A blog on "Cognition"
(by a non-specialist)
An effort of learning, analysis, pedagogy and therapy of the human conscience
Reading notes from the article:
Dehaene S., Charles L., King J.R., Marti S.: Towards a
computational theory of conscious processing Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2014
The "Self" may perform different actions e.g. reading and writing,
and at the same time it may be surrounded by different external stimuli, such as sound (e.g. music) or images (e.g. people walking by). It can also be affected by body-sensational experiences such as
pains and itches. These represent a continuous informational flux. The "Self" is also characterized by various internal states, which represent informational states, such as, (a) knowledge, memories,
conceived ideas, streams of thought, plans etc, (b) feelings, (c) errors-confidence.
The "Self" may or may not be aware of these pieces of information.
For instance, concerning actions, the "Self" could understand the meaning of words that it is reading, and therefore could understand that it is reading, but it may have not realized a random motion
that it performed at the same time. Similarly, it may have not been hearing the music playing while reading, or not paying attention to people walking by. If the "Self" becomes aware of a piece of
information then, the latter is termed "content of consciousness". The process by which information becomes "content of consiouscness" is called "conscious access". A criterion to assess if a piece
of information is or is not conscious, is the ability to report it. The "Self" can report something only if it is aware of it. "Conscious report" refers to the process by which a consious content can
be described verbally or by other ways.
Several theorists had proposed the idea that a stimulus obtains
conscious access when its intensity surpasses a specific threshold (limen in Latin). Based on this, stimulii are distinguished in "subliminal" and "supraliminal". The authors of the
study mention that there is significant scientific proof supporting this idea. Incoming information will either fade away or will be accumulated when similar inputs are received from different
networks and will be amplified through a process of "global ignition", which refers to the massive activation of various brain areas. This "ignition" will grant "conscious access".
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