Conscious thoughts from reflex-like processes: A new experimental paradigm for consciousness research

Consciousness and Cognition 22 (4):1318-1331 (2013)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
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.
Keywords
No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories
PhilPapers/Archive ID
ALLCTF-3
Upload history
Archival date: 2016-05-20
View other versions
Added to PP index
2013-12-15

Total views
475 ( #11,429 of 58,454 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
38 ( #20,886 of 58,454 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.