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  1. Higher-Order Theories Do Just Fine.Matthias Michel & Hakwan Lau - forthcoming - Cognitive Neuroscience.
    Doerig et al. have set several criteria that theories of consciousness need to fulfill. By these criteria, higher-order theories fare better than most existing theories. But they also argue that higher-order theories may not be able to answer both the ‘small network argument’ and the ‘other systems argument’. In response, we focus on the case of the Perceptual Reality Monitoring theory to explain why higher-order theories do just fine.
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  • How (Not) to Underestimate Unconscious Perception.Matthias Michel - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    Studying consciousness requires contrasting conscious and unconscious perception. While many studies have reported unconscious perceptual effects, recent work has questioned whether such effects are genuinely unconscious, or whether they are due to weak conscious perception. Some philosophers and psychologists have reacted by denying that there is such a thing as unconscious perception, or by holding that unconscious perception has been previously overestimated. This article has two parts. In the first part, I argue that the most significant attack on unconscious perception (...)
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  • Predictive Processing as a Systematic Basis for Identifying the Neural Correlates of Consciousness.Jakob Hohwy & Anil Seth - 2020 - Philosophy and the Mind Sciences 1 (II).
    The search for the neural correlates of consciousness is in need of a systematic, principled foundation that can endow putative neural correlates with greater predictive and explanatory value. Here, we propose the predictive processing framework for brain function as a promising candidate for providing this systematic foundation. The proposal is motivated by that framework’s ability to address three general challenges to identifying the neural correlates of consciousness, and to satisfy two constraints common to many theories of consciousness. Implementing the search (...)
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  • Investigating the Validity of the Perceptual Awareness Scale – The Effect of Task-Related Difficulty on Subjective Rating.Zuzanna Skóra, Kinga Ciupińska, Simon Hviid Del Pin, Morten Overgaard & Michał Wierzchoń - 2021 - Consciousness and Cognition 95:103197.
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  • Phenomenology-First Versus Third-Person Approaches in the Science of Consciousness: The Case of the Integrated Information Theory and the Unfolding Argument.Niccolò Negro - 2020 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 19 (5):979-996.
    Assessing the scientific status of theories of consciousness is often a difficult task. In this paper, I explore the dialectic between the Integrated Information Theory, e1003588, 2014; Tononi et al. Nat Rev Neurosci, 17, 450-61, 2016) and a recently proposed criticism of that theory: the ‘unfolding argument’. I show that the phenomenology-first approach in consciousness research can lead to valid scientific theories of consciousness. I do this by highlighting the two reasons why the unfolding argument fails: first, phenomenology-first theories are (...)
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  • The Extra Ingredient.Richard Brown, Joseph LeDoux & David Rosenthal - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (2):1-4.
    Birch et. al. see their model as incompatible with higher-order-thought (HOT) theories of consciousness, on which a state is conscious if one is in some suitable way aware of that state. They see higher-order (HO) awareness as an “extra ingredient”. But since Birch et al go on to say that “[t]his is not the place for a detailed discussion of HOT theories,” they don’t address why they take HO awareness to be an extra ingredient or why HOT theorists are convinced (...)
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  • Is Predictive Processing a Theory of Perceptual Consciousness?Tomas Marvan & Marek Havlík - 2021 - New Ideas in Psychology 61 (21).
    Predictive Processing theory, hotly debated in neuroscience, psychology and philosophy, promises to explain a number of perceptual and cognitive phenomena in a simple and elegant manner. In some of its versions, the theory is ambitiously advertised as a new theory of conscious perception. The task of this paper is to assess whether this claim is realistic. We will be arguing that the Predictive Processing theory cannot explain the transition from unconscious to conscious perception in its proprietary terms. The explanations offer (...)
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  • Does the Prefrontal Cortex Play an Essential Role in Consciousness? Insights From Intracranial Electrical Stimulation of the Human Brain.Omri Raccah, Ned Block & Kieran C. R. Fox - 2021 - Journal of Neuroscience 1 (41):2076-2087.
    A central debate in philosophy and neuroscience pertains to whether PFC activity plays an essential role in the neural basis of consciousness. Neuroimaging and electrophysiology studies have revealed that the contents of conscious perceptual experience can be successfully decoded from PFC activity, but these findings might be confounded by post- perceptual cognitive processes, such as thinking, reasoning, and decision-making, that are not necessary for con- sciousness. To clarify the involvement of the PFC in consciousness, we present a synthesis of research (...)
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  • Neuroscience of Object Relations in Health and Disorder: A Proposal for an Integrative Model.Dragan M. Svrakic & Charles F. Zorumski - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 12.
    Recent advances in the neuroscience of episodic memory provide a framework to integrate object relations theory, a psychoanalytic model of mind development, with potential neural mechanisms. Object relations are primordial cognitive-affective units of the mind derived from survival- and safety-level experiences with caretakers during phase-sensitive periods of infancy and toddlerhood. Because these are learning experiences, their neural substrate likely involves memory, here affect-enhanced episodic memory. Inaugural object relations are encoded by the hippocampus-amygdala synaptic plasticity, and systems-consolidated by medial prefrontal cortex. (...)
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  • EEG Signal Diversity Varies With Sleep Stage and Aspects of Dream Experience.Arnfinn Aamodt, André Sevenius Nilsen, Benjamin Thürer, Fatemeh Hasanzadeh Moghadam, Nils Kauppi, Bjørn Erik Juel & Johan Frederik Storm - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 12.
    Several theories link consciousness to complex cortical dynamics, as suggested by comparison of brain signal diversity between conscious states and states where consciousness is lost or reduced. In particular, Lempel-Ziv complexity, amplitude coalition entropy and synchrony coalition entropy distinguish wakefulness and REM sleep from deep sleep and anesthesia, and are elevated in psychedelic states, reported to increase the range and vividness of conscious contents. Some studies have even found correlations between complexity measures and facets of self-reported experience. As suggested by (...)
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  • A New Empirical Challenge for Local Theories of Consciousness.Matthias Michel & Adrien Doerig - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    Local theories of consciousness state that one is conscious of a feature if it is adequately represented and processed in sensory brain areas, given some background conditions. We challenge the core prediction of local theories based on recently discovered long-lasting postdictive effects demonstrating that features can be represented for hundreds of milliseconds in perceptual areas without being consciously perceived. Unlike previous empirical data aimed against local theories, proponents of local theories cannot explain these effects away by conjecturing that subjects are (...)
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  • Neural Computations of Threat.Ifat Levy & Daniela Schiller - 2021 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 25 (2):151-171.
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  • Minority Reports: Consciousness and the Prefrontal Cortex.Matthias Michel & Jorge Morales - 2020 - Mind and Language 35 (4):493-513.
    Whether the prefrontal cortex is part of the neural substrates of consciousness is currently debated. Against prefrontal theories of consciousness, many have argued that neural activity in the prefrontal cortex does not correlate with consciousness but with subjective reports. We defend prefrontal theories of consciousness against this argument. We surmise that the requirement for reports is not a satisfying explanation of the difference in neural activity between conscious and unconscious trials, and that prefrontal theories of consciousness come out of this (...)
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  • Neural Computations Underlying Phenomenal Consciousness: A Higher Order Syntactic Thought Theory.Edmund T. Rolls - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
    Problems are raised with the global workspace hypothesis of consciousness, for example about exactly how global the workspace needs to be for consciousness to suddenly be present. Problems are also raised with Carruthers's version that excludes conceptual representations, and in which phenomenal consciousness can be reduced to physical processes, with instead a different levels of explanation approach to the relation between the brain and the mind advocated. A different theory of phenomenal consciousness is described, in which there is a particular (...)
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