Article

Reproducibility distinguishes conscious from nonconscious neural representations.

Department of Psychology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA.
Science (Impact Factor: 31.48). 11/2009; 327(5961):97-9. DOI: 10.1126/science.1180029
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT What qualifies a neural representation for a role in subjective experience? Previous evidence suggests that the duration and intensity of the neural response to a sensory stimulus are factors. We introduce another attribute--the reproducibility of a pattern of neural activity across different episodes--that predicts specific and measurable differences between conscious and nonconscious neural representations independently of duration and intensity. We found that conscious neural activation patterns are relatively reproducible when compared with nonconscious neural activation patterns corresponding to the same perceptual content. This is not adequately explained by a difference in signal-to-noise ratio.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Aaron Schurger, May 04, 2015
0 Followers
 · 
122 Views
  • Source
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The idea that intentions make the difference between voluntary and non- voluntary behaviors is simple and intuitive. At the same time, we lack an understanding of how voluntary actions actually come about, and the unquestioned appeal to inten- tions as discrete causes of actions offers little if anything in the way of an answer. We cite evidence suggesting that the origin of actions varies depending on context and effector, and argue that actions emerge from a causal web in the brain, rather than a central origin of intentional action. We argue that this causal web need not be confined to the central nervous system, and that proprioceptive feedback might play a counter- intuitive role in the decision process. Finally we argue that the complex and dynamic origins of voluntary action and their interplay with the brain’s propensity to predict the immediate future are better studied using a dynamical systems approach.
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 03/2015; in press. DOI:10.1007/s13164-014-0223-2
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The idea that intentions make the difference between voluntary and non-voluntary behaviors is simple and intuitive. At the same time, we lack an understanding of how voluntary actions actually come about, and the unquestioned appeal to intentions as discrete causes of actions offers little if anything in the way of an answer. We cite evidence suggesting that the origin of actions varies depending on context and effector, and argue that actions emerge from a causal web in the brain, rather than a central origin of intentional action. We argue that this causal web need not be confined to the central nervous system, and that proprioceptive feedback might play a counterintuitive role in the decision process. Finally we argue that the complex and dynamic origins of voluntary action and their interplay with the brain’s propensity to predict the immediate future are better studied using a dynamical systems approach.
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12/2014;