Modern Consciousness Science as Fechner's 'Inner Psychophysics'

Document Type: 
ASSC Conference Item
Article Type: 
Neural Correlates of Consciousness
Consciousness Science, History ofPsychophysics
Deposited by: 
Dr. Bill Faw
Date of Issue: 
Bill Faw
Event Dates: 
June 22-25, 2007
Event Location: 
Las Vegas, NV
Event Title: 
11th annual meeting of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness
Event Type: 
ASSC Conference
Presentation Type: 
Number of Pages: 
ABSTRACT Gustav Fechner (1860) wanted to study “constant or lawful relationships” between the “material world” and the “mental world”, which “has up to now remained merely a field for philosophical argument without solid foundation and without sure principles and methods for the progress of inquiry”. He called his techniques "outer psycho-physics": deriving bridge laws between physics (presenting tones) and psyche (reporting which has a higher pitch), but, for then, ignoring mediating physiology. Fechner anticipated a later "inner psychophysics" to develop bridge laws between physics and physiology (brain processing of stimulus energy), and bridge laws between physiology and psyche. Subsequent psychophysiology works on bridging physics and physiology while physiological psychology works on bridging physiology and psyche. Recent technologies in brain scanning represent a sophisticated development of psychophysiology, creating the new field of Consciousness Science, which uses all of the techniques of outer and inner psychophysics to understand very specific parts of the "psyche" – differentiating among conscious, pre-conscious, subliminal, and non-conscious: perceptual, mental, emotional, and motor functioning -- precisely the science that fulfills Fechner's projection for an "inner psychophysics"! Dominant paradigms in modern Consciousness Studies include Perceptual-, Cognitive-, Interpersonal, Animal-, Infant-, Machine-, Altered-, Expanded, Transpersonal-, Motivational-, and Quantum-Consciousness/ Unconsciousness.
Faw_Poster_Presentation.pdf45.35 KB