Monday, February 4, 2013

Dehaene on conscious and nonconscious processes

Stanislas Dehaene is another author (with Schurger) of the recent study of Libet's work. He edited the book The Cognitive Neuroscience of Consciousness, and his chapter can be found in full at this link. From the abstract:

"This introductory chapter attempts to clarify the philosophical, empirical, and theoretical bases on which a cognitive neuroscience approach to consciousness can be founded. We isolate three major empirical observations that any theory of consciousness should incorporate, namely (1) a considerable amount of processing is possible without consciousness, (2) attention is a prerequisite of consciousness, and (3) consciousness is required for some specific cognitive tasks, including those that require durable information maintenance, novel combinations of operations, or the spontaneous generation of intentional behavior. We then propose a theoretical framework that synthesizes those facts: the hypothesis of a global neuronal workspace".

The above info in from 2001. The following is a one of his more recent articles from 2009, akin to the Schurger article in a previous post. These guys are definitely into consciousness. "Conscious and nonconscious processes." From the abstract:

"Among the many brain events evoked by a visual stimulus, which ones are associated specifically with conscious perception, and which merely reflect nonconscious processing? Understanding the neuronal mechanisms of consciousness is a major challenge for cognitive neuroscience. Recently, progress has been achieved by contrasting behavior and brain activation in minimally different experimental conditions, one of which leads to conscious perception whereas the other does not."

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