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[newsviews] SCR: Review of Essential Sources in the Scientific Study of Consciousness, Combs

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    ================================== SCIENCE & CONSCIOUSNESS REVIEW SCI-CON.ORG NEWSLETTER ================================== April 2, 2005 ARTICLES IN THIS
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      ==================================
      SCIENCE & CONSCIOUSNESS REVIEW
      SCI-CON.ORG NEWSLETTER
      ==================================

      April 2, 2005

      ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE
      ==================================
      1. SCR Feature: "Review of Essential Sources in the Study of
      Consciousness", Combs
      2. Two neural correlates of consciousness
      3. Psychobiology of Altered States of Consciousness
      4. The Rubber Hand Illusion Revisited
      5. Sustained Inattentional Blindness and the Capture of Awareness
      6. A general mechanism for decision-making in the human brain?
      7. fMRI reveals large-scale network activation in minimally conscious
      patients
      8. Microstimulation of the superior colliculus focuses attention without
      moving the eyes
      9. Examination of right-hemisphere hypothesis in lateralization of emotion
      10. Functional MRI changes before and after onset of reported emotions
      11. Journal: JCS Feb 2005, Vol. 12 No. 2
      12. Journal: Experimental Psychology, Special Issue
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      1. SCR Feature - Review of Essential Sources in the Study of Consciousness
      by Allan Combs
      ************************
      This volume, by Baars, Banks, Newman, is easily the cornerstone of a
      professional library on the scientific study of consciousness. In it are
      found no less than 68 articles, both theoretical pieces and research
      reports, that represent seminal contributions as well as contemporary
      offerings to this burgeoning field.

      Read More:
      http://www.sci-con.org/reviews/20050302.html
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      2. Two neural correlates of consciousness
      Ned Block
      ************************
      Neuroscientists continue to search for the neural correlate of
      consciousness (NCC). In this article, I argue that a framework in which
      there are at least two distinct NCCs is increasingly making more sense
      of empirical results than one in which there is a single NCC. I outline
      the distinction between phenomenal NCC and access NCC, and show how they
      can be distinguished by experimental approaches, in particular
      signal-detection theory approaches. Recent findings in cognitive
      neuroscience provide an empirical case for two different NCCs.

      Read More: http://tinyurl.com/6tm93 [ScienceDirect]
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      ************************
      3. Psychobiology of Altered States of Consciousness
      Dieter Vaitl et al.
      University of Giessen, Germany
      ************************
      The article reviews the current knowledge regarding altered states of
      consciousness (ASC) (a) occurring spontaneously, (b) evoked by physical
      and physiological stimulation, (c) induced by psychological means, and
      (d) caused by diseases. The emphasis is laid on psychological and
      neurobiological approaches. The phenomenological analysis of the
      multiple ASC resulted in 4 dimensions by which they can be
      characterized: activation, awareness span, self-awareness, and sensory
      dynamics. The neurophysiological approach revealed that the different
      states of consciousness are mainly brought about by a compromised brain
      structure, transient changes in brain dynamics (disconnectivity), and
      neurochemical and metabolic processes. Besides these severe alterations,
      environmental stimuli, mental practices, and techniques of self-control
      can also temporarily alter brain functioning and conscious experience.

      Read More: http://tinyurl.com/4qg6h [ScienceDirect]
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      4. The Rubber Hand Illusion Revisited
      Manos Tsakiris; Patrick Haggard
      ************************
      Watching a rubber hand being stroked, while one's own unseen hand is
      synchronously stroked, may cause the rubber hand to be attributed to
      one's own body, to "feel like it's my hand." A behavioral measure of the
      rubber hand illusion (RHI) is a drift of the perceived position of one's
      own hand toward the rubber hand. The authors investigated (a) the
      influence of general body scheme representations on the RHI in
      Experiments 1 and 2 and (b) the necessary conditions of visuotactile
      stimulation underlying the RHI in Experiments 3 and 4. Overall, the
      results suggest that at the level of the process underlying the build up
      of the RHI, bottom-up processes of visuotactile correlation drive the
      illusion as a necessary, but not sufficient, condition. Conversely, at
      the level of the phenomenological content, the illusion is modulated by
      top-down influences originating from the representation of one's own body.

      Read More: http://tinyurl.com/65ayh [PsycInfo]
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      ************************
      5. Sustained Inattentional Blindness and the Capture of Awareness.
      Steven B. Most; Brian J. Scholl; Erin R. Clifford; Daniel J. Simmons
      ************************
      This article reports a theoretical and experimental attempt to relate
      and contrast 2 traditionally separate research programs: inattentional
      blindness and attention capture. Inattentional blindness refers to
      failures to notice unexpected objects and events when attention is
      otherwise engaged. Attention capture research has traditionally used
      implicit indices (e.g., response times) to investigate automatic shifts
      of attention. Because attention capture usually measures performance
      whereas inattentional blindness measures awareness, the 2 fields have
      existed side by side with no shared theoretical framework. Here, the
      authors propose a theoretical unification, adapting several important
      effects from the attention capture literature to the context of
      sustained inattentional blindness. Although some stimulus properties can
      influence noticing of unexpected objects, the most influential factor
      affecting noticing is a person's own attentional goals. The authors
      conclude that many--but not all--aspects of attention capture apply to
      inattentional blindness but that these 2 classes of phenomena remain
      importantly distinct.

      Read More: http://tinyurl.com/4w35r [PsycInfo]
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      6. A general mechanism for decision-making in the human brain?
      Alan E. Rorie and William T. Newsome
      ************************
      A new fMRI study by Heekeren and colleagues suggests that left
      dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) contains a region that integrates
      sensory evidence supporting perceptual decisions. DLPFC meets two
      criteria posited by Heekeren et al. for such a region: (1) its activity
      is correlated in time with the output of sensory areas of the visual
      cortex measured simultaneously, and (2) as expected of an integrator,
      its activity is greater on trials for which the sensory evidence is
      substantial than on trials for which the sensory evidence is weak.
      Complementary experiments in humans and monkeys now offer a realistic
      hope of elucidating decision-making networks in the primate brain.

      Read More: http://tinyurl.com/5up45 [ScienceDirect]
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      ************************
      7. fMRI reveals large-scale network activation in minimally conscious
      patients
      N. D. Schiff, D. Rodriguez-Moreno
      Cornell University
      ************************
      Background: The minimally conscious state (MCS) resulting from severe
      brain damage refers to a subset of patients who demonstrate unequivocal,
      but intermittent, behavioral evidence of awareness of self or their
      environment. Although clinical examination may suggest residual
      cognitive function, neurobiological correlates of putative cognition in
      MCS have not been demonstrated.

      Objective: To test the hypothesis that MCS patients retain active
      cerebral networks that underlie cognitive function even though command
      following and communication abilities are inconsistent.

      Methods: fMRI was employed to investigate cortical responses to passive
      language and tactile stimulation in two male adults with severe brain
      injuries leading to MCS and in seven healthy volunteers.

      Results: In the case of the patient language-related tasks, auditory
      stimulation with personalized narratives elicited cortical activity in
      the superior and middle temporal gyrus. The healthy volunteers imaged
      during comparable passive language stimulation demonstrated responses
      similar to the patients' responses. However, when the narratives were
      presented as a time-reversed signal, and therefore without linguistic
      content, the MCS patients demonstrated markedly reduced responses as
      compared with volunteer subjects, suggesting reduced engagement for
      "linguistically" meaningless stimuli.

      Conclusions: The first fMRI maps of cortical activity associated with
      language processing and tactile stimulation of patients in the minimally
      conscious state (MCS) are presented. These findings of active cortical
      networks that serve language functions suggest that some MCS patients
      may retain widely distributed cortical systems with potential for
      cognitive and sensory function despite their inability to follow simple
      instructions or communicate reliably.

      Read More: http://www.neurology.org/cgi/content/abstract/64/3/514
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      ************************
      8. Microstimulation of the superior colliculus focuses attention without
      moving the eyes
      James R. Muller; Marios G. Philiastides; William T. Newsome
      Stanford University
      ************************
      The superior colliculus (SC) is part of a network of brain areas that
      directs saccadic eye movements, overtly shifting both gaze and attention
      from position to position, in space. Here, we seek direct evidence that
      the SC also contributes to the control of covert spatial attention, a
      process that focuses attention on a region of space different from the
      point of gaze. While requiring monkeys to keep their gaze fixed, we
      tested whether microstimulation of a specific location in the SC spatial
      map would enhance visual performance at the corresponding region of
      space, a diagnostic measure of covert attention. We find that
      microstimulation improves performance in a spatially selective manner:
      thresholds decrease at the location in visual space represented by the
      stimulated SC site, but not at a control location in the opposite
      hemifield. Our data provide direct evidence that the SC contributes to
      the control of covert spatial attention.

      Read More: http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/102/3/524?etoc
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      ************************
      9. Examination of right-hemisphere hypothesis in lateralization of emotion
      Smith et al.
      University of Waterloo
      ************************
      The Right-Hemisphere Hypothesis posits that emotional stimuli are
      perceived more efficiently by the right hemisphere than by the left
      hemisphere. The current research examines this hypothesis by examining
      hemispheric asymmetries for the conscious and unconscious perception of
      emotional stimuli. Negative, positive, and neutral words were presented
      for 17 ms to one visual field or the other. Conscious perception was
      measured by using a subjective report-of-awareness measure reported by
      participants on each trial. Unconscious perception was measured using an
      exclusion task,~] a form of word-stem-completion task. Consistent with
      previous research, there was a right-hemisphere advantage for the
      conscious perception of negative information. As in previous studies,
      this advantage for conscious perception occurred at the expense of
      unconscious perception. Specifically, there was a right-hemisphere
      inferiority for the unconscious perception of negative information.
      Contrary to the predictions of the Right-Hemisphere Hypothesis, there
      were no hemispheric asymmetries for the perception of positive emotional
      information, thus suggesting that the Right-Hemisphere Hypothesis may
      not be applicable to all behavioral studies.

      Read More: http://tinyurl.com/6kbbd [Science Direct]
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      ************************
      10. Functional MRI changes before and after onset of reported emotions
      Isak Prohovnik; Pawel Skudlarski; Robert K. Fulbright
      Yale University School of Medicine
      ************************
      The social nature of emotion is evident in the importance of facial and
      vocal displays in emotion-related behavior. This is the first
      brain-imaging study to use simulated face-to-face social interactions to
      evoke emotional responses and to compare valence-related activations
      before and after subjective onset of emotional response. Videotapes were
      prepared with actresses who described happy or unhappy experiences.
      Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) at 1.5 T was used to
      acquire BOLD images in 21 healthy young adults before, after, and during
      viewing of the happy and sad tapes. Subjects pushed buttons to indicate
      the onset of subjective emotional responses. Group data were analyzed by
      a bootstrap randomization method after anatomical normalization.
      Significant activation was detected in frontal and sensory regions prior
      to the reported onset of emotional response, and this activity showed a
      marked decrease after the report of conscious emotional experience.
      Significant differences between happy and sad conditions were evident in
      multiple brain regions both before and after the reported onset of
      emotional response, including the middle and superior temporal gyri, the
      middle frontal gyrus, the caudate, and the hippocampus. Socially
      relevant emotional stimulation is feasible and evokes robust responses.
      The neural correlates of the evoked emotion are multiple, widely
      distributed, and inclusive of areas important in many cognitive tasks.
      Positive and negative emotional responses include activation of common
      and distinctive brain regions.

      Read More: http://tinyurl.com/4jhp4 [ScienceDirect]
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      ************************
      11. Journal: JCS Feb 2005, Vol. 12 No. 2
      ************************
      Refereed Papers
      ============
      * The HOT Theory of Consciousness: Between a Rock and a Hard Place?
      Rocco J. Gennaro

      * First-Person Experiments
      Carl Ginsburg

      * Edmund Husserl: The Lectures on Transcendental Logic
      Albert A. Johnstone & Maxine Sheets-Johnstone

      * Repairing Plato's Lifeboat with Ockham's Razor: The Important Function
      of Research in Anomalies for Mainstream Science
      Harald Walach & Stefan Schmidt

      Conference Report
      ==============
      * Report From ICP-2004 in Beijing
      Bill Faw

      Review Articles
      ===========
      * Roads to Reality: Penrose and Wolfram Compared
      J. Andrew Ross

      * Goodbye to Qualia and All That
      David Hodgson

      Book Reviews
      ==========
      * Christopher D. Frith and Daniel M. Wolpert (ed.) The Neuroscience of
      Social Interaction
      reviewed by Peter J. Snow

      * K. Ramakrishna Rao, Consciousness Studies: Cross-Cultural Perspectives,
      reviewed by Daniel Simmons

      * Richard L Gregory (ed.) The Oxford Companion to the Mind
      reviewed by Chris Nunn

      * Tim Bliss, Graham Collingridge & Richard Morris (ed.) Long-Term
      Potentiation
      reviewed by Alywn Scott

      Read More: http://www.ingenta.com/journals/browse/imp/jcs
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      ************************
      12. Journal: Experimental Psychology, Special Issue
      ************************

      * Special Issue: Working Memory and Cognition.
      Schräger, Erich; Mecklinger, Axel; Pollmann, Stefan

      * Input to Verbal Working Memory: Preattentive Construction of the
      Central Speech Representation.
      Jacobsen, Thomas; Schröger, Erich

      * The Memory of Noise.
      Kaernbach, Christian

      * Bottom-Up Influences on Working Memory: Behavioral and
      Electrophysiological Distraction Varies with Distractor Strength.
      Berti, Stefan; Roeber, Urte; Schröger, Erich

      * Motor Affordance and its Role for Visual Working Memory: Evidence from
      fMRI studies.
      Mecklinger, Axel; Gruenewald, Christin; Weiskopf, Nikolaus; Doeller,
      Christian F.

      * Anterior Prefrontal Cortex Contributions to Attention Control.
      Pollmann, Stefan

      * "Capacity" Reconsidered: Interindividual Differences in Language
      Comprehension and Individual Alpha Frequency.
      Bornkessel, Ina D.; Fieb ach, Christian J.; Friederici, Angela D.;
      Schlesewsky, Matthias

      * Determining Inhibition: Individual Differences in the "Lexicon
      Context" Trade-Off During Lexical Ambiguity Resolution in Working Memory.
      Wagner, Susanne; Gunter, Thomas C.

      * The Dynamics of Operations in Visual Memory: A Review and New Evidence
      for Oscillatory Priming.
      Conci, Markus; Elliott, Mark A.; Müller, Hermann J.; Wendt, Juliane;
      Becker, Cordula

      * Phase-Locking and Amplitude Modulations of EEG Alpha: Two Measures
      Reflect Different Cognitive Processes in a Working Memory Task.
      Herrmann, Christoph S.; Sensowski, Daniel; Röttger, Stefan

      Read More:
      http://www.psycinfo.com/psycarticles/index.cfm?fuseaction=toc&jrn=zea&vol=51&iss=4
      _________________________________________________________________________
      _________________________________________________________________________
      Science and Consciousness Review <http://www.sci-con.org>


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