Conscious, preconscious, and subliminal processing: a testable taxonomy
Topics:Theory of Consciousness
Deposited by:Professor Stanislas Dehaene
Date of Issue:2006
Journal/Publication Title:Trends in Cognitive Science
Abstract:Of the many brain events evoked by a visual stimulus,which are specifically associated with conscious perception, andwhichmerely reflect non-conscious processing? Several recent neuroimaging studies have contrasted conscious and non-conscious visual processing, but their results appear inconsistent. Some support a correlation of conscious perception with early occipital events, others with late parieto-frontal activity. Here we attempt to make sense of these dissenting results. On the basis of the global neuronal workspace hypothesis,we propose a taxonomy that distinguishes between vigilance and access to conscious report, as well as between subliminal, preconscious and conscious processing. We suggest that these distinctions map onto different neural mechanisms, and that conscious perception is systematically associated with surges of parieto-frontal activity causing top-down amplification.