A Cognitive Theory of Consciousness

Front Cover
Bernard Baars, 1988 - Medical - 424 pages
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Conscious experience is one of the most difficult and thorny problems in psychological science. Its study has been neglected for many years, either because it was thought to be too difficult, or because the relevant evidence was thought to be poor. Bernard Baars suggests a way to specify empirical constraints on a theory of consciousness by contrasting well-established conscious phenomena - such as stimulus representations known to be attended, perceptual, and informative - with closely comparable unconscious ones - such as stimulus representations known to be preperceptual, unattended, or habituated. Adducing data to show that consciousness is associated with a kind of global workplace in the nervous system, and that several brain structures are known to behave in accordance with his theory, Baars helps to clarify many difficult problems.
  

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Contents

Introduction
1
unconscious with practice
23
concepts
44
The basic model
71
room
80
The neural basis of conscious experience
119
neurophysiology
132
The fundamental role of context
135
Goals and voluntary control
223
cooperate to constrain a single sentence
231
Volition as ideomotor control of thought
246
control
262
groups of processors
281
Attention self and conscious selfmonitoring
299
Short Term Memory
311
Self as the dominant context of experience
325

similar events
141
conscious experience
166
dominant contexts The disruption may propagate through
169
Conscious experience is informative it always
177
help create context
185
evoke old ones
198
and information
218
The functions of consciousness
347
Conclusion
357
Glossary and guide to theoretical claims
367
Tables
373
References
393
Name index
411
Copyright

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