of consciousness? While arriving at sceptical answers to these four questions, the essay nonetheless offers some ideas about how a more nuanced utilization of binocular rivalry may still provide fundamental insights about neural dynamics, and glimpses of at least some of the ingredients comprising neural correlates of consciousness, including those involved in perceptual decision-making.

  12. Evolving Complexity, Cognition, and Consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liljenström, H.

    2012-12-01

    All through the history of the universe there is an apparent tendency for increasing complexity, with the organization of matter in evermore elaborate and interactive systems. The living world in general, and the human brain in particular, provides the highest complexity known. It seems obvious that all of this complexity must be the result of physical, chemical and biological evolution, but it was only with Darwin that we began to get a scientific understanding of biological evolution. Darwinian principles are guiding in our understanding of such complex systems as the nervous system, but also for the evolution of human society and technology. Living organisms have to survive in a complex and changing environment. This implies response and adaption to environmental events and changes at several time scales. The interaction with the environment depends on the present state of the organism, as well as on previous experiences stored in its molecular and cellular structures. At a longer time scale, organisms can adapt to slow environmental changes, by storing information in the genetic material carried over from generation to generation. This phylogenetic learning is complemented by ontogenetic learning, which is adaptation at a shorter time scale, occuring in non-genetic structures. The evolution of a nervous system is a major transition in biological evolution and allows for an increasing capacity for information storage and processing, increasing chances of survival. Such neural knowledge processing, cognition, shows the same principal features as nonneural adaptive processes. Similarly, consciousness might appear, to different degrees, at different stages in evolution. Both cognition and consciousness depends critically on the organization and complexity of the organism. In this presentation, I will briefly discuss general principles for evolution of complexity, focussing on the evolution of the nervous system, which provides organisms with ever increasing

  13. Is Phenomenal Consciousness a Complex Structure?

    OpenAIRE

    Stieg, Chuck

    2004-01-01

    Evolutionary explanations of psychological phenomena have become widespread. This paper examines a recent attempt by Nichols and Grantham (2000) to circumvent the problem of epiphenomenalism in establishing the selective status of consciousness. Nichols and Grantham (2000) argue that a case can be made for the view that consciousness is an adaptation based on its complexity. I set out this argument and argue that it fails to establish that phenomenal consciousness is a complex system. It ...

  14. Consciousness in Non-Epileptic Attack Disorder

    OpenAIRE

    Reuber, M.; Kurthen, M.

    2011-01-01

    Non-epileptic attack disorder (NEAD) is one of the most important differential diagnoses of epilepsy. Impairment of\\ud consciousness is the key feature of non-epileptic attacks (NEAs). The first half of this review summarises the clinical research\\ud literature featuring observations relating to consciousness in NEAD. The second half places this evidence in the wider context\\ud of the recent discourse on consciousness in neuroscience and the philosophy of mind. We argue that studies of consci...

  15. A framework for investigating animal consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Droege, Paula; Braithwaite, Victoria A

    2015-01-01

    An assessment of consciousness in nonverbal animals requires a framework for research that extends testing methods beyond subjective report. This chapter proposes a working definition of consciousness in terms of temporal representation that provides the critical link between internal phenomenology and external behavior and neural structure. Our claim is that consciousness represents the present moment as distinct from the past and the future in order to flexibly respond to stimuli. We discuss behavioral and neural evidence that indicates the capacity for both flexible response and temporal representation, and we illustrate these capacities in fish, a taxonomic group that challenges human intuitions about consciousness.

  16. Consciousness Is a Thing, Not a Process

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    Susan Pockett

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The central dogma of cognitive psychology is ‘consciousness is a process, not a thing’. Hence, the main task of cognitive neuroscientists is generally seen as working out what kinds of neural processing are conscious and what kinds are not. I argue here that the central dogma is simply wrong. All neural processing is unconscious. The illusion that some of it is conscious results largely from a failure to separate consciousness per se from a number of unconscious processes that normally accompany it—most particularly focal attention. Conscious sensory experiences are not processes at all. They are things: specifically, spatial electromagnetic (EM patterns, which are presently generated only by ongoing unconscious processing at certain times and places in the mammalian brain, but which in principle could be generated by hardware rather than wetware. The neurophysiological mechanisms by which putatively conscious EM patterns are generated, the features that may distinguish conscious from unconscious patterns, the general principles that distinguish the conscious patterns of different sensory modalities and the general features that distinguish the conscious patterns of different experiences within any given sensory modality are all described. Suggestions for further development of this paradigm are provided.

  17. The Value and Disvalue of Consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glannon, Walter

    2016-10-01

    Consciousness defines us as persons. It allows us to have both pleasurable and painful experiences. I present four neurological conditions in the clinical setting to explore how consciousness can be beneficial or harmful to patients: intraoperative awareness, prolonged disorders of consciousness, locked-in syndrome, and the effects of narcotics and sedation on terminally ill patients. The ethical significance of consciousness for patients in these conditions depends on two factors: the content of one's experience and whether one can report this content to others. I argue that the value or disvalue of phenomenal consciousness, what it is like to be aware, may depend on its relation to access consciousness, the ability to report or communicate the content of awareness. Phenomenal consciousness can have disvalue when one wants or expects to be unconscious. It can also have disvalue in the absence of access consciousness because it can allow the patient to experience pain and suffer. Technology that enabled neurologically compromised patients to reliably communicate their experience and wishes could benefit and prevent harm to them. More generally, the neurological conditions I discuss raise the question of when and in what respects consciousness is preferable to unconsciousness.

  18. Closing in on the constitution of consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Steven M.

    2014-01-01

    The science of consciousness is a nascent and thriving field of research that is founded on identifying the minimally sufficient neural correlates of consciousness. However, I have argued that it is the neural constitution of consciousness that science seeks to understand and that there are no evident strategies for distinguishing the correlates and constitution of (phenomenal) consciousness. Here I review this correlation/constitution distinction problem and challenge the existing foundations of consciousness science. I present the main analyses from a longer paper in press on this issue, focusing on recording, inhibition, stimulation, and combined inhibition/stimulation strategies, including proposal of the Jenga analogy to illustrate why identifying the minimally sufficient neural correlates of consciousness should not be considered the ultimate target of consciousness science. Thereafter I suggest that while combined inhibition and stimulation strategies might identify some constitutive neural activities—indeed minimally sufficient constitutive neural activities—such strategies fail to identify the whole neural constitution of consciousness and thus the correlation/constitution distinction problem is not fully solved. Various clarifications, potential objections and related scientific and philosophical issues are also discussed and I conclude by proposing new foundational claims for consciousness science. PMID:25452738

  19. Science of consciousness and the hard problem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stapp, H.P.

    1996-05-22

    Quantum theory is essentially a rationally coherent theory of the interaction of mind and matter, and it allows our conscious thoughts to play a causally efficacious and necessary role in brain dynamics. It therefore provides a natural basis, created by scientists, for the science of consciousness. As an illustration it is explained how the interaction of brain and consciousness can speed up brain processing, and thereby enhance the survival prospects of conscious organisms, as compared to similar organisms that lack consciousness. As a second illustration it is explained how, within the quantum framework, the consciously experienced {open_quotes}I{close_quotes} directs the actions of a human being. It is concluded that contemporary science already has an adequate framework for incorporating causally efficacious experimential events into the physical universe in a manner that: (1) puts the neural correlates of consciousness into the theory in a well defined way, (2) explains in principle how the effects of consciousness, per se, can enhance the survival prospects of organisms that possess it, (3) allows this survival effect to feed into phylogenetic development, and (4) explains how the consciously experienced {open_quotes}I{close_quotes} can direct human behaviour.

  20. Quantum-like model of unconscious–conscious dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khrennikov, Andrei

    2015-01-01

    We present a quantum-like model of sensation–perception dynamics (originated in Helmholtz theory of unconscious inference) based on the theory of quantum apparatuses and instruments. We illustrate our approach with the model of bistable perception of a particular ambiguous figure, the Schröder stair. This is a concrete model for unconscious and conscious processing of information and their interaction. The starting point of our quantum-like journey was the observation that perception dynamics is essentially contextual which implies impossibility of (straightforward) embedding of experimental statistical data in the classical (Kolmogorov, 1933) framework of probability theory. This motivates application of nonclassical probabilistic schemes. And the quantum formalism provides a variety of the well-approved and mathematically elegant probabilistic schemes to handle results of measurements. The theory of quantum apparatuses and instruments is the most general quantum scheme describing measurements and it is natural to explore it to model the sensation–perception dynamics. In particular, this theory provides the scheme of indirect quantum measurements which we apply to model unconscious inference leading to transition from sensations to perceptions. PMID:26283979

  1. Understanding schizophrenia as a disorder of consciousness: biological correlates and translational implications from quantum theory perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venkatasubramanian, Ganesan

    2015-04-30

    From neurophenomenological perspectives, schizophrenia has been conceptualized as "a disorder with heterogeneous manifestations that can be integrally understood to involve fundamental perturbations in consciousness". While these theoretical constructs based on consciousness facilitate understanding the 'gestalt' of schizophrenia, systematic research to unravel translational implications of these models is warranted. To address this, one needs to begin with exploration of plausible biological underpinnings of "perturbed consciousness" in schizophrenia. In this context, an attractive proposition to understand the biology of consciousness is "the orchestrated object reduction (Orch-OR) theory" which invokes quantum processes in the microtubules of neurons. The Orch-OR model is particularly important for understanding schizophrenia especially due to the shared 'scaffold' of microtubules. The initial sections of this review focus on the compelling evidence to support the view that "schizophrenia is a disorder of consciousness" through critical summary of the studies that have demonstrated self-abnormalities, aberrant time perception as well as dysfunctional intentional binding in this disorder. Subsequently, these findings are linked with 'Orch-OR theory' through the research evidence for aberrant neural oscillations as well as microtubule abnormalities observed in schizophrenia. Further sections emphasize the applicability and translational implications of Orch-OR theory in the context of schizophrenia and elucidate the relevance of quantum biology to understand the origins of this puzzling disorder as "fundamental disturbances in consciousness".

  2. Near-death experience: arising from the borderlands of consciousness in crisis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Kevin R

    2014-11-01

    Brain activity explains the essential features of near-death experience, including the perceptions of envelopment by light, out-of-body, and meeting deceased loved ones or spiritual beings. To achieve their fullest expression, such near-death experiences require a confluence of events and draw upon more than a single physiological or biochemical system, or one anatomical structure. During impaired cerebral blood flow from syncope or cardiac arrest that commonly precedes near-death, the boundary between consciousness and unconsciousness is often indistinct and a person may enter a borderland and be far more aware than is appreciated by others. Consciousness can also come and go if blood flow rises and falls across a crucial threshold. During crisis the brain's prime biologic purpose to keep itself alive lies at the heart of many spiritual experiences and inextricably binds them to the primal brain. Brain ischemia can disrupt the physiological balance between conscious states by leading the brainstem to blend rapid eye movement (REM) and waking into another borderland of consciousness during near-death. Evidence converges from many points to support this notion, including the observation that the majority of people with a near-death experience possess brains predisposed to fusing REM and waking consciousness into an unfamiliar reality, and are as likely to have out-of-body experience while blending REM and waking consciousness as they are to have out-of-body experience during near-death. © 2014 New York Academy of Sciences.

  3. The Czechs and Their History: A Contribution to the Study of Historical Consciousness

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    J Šubrt

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available This article aims to provide the first complete overview of the nature and content of the historical consciousness of the Czech population on the basis of sociological methods. Historical consciousness is understood not only as a body of knowledge, impressions, and images of the past, but, above all, as an awareness of certain connections between the past (stored in collective memory, present and future; as a consciousness which has contributed to people's attitudes to the present and the future. The issue of historical consciousness is examines with the tools provided by sociological methods, in particular, quantitative methods. First, the size of the population interested in the history of the Czech Republic as such is assessed; then the focus is shifted to some general aspects of historical consciousness, particularly the ideas of people concerning the importance of the forces shaping the course of history, and their assessment of the general importance of history. In conclusion, the authors present the evaluations by the Czech population of their national history, its key stages and major events. In the final discussion there is a comprehensive interpretation of the empirical data in terms of the existing theoretical research models. In this discussion attention is paid to patterns of historical changes in people's perception of their past, as well as the selectivity of historical consciousness and its influence on the political situation, social changes and personal life experience.

  4. How and to what end may consciousness contribute to action? Attributing properties of consciousness to an embodied, minimally cognitive artificial neural network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruse, Holk; Schilling, Malte

    2013-01-01

    An artificial neural network called reaCog is described which is based on a decentralized, reactive and embodied architecture developed to control non-trivial hexapod walking in an unpredictable environment (Walknet) while using insect-like navigation (Navinet). In reaCog, these basic networks are extended in such a way that the complete system, reaCog, adopts the capability of inventing new behaviors and - via internal simulation - of planning ahead. This cognitive expansion enables the reactive system to be enriched with additional procedures. Here, we focus on the question to what extent properties of phenomena to be characterized on a different level of description as for example consciousness can be found in this minimally cognitive system. Adopting a monist view, we argue that the phenomenal aspect of mental phenomena can be neglected when discussing the function of such a system. Under this condition, reaCog is discussed to be equipped with properties as are bottom-up and top-down attention, intentions, volition, and some aspects of Access Consciousness. These properties have not been explicitly implemented but emerge from the cooperation between the elements of the network. The aspects of Access Consciousness found in reaCog concern the above mentioned ability to plan ahead and to invent and guide (new) actions. Furthermore, global accessibility of memory elements, another aspect characterizing Access Consciousness is realized by this network. reaCog allows for both reactive/automatic control and (access-) conscious control of behavior. We discuss examples for interactions between both the reactive domain and the conscious domain. Metacognition or Reflexive Consciousness is not a property of reaCog. Possible expansions are discussed to allow for further properties of Access Consciousness, verbal report on internal states, and for Metacognition. In summary, we argue that already simple networks allow for properties of consciousness if leaving the phenomenal

  5. How and to what end may consciousness contribute to action? Attributing properties of consciousness to an embodied, minimally cognitive artificial neural network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holk eCruse

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available An artificial neural network called reaCog is described which is based on a decentralized, reactive and embodied architecture to control non-trivial hexapod walking in unpredictable environment (Walknet as well as insect-like navigation (Navinet. In reaCog, these basic networks are extended in such a way that the complete system, reaCog, adopts the capability of inventing new behaviors and - via internal simulation - of planning ahead. This cognitive expansion enables the reactive system to be enriched with additional procedures. Here, we focus on the question to what extent properties of phenomena to be characterized on a different level of description as for example consciousness can be found in this minimally cognitive system. Adopting a monist view, we argue that the phenomenal aspect of mental phenomena can be neglected when discussing the function of such a system. Under this condition, reaCog is discussed to be equipped with properties as are bottom-up and top-down attention, intentions, volition and some aspects of Access Consciousness. These properties have not been explicitly implemented but emerge from the cooperation between the elements of the network. The aspects of access consciousness found in reaCog concern the above mentioned ability to plan ahead and to invent and guide (new actions. Furthermore, global accessibility of memory elements, another aspect characterizing Access Consciousness is realized by this network. reaCog allows for both reactive/automatic control and (access- conscious control of behavior. We discuss examples for interactions between both the reactive domain and the conscious domain. Metacognition or Reflexive Consciousness is not a property of reaCog. Possible expansions are discussed to allow for further properties of Access Consciousness, verbal report on internal states, and for Metacognition. In summary, we argue that already simple networks allow for properties of consciousness if leaving the phenomenal

  6. Emotional priming depends on the degree of conscious experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lohse, Michael; Overgaard, Morten

    2017-11-10

    Most experiments in consciousness research assume that awareness is a dichotomous 'either/or' phenomenon. However, participants can distinguish multiple levels of subjective experience of simple features (colour, shape etc.), which correlate with their performance in different tasks. As experiments showing multiple levels of perceptual awareness question the widespread idea that many forms of perception can occur unconsciously, we investigated emotional priming combined with methods able to measure small variations in subjective experience. We show awareness of emotional faces is gradual rather than dichotomous, and that the effects of emotional priming are predicted by the level of perceptual awareness of emotional faces, with no effects when reported unseen. The results question how much unconscious perceptions can influence behaviour. As priming is one of the most well-established phenomena believed to occur unconsciously, the results expand the growing body of evidence that questions the contributions of unconscious processing on behaviour. Crown Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Defining and measuring environmental consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiménez Sánchez, Manuel

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Based on a review of the main analytical approaches found in the literature, in this paper we establish a multidimensional and behaviour-oriented definition of environmental consciousness. We propose a method to operationalize this definition with the final aim of obtaining summary measures (or indexes of this phenomenon which can be applied to different social contexts and time periods. The data obtained from a survey on environmental attitudes and behaviour conducted in 2004 among Andalusians (Ecobarómetro de Andalucía 2004 is used as an empirical basis for the proposed operationalization. The resulting measures are then employed to identify social groups according to the diverse forms of their environmental consciousness and to explore their basic socio-demographic profiles

    A partir de las principales aproximaciones analíticas presentes en la literatura, en este trabajo establecemos una definición de conciencia ambiental multidimensional y orientada a la conducta; proponemos un método para su operacionalización con el objetivo de elaborar medidas sintéticas de este fenómeno en distintos contextos sociales. La operacionalización propuesta utiliza como base empírica los resultados del Ecobarómetro de Andalucía (EBA 2004. Los indicadores resultantes son utilizados seguidamente para identificar distintos grupos sociales según la naturaleza de su conciencia ambiental.

  8. On the character of consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arto eAnnila

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The human brain is a particularly demanding system to infer its nature from observations. Thus, there is on one hand plenty of room for theorizing and on the other hand a pressing need for a rigorous theory. We apply statistical mechanics of open systems to describe the brain as a hierarchical system in consuming free energy in least time. This holistic tenet accounts for cellular metabolism, neuronal signaling, cognitive processes all together or any other process by a formal equation of motion that extends down to the ultimate precision of one quantum of action. According to this general thermodynamic theory cognitive processes are no different by their operational and organizational principle from other natural processes. Cognition too will emerge and evolve along path-dependent and non-determinate trajectories by consuming free energy in least time to attain thermodynamic balance within the nervous system itself and with its surrounding systems. Specifically, consciousness can be ascribed to a natural process that integrates various neural networks for coherent consumption of free energy, i.e., for meaningful deeds. The whole hierarchy of integrated systems can be formally summed up to thermodynamic entropy. The holistic tenet provides insight to the character of consciousness also by acknowledging awareness in other systems at other levels of nature’s hierarchy.

  9. Technology-based assessment in patients with disorders of consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carol Di Perri

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. A number of studies highlight the difficulty in forming a diagnosis for patients with disorders of consciousness when this is established merely on behavioral assessments. Background. Positron emission tomography (PET, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI, and electroencephalography combined with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS-EEG techniques are promoting the clinical characterization of this challenging population. With such technology-based "objective" tools, patients are also differentially able to follow simple commands and in some cases even communicate through modified brain activity. Consequently, the vegetative state and minimally conscious state have been revised and new nosologies have been proposed, namely the unresponsive wakefulness syndrome, the minimally conscious state plus and minus, and the functional locked-in syndrome. Aim. To our mind, an integration of different technical modalities is important to gain a holistic vision of the underlying pathophysiology of disorders of consciousness in general and to promote single-patient medical management in particular.

  10. Clinical standard of neurosurgical disorder. (9) Disturbance of consciousness

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ohta, Tomio

    2009-01-01

    Functional diagnosis of consciousness disturbance (CD) in acute and chronic stages is becoming more important along with the progress of morphological diagnosis by CT and MRI at the stroke and brain lesion. Here described and discussed are the definition of consciousness and unconsciousness, cause and scoring of CD by various scaling and clinical significance of the scale for therapy. The author's definition for consciousness is based on patients' self identity and orientation. The above CD is essentially caused by the increased intracranial pressure, which is evaluable by imaging as the increase is derived from the herniation by tumor or edema mainly through transtentorial (uncal, hippocampal) and/or foraminal (cerebellar tonsillar) pathways. Scaling of CD stands on three factors of validity, reliability and feasibility, of which standards of JCS (Japan coma scale) and GCS (Glasgow coma scale) have been widely employed. In discussion of merit/demerit of JCS and GCS, the author et al. have proposed a new scale ECS (emergency coma scale) with 3 levels of digit code for patient's response and behavior under CD. Therapeutic outcome is greatly affected by acute CD levels evaluable by scaling, in which awakening/alertness relates with mortality, and local symptom/consciousness, with morbidity. ECS is now globally getting around. (K.T.)

  11. A neuroscientific account of how vestibular disorders impair bodily self-consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christophe eLopez

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The consequences of vestibular disorders on balance, oculomotor control and self-motion perception have been extensively described in humans and animals. More recently, vestibular disorders have been related to cognitive deficits in spatial navigation and memory tasks. Less frequently, abnormal bodily perceptions have been described in patients with vestibular disorders. Altered forms of bodily self-consciousness include distorted body image and body schema, disembodied self-location (out-of-body experience, altered sense of agency, as well as more complex experiences of dissociation and detachment from the self (depersonalization. In this article, I suggest that vestibular disorders create sensory conflict or mismatch in multisensory brain regions, producing perceptual incoherence and abnormal body and self perceptions. This hypothesis is based on recent functional mapping of the human vestibular cortex, showing vestibular projections to the primary and secondary somatosensory cortex and in several multisensory areas found to be crucial for bodily self-consciousness.

  12. Visual anticipation biases conscious decision making but not bottom-up visual processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathews, Zenon; Cetnarski, Ryszard; Verschure, Paul F M J

    2014-01-01

    Prediction plays a key role in control of attention but it is not clear which aspects of prediction are most prominent in conscious experience. An evolving view on the brain is that it can be seen as a prediction machine that optimizes its ability to predict states of the world and the self through the top-down propagation of predictions and the bottom-up presentation of prediction errors. There are competing views though on whether prediction or prediction errors dominate the formation of conscious experience. Yet, the dynamic effects of prediction on perception, decision making and consciousness have been difficult to assess and to model. We propose a novel mathematical framework and a psychophysical paradigm that allows us to assess both the hierarchical structuring of perceptual consciousness, its content and the impact of predictions and/or errors on conscious experience, attention and decision-making. Using a displacement detection task combined with reverse correlation, we reveal signatures of the usage of prediction at three different levels of perceptual processing: bottom-up fast saccades, top-down driven slow saccades and consciousnes decisions. Our results suggest that the brain employs multiple parallel mechanism at different levels of perceptual processing in order to shape effective sensory consciousness within a predicted perceptual scene. We further observe that bottom-up sensory and top-down predictive processes can be dissociated through cognitive load. We propose a probabilistic data association model from dynamical systems theory to model the predictive multi-scale bias in perceptual processing that we observe and its role in the formation of conscious experience. We propose that these results support the hypothesis that consciousness provides a time-delayed description of a task that is used to prospectively optimize real time control structures, rather than being engaged in the real-time control of behavior itself.

  13. The impact of gender images in commercials on the self-consciousness of adolescents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lopukhova O.G.

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Television has a strong impact on gender-identity development. Theoretical analysis shows that the direct perception of different gender characteristics in advertising images has a specific impact on gender self-consciousness, primarily at the unconscious level. The purpose of our study was to uncover features of this impact. In this study, the effects of advertising images on the gender self-consciousness of teenagers were investigated. Two hypotheses were examined: (1 Perception of gender images in TV commercials has individual variability and is connected with gender features of self-consciousness (gender type of personality, gender differentiation of consciousness, the specifics of gender identification. (2 Direct perception of gender images in TV commercials has a differential influence on the transformation of verbal (cognitive and nonverbal (emotive levels of selfconsciousness. The commercials, which were for chocolate, contained different gender types of male and female images (masculine female images, androgynous images, and feminine male images; they used as stimulus materials in an experimental situation involving 61 teenagers. The contents and dynamics of gender self-consciousness in adolescents were investigated using the psychosemantic method of “multiple identifications.” We discovered that the girls’ preferences for gender images were more varied than those of the boys. Despite different variants in the gender characteristics in the advertising images, their impact on the gender self-consciousness of the adolescents consisted mostly of gender differentiation and identification with the images of their own gender. In general, in regard to the direct impact in the experimental situation, at the cognitive level, the girls revealed changes in the enhancement of gender identification with images of their gender, and the boys were characterized by the enhancement of gender differentiation. At the level of emotive evaluation, in

  14. Who is on the primary care team? Professionals' perceptions of the conceptualization of teams and the underlying factors: a mixed-methods study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doekhie, Kirti D; Buljac-Samardzic, Martina; Strating, Mathilde M H; Paauwe, Jaap

    2017-12-28

    Due to the growing prevalence of elderly patients with multi-morbidity living at home, there is an increasing need for primary care professionals from different disciplinary backgrounds to collaborate as primary care teams. However, it is unclear how primary care professionals conceptualize teams and what underlying factors influence their perception of being part of a team. Our research question is: What are primary care professionals' perceptions of teams and team membership among primary care disciplines and what factors influence their perceptions? We conducted a mixed-methods study in the Dutch primary care setting. First, a survey study of 152 professionals representing 12 primary care disciplines was conducted, focusing on their perceptions of which disciplines are part of the team and the degree of relational coordination between professionals from different disciplinary backgrounds. Subsequently, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 32 professionals representing 5 primary care disciplines to gain a deeper understanding of the underlying factors influencing their perceptions and the (mis)alignment between these perceptions. Misalignments were found between perceptions regarding which disciplines are members of the team and the relational coordination between disciplines. For example, general practitioners were viewed as part of the team by helping assistants, (district) nurses, occupational therapists and geriatric specialized practice nurses, whereas the general practitioners themselves only considered geriatric specialized practice nurses to be part of their team. Professionals perceive multidisciplinary primary care teams as having multiple inner and outer layers. Three factors influence their perception of being part of a team and acting accordingly: a) knowing the people you work with, b) the necessity for knowledge exchange and c) sharing a holistic view of caregiving. Research and practice should take into account the misalignment between

  15. Feminist consciousness and assertiveness in Ifeoma Okoye's ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Okoye is an African feminist who advocates feminist consciousness as a concept through which women can be enlightened for consciousness-raising, empowerment and assertiveness in her novels, Behind the Clouds and Chimere, while emphasizing education, economic independence and sisterhood as avenues for ...

  16. An integrative view on consciousness and introspection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Overgaard, Morten; Mogensen, Jesper

    2017-01-01

    The relation between first and higher order mental states is currently unknown. In particular, the relation between conscious experience and introspection is difficult as the same methods are used to investigate them. In order to make progress in the scientific understanding of consciousness...

  17. Consciousness in Non-Epileptic Attack Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reuber, M.; Kurthen, M.

    2011-01-01

    Non-epileptic attack disorder (NEAD) is one of the most important differential diagnoses of epilepsy. Impairment of consciousness is the key feature of non-epileptic attacks (NEAs). The first half of this review summarises the clinical research literature featuring observations relating to consciousness in NEAD. The second half places this evidence in the wider context of the recent discourse on consciousness in neuroscience and the philosophy of mind. We argue that studies of consciousness should not only distinguish between the ‘level’ and ‘content’ of consciousness but also between ‘phenomenal consciousness’ (consciousness of states it somehow “feels to be like”) and ‘access consciousness’ (having certain ‘higher’ cognitive processes at one’s disposal). The existing evidence shows that there is a great intra- and interindividual variability of NEA experience. However, in most NEAs phenomenal experience – and, as a precondition for that experience, vigilance or wakefulness – is reduced to a lesser degree than in those epileptic seizures involving impairment of consciousness. In fact, complete loss of “consciousness” is the exception rather than the rule in NEAs. Patients, as well as external observers, may have a tendency to overestimate impairments of consciousness during the seizures. PMID:21447903

  18. Unitary and Dual Models of Phenomenal Consciousness

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Marvan, Tomáš; Polák, M.

    -, č. 56 (2017), s. 1-12 ISSN 1053-8100 Institutional support: RVO:67985955 Keywords : phenomenal consciousness * David Rosenthal * what it is like * unconscious mind * theories fo consciousness Subject RIV: AA - Philosophy ; Religion OBOR OECD: Philosophy, History and Philosophy of science and technology Impact factor: 2.144, year: 2016

  19. Neural plasticity lessons from disorders of consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Athena eDemertzi

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Communication and intentional behavior are supported by the brain’s integrity at a structural and a functional level. When widespread loss of cerebral connectivity is brought about as a result of a severe brain injury, in many cases patients are not capable of conscious interactive behavior and are said to suffer from disorders of consciousness (e.g., coma, vegetative state /unresponsive wakefulness syndrome, minimally conscious states. This lesion paradigm has offered not only clinical insights, as how to improve diagnosis, prognosis and treatment, but also put forward scientific opportunities to study the brain’s plastic abilities. We here review interventional and observational studies performed in severely brain-injured patients with regards to recovery of consciousness. The study of the recovered conscious brain (spontaneous and/or after surgical or pharmacologic interventions, suggests a link between some specific brain areas and the capacity of the brain to sustain conscious experience, challenging at the same time the notion of fixed temporal boundaries in rehabilitative processes. Altered functional connectivity, cerebral structural reorganization as well as behavioral amelioration after invasive treatments will be discussed as the main indices for plasticity in these challenging patients. The study of patients with chronic disorders of consciousness may, thus, provide further insights not only at a clinical level (i.e., medical management and rehabilitation but also from a scientific-theoretical perspective (i.e., the brain’s plastic abilities and the pursuit of the neural correlate of consciousness.

  20. Music and Consciousness: A Continuing Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, David; Clarke, Eric

    2014-01-01

    If there is a topic on which the humanities might make a distinctive claim, it is that of consciousness--an essential aspect of human being. And within the humanities, music might make its own claims in relation to both consciousness and being human. To investigate this connection, David Clarke and Eric Clarke brought together a wide variety of…

  1. JOURNALISTIC IDENTITY AND AUDIENCE PERCEPTIONS: PARADIGM AND MODELS UNDER CONSTRUCTION IN THE AFRICAN GREAT LAKES REGIÓN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie-Soleil Frère

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available This article is based on a research conducted in three African countries (Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, focusing on the recent evolution of the journalistic profession and the way journalists are perceived today and represented by members of the audience polled in five localities of the region. In the last twenty years, journalism has been deeply transformed, following the liberalization of the media sector, on one hand, and the murderous civil wars which marked the three countries on the other hand. New formats and new roles have appeared for the media, as well as new professional standards for journalists (codes of ethics, regulations from regulatory authorities, journalists education and training curricula, professional associations, often encouraged by foreign donors and international NGOs. This paper aims at showing that, behind these changes, a new « journalistic paradigm » has taken shape, a consequence of both internal dynamics within the profession and external assignments (imposed by the State and the evolution of the market, and also of new demands emanating from the public. In an unstable political, economic and security context, the changes of the journalistic paradigm have transfigured media content, as well as the perception by the local public of the role that journalists have to play in society, and of what the citizens may expect from them, in a region where democracy is still widely under construction.

  2. Hypnosis phenomenology and the neurobiology of consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rainville, Pierre; Price, Donald D

    2003-04-01

    Recent developments in the philosophical and neurobiological studies of consciousness provide promising frameworks to investigate the neurobiology of hypnosis. A model of consciousness phenomenology is described to demonstrate that the experiential dimensions characterizing hypnosis (relaxation and mental ease, absorption, orientation and monitoring, and self-agency) reflect basic phenomenal properties of consciousness. Changes in relaxation-mental ease and absorption, produced by standard hypnotic procedures, are further associated with changes in brain activity within structures critically involved in the basic representation of the body-self and the regulation of states of consciousness. The combination of experiential and modern brain imaging methods offers a unique perspective on hypnotic phenomena and provides new observations consistent with the proposition that hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness.

  3. Neurodynamics of Cognition and Consciousness

    CERN Document Server

    Perlovsky, Leonid I

    2007-01-01

    This book addresses dynamical aspects of brain functions and cognition. Experimental evidence in humans and other mammalians indicates that complex neurodynamics is crucial for the emergence of higher-level cognition and consciousness. Dynamical neural systems with encoding in limit cycle and non-convergent attractors have gained increasing popularity in the past decade. The role of synchronization, desynchronization, and intermittent synchronization on cognition has been studied extensively by various authors, in particular by authors contributing to the present volume. This volume gives an overview of recent advances in this interdisciplinary field of cognitive and computer science related to dynamics of cognition, including experimental studies, dynamical modelling and interpretation of cognitive experiments, and theoretical approaches. The following topics are covered in this book: spatio-temporal dynamics of neural correlates of higher-level cognition; dynamical neural memories, including continuous and ...

  4. Taming power: Generative historical consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winter, David G

    2016-04-01

    Power is a necessary dimension of all human enterprises. It can inspire and illuminate, but it can also corrupt, oppress, and destroy. Therefore, taming power has been a central moral and political question for most of human history. Writers, theorists, and researchers have suggested many methods and mechanisms for taming power: through affiliation and love, intellect and reason, responsibility, religion and values, democratic political structures, and separation of powers. Historical examples and social science research suggest that each has some success, but also that each is vulnerable to being hijacked by power itself. I therefore introduce generative historical consciousness (GHC) as a concept and measure that might help to secure the benefits of power while protecting against its outrages and excesses. I conclude by discussing the role that GHC may have played in the peaceful resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  5. Revisiting the Lissajous figure as a tool to study bistable perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weilnhammer, V A; Ludwig, K; Sterzer, P; Hesselmann, G

    2014-05-01

    During bistable vision perception spontaneously "switches" between two mutually exclusive percepts despite constant sensory input. The endogenous nature of these perceptual transitions has motivated extensive research aimed at the underlying mechanisms, since spontaneous perceptual transitions of bistable stimuli should in principle allow for a dissociation of processes related to sensory stimulation from those related to conscious perception. However, transitions from one conscious percept to another are often not instantaneous, and participants usually report a considerable amount of mixed or unclear percepts. This feature of bistable vision makes it difficult to isolate transition-related visual processes. Here, we revisited an ambiguous depth-from-motion stimulus which was first introduced to experimental psychology more than 80 years ago. This rotating Lissajous figure might prove useful in complementing other bistable stimuli, since its perceptual transitions only occur at critical stimulus configurations and are virtually instantaneous, thus facilitating the construction of a perceptually equivalent replay condition. We found that three parameters of the Lissajous figure - complexity, line width, and rotational speed - differentially modulated its perceptual dominance durations and transition probabilities, thus providing experimenters with a versatile tool to study the perceptual dynamics of bistable vision. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Malaria-related perceptions and practices of women with children under the age of five years in rural Ethiopia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Ahmed

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Malaria remains to be the major cause of morbidity and mortality among pregnant women and children in Ethiopia. The aim of this study was to investigate the local perceptions, practices and treatment seeking behaviour for malaria among women with children under the age of five years. Methods This community-based study was conducted in 2003 in an area of seasonal malaria transmission in Adami Tulu District, south-central Ethiopia. Total samples of 2087 rural women with children less than five years of age from 18 rural kebeles (the smallest administrative units were interviewed about their perceptions and practices regarding malaria. In addition, focus group discussions and in-depth interviews were conducted on similar issues to complement the quantitative data. Results Malaria, locally known as busaa, is perceived as the main health problem in the study area. Mosquitoes are perceived to be the main cause of the disease, and other misperceptions were also widespread. The use of prevention measures was very low. Most mothers were familiar with the main signs and symptoms of mild malaria, and some of them indicated high grade fever, convulsions and mental confusion as a manifestation of severe malaria. Very few households (5.6% possessed one or two nets. More than 60% of the mothers with recent episodes of malaria received initial treatment from non-public health facilities such as community health workers (CHWs (40% and private care providers (21%. Less than 40% of the reported malaria cases among women were treated by public health facilities. Conclusion Malaria was perceived as the main health problem among women and children. The use of malaria preventive measures was low. A significant proportion of the respondents received initial malaria treatments from CHWs, private care providers and public health facilities. Concerted effort is needed to scale-up the distribution of insecticide-treated nets and improve the knowledge of

  7. Interplay of Multisensory Processing, Attention, and Consciousness as Revealed by Bistable Figures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Su-Ling Yeh

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available We examined the novel crossmodal semantic congruency effect on bistable figures in which a static stimulus gives rise to two competing percepts that alternate over time. Participants viewed the bistable figure “my wife or my mother-in-law” while listening to the voice of an old woman or a young lady speaking in an unfamiliar language. They had to report whether they saw the old woman, the young lady, or a mixed percept. Robust crossmodal semantic congruency effects in the measures of the first percept and the predominance duration were observed. The possibilities that the participants simply responded to, and/or that they fixed at the location in favor of, the percept congruent with the sound that they happened to hear were ruled out. When the participants were instructed to maintain their attention to a specific view, a strong top-down modulation on the perception of bistable figure was observed, although the audiovisual semantic congruency effect still remained. These results thus demonstrate that top-down attention (ie,, selection and/or voluntary control modulates the audiovisual semantic congruency effect. As the alternating percepts in bistable figures indicate competition for conscious perception, this study has important implications for the multifaceted interactions between multisensory processing, attention, and consciousness.

  8. From emotions to consciousness – A neuro-phenomenal and neuro-relational approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Georg eNorthoff

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The James-Lange theory considers emotional feelings as perceptions of physiological body changes. This approach has recently resurfaced and modified in both neuroscientific and philosophical concepts of embodiment of emotional feelings. In addition to the body, the role of the environment in emotional feeling needs to be considered. I here claim that the environment has not merely an indirect and instrumental i.e. modulatory role on emotional feelings via the body and its sensorimotor and vegetative functions. Instead, the environment may have a direct and non-instrumental, i.e., constitutional role in emotional feelings. This implies that the environment itself is constitutive of emotional feeling rather than the bodily representation of the environment. I call this the relational concept of emotional feeling. The present paper discusses recent data from neuroimaging that investigate emotions in relation to interoceptive processing and the brain’s intrinsic activity. These data show the intrinsic linkage of interoceptive stimulus processing to both exteroceptive stimuli and the brain’s intrinsic activity. This is possible only if the relation and thus the differences between intrinsic activity and intero- and exteroceptive stimuli is encoded into neural activity. Such relational coding makes possible the assignment of subjective and affective features to the otherwise objective and non-affective stimulus. I therefore consider emotions and thus emotional feeling to be intrinsically affective and subjective implying consciousness. The relational approach thus goes together with what may be described as neuro-phenomenal approach. Such neuro-phenomenal approach does not only inform emotions and emotional feeling but is also highly relevant to better understand the neuronal mechanisms underlying consciousness in general.

  9. Neural competition for conscious representation across time: an fMRI study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heleen A Slagter

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available The information processing capacity of the human mind is limited, as is evidenced by the attentional blink (AB--a deficit in identifying the second of two temporally-close targets (T1 and T2 embedded in a rapid stream of distracters. Theories of the AB generally agree that it results from competition between stimuli for conscious representation. However, they disagree in the specific mechanisms, in particular about how attentional processing of T1 determines the AB to T2.The present study used the high spatial resolution of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI to examine the neural mechanisms underlying the AB. Our research approach was to design T1 and T2 stimuli that activate distinguishable brain areas involved in visual categorization and representation. ROI and functional connectivity analyses were then used to examine how attentional processing of T1, as indexed by activity in the T1 representation area, affected T2 processing. Our main finding was that attentional processing of T1 at the level of the visual cortex predicted T2 detection rates Those individuals who activated the T1 encoding area more strongly in blink versus no-blink trials generally detected T2 on a lower percentage of trials. The coupling of activity between T1 and T2 representation areas did not vary as a function of conscious T2 perception.These data are consistent with the notion that the AB is related to attentional demands of T1 for selection, and indicate that these demands are reflected at the level of visual cortex. They also highlight the importance of individual differences in attentional settings in explaining AB task performance.

  10. The Perception-Action Model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grünbaum, Thor

    2017-01-01

    Milner and Goodale’s Two Visual Systems Hypothesis (TVSH) is regarded as common ground in recent discussions of visual consciousness. A central part of TVSH is a functional model of vision and action (a functional perception-action model, PAM for short). In this paper, I provide a brief overview ...

  11. Thalamic stimulation to improve level of consciousness after seizures: evaluation of electrophysiology and behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gummadavelli, Abhijeet; Motelow, Joshua E; Smith, Nicholas; Zhan, Qiong; Schiff, Nicholas D; Blumenfeld, Hal

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the neural mechanisms that support human consciousness is an important frontier in neuroscience and medicine. We previously developed a rodent model of temporal lobe seizures that recapitulates the human electroencephalography (EEG) signature of ictal and postictal neocortical slow waves associated with behavioral impairments in level of consciousness. The mechanism of slow-wave production in epilepsy may involve suppression of the subcortical arousal systems including the brainstem and intralaminar thalamic nuclei. We hypothesized that intralaminar thalamic stimulation may lead to electrophysiologic and functional rescue from postictal slow waves and behavioral arrest. We electrically stimulated the central lateral thalamic nucleus (a member of the intralaminar nuclei) under anesthesia and after electrically induced hippocampal seizures in anesthetized and in awake-behaving animal model preparations. We demonstrated a proof-of-principle restoration of electrophysiologic and behavioral measures of consciousness by stimulating the intralaminar thalamic nuclei after seizures. We measured decreased cortical slow waves and increased desynchronization and multiunit activity in the cortex with thalamic stimulation following seizures. Functionally, thalamic stimulation produced resumption of exploratory behaviors in the postictal state. Targeting of nodes in the neural circuitry of consciousness has important medical implications. Impaired consciousness with epilepsy has dangerous consequences including decreased school/work performance, social stigmatization, and impaired airway protection. These data suggest a novel therapeutic approach for restoring consciousness after seizures. If paired with responsive neurostimulation, this may allow rapid implementation to improve level of consciousness in patients with epilepsy. Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2014 International League Against Epilepsy.

  12. Little behaviors with big impacts: Exploring the sense of community surrounding socially conscious consumption

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devincenzo, Marie E. Hafey

    The thesis is a study of socially conscious consumption practices and the meanings those behaviors have for consumers who participate in them. Psychological sense of community was used as the theoretical grounding for the study because it provided a way to examine socially conscious behaviors not solely as the behaviors of individuals but as behaviors within a social context with social meaning. Data were collected in two phases. First, a written, projective instrument compared cultural perceptions of various types of socially conscious consumption practices. Then, in-depth interviews were conducted to collect consumption narratives from participants and nonparticipants in a wind energy program called Blue Sky. The interviews were analyzed using a hermeneutical approach. The findings identified a new type of consumption community not recognized in prior literature: the principle based consumption community.

  13. Consciousness: a unique way of processing information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchetti, Giorgio

    2018-02-08

    In this article, I argue that consciousness is a unique way of processing information, in that: it produces information, rather than purely transmitting it; the information it produces is meaningful for us; the meaning it has is always individuated. This uniqueness allows us to process information on the basis of our personal needs and ever-changing interactions with the environment, and consequently to act autonomously. Three main basic cognitive processes contribute to realize this unique way of information processing: the self, attention and working memory. The self, which is primarily expressed via the central and peripheral nervous systems, maps our body, the environment, and our relations with the environment. It is the primary means by which the complexity inherent to our composite structure is reduced into the "single voice" of a unique individual. It provides a reference system that (albeit evolving) is sufficiently stable to define the variations that will be used as the raw material for the construction of conscious information. Attention allows for the selection of those variations in the state of the self that are most relevant in the given situation. Attention originates and is deployed from a single locus inside our body, which represents the center of the self, around which all our conscious experiences are organized. Whatever is focused by attention appears in our consciousness as possessing a spatial quality defined by this center and the direction toward which attention is focused. In addition, attention determines two other features of conscious experience: periodicity and phenomenal quality. Self and attention are necessary but not sufficient for conscious information to be produced. Complex forms of conscious experiences, such as the various modes of givenness of conscious experience and the stream of consciousness, need a working memory mechanism to assemble the basic pieces of information selected by attention.

  14. A narrative method for consciousness research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz, José-Luis

    2013-01-01

    Some types of first-person narrations of mental processes that constitute phenomenological accounts and texts, such as internal monolog statements, epitomize the best expressions and representations of human consciousness available and therefore may be used to model phenomenological streams of consciousness. The type of autonomous monolog in which an author or narrator declares actual mental processes in a think aloud manner seems particularly suitable for modeling streams of consciousness. A narrative method to extract and depict conscious processes, operations, contents, and states from an acceptable phenomenological text would require three subsequent steps: operational criteria for producing and/or selecting a phenomenological text, a system for detecting text items that are indicative of conscious contents and processes, and a procedure for representing such items in formal dynamic system devices such as Petri nets. The requirements and restrictions of each of these steps are presented, analyzed, and applied to phenomenological texts in the following manner: (1) the relevance of introspective language and narrative analyses to consciousness research and the idea that specific narratives are of paramount interest for such investigation is justified; (2) some of the obstacles and constraints to attain plausible consciousness inferences from narrative texts and the methodological requirements to extract and depict items relevant to consciousness contents and operations from a suitable phenomenological text are examined; (3) a preliminary exercise of the proposed method is used to analyze and chart a classical interior monolog excerpted from James Joyce’s Ulysses, a masterpiece of the stream-of-consciousness literary technique and, finally, (4) an inter-subjective evaluation for inter-observer agreement of mental attributions of another phenomenological text (an excerpt from the Intimate Journal of Miguel de Unamuno) is presented using some mathematical tools

  15. Perception of quality health care delivery under capitation payment: a cross-sectional survey of health insurance subscribers and providers in Ghana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andoh-Adjei, Francis-Xavier; Nsiah-Boateng, Eric; Asante, Felix Ankomah; Spaan, Ernst; van der Velden, Koos

    2018-03-07

    Ghana introduced capitation payment method in 2012 but was faced with resistance for its perceived poor quality of care. This paper assesses National Health Insurance Scheme subscribers and care providers' perception of quality of care under the capitation payment method. This is a cross-sectional survey of subscribers and care providers perception of quality of care in three administrative regions of Ghana using a 5-point Likert scale for the assessment based on a set of quality of care measures. We performed descriptive analysis to determine average perception of quality of care scores for each of the measures used. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were also performed to examine relationships between respondent's characteristics and their perception of quality of care. In general, subscribers expressed positive perception about the quality of care though subscribers in Ashanti were less positive compared to those in the Central region. A chi-square analysis, however, showed significant differences in subscribers' perception of quality of care by occupation (p = 0.002), region (p = 0.007) length of NHIS membership (p = 0.006), and age (p = 0.014). Multivariate logistic regression analysis also showed that different factors, other than region of residence, were significantly associated with perceived good quality of care. Analysis of health care providers' responses also showed significant differences in their perception of quality of care by region (p = 0.001). Multivariate logistic model showed that health care providers in the Volta region (OR = 0.14, 95% CI: 0.03-0.58) were significantly less likely to perceive quality of care as good compared to those in the Ashanti region. Subscribers and care providers across the three regions have relatively good perception of the quality of health care in general though subscribers in Ashanti were less positive than those in the Central region. It is, therefore, plausible that capitation payment

  16. Reflective self-awareness and conscious states

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjaer, Troels W; Nowak, Markus; Lou, Hans C

    2002-01-01

    A recent meta-analysis has shown precuneus, angular gyri, anterior cingulate gyri, and adjacent structures to be highly metabolically active in support of resting consciousness. We hypothesize that these regions constitute a functional network of reflective self-awareness thought to be a core fun...... during reflective self-awareness. The commonality between the neural networks of the resting conscious state and self-awareness reflects the phenomenological concept of a fundamental contribution of reflective self-awareness to the contents and coherence of the conscious state....

  17. The cognitive approach to conscious machines

    CERN Document Server

    Haikonen, Pentti O

    2003-01-01

    Could a machine have an immaterial mind? The author argues that true conscious machines can be built, but rejects artificial intelligence and classical neural networks in favour of the emulation of the cognitive processes of the brain-the flow of inner speech, inner imagery and emotions. This results in a non-numeric meaning-processing machine with distributed information representation and system reactions. It is argued that this machine would be conscious; it would be aware of its own existence and its mental content and perceive this as immaterial. Novel views on consciousness and the mind-

  18. Nabokov's impressionistic expression of free consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lončar-Vujnović Mirjana

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The most interesting thing about Nabokov's narrative technique is the way in which he always manages to impress the presence of the implied author on the reader's consciousness without making direct intrusion intonation. Narration through the confined consciousness of an individual is really, it seems, only a springboard for Nabokov. He takes an impressionistic device (consciously or unconsciously, it makes no difference and pushes it to its limits without technically violating the point of view to which he has committed himself.

  19. Assessment of buccal aerosolized midazolam for pediatric conscious sedation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chopra, Radhika; Marwaha, Mohita

    2015-02-01

    To assess the acceptance and efficacy of aerosolized midazolam through buccal mucosa for conscious sedation. Thirty-five children aged 2-6 years with Grade I and II Frankl behavior rating scale were selected for various dental procedures under local anesthesia. Initially behavior-shaping procedures were used and Houpt behavior scoring was recorded. Thereafter, midazolam was administered using a spray through buccal mucosa and scores for acceptance of drug and behavior after sedation were recorded. The data were compiled and a Wilcoxon signed ranks test was used to assess the difference in behavior before and after the sedation. Eighty-three percent of the patients accepted the drug without any complaint. A statistically significant improvement was seen in the Houpt scores before and after drug administration (P < 0.001). Buccal aerosolized midazolam can be used successfully for pediatric conscious sedation. © 2013 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  20. Challenging racism, sexism, and social injustice: support for urban adolescents' critical consciousness development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diemer, Matthew A; Kauffman, Aimee; Koenig, Nathan; Trahan, Emily; Hsieh, Chueh-An

    2006-07-01

    This mixed-model study examined the relationship between urban adolescents' perceived support for challenging racism, sexism, and social injustice from peers, family, and community members and their critical consciousness development. These relationships were examined by relating participants' qualitative perceptions of support for challenging racism, sexism, and social injustice to quantitative data obtained from Likert-type measures of the reflection and action components of critical consciousness. Perceived support for challenging racism, sexism, and social injustice had a significant impact upon the reflection component of critical consciousness; the significance criterion was supported by effect size estimates. Support for challenging racism, sexism, and social injustice was not significantly related to the action component of critical consciousness. Participants perceived the most support for challenging racism, moderate support for challenging social injustice, and the least support for challenging sexism. Additionally, female participants perceived more support for challenging sexism than male participants. These results suggest that the informal interactions of urban adolescents play a role in shaping their critical consciousness, and hold implications for psychosocial interventions and research with marginalized populations.

  1. Promoting the use of personally-relevant stimuli for investigating patients with disorders of consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabien ePerrin

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Sensory stimuli are used to evaluate and to restore cognitive functions and consciousness in patients with a disorder of consciousness (DOC following a severe brain injury. Although sophisticated protocols can help assessing higher order cognitive functions and awareness, one major drawback is their lack of sensitivity. The aim of the present review is to show that stimulus selection is crucial for an accurate evaluation of the state of patients with disorders of consciousness as it determines the levels of processing that the patient can have with stimulation from his/her environment. The probability to observe a behavioral response or a cerebral response is increased when her/his personal history and/or her/his personal preferences are taken into account. We show that personally-relevant stimuli (i.e. with emotional, autobiographical or self-related characteristics are associated with clearer signs of perception than are irrelevant stimuli in patients with DOC. Among personally-relevant stimuli, music appears to be a promising clinical tool as it boosts perception and cognition in patients with DOC and could also serve as a prognostic tool. We suggest that the effect of music on cerebral processes in patients might reflect the music’s capacity to act both on the external and internal neural networks supporting consciousness.

  2. Dissociating Perception from Action during Conscious and Unconscious Conflict Adaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atas, Anne; Desender, Kobe; Gevers, Wim; Cleeremans, Axel

    2016-01-01

    The detection of a conflict between relevant and irrelevant information on a given trial typically results in a smaller conflict effect on the next trial. This sequential effect has been interpreted as an expression of cognitive control implemented to resolve conflict. In this context, 2 different but related issues have received increasing…

  3. Industrial Application Of Environmentally Conscious Design

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    McAloone, Timothy Charles

    This book is an adaptation of the author’s PhD thesis, in which he explored environmentally conscious design in the electrical/electronics industry sector. In this new and rapidly evolving field, existing research has not yet sought to understand the causes of success and the problems experienced...... when companies have integrated environmental considerations into the design process.In the context of advanced practitioners of environmentally conscious design in the Western European and North American electrical/electronics industry sector, it is shown that:- the timing of environmental decisions...... in the design process is key to environmentally conscious design;- the environmental profile of a product is affected the most in the very early stages of the design process, particularly in the pre-specification stage, where tools for environmentally conscious design decision-making are lacking...

  4. The merit of synesthesia for consciousness research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tessa Marije Van Leeuwen

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Synesthesia is a phenomenon in which additional perceptual experiences are elicited by sensory stimuli or cognitive concepts. Synesthetes possess a unique type of phenomenal experiences not directly triggered by sensory stimulation. Therefore, for better understanding of consciousness it is relevant to identify the mental and physiological processes that subserve synesthetic experience. In the present work we suggest several reasons why synesthesia has merit for research on consciousness. We first review the research on the dynamic and rapidly growing field of the studies of synesthesia. We particularly draw attention to the role of semantics in synesthesia, which is important for establishing synesthetic associations in the brain. We then propose that the interplay between semantics and sensory input in synesthesia can be helpful for the study of the neural correlates of consciousness, especially when making use of ambiguous stimuli for inducing synesthesia. Finally, synesthesia-related alterations of brain networks and functional connectivity can be of merit for the study of consciousness.

  5. The merit of synesthesia for consciousness research

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leeuwen, T.M. van; Singer, W.; Nikolic, D.

    2015-01-01

    Synesthesia is a phenomenon in which additional perceptual experiences are elicited by sensory stimuli or cognitive concepts. Synesthetes possess a unique type of phenomenal experiences not directly triggered by sensory stimulation. Therefore, for better understanding of consciousness it is relevant

  6. Extending Gurwitsch's field theory of consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshimi, Jeff; Vinson, David W

    2015-07-01

    Aron Gurwitsch's theory of the structure and dynamics of consciousness has much to offer contemporary theorizing about consciousness and its basis in the embodied brain. On Gurwitsch's account, as we develop it, the field of consciousness has a variable sized focus or "theme" of attention surrounded by a structured periphery of inattentional contents. As the field evolves, its contents change their status, sometimes smoothly, sometimes abruptly. Inner thoughts, a sense of one's body, and the physical environment are dominant field contents. These ideas can be linked with (and help unify) contemporary theories about the neural correlates of consciousness, inattention, the small world structure of the brain, meta-stable dynamics, embodied cognition, and predictive coding in the brain. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  7. Brain Endogenous Feedback and Degrees of Consciousness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carrara-Augustenborg, Claudia; Pereira Jr., Alfredo

    2012-01-01

    We present a hypothesis to explain how the brain operates to generate different degrees of consciousness. We relate our model to recent evidence from brain morphology and physiology, indicating that the central nervous system contains two parallel networks (neuronal and astroglial) establishing...... positive and negative feedback loops. Variable levels of consciousness are proposed to depend on the degree of resonance between these networks. The resonance can occur in the absence of salient external stimulation and, even when such stimulation occurs, the response of the coupled networks is always...... acknowledgment. Finally, our model affords a plausible account of phenomenal and self-consciousness which, by resting at the outskirts of reportable cognitive activity, traditionally compound the 'hard problem' of consciousness....

  8. Converging intracranial markers of conscious access.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raphaël Gaillard

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available We compared conscious and nonconscious processing of briefly flashed words using a visual masking procedure while recording intracranial electroencephalogram (iEEG in ten patients. Nonconscious processing of masked words was observed in multiple cortical areas, mostly within an early time window (<300 ms, accompanied by induced gamma-band activity, but without coherent long-distance neural activity, suggesting a quickly dissipating feedforward wave. In contrast, conscious processing of unmasked words was characterized by the convergence of four distinct neurophysiological markers: sustained voltage changes, particularly in prefrontal cortex, large increases in spectral power in the gamma band, increases in long-distance phase synchrony in the beta range, and increases in long-range Granger causality. We argue that all of those measures provide distinct windows into the same distributed state of conscious processing. These results have a direct impact on current theoretical discussions concerning the neural correlates of conscious access.

  9. Intuitive decisions on the fringes of consciousness

    OpenAIRE

    Mark C. Price; Elisabeth Norman

    2008-01-01

    Decision making research often dichotomises between more deliberative, cognitive processes and more heuristic, intuitive and emotional processes. We argue that within this two-systems framework (e.g., Kahneman, 2002) there is ambiguity over how to map the System 1/System 2 axis, and the notion of intuitive processing, onto the distinction between conscious and non-conscious processes. However the convergent concepts of experience-based metacognitive judgements (Koriat, 2007) and of fringe con...

  10. Taiwanese Consumers’ Decision-Making Styles: The Role of Perceptions of the Internet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hung-Ming Lin

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between online consumers’ perceptions and decision-making styles regarding the Internet. Four perceptions and six decision-making styles were administered. Data were gathered from 454 consumers with online shopping experience in Taiwan. It was found that, of the four perceptions of Tool, Technology, Toy and Tour, consumers are more inclined to view the Internet as a ‘Tool’ or as ‘Technology.’ The results indicate that consumers who hold the ‘Tool’ perception of the Internet are positively correlated to the Perfectionism consciousness decision-making style, but negatively relate to Brand consciousness, Novel-fashion consciousness and Brand-loyalty consciousness. Consumers with ‘Toy’ perceptions tend to show relatively less preference for the Perfectionism consciousness style, but more for content, such as Brand consciousness, Novel-fashion consciousness, Confused by overchoice, and Brand-loyalty consciousness. No significant correlation was observed between the ‘Technology’ and ‘Tour’ perceptions and the six Internet decision-making styles.

  11. Environmentalism and typological characteristics of globalistion consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roman M. Kolisnichenko

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Analyzed anthropo-saving and environmental-depth approaches to understanding the essence environmentalism. The definition of environmentalism as global environmental trends that recognizes the intrinsic value of the natural world, all its elements and aims to rescue mankind from global environmental threats by achieving a sustainable balance of planetary ecosystems, the proper state of the environment and harmonious development of man and nature. Developed the typology of globalization consciousness attitude to solving global problems in the relationship between man and nature. The main types globalistion consciousness, as the growth of thrift in relation to nature, located in the following sequence: ecodestructive, anthropocentric, ecoconsumerist, ecotraditional, environmental, sacred-ethical, naturecentric and antropofobiastic. Developing a typology of globalistion consciousness above criteria also highlighted its neutral type. Proved that environmental globalistion consciousness is environmentally oriented system of ideas that reflect solutions to global environmental problems in accordance with the principles environmentalism. This type of consciousness globalistion a high degree of awareness of global environmental problems, persistent desire to implement effective methods of humane solution, the optimal it is due, the need to maximize the spread of population. It is concluded that the formation environmental globalistion consciousness as a prerequisite for saving humanity from self created global environmental threats can be greatly accelerated by the terms of the assistance of governments, the media, educational institutions, political parties, public organizations and other institutions of political socialization.

  12. The neurophysical basis of mind and consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beichler, James

    2012-04-01

    A living body is just a complex pattern of energetic particle exchanges to physicists when compared to the biochemical processes studied by chemists and biologists. New research has centered more upon the electric, magnetic and electromagnetic characteristics of life. It is easy to model mind and consciousness as the electric and magnetic counterparts of living organisms. Mind is an extremely complex electric scalar field pattern and consciousness is the corresponding magnetic vector potential field pattern. As humans, we may have the most complex and advanced mind and consciousness known, but all living organisms display mind and consciousness at various lower levels than our human mind and consciousness. Mind and consciousness have mistakenly become associated with the brain and no other part of the body because of the dense concentration of neurons in the brain. A strict study of the magnetic vector potential field patterns associated with neural microtubules, neurons and neural nets demonstrates how thoughts and streams of thought originate in the brain and are stored magnetically. Microtubules, which act as magnetic induction coils, are the primary structural bio-unit used for building, storing and retrieving memories in the mind.

  13. Intuitive decisions on the fringes of consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark C. Price

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Decision making research often dichotomises between more deliberative, cognitive processes and more heuristic, intuitive and emotional processes. We argue that within this two-systems framework (e.g., Kahneman, 2002 there is ambiguity over how to map the System 1/System 2 axis, and the notion of intuitive processing, onto the distinction between conscious and non-conscious processes. However the convergent concepts of experience-based metacognitive judgements (Koriat, 2007 and of fringe consciousness (Mangan, 1993 can clarify intuitive processing as an informative extit{conscious feeling} without conscious access to the antecedents of the feeling. We stress that these intuitive feelings can be used to guide behaviour in a controlled and contextually sensitive manner that would not be permitted by purely non-conscious influences on behaviour. An outline is provided for how to empirically recognise these intuitive feelings. This is illustrated with an example from research on implicit learning where intuitive feelings may play an important role in peoples' decisions and judgements. Finally we suggest that our approach to understanding intuitive feelings softens rather than reinforces the two-systems dichotomy.

  14. Artificial consciousness: a discipline between technological and theoretical obstacles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manzotti, Riccardo; Tagliasco, Vincenzo

    2008-10-01

    Artificial consciousness is still far from being an established discipline. We will try to outline some theoretical assumption that could help in dealing with phenomenal consciousness. What are the technological and theoretical obstacles that face the enthusiast scholars of artificial consciousness? After presenting an outline of the state of artificial consciousness, we will focus on the relevance of phenomenal consciousness. Artificial consciousness needs to tackle the issue of phenomenal consciousness in a physical world. Up to now, the only models that give some hope of succeeding are the various kinds of externalism.

  15. African American College Women's Body Image: An Examination of Body Mass, African Self-Consciousness, and Skin Color Satisfaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falconer, Jameca Woody; Neville, Helen A.

    2000-01-01

    Investigated the general and cultural factors associated with body image perceptions of African American female college students. Data from surveys of 124 women at a historically black college indicated that African self-consciousness, skin color satisfaction, and body mass index collectively accounted for significant variance in dimensions of…

  16. Toward physics of the mind: Concepts, emotions, consciousness, and symbols

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perlovsky, Leonid I.

    2006-03-01

    Mathematical approaches to modeling the mind since the 1950s are reviewed, including artificial intelligence, pattern recognition, and neural networks. I analyze difficulties faced by these algorithms and neural networks and relate them to the fundamental inconsistency of logic discovered by Gödel. Mathematical discussions are related to those in neurobiology, psychology, cognitive science, and philosophy. Higher cognitive functions are reviewed including concepts, emotions, instincts, understanding, imagination, intuition, consciousness. Then, I describe a mathematical formulation, unifying the mind mechanisms in a psychologically and neuro-biologically plausible system. A mechanism of the knowledge instinct drives our understanding of the world and serves as a foundation for higher cognitive functions. This mechanism relates aesthetic emotions and perception of beauty to “everyday” functioning of the mind. The article reviews mechanisms of human symbolic ability. I touch on future directions: joint evolution of the mind, language, consciousness, and cultures; mechanisms of differentiation and synthesis; a manifold of aesthetic emotions in music and differentiated instinct for knowledge. I concentrate on elucidating the first principles; review aspects of the theory that have been proven in laboratory research, relationships between the mind and brain; discuss unsolved problems, and outline a number of theoretical predictions, which will have to be tested in future mathematical simulations and neuro-biological research.

  17. Dreams, reality and memory: confabulations in lucid dreamers implicate reality-monitoring dysfunction in dream consciousness

    OpenAIRE

    Corlett, P.R.; Canavan, S.V.; Nahum, L.; Appah, F.; Morgan, P.T.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction. Dreams might represent a window on altered states of consciousness with relevance to psychotic experiences, where reality monitoring is impaired. We examined reality monitoring in healthy, non-psychotic individuals with varying degrees of dream awareness using a task designed to assess confabulatory memory errors – a confusion regarding reality whereby information from the past feels falsely familiar and does not constrain current perception appropriately. Confabulatory errors a...

  18. The role of conscious control in maintaining stable posture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uiga, Liis; Capio, Catherine M; Ryu, Donghyun; Wilson, Mark R; Masters, Rich S W

    2018-02-01

    This study aimed to examine the relationship between conscious control of movements, as defined by the Theory of Reinvestment (Masters & Maxwell, 2008; Masters, Polman, & Hammond, 1993), and both traditional and complexity-based COP measures. Fifty-three young adults (mean age=20.93±2.53years), 39 older adults with a history of falling (mean age=69.23±3.84years) and 39 older adults without a history of falling (mean age=69.00±3.72years) were asked to perform quiet standing balance in single- and dual-task conditions. The results showed that higher scores on the Movement Specific Reinvestment Scale (MSRS; Masters, Eves, & Maxwell, 2005; Masters & Maxwell, 2008), a psychometric measure of the propensity for conscious involvement in movement, were associated with larger sway amplitude and a more constrained (less complex) mode of balancing in the medial-lateral direction for young adults only. Scores on MSRS explained approximately 10% of total variation in the medial-lateral sway measures. This association was not apparent under dual-task conditions, during which a secondary task was used to limit the amount of cognitive resources available for conscious processing. No relationship between postural control and score on the MSRS was found for either older adult fallers or non-fallers. Possible explanations for these results are discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Correlated individual differences suggest a common mechanism underlying metacognition in visual perception and visual short-term memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samaha, Jason; Postle, Bradley R

    2017-11-29

    Adaptive behaviour depends on the ability to introspect accurately about one's own performance. Whether this metacognitive ability is supported by the same mechanisms across different tasks is unclear. We investigated the relationship between metacognition of visual perception and metacognition of visual short-term memory (VSTM). Experiments 1 and 2 required subjects to estimate the perceived or remembered orientation of a grating stimulus and rate their confidence. We observed strong positive correlations between individual differences in metacognitive accuracy between the two tasks. This relationship was not accounted for by individual differences in task performance or average confidence, and was present across two different metrics of metacognition and in both experiments. A model-based analysis of data from a third experiment showed that a cross-domain correlation only emerged when both tasks shared the same task-relevant stimulus feature. That is, metacognition for perception and VSTM were correlated when both tasks required orientation judgements, but not when the perceptual task was switched to require contrast judgements. In contrast with previous results comparing perception and long-term memory, which have largely provided evidence for domain-specific metacognitive processes, the current findings suggest that metacognition of visual perception and VSTM is supported by a domain-general metacognitive architecture, but only when both domains share the same task-relevant stimulus feature. © 2017 The Author(s).

  20. Is There Release from Masking from Isomorphism between Perception and Action?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tara C. Dennehy

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The phenomenon of “entry into awareness” is one of the most challenging puzzles in neuroscience. Research has shown how entry is influenced by processes that are “bottom-up” (e.g., stimulus salience, motion, novelty, incentive and emotional quality and associated with working memory. Although consciousness is intimately related to action, action-based entry remains under-explored. We review research showing that action-related processing influences the nature of percepts already in conscious awareness and present three experiments that, using a “release-from-masking” technique, examine whether action plans can also influence that which enters awareness in the first place. The present data, though intriguing and consistent with previous research, are not definitive. The limitations and theoretical implications of the findings are discussed. We hope that these experiments will spur further investigation of this understudied topic.

  1. Balancing Fairness and Efficiency: The Impact of Identity-Blind and Identity-Conscious Accountability on Applicant Screening

    Science.gov (United States)

    Self, William T.; Mitchell, Gregory; Mellers, Barbara A.; Tetlock, Philip E.; Hildreth, J. Angus D.

    2015-01-01

    This study compared two forms of accountability that can be used to promote diversity and fairness in personnel selections: identity-conscious accountability (holding decision makers accountable for which groups are selected) versus identity-blind accountability (holding decision makers accountable for making fair selections). In a simulated application screening process, undergraduate participants (majority female) sorted applicants under conditions of identity-conscious accountability, identity-blind accountability, or no accountability for an applicant pool in which white males either did or did not have a human capital advantage. Under identity-conscious accountability, participants exhibited pro-female and pro-minority bias, particularly in the white-male-advantage applicant pool. Under identity-blind accountability, participants exhibited no biases and candidate qualifications dominated interview recommendations. Participants exhibited greater resentment toward management under identity-conscious accountability. PMID:26660723

  2. Politics Under Electronic Simultaneity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valery P. Terin

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In contradistinction to the book and the other typographic products, the electronic media operates on a 24-hour-a-day basis evoking simultaneity as the guiding mode of perception and thinking for all those under its influence. The discovery of this fact manifested itself in the formation and development of the managerial technologies operating by means of the electronic information environment and following the principle of simultaneity in the first place. Thus, at the end of the 1960s already the election campaigns in the U.S.A. began to operate on the basis of the final cause as the guiding principle of the country's mass consciousness motivating to carry out each particular event as if already rejoicing at the victory. With this in mind, there emerged a problem of applying this approach with its enormous managerial potential elsewhere. To add, simultaneity as a norm of perception and thinking turned out to be increasingly important with the advent of the electrical telegraph and the press relying on its short disconnected messages instantaneously arriving from all parts of the world. All the other media, which emerged in the wake of this development, has served to fortify this mode of thought as governing in the electronic information environment. The potential of the electronically operating global managerial technologies is quickly growing. The article also deals with the information overload and pattern recognition problem understood in managerial terms as well as mythologization and demythologization processes as they are necessitated by the electronic media coverage worldwide.

  3. Parameters of measuring of european political consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. M. Pikula

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available In the article the author analyzes the parameters of European political consciousness, i.e. European research field of political consciousness in qualitative and quantitative terms, which may be based on different indicators. The issue of emergence and development of European political consciousness becomes topical because firstly, its formation as the subjective dimension of European integration policy is not a spontaneous process and, secondly, European integration is carried out not only from the top but from the bottom, requiring deliberate interference of the public with the process; the public possesses the formed European political consciousness. Since the latter is a specific mental construct, the author offers to apply the triad «criteria ­ parameters – indicators». The characteristic that makes it possible to evaluate certain processes or phenomena in the system of Europeanness / Europeanism and specifies the quality system of views and opinions, which are realized in European behavior, is considered to be the criterion of European political consciousness. The European political consciousness parameters are seen to include the relevant historical memory, trends of public opinion and awareness regarding the European Union and position of its members in the European integration process, including the assessment of the existence and development of the EU; knowledge and views on the main EU institutions, assessing the importance of the main institutions of the EU and trust in them; a positive vision for the future of the European Union etc. The author considers the performance and objective characteristics and dimensions, including positive correlation of national and European levels of identity (European identity and European behavior to be the indicatiors of European political awareness. On the basis of these indicators the control of the condition and trends of European political consciousness development will be carried out.

  4. Phenomenology without conscious access is a form of consciousness without top-down attention

    OpenAIRE

    Koch, Christof; Tsuchiya, Naotsugu

    2007-01-01

    We agree with Block's basic hypothesis postulating the existence of phenomenal consciousness without cognitive access. We explain such states in terms of consciousness without top-down, endogenous attention and speculate that their correlates may be a coalition of neurons that are consigned to the back of cortex, without access to working memory and planning in frontal cortex.

  5. Coherence in consciousness: paralimbic gamma synchrony of self-reference links conscious experiences

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lou, Hans C; Gross, Joachim; Biermann-Ruben, Katja

    2010-01-01

    . In minimal self-reference subjective experiences are self-aware in the weak sense that there is something it feels like for the subject to experience something. In autonoetic consciousness, consciousness emerges, by definition, by retrieval of memories of personally experienced events (episodic memory...

  6. Reentrant processing in intuitive perception.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phan Luu

    Full Text Available The process of perception requires not only the brain's receipt of sensory data but also the meaningful organization of that data in relation to the perceptual experience held in memory. Although it typically results in a conscious percept, the process of perception is not fully conscious. Research on the neural substrates of human visual perception has suggested that regions of limbic cortex, including the medial orbital frontal cortex (mOFC, may contribute to intuitive judgments about perceptual events, such as guessing whether an object might be present in a briefly presented fragmented drawing. Examining dense array measures of cortical electrical activity during a modified Waterloo Gestalt Closure Task, results show, as expected, that activity in medial orbital frontal electrical responses (about 250 ms was associated with intuitive judgments. Activity in the right temporal-parietal-occipital (TPO region was found to predict mOFC (approximately 150 ms activity and, in turn, was subsequently influenced by the mOFC at a later time (approximately 300 ms. The initial perception of gist or meaning of a visual stimulus in limbic networks may thus yield reentrant input to the visual areas to influence continued development of the percept. Before perception is completed, the initial representation of gist may support intuitive judgments about the ongoing perceptual process.

  7. Statistical mechanics of consciousness: Maximization of information content of network is associated with conscious awareness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guevara Erra, R.; Mateos, D. M.; Wennberg, R.; Perez Velazquez, J. L.

    2016-11-01

    It is said that complexity lies between order and disorder. In the case of brain activity and physiology in general, complexity issues are being considered with increased emphasis. We sought to identify features of brain organization that are optimal for sensory processing, and that may guide the emergence of cognition and consciousness, by analyzing neurophysiological recordings in conscious and unconscious states. We find a surprisingly simple result: Normal wakeful states are characterized by the greatest number of possible configurations of interactions between brain networks, representing highest entropy values. Therefore, the information content is larger in the network associated to conscious states, suggesting that consciousness could be the result of an optimization of information processing. These findings help to guide in a more formal sense inquiry into how consciousness arises from the organization of matter.

  8. Consciousness: physiological dependence on rapid memory access.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, Arthur J

    2009-01-01

    Consciousness develops from birth during the early months as the senses and other nervous system functions mature sufficiently to receive, process and store information. Among these is the ascending reticular activating (arousal) system in the brain stem that is responsible for wakefulness and was proposed by Penfield and Jasper more than 50 years ago as the "controlling mechanism for states of consciousness". This concept has remained the most advanced physiological interpretation of consciousness although recent developments offer greater insights into its nature. The ascending arousal system is the source of activation of the thalamocortical and cortical mechanisms for sensory input and facilitates the rapid matching of sensory input and the binding of memory during cognitive processing. Nonetheless, it is proposed that memory is the critical element through which our connection with the world exists without which, despite a fully functional arousal system, consciousness as we know it could not exist. Evidence is presented in support of this concept in addition to the physiological difficulties that must be resolved if consciousness is to be understood.

  9. Quantum effects in the understanding of consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hameroff, Stuart R; Craddock, Travis J A; Tuszynski, Jack A

    2014-06-01

    This paper presents a historical perspective on the development and application of quantum physics methodology beyond physics, especially in biology and in the area of consciousness studies. Quantum physics provides a conceptual framework for the structural aspects of biological systems and processes via quantum chemistry. In recent years individual biological phenomena such as photosynthesis and bird navigation have been experimentally and theoretically analyzed using quantum methods building conceptual foundations for quantum biology. Since consciousness is attributed to human (and possibly animal) mind, quantum underpinnings of cognitive processes are a logical extension. Several proposals, especially the Orch OR hypothesis, have been put forth in an effort to introduce a scientific basis to the theory of consciousness. At the center of these approaches are microtubules as the substrate on which conscious processes in terms of quantum coherence and entanglement can be built. Additionally, Quantum Metabolism, quantum processes in ion channels and quantum effects in sensory stimulation are discussed in this connection. We discuss the challenges and merits related to quantum consciousness approaches as well as their potential extensions.

  10. The ethics of measuring and modulating consciousness: the imperative of minding time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fins, Joseph J

    2009-01-01

    Using time as an over-arching metaphor, and drawing upon resources in the sciences, humanities, and the history of medicine, the author addresses the neuroethics of measuring and modulating consciousness. Static and evolving views of time dating to the Ancients are contrasted and applied to severe brain injury. These temporal worldviews are tracked progressively in the philosophies of Democritus and Heraclitus, Hippocrates and Galen, and the neurosurgeon, Wilder Penfield on into the modern era as they relate to current perceptions related to disorders of consciousness. These disorders, typified by the vegetative and minimally conscious states, can be viewed as either fixed and immutable or in flux depending upon social currents and scientific knowledge. Variable perspectives are examined in light of right-to-die cases involving permanently vegetative patients like Quinlan and Schiavo and contrasting "late" recoveries involving patients in the minimally conscious state. The author suggests that disorders of consciousness should not be viewed categorically as static entities but rather assessed as a reflection of a synchrony of time and biology that we are just beginning to understand. He stresses the relationship of temporality to clinical evaluation, diagnosis assessment, and prognostication and their association to new methods in functional neuroimaging. These time stamps have profound implications for systems of care and reimbursement mechanisms, which often mistakenly conflates futility with chronicity. This conflation is increasingly being challenged by patients who emerge from the minimally conscious state after conventional temporal expectations for improvement had transpired. These cases often referred to as "late emergences" point to the importance of better understanding the natural history of these conditions and the tempo of associated recoveries.

  11. The concept of revelation in terms of the evolution of consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klaus Nürnberger

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Following Paul’s injunction in 1 Corinthians 9:19–23 we have to ‘become scientists’ to a scientifically informed audience. While theology cannot agree with the naturalist denial of transcendence, it can adopt the experiential-realist approach typical for the sciences in its description of the Christian faith as an immanent part of cosmic evolution, albeit at a higher level of emergence. The article begins with my understanding of evolutionary theory (big bang cosmology, entropy, emergence, neural networks as infrastructure of consciousness, evolution and differentiation, sequences of past, present and future, contingency etc. It then describes God consciousness as the intuition, perception or conceptualisation of the transcendent Source and Destiny of experienced reality and locates God consciousness in the evolutionary process. Biblical God consciousness displays two distinct characteristics: God’s creative power is experienced in reality, while God’s benevolent intentionality is proclaimed on the basis of a religious tradition. The evolutionary trajectory of biblical God consciousness, culminating in the Christ-event, is sketched and the God consciousness of Jesus is deduced from its religious embeddedness, its social-environmental relationships and its religious impact. Implications of an experiential-realist approach are (1 a dynamic, rather than ontological Christology and (2 the cosmic significance of the sacrifice of God in Christ. On this basis revelation is described first in experiential-realist and then in theological terms. The tension between the experience of God’s creative power and the proclamation of God’s benevolence leads to a dynamic, rather than ontological rendering of the Trinity. Finally, traditional eschatological assumptions are reconceptualised as God’s dynamic vision of comprehensive well-being operating like a horizon that moves on as we approach it and displays ever new vistas, challenges and

  12. Category Selectivity of Human Visual Cortex in Perception of Rubin Face–Vase Illusion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaogang Wang

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available When viewing the Rubin face–vase illusion, our conscious perception spontaneously alternates between the face and the vase; this illusion has been widely used to explore bistable perception. Previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI studies have studied the neural mechanisms underlying bistable perception through univariate and multivariate pattern analyses; however, no studies have investigated the issue of category selectivity. Here, we used fMRI to investigate the neural mechanisms underlying the Rubin face–vase illusion by introducing univariate amplitude and multivariate pattern analyses. The results from the amplitude analysis suggested that the activity in the fusiform face area was likely related to the subjective face perception. Furthermore, the pattern analysis results showed that the early visual cortex (EVC and the face-selective cortex could discriminate the activity patterns of the face and vase perceptions. However, further analysis of the activity patterns showed that only the face-selective cortex contains the face information. These findings indicated that although the EVC and face-selective cortex activities could discriminate the visual information, only the activity and activity pattern in the face-selective areas contained the category information of face perception in the Rubin face–vase illusion.

  13. Becoming conscious: the science of mindfulness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paulson, Steve; Davidson, Richard; Jha, Amishi; Kabat-Zinn, Jon

    2013-11-01

    Many of us go through our daily lives on autopilot, not fully aware of our conscious experiences. In a discussion moderated by Steve Paulson, executive producer and host of To the Best of Our Knowledge, neuroscientists Richard Davidson and Amishi Jha and clinical mindfulness expert Jon Kabat-Zinn explore the role of consciousness in mental and physical health, how we can train our minds to be more flexible and adaptable, and cutting-edge neuroscience findings about the transformation of consciousness through mindfulness and contemplative practice. The following is an edited transcript of the discussion that occurred February 6, 2013, 7:00-8:15 PM, at the New York Academy of Sciences in New York City. © 2013 New York Academy of Sciences.

  14. Bosman and self-conscious fiction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Meihuizen

    1991-05-01

    Full Text Available Bosman, in a number of ways, underlines his fascination with his medium. In this article, an attempt is made to indicate some of the ways in which he does this. Particular attention is paid to Bosman’s use of commentary, his own self-conscious reflections on the text before the reader. Using two stories, “Unto Dust”, and “Old Transvaal Story”, I present the ways in which Bosman’s self-consciousness manifests itself in his art. If he is so adept at undermining illusion, what yet entertains us in the most self-conscious of his texts? It is argued that his fascination with his medium is buttressed by his ability to delude us, which displaces our reliance on illusion.

  15. Dreams and the temporality of consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDuffie, Katherine; Mashour, George A

    2010-01-01

    Understanding dreams has long been considered fundamental to the development of a theory of consciousness. Evidence from neurobiology and neuroimaging research has paved the way for new theories of dreaming that are empirically supported. In this article we argue that dreaming is a unique state of consciousness that incorporates 3 temporal dimensions: experience of the present, processing of the past, and preparation for the future. The temporal complexity of dreams is made possible in part by the unique neurobiological environment of sleep, in which stimuli are internally generated and many of the restrictions associated with waking thought are absent. Because dream consciousness is not determined by sensory stimuli, a flexible integration of past experiences and the forging of novel connections are possible. We argue that disparate dream theories may not be mutually exclusive but rather relate to different temporal domains of the dream state.

  16. Reappraising the relationship between working memory and conscious awareness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soto, David; Silvanto, Juha

    2014-10-01

    Classically, the operation of working memory (WM) has been strongly coupled with conscious states; it is thought that WM operates on conscious input and that we are conscious of the contents and operations of WM. Here, we re-evaluate the relationship between WM and conscious awareness in light of current data and question the views that awareness is mandatory for the operation of WM and that WM contents are necessarily linked to experiential states that are consciously accessible for perceptual report. We propose a novel framework for the relationship between WM and conscious awareness. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. [An existential-phenomenological approach to consciousness].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langle, A

    2014-01-01

    The human beings are characterized as subjects. Their essence is understood as Person. A treatment which does not consider the subjective and the Person would not correspond their essence. For a feeling and autonomous being, consciousness plays a role but cannot fully correspond the being a person. This has a therapeutic impact on the treatment of unconscious patients and gives the treatment a specific access. Some instructions for the therapeutic application of the phenomenological-existential concept and the phenomenological attitude towards unconscious or brain traumatized patients are given. The role of consciousness for being human is briefly reflected from an existential perspective.

  18. A better Metaphor for Understanding Consciousness?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uban Kordes

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The article is an attempt at – yet once again – finding a source of more fitting metaphor for the study of consciousness inside the framework of quantum mechanics. It starts by doubting into the possibility of the naturalization of research of experience. Proceeding from that it searches for a more adequate way to implement Varela’s idea about a balanced bridging the explanatory gap. By comparing certain positions of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanical phenomena with the properties of introspection, it tries to point out that there might exist better epistemic positions for understanding consciousness than the ones most frequently used today.

  19. Global Workspace Dynamics: Cortical “Binding and Propagation” Enables Conscious Contents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baars, Bernard J.; Franklin, Stan; Ramsoy, Thomas Zoega

    2013-01-01

    A global workspace (GW) is a functional hub of binding and propagation in a population of loosely coupled signaling elements. In computational applications, GW architectures recruit many distributed, specialized agents to cooperate in resolving focal ambiguities. In the brain, conscious experiences may reflect a GW function. For animals, the natural world is full of unpredictable dangers and opportunities, suggesting a general adaptive pressure for brains to resolve focal ambiguities quickly and accurately. GW theory aims to understand the differences between conscious and unconscious brain events. In humans and related species the cortico-thalamic (C-T) core is believed to underlie conscious aspects of perception, thinking, learning, feelings of knowing (FOK), felt emotions, visual imagery, working memory, and executive control. Alternative theoretical perspectives are also discussed. The C-T core has many anatomical hubs, but conscious percepts are unitary and internally consistent at any given moment. Over time, conscious contents constitute a very large, open set. This suggests that a brain-based GW capacity cannot be localized in a single anatomical hub. Rather, it should be sought in a functional hub – a dynamic capacity for binding and propagation of neural signals over multiple task-related networks, a kind of neuronal cloud computing. In this view, conscious contents can arise in any region of the C-T core when multiple input streams settle on a winner-take-all equilibrium. The resulting conscious gestalt may ignite an any-to-many broadcast, lasting ∼100–200 ms, and trigger widespread adaptation in previously established networks. To account for the great range of conscious contents over time, the theory suggests an open repertoire of binding1 coalitions that can broadcast via theta/gamma or alpha/gamma phase coupling, like radio channels competing for a narrow frequency band. Conscious moments are thought to hold only 1–4 unrelated items; this

  20. Conscious and subconscious attitudes towards English Imports in the Nordic countries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristiansen, Tore

    2010-01-01

    The article reports on how the present-day influence from English is perceived and assessed in seven Nordic communities. The focus is on comparison, between the seven communities, and between two data sets obtained under different conditions of consciousness. The comparisons show that the populat......The article reports on how the present-day influence from English is perceived and assessed in seven Nordic communities. The focus is on comparison, between the seven communities, and between two data sets obtained under different conditions of consciousness. The comparisons show...... that the populations reproduce the “purism level” of their own community’s official language policy in their consciously offered responses to questions in a telephone survey, while the purism–laissez-faire ranking of the communities is turned upside down in a subconsciously offered data set obtained in a speaker...

  1. Underlying influence of perception of management leadership on patient safety climate in healthcare organizations - A mediation analysis approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weng, Shao-Jen; Kim, Seung-Hwan; Wu, Chieh-Liang

    2017-02-01

    We aim to draw insights on how medical staff's perception of management leadership affects safety climate with key safety related dimensions-teamwork climate, job satisfaction and working conditions. A cross-sectional survey using Safety Attitude Questionnaire (SAQ) was performed in a medical center in Taichung City, Taiwan. The relationships among the dimensions in SAQ were then analyzed by structural equation modeling with a mediation analysis. 2205 physicians and nurses of the medical center participated in the survey. Because not all questions in the survey are suitable for entire hospital staff, only the valid responses (n = 1596, response rate of 72%) were extracted for analysis. Key measures are the direct and indirect effects of teamwork climate, job satisfaction, perception of management leadership, and working conditions on safety climate. Outcomes show that effect of perception of management leadership on safety climate is significant (standardized indirect effect of 0.892 with P-value 0.002) and fully mediated by other dimensions, where 66.9% is mediated through teamwork climate, 24.1% through working conditions and 9.0% through job satisfaction. Our findings point to the importance of management leadership and the mechanism of its influence on safety climate. To improve safety climate, the implication is that commitment by management on leading safety improvement needs to be demonstrated when it implements daily supportive actions for other safety dimensions. For future improvement, development of a management system that can facilitate two-way trust between management and staff over the long term is recommended. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press in association with the International Society for Quality in Health Care. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com

  2. Asynchrony in visual consciousness and the possible involvement of attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Konstantinos eMoutoussis

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available When subjects are asked to perceptually bind rapidly alternating colour and motion stimuli, the pairings they report are different from the ones actually occurring in physical reality. A possible explanation for this misbinding is that the time necessary for perception is different for different visual attributes. Such an explanation is in logical harmony with the fact that the visual brain is characterized by different, functionally specialized systems, with different processing times for each; this type of organization naturally leads to different perceptual times for the corresponding attributes. In the present review, the experimental findings supporting perceptual asynchrony are presented, together with the original theoretical explanation behind the phenomenon and its implication for visual consciousness. Alternative theoretical views and additional experimental facts concerning perceptual misbinding are also reviewed, with a particular emphasis given to the role of attention. With few exceptions, most theories converge on the idea that the observed misbinding reflects a difference in perception times, which is in turn due to differences in neuronal processing times for different attributes within the brain. These processing-time differences have been attributed to several different factors, attention included, with the possibility of co-existence between them.

  3. A descriptive Survey on Teachers' Perception of EFL Writing and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    as important as listening, speaking, reading, grammar and vocabulary (Alamrew 2005). With regard to the nature of perception,. Hardy and Heyes (1979) explain that the perception system filters some information that will be brought to conscious awareness, organizes and interprets this information to build up the model of ...

  4. Knowing when not to swing: EEG evidence that enhanced perception-action coupling underlies baseball batter expertise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muraskin, Jordan; Sherwin, Jason; Sajda, Paul

    2015-12-01

    Given a decision that requires less than half a second for evaluating the characteristics of the incoming pitch and generating a motor response, hitting a baseball potentially requires unique perception-action coupling to achieve high performance. We designed a rapid perceptual decision-making experiment modeled as a Go/No-Go task yet tailored to reflect a real scenario confronted by a baseball hitter. For groups of experts (Division I baseball players) and novices (non-players), we recorded electroencephalography (EEG) while they performed the task. We analyzed evoked EEG single-trial variability, contingent negative variation (CNV), and pre-stimulus alpha power with respect to the expert vs. novice groups. We found strong evidence for differences in inhibitory processes between the two groups, specifically differential activity in supplementary motor areas (SMA), indicative of enhanced inhibitory control in the expert (baseball player) group. We also found selective activity in the fusiform gyrus (FG) and orbital gyrus in the expert group, suggesting an enhanced perception-action coupling in baseball players that differentiates them from matched controls. In sum, our results show that EEG correlates of decision formation can be used to identify neural markers of high-performance athletes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Time Slices: What Is the Duration of a Percept?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael H Herzog

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available We experience the world as a seamless stream of percepts. However, intriguing illusions and recent experiments suggest that the world is not continuously translated into conscious perception. Instead, perception seems to operate in a discrete manner, just like movies appear continuous although they consist of discrete images. To explain how the temporal resolution of human vision can be fast compared to sluggish conscious perception, we propose a novel conceptual framework in which features of objects, such as their color, are quasi-continuously and unconsciously analyzed with high temporal resolution. Like other features, temporal features, such as duration, are coded as quantitative labels. When unconscious processing is "completed," all features are simultaneously rendered conscious at discrete moments in time, sometimes even hundreds of milliseconds after stimuli were presented.

  6. Against the View that Consciousness and Attention are Fully Dissociable

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchetti, Giorgio

    2012-01-01

    In this paper, I will try to show that the idea that there can be consciousness without some form of attention, and high-level top-down attention without consciousness, originates from a failure to notice the varieties of forms that top-down attention and consciousness can assume. I will present evidence that: there are various forms of attention and consciousness; not all forms of attention produce the same kind of consciousness; not all forms of consciousness are produced by the same kind of attention; there can be low-level attention (or preliminary attention), whether of an endogenous or exogenous kind, without consciousness; attention cannot be considered the same thing as consciousness. PMID:22363307

  7. General and specific consciousness: a first-order representationalist approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehta, Neil; Mashour, George A.

    2013-01-01

    It is widely acknowledged that a complete theory of consciousness should explain general consciousness (what makes a state conscious at all) and specific consciousness (what gives a conscious state its particular phenomenal quality). We defend first-order representationalism, which argues that consciousness consists of sensory representations directly available to the subject for action selection, belief formation, planning, etc. We provide a neuroscientific framework for this primarily philosophical theory, according to which neural correlates of general consciousness include prefrontal cortex, posterior parietal cortex, and non-specific thalamic nuclei, while neural correlates of specific consciousness include sensory cortex and specific thalamic nuclei. We suggest that recent data support first-order representationalism over biological theory, higher-order representationalism, recurrent processing theory, information integration theory, and global workspace theory. PMID:23882231

  8. Becoming conscious of learning and nursing in clinical settings

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Kirsten; Pedersen, Birthe D.; Helms, Niels Henrik

    2015-01-01

    Paul Ricoeurs theory of interpretation. This paper reports that the mandatory part promotes consciousness of own learning and competencies in clinical nursing and raises students` consciousness of nurse identity. It gives preceptors the opportunity to differentiate their supervision for individual...

  9. Anthropomorphic Networks as Representatives of Global Consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergii Yahodzinskyi

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available There has been analyzed a phenomenon of global consciousness, and its cultural and historical, civilizational dimensions have been substantiated. There has been demonstrated that the concept of planetary consciousness, global thinking, noosphere was described for the first time in the philosophy of cosmism. However, in modern conditions ideas of representatives of the naturalistic philosophical direction of cosmism have not lost their heuristic potential. They can be reconsidered in a new fashion within the context of emerging anthropomorphic (human dimension networks. There has been proved that global consciousness is a component of the social and cultural potential of global information networks defining vectors to prospects of humanity progress in the 21st century. Relying on methodology of the structural and functional analysis, the author arrives at a conclusion about global networks obtaining the status of representatives of global consciousness. This is the area of networks where all relevant information is concentrated – from statistical data to scientific and technical information. Access to these data is limited by human abilities and is realized in the form of discrete requests with using heuristic algorithms of information procession. A suggestion is introduced considering the fact that modern society being a self-organized system seeks to gain stable condition. Anthropomorphic networks are means of decreasing social entropy, which is growing as a result of any kind of human intervention into social processes. Thus, for the first time a human is challenged by their intellect, ability to create, discover and control.

  10. Postmodern consumers' consciousness of climate change and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Postmodern consumers' consciousness of climate change and actions that could mitigate unsustainable consumption. ... This is believed to be due to consumers experiencing a deficit of adequate knowledge, skills and/or access to possible avenues that could assist them in being more sustainable, which is often a result of ...

  11. Rising Political Consciousness: Transformational Learning in Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamis, Mazalan; Muhamad, Mazanah

    As part of a larger study (not discussed) ten educated Malaysian citizens were interviewed to find whether their rising political consciousness, over a ten year period (1988-1999), indicated that their transformation was influenced by their culture. The subjects were between 35-45 years old, married, with an average of four children. All were…

  12. State dissociation, human behavior, and consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahowald, Mark W; Cramer Bornemann, Michel A; Schenck, Carlos H

    2011-01-01

    Sleep is clearly not only a whole-brain or global phenomenon, but can also be a local phenomenon. This accounts for the fact that the primary states of being (wakefulness, NREM sleep, and REM sleep) are not necessarily mutually exclusive, and components of these states may appear in various combinations, with fascinating clinical consequences. Examples include: sleep inertia, narcolepsy, sleep paralysis, lucid dreaming, REM sleep behavior disorder, sleepwalking, sleep terrors, out-of-body experiences, and reports of alien abduction. The incomplete declaration of state likewise has implications for consciousness - which also has fluid boundaries. Fluctuations in the degree of consciousness are likely explained by abnormalities of a "spatial and temporal binding rhythm" which normally results in a unified conscious experience. Dysfunctional binding may play a role in anesthetic states, autism, schizophrenia, and neurodegenerative disorders. Further study of the broad spectrum of dissociated states of sleep and wakefulness that are closely linked with states of consciousness and unconsciousness by basic neuroscientists, clinicians, and members of the legal profession will provide scientific, clinical and therapeutic insights, with forensic implications.

  13. Developing Critical Consciousness through Teacher Leader Preparation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley-Levine, Jill

    2012-01-01

    This article presents findings from a qualitative study describing how a cohort of teachers pursuing their master's degree in teacher leadership developed critical consciousness through coursework and the cohort structure. The findings--collected via observations, interviews, and document review--indicate the struggles and conflicts that teachers…

  14. Practice It: Deep Conscious Breathing Exercise

    Science.gov (United States)

    No time to sit and breathe? No problem; take your breathing practice with you! Deep conscious breathing can also be done with the eyes open wherever you happen to be—simply pause and take two to three full deep breaths (inhale deeply and exhale completely).

  15. Self-conscious emotions and social functioning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hooge, de I.E.; Zeelenberg, M.; Breugelmans, S.M.

    2011-01-01

    Introduction Have you ever felt guilty about hurting a loved one, or been proud after achieving something that you always dreamed of? These emotions, but also embarrassment, shame, and hubris, are called self-conscious emotions. They are a special kind of emotions that cannot be described solely by

  16. Christian Action and Black Consciousness Community Programmes ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Many scholars have examined the relationship between Black Theology and Black Consciousness in South Africa in the late 1960s and 1970s. This article analyses another Christian link. It argues that ecumenical organisations (such as the Christian Institute and the South African Council of Churches), foreign churches, ...

  17. Critical Consciousness: A Key to Student Achievement

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Amin, Aaliyah; Seider, Scott; Graves, Daren; Tamerat, Jalene; Clark, Shelby; Soutter, Madora; Johannsen, Jamie; Malhotra, Saira

    2017-01-01

    Research has suggested that critical consciousness--the ability to recognize and analyze systems of inequality and the commitment to take action against these systems--can be a gateway to academic motivation and achievement for marginalized students. To explore this approach, the authors studied five urban schools that include critical…

  18. Improving Spelling Performance and Spelling Consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordewener, Kim A. H.; Verhoeven, Ludo; Bosman, Anna M. T.

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the immediate and sustained effects of three training conditions on both spelling performance and spelling consciousness of 72 third-grade low- and high-skilled spellers. Spellers were assigned to a strategy-instruction, self-correction, or no-correction condition. The role of spelling ability and word characteristic were also…

  19. Consciousness in SLA: A Modular Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Truscott, John

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the place of consciousness in second language acquisition (SLA) is crucial for an understanding of how acquisition occurs. Considerable work has been done on this topic, but nearly all of it assumes a highly non-modular view, according to which language and its development is "nothing special". As this assumption runs…

  20. Consciousness-Raising, Error Correction and Proofreading

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, Josephine

    2015-01-01

    The paper discusses the impact of developing a consciousness-raising approach in error correction at the sentence level to improve students' proofreading ability. Learners of English in a foreign language environment often rely on translation as a composing tool and while this may act as a scaffold and provide some support, it frequently leads to…

  1. Inflight loss of consciousness : a case report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1963-09-01

    A case of inflight vertigo and loss of consciousness in a private pilot, flying alone, is presented. The differential diagnosis and the significance of the findings of 5-7 per second theta waves in his resting EEG and high voltage slow waves during c...

  2. The schizophrenias as disorders of self consciousness

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Adele

    2004-12-29

    Dec 29, 2004 ... memories, emotions and consciousness to form intentionally mean- ingful representations of the world and ... tion of the otherness of oneself: in music, dance and ritual one reaches beyond the mundanities of ... involving sensory deprivation, and the vulnerability of certain life stages such as adolescence, ...

  3. Psychobiology of Altered States of Consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaitl, Dieter; Birbaumer, Niels; Gruzelier, John; Jamieson, Graham A.; Kotchoubey, Boris; Kubler, Andrea; Lehmann, Dietrich; Miltner, Wolfgang H. R.; Ott, Ulrich; Sammer, Gebhard; Strauch, Inge; Strehl, Ute; Wackermann, Jiri; Weiss, Thomas

    2005-01-01

    The article reviews the current knowledge regarding altered states of consciousness (ASC) (a) occurring spontaneously, (b) evoked by physical and physiological stimulation, (c) induced by psychological means, and (d) caused by diseases. The emphasis is laid on psychological and neurobiological approaches. The phenomenological analysis of the…

  4. The Formation of an Ecological Consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biriukova, N. A.

    2005-01-01

    In this article, the author discusses how realization of the ideas of humanistic pedagogy and psychology serves as the foundation for the development of value attitudes toward nature and the surrounding world, for the formation of a new type of ecological consciousness. It is obvious that the interaction between human civilization and the earth's…

  5. URBANISM, ETHNIC CONSCIOUSNESS AND AFFINITY IN ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    CIU

    2017-05-01

    May 1, 2017 ... slave trade and the colonization/ amalgamation of the country. These roles boosted ... in the modern day Nigeria has a direct bearing to the historical roles they enacted in the domestication of the .... emergence and growth of modern cities in the country, the manifestation of ethnic group consciousness ...

  6. Brain Endogenous Feedback and Degrees of Consciousness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carrara-Augustenborg, Claudia; Pereira Jr., Alfredo

    2012-01-01

    We present a hypothesis to explain how the brain operates to generate different degrees of consciousness. We relate our model to recent evidence from brain morphology and physiology, indicating that the central nervous system contains two parallel networks (neuronal and astroglial) establishing p...

  7. Review: Neural correlates of consciousness | Negrao | African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In this paper it is shown that consciousness is dependent on the brainstem and thalamus for arousal; that basic cognition is supported by recurrent electrical activity between the cortex and the thalamus at gamma band frequencies; and that some kind of working memory must, at least fleetingly, be present for awareness to ...

  8. Body consciousness and somaesthetics in music education

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holgersen, Sven-Erik

    2010-01-01

    Artiklen diskuterer aspekter af Richard Shusterman (2008) Body Consciousness: A Philosophy of Mindfulness and Somaesthetics herunder bogens relevans for musikpædagogik og specielt Shustermans læsning af Merleau-Pontys fænomenologi. Shustermans definitioner af fire former for intentionalitet samme...

  9. Postmodern consumers' consciousness of climate change

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    user

    In terms of food consumption, this is reflected in the growing sales of convenience food products. (Botonaki & Mattas ... lack of cooking skills, it is a common trend among many postmodern households to rely on convenience food ...... Interpersonal effects on fashion consciousness and status consumption moderated by ...

  10. Teachers' Potpourri: Public Speaking For Consciousness III

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gangervere, Robert J.

    1971-01-01

    The author discusses the interests and attitudes of present day students. The III's, students of consciousness III, reject the entire concept of academic rewards. Their interest in public speaking classes is not to learn to win others over but rather as a means to improve communication. (MS)

  11. Reflective self-awareness and conscious states

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjaer, Troels W; Nowak, Markus; Lou, Hans C

    2002-01-01

    A recent meta-analysis has shown precuneus, angular gyri, anterior cingulate gyri, and adjacent structures to be highly metabolically active in support of resting consciousness. We hypothesize that these regions constitute a functional network of reflective self-awareness thought to be a core fun...

  12. Mysterianism about Consciousness and the Trinity

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vohánka, Vlastimil

    -, č. 14 (2013), s. 69-90 ISSN 1212-9038 Institutional support: RVO:67985955 Keywords : mysterianism * the hard problem of consciousness * the logical problem of the Trinity * McGinn * Colin (*1950) * Šanda, Vojtěch (1873–1953) Subject RIV: AA - Philosophy ; Religion

  13. Disorders of consciousness and communication. Ethical motivations and communication-enabling attributes of consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamburrini, Guglielmo; Mattia, Donatella

    2011-01-01

    Envisaged extensions of a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technique allowing communication with patients affected by disorders of consciousness are here examined in connection with subjective symptom reporting, informed consent, and continued medical care decision-making. The principles of medical beneficence, personal autonomy protection, and the right to participate in social life are isolated as appropriate sources of ethical motivations for the use of fMRI-enabled communication. Consciousness requirements for each communication context are identified on the basis of qualitative distinctions between the access, phenomenal, and narrative varieties of consciousness. Ethically motivated uses of fMRI-enabled communication are hierarchically organized in terms of progressively more demanding consciousness requirements for successful communication. The outcomes of this analysis can be used to curb unrealistic expectations of these new scientific developments, and to promote mutual trust between medical doctors, patient surrogates and families.

  14. Is Consciousness Reality or Illusion ? A Non-Dualist Interpretation of Consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarz, Eric

    2004-08-01

    This paper proposes a way to approach the "hard problem" of consciousness. First, we present a typology of the main models developed in the litterature to understand consciousness. Most of them adopt a physicalist ontology and a functionalist epistemology. We then present the main features of a metamodel we have elaborated to interpret nonlinear systems evolving toward complexity and autonomy. This systemic metamodel is a general framework that can later be used to make models of specific systems. As an extension of the mechanist paradigm, it is based on three primordial categories objects, relations and wholes or systems. In the last part, we apply it to the cases of the logic of life and the nature of consciousness. Both can be interpreted by the metamodel, in particular, by the autopoiesis proposed by Maturana and Varela for life and self-reference for consciousness.

  15. Evolution of brains, cognition, and consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Ann B

    2008-03-18

    Most current hypotheses about the neural basis for consciousness, including higher-level consciousness, are based on mammalian neural features, particularly focusing on thalamocortical circuitry. It is postulated here that since higher-level consciousness is correlated with higher-level cognitive abilities in humans and other mammals, this correlation also holds for nonmammalian taxa; that the level of cognitive ability may be proportional to the level of consciousness; and that the neural basis for both is either the same or highly overlapping. Recent studies, ingeniously designed to be species-sensitive, have revealed a host of highly cognitive abilities in birds, including manifestations of working memory (delayed match-to-sample, episodic memory, transitive inference, and multistability) and category formation, language and numerical comprehension, tool manufacture and cultural transmission of tool design, theory of mind, and Piagetian object permanence to a high level. Comparisons of the neural circuitry reveal extensive similarity in thalamic nuclei and ascending systems to the pallium. However, the avian pallium lacks the laminar architecture and therefore cortical columns of mammals, and avian pallial projection neurons are multipolar rather than specifically pyramidal as in mammals. Neural features common to both mammals and birds, which thus may be crucially involved in the generation of both higher-level cognitive abilities and higher-level consciousness, include large, multipolar, glutamatergic neurons with extensive and densely spiny dendrites, with extensive interconnectedness as well as inter-regional connections, GABAergic inputs from local interneurons, and connections with thalamic nuclei that are regulated by the thalamic reticular nucleus as well as basal ganglia loops.

  16. Colour Perception in Ancient World

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesterov, D. I.; Fedorova, M. Yu

    2017-11-01

    How did the human thought form the surrounding color information into the persistent semantic images of a mythological, pseudoscientific and religious nature? The concepts associated with colour perception are suggested. The existence of colour environment does not depend on the human consciousness. The colour culture formation is directly related to the level of the human consciousness development and the possibility to influence the worldview and culture. The colour perception of a person goes through the stages similar to the development of colour vision in a child. Like any development, the colour consciousness has undergone stages of growth and decline, evolution and stagnation. The way of life and difficult conditions for existence made their own adjustments to the development of the human perception of the surrounding world. Wars have been both a powerful engine of progress in all spheres of life and a great destructive force demolishing the already created and preserved heritage. The surrounding world has always been interesting for humans, evoked images and fantasies in the consciousness of ancient people. Unusual and inexplicable natural phenomena spawned numerous legends and myths which was reflected in the ancient art and architecture and, accordingly, in a certain manifestation of colour in the human society. The colour perception of the ancient man, his pragmatic, utilitarian attitude to colour is considered as well as the influence of dependence on external conditions of existence and their reflection in the colour culture of antiquity. “Natural Science” conducts research in the field of the colour nature and their authorial interpretation of the Hellenic period. Several authorial concepts of the ancient world have been considered.

  17. The ?conscious pilot??dendritic synchrony moves through the brain to mediate consciousness

    OpenAIRE

    Hameroff, Stuart

    2009-01-01

    Cognitive brain functions including sensory processing and control of behavior are understood as ?neurocomputation? in axonal?dendritic synaptic networks of ?integrate-and-fire? neurons. Cognitive neurocomputation with consciousness is accompanied by 30- to 90-Hz gamma synchrony electroencephalography (EEG), and non-conscious neurocomputation is not. Gamma synchrony EEG derives largely from neuronal groups linked by dendritic?dendritic gap junctions, forming transient syncytia (?dendritic web...

  18. Intuitive decisions on the fringes of consciousness: Are they conscious and does it matter?

    OpenAIRE

    Mark C. Price; Elisabeth Norman

    2008-01-01

    Decision making research often dichotomises between more deliberative, cognitive processes and more heuristic, intuitive and emotional processes. We argue that within this two-systems framework (e.g., Kahneman, 2002) there is ambiguity over how to map the System 1/System 2 axis, and the notion of intuitive processing, onto the distinction between conscious and non-conscious processes. However the convergent concepts of experience-based metacognitive judgements (Koriat, 2007) and of fringe con...

  19. Conscious Anxiety, Conscious Repression and Ego-strength as Related to Dream Recall, Content and Vividness

    OpenAIRE

    Newbold, David

    1980-01-01

    Subjects' reported dream recall frequency, dream content and vividness or recall were discussed and examined in relation to sex of the subject and MMPI Conscious Anxiety, Conscious Repression and Ego-strength scores. Fifty-three Utah State University students, who volunteered to participate in a study of dreaming behavior, were administered the MMPI and asked to complete a dream log diary. The dream log required a daily recording of total number of dreams recalled, the number of vividly an...

  20. How neuroscience will change our view on consciousness: discussion paper

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lamme, V.A.F.

    2010-01-01

    Is there consciousness in machines? Or in animals? What happens to consciousness when we are asleep, or in vegetative state? These are just a few examples of the many questions about consciousness that are troubling scientists and laypersons alike. Moreover, these questions share a striking feature: