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SCR: Review of: Radiant Cool: A Novel Theory of Consciousness, Combs

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  • Thomas Zoëga Ramsøy
    ================================== SCIENCE & CONSCIOUSNESS REVIEW SCI-CON.ORG NEWSLETTER ================================== July 31, 2005 ARTICLES IN THIS
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 31, 2005
      ==================================
      SCIENCE & CONSCIOUSNESS REVIEW
      SCI-CON.ORG NEWSLETTER
      ==================================

      July 31, 2005

      ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE
      ==================================
      1. SCR Feature: Review of: Radiant Cool: A Novel Theory of
      Consciousness, Combs
      2. News - An electroencephalographic fingerprint of human sleep
      3. News - Conscious intention and motor cognition
      4. News - Imaging the visual autokinetic illusion with fMRI
      5. News - Interactions between binocular rivalry and Gestalt formation
      6. News - Neuron Network Goes Awry, and Brain Becomes an IPod
      7. News - The wagon-wheel illusion in continuous light
      8. News - Change in perfusion, hallucinations and fluctuations in
      consciousness in dementia with Lewy bodies
      9. News - "If it's in your mind, it's in your knowledge"
      10. News - Making sense of another mind
      11. News - The neural bases of amusement and sadness
      12. News - Is Consciousness a Gradual Phenomenon?
      13. Journal - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences
      14. Journal - Journal of Consciousness Studies
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      _________________________________________________________________________

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      1. SCR Feature - Review of: Radiant Cool: A Novel Theory of
      Consciousness.By Dan Lloyd
      by Allan Combs
      ************************
      Philosopher Dan Lloyd has given us a unique book: a novel about the
      brain, the mind, and consciousness. And, the title and jacket cover
      suggest that it is the vehicle for a new theory for understanding
      consciousness and the brain.

      Read More: http://www.sci-con.org/reviews/20050702.html
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      2. News - An electroencephalographic fingerprint of human sleep
      Luigi De Gennaroa, Michele Ferraraa, Fabrizio Vecchioc, Giuseppe Curcioa
      and Mario Bertini
      ************************
      Homeostatic and circadian processes are basic mechanisms of human sleep
      which challenge the common knowledge of large individual variations in
      sleep need or differences in circadian types. However, since sleep
      research has mostly focused on group measures, an approach which
      emphasizes the similarities between subjects, the biological foundations
      of the individual differences in normal sleep are still poorly
      understood. In the present work, we assessed individual differences in a
      range of EEG frequencies including sigma activity during non-REM sleep
      (8.0–15.5 Hz range) in a group of 10 subjects who had participated in
      a slow-wave sleep (SWS) deprivation study. We showed that, like a
      “fingerprint�, a particular topographic distribution of the
      electroencephalogram (EEG) power along the antero-posterior cortical
      axis distinguishes each individual during non-REM sleep. This individual
      EEG-trait is substantially invariant across six consecutive nights
      characterized by large experimentally induced changes of sleep
      architecture. One possible hypothesis is that these EEG invariances can
      be related to individual differences in genetically determined
      functional brain anatomy, rather than to sleep-dependent mechanisms

      Read More: http://tinyurl.com/8owry [NeuroImage]
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      3. News - Conscious intention and motor cognition
      Patrick Haggard
      ************************
      The subjective experience of conscious intention is a key component of
      our mental life. Philosophers studying ‘conscious free will’ have
      discussed whether conscious intentions could cause actions, but modern
      neuroscience rejects this idea of mind–body causation. Instead, recent
      findings suggest that the conscious experience of intending to act
      arises from preparation for action in frontal and parietal brain areas.
      Intentional actions also involve a strong sense of agency, a sense of
      controlling events in the external world. Both intention and agency
      result from the brain processes for predictive motor control, not merely
      from retrospective inference.


      Full article:
      http://www.psychologie.uni-oldenburg.de/hans.colonius/personal%20webpage/courses/seminare/haggard_TCogSci_05.pdf
      [PDF document]

      See also:
      The illusion of free will, book review
      http://www.sci-con.org/reviews/20020508.html

      IDA on will: it's no illusion, Franklin
      http://www.sci-con.org/editorials/200209.html

      Free will and free won't
      http://skeptically.org/spiritualism/id11.html

      Free will --- Wikipedia
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will

      Free will and determinism --- a philosophical debate in psychology
      http://web.isp.cz/jcrane/IB/Free_will_determism.pdf [PDF document]

      Anomalous control --- when free will is not conscious, Haggard et al.
      http://www.ucl.ac.uk/hypnosis/articles/Haggard2004.pdf [PDF document]

      Phenomenology and the feeling of doing, Bayne
      http://www.phil.mq.edu.au/staff/tbayne/Wegner.pdf [PDF document]

      The feeling of doing: deconstructing the phenomenology of agency, Bayne
      & Levy
      http://www.phil.mq.edu.au/staff/tbayne/deconstructing.pdf [PDF document]

      The mind's best trick, Wegener
      http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/~wegner/pdfs/trick.pdf [PDF document]

      Voluntary action and conscious awareness, Haggard et al.
      http://nasw.org/users/jerihelen/NNpaper.pdf [PDF document]

      Causality and the perception of time, Eagleman & Holcombe
      http://nba.uth.tmc.edu/homepage/eagleman/papers/EaglemanHolcombeTICS2002.pdf
      [PDF document]

      Precis of the illusion of conscious will, Wegener
      http://www.bbsonline.org/Preprints/Wegner-05012003/Referees/Wegner.pdf
      [PDF document]

      Free will starts...NOW, Zimmer
      http://www.corante.com/loom/archives/000784.html

      Free will, Psychcentral
      http://psychcentral.com/psypsych/Free_will

      Read More: http://tinyurl.com/cfuzh [ScienceDirect]
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      ************************
      4. News - Imaging the visual autokinetic illusion with fMRI
      Eva Riedela,Thomas Stephana, Angela Deutschländera, Roger Kallaa,
      Martin Wiesmannb, Marianne Dieterichc and Thomas Brandta
      ************************
      During fixation of a stationary, dim light-emitting diode (LED) in
      complete darkness, a subtle, apparent motion is perceived which is
      called autokinesis. This autokinetic illusion increases with increasing
      fixation time. Eleven healthy subjects were examined by fMRI while
      fixating an LED in darkness for 35 s. BOLD signal changes of the first
      and the second half of the fixation period were compared. While the
      stimulus was the same for both periods, perception differed in that
      autokinesis was more pronounced in the second half. This second half of
      the period was associated with bilateral activations in the
      motion-sensitive middle occipito-temporal area known as MT/V5. Our
      finding suggests that area MT/V5 is involved in the mediation of autokinesis

      Read More: http://tinyurl.com/7tjqb [ScienceDirect]
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      5. News - Interactions between binocular rivalry and Gestalt formation
      Charles M.M. de Weert, Peter R. Snoeren and Arno Koning
      ************************

      A question raised a long time ago in binocular rivalry research is
      whether the phenomenon of binocular rivalry is purely determined by
      local stimulus properties or that global stimulus properties also play a
      role. More specifically: do coherent features in a stimulus influence
      rivalrous behavior? After decades of underexposure of the subject,
      recently this question seemed to be answered in the affirmative. This
      paper presents additional evidence for an influence of coherent
      features. In an experiment in which eye movements cannot bias
      conclusions it is demonstrated that Gestalt formation influences
      binocular rivalry positively, i.e., stronger Gestalts have longer total
      dominance times. Gestalt formation appears to intervene in the states of
      dominance (“what�), not directly in the dominance durations
      (“how long�). This generates questions about the nature of
      interactions between binocular rivalry and Gestalt formation. Gestalt
      formation seems to be fed by signals that are generated after binocular
      convergence and only leaves its mark on binocular rivalry by feedback to
      monocular channels, a conclusion which has been drawn before by Alais
      and Blake [Alais, D., & Blake, R. (1998). Interaction between global
      motion and local binocular rivalry. Vision research 38, 637–644].

      Read More: http://tinyurl.com/ammt9 [ScienceDirect]


      Shortened version freely available:
      http://www.nbu.bg/cogs/events/2004/materials/lier_weert/Lecture5b.pdf
      [PDF document]

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      ************************
      6. News - Neuron Network Goes Awry, and Brain Becomes an IPod
      Carl Zimmer
      ************************
      Seven years ago Reginald King was lying in a hospital bed recovering
      from bypass surgery when he first heard the music.

      It began with a pop tune, and others followed. Mr. King heard everything
      from cabaret songs to Christmas carols. "I asked the nurses if they
      could hear the music, and they said no," said Mr. King, a retired sales
      manager in Cardiff, Wales.

      "I got so frustrated," he said. "They didn't know what I was talking
      about and said it must be something wrong with my head. And it's been
      like that ever since."

      Each day, the music returns. "They're all songs I've heard during my
      lifetime," said Mr. King, 83. "One would come on, and then it would run
      into another one, and that's how it goes on in my head. It's driving me
      bonkers, to be quite honest."

      Last year, Mr. King was referred to Dr. Victor Aziz, a psychiatrist at
      St. Cadoc's Hospital in Wales. Dr. Aziz explained to him that there was
      a name for his experience: musical hallucinations.

      Dr. Aziz belongs to a small circle of psychiatrists and neurologists who
      are investigating this condition. They suspect that the hallucinations
      experienced by Mr. King and others are a result of malfunctioning brain
      networks that normally allow us to perceive music

      They also suspect that many cases of musical hallucinations go undiagnosed.

      "You just need to look for it," Dr. Aziz said. And based on his studies
      of the hallucinations, he suspects that in the next few decades, they
      will be far more common.

      Musical hallucinations were invading people's minds long before they
      were recognized as a medical condition. "Plenty of musical composers
      have had musical hallucinations," Dr. Aziz said.

      Toward the end of his life, for instance, Robert Schumann wrote down the
      music he hallucinated; legend has it that he said he was taking
      dictation from Schubert's ghost.

      While doctors have known about musical hallucinations for over a
      century, they have rarely studied it systematically. That has changed in
      recent years. In the July issue of the journal Psychopathology, Dr. Aziz
      and his colleague Dr. Nick Warner will publish an analysis of 30 cases
      of musical hallucination they have seen over 15 years in South Wales. It
      is the largest case-series ever published for musical hallucinations.

      "We were trying to collect as much information about their day-to-day
      lives as we could," Dr. Aziz said. "We were asking a lot of the
      questions that weren't answered in previous research. What do they hear,
      for example? Is it nearby or is it at a long distance?"

      Dr. Aziz and Dr. Warner found that in two-thirds of the cases, musical
      hallucinations were the only mental disturbance experienced by the
      patients. A third were deaf or hard of hearing. Women tended to suffer
      musical hallucinations more than men, and the average patient was 78
      years old.

      Mr. King's experience was typical for people experiencing musical
      hallucinations. Patients reported hearing a wide variety of songs, among
      them "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" and "Three Blind Mice."

      In two-thirds of the cases, the music was religious; six people
      reporting hearing the hymn "Abide With Me."

      Dr. Aziz believes that people tend to hear songs they have heard
      repeatedly or that are emotionally significant to them. "There is a
      meaning behind these things," he said.

      His study also shows that these hallucinations are different from the
      auditory hallucinations of people with schizophrenia. Such people often
      hear inner voices. Patients like Mr. King hear only music.

      The results support recent work by neuroscientists indicating that our
      brains use special networks of neurons to perceive music. When sounds
      first enter the brain, they activate a region near the ears called the
      primary auditory cortex that starts processing sounds at their most
      basic level. The auditory cortex then passes on signals of its own to
      other regions, which can recognize more complex features of music, like
      rhythm, key changes and melody.

      Neuroscientists have been able to identify some of these regions with
      brain scans, and to compare the way people respond to musical and
      nonmusical sounds.

      Only a handful of brain scans have been made of people with musical
      hallucinations. Dr. Tim Griffiths, a neurologist at the University of
      Newcastle Upon Tyne in England, performed one of these studies on six
      elderly patients who developed musical hallucinations after becoming
      partly deaf.

      Dr. Griffiths used a scanning technique known as PET, which involves
      injecting radioactive markers into the bloodstream. Each time he scanned
      his subjects' brains, he asked them whether they had experienced musical
      hallucinations. If they had, he asked them to rate the intensity on a
      scale from one to seven.

      Dr. Griffiths discovered a network of regions in the brain that became
      more active as the hallucinations became more intense. "What strikes me
      is that you see a very similar pattern in normal people who are
      listening to music," he said.

      The main difference is that musical hallucinations don't activate the
      primary auditory cortex, the first stop for sound in the brain. When Dr.
      Griffith's subjects hallucinated, they used only the parts of the brain
      that are responsible for turning simple sounds into complex music.

      These music-processing regions may be continually looking for signals in
      the brain that they can interpret, Dr. Griffiths suggested. When no
      sound is coming from the ears, the brain may still generate occasional,
      random impulses that the music-processing regions interpret as sound.
      They then try to match these impulses to memories of music, turning a
      few notes into a familiar melody.

      For most people, these spontaneous signals may produce nothing more than
      a song that is hard to get out of the head. But the constant stream of
      information coming in from the ears suppresses the false music.

      Dr. Griffith proposes that deafness cuts off this information stream.
      And in a few deaf people the music-seeking circuits go into overdrive.
      They hear music all the time, and not just the vague murmurs of a stuck
      tune. It becomes as real as any normal perception.

      "What we're seeing is an amplification of a normal mechanism that's in
      everyone," Dr. Griffiths said.

      It is also possible for people who are not deaf to experience musical
      hallucinations. Epileptic seizures, certain medications and Lyme disease
      are a few of the factors that may set them off.

      Dr. Aziz also noted that two-thirds of his subjects were living alone,
      and thus were not getting much stimulation. One patient experienced
      fewer musical hallucinations when Dr. Aziz had her put in a nursing
      home, he said, "because then she was talking to people, she was active."

      There is no standard procedure for treating musical hallucinations. Some
      doctors try antipsychotic drugs, and some use cognitive behavioral
      therapy to help patients understand what's going on in their brains.
      "Sometimes simple things can be the cure," Dr. Aziz said. "Turning on
      the radio may be more important than giving medication."

      Despite these treatments, many people with musical hallucinations find
      little relief. "I'm just living with it," Mr. King said. "I wish there
      was something I could do.

      "I do silly things like talking to myself, hoping that when I stop
      talking, the tune will stop. But it doesn't work that way."

      More studies may help researchers find new treatments. Prof. Diana
      Deutsch, a psychologist at the University of California, San Diego, is
      planning a new scanning study of musical hallucination on people who are
      not deaf, using functional M.R.I. Unlike the PET scanning used by Dr.
      Griffiths, functional M.R.I. is powerful enough to catch
      second-by-second changes in brain activity.

      "It might be awhile before we have results, but it's certainly something
      I'm very excited about," Dr. Deutsch said. "We'll see where it takes us."

      Dr. Aziz also believes that it is necessary to get a better sense of how
      many people hear musical hallucinations. Like Mr. King, many people have
      had their experiences dismissed by doctors.

      Dr. Aziz said that ever since he began presenting his results at medical
      conferences last year, a growing number of patients have been referred
      to him.

      "In 15 years I got 30 patients," he said, "and in less than a year I've
      had 5. It just tells you people are more aware of it."

      Dr. Aziz suspects that musical hallucinations will become more common in
      the future. People today are awash in music from radios, televisions,
      elevators and supermarkets. It is possible that the pervasiveness of
      music may lead to more hallucinations. The types of hallucinations may
      also change as people experience different kinds of songs.

      "We have speculated that people will hear more pop and classical music
      than they do now," said Dr. Aziz. "I hope I live long enough to find out
      myself in 20 years' time."

      *Correction: *July 16, 2005, Saturday:
      An article in Science Times on Tuesday about new findings on musical
      hallucinations included an incorrect identification from a researcher
      for the journal in which the study is to appear. The research, led by
      Dr. Victor Aziz of St. Cadoc’s Hospital in Wales, is to be published
      in The International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, not the journal
      Psychopathology.


      Read More: http://tinyurl.com/angud [NYTimes]
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      7. News - The wagon-wheel illusion in continuous light
      Tim Andrewsa,and Dale Purves
      ************************
      The fact that a perceptual experience akin to the familiar wagon-wheel
      illusion in movies and on TV can occur in the absence of stroboscopic
      presentation is intriguing because of its relevance to visuo-temporal
      parsing. The wagon-wheel effect in continuous light has also been the
      source of considerable misunderstanding and dispute, as is apparent in a
      series of recent papers. Here we review this potentially confusing
      evidence and suggest how it should be interpreted.

      Read More: http://tinyurl.com/d8xy6 [ScienceDirect]

      Full article:
      http://www.dur.ac.uk/tim.andrews/tics_2005.pdf [PDF document]

      *See also:
      The Wagon-Wheel Illusion Demo
      http://lite.bu.edu/lite1/perception/anamorphic/wade.html

      The wagon wheel illusion in movies and reality, Purves et al
      http://psychology.dur.ac.uk/staff/pubs/TJA-1996b.pdf [PDF document]

      Illusory percepts of moving patterns due to discrete temporal sampling,
      Simpson et al.
      http://www.gcal.ac.uk/sls/Vision/pdfs/SimpsonShahaniManahilovNSL.pdf
      [PDF document]

      Is perception discrete or continuous? Van Rullen & Koch
      http://www.klab.caltech.edu/~rufin/OriginalPapers/DiscretePerception.pdf
      [PDF document]

      The peripheral drift illusion, Ramsøy
      http://www.sci-con.org/articles/20040401.html
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      ************************
      8. News - Change in perfusion, hallucinations and fluctuations in
      consciousness in dementia with Lewy bodies
      John T. O'Briena, Michael J. Firbanka,Urs P. Mosimanna, David J. Burnb
      and Ian G. McKeitha

      ************************
      Fluctuations in consciousness and visual hallucinations are common
      neuropsychiatric features of dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson's
      disease dementia. To investigate potential neural correlates, we
      compared how changes in brain perfusion over a 1-year period were
      related to changes in the severity of these key clinical features. We
      recruited 29 subjects with either Parkinson's disease with dementia (15
      subjects) or dementia with Lewy bodies (14 subjects). Cerebral perfusion
      was measured using HMPAO SPECT at baseline, and repeated 1 year later.
      The presence of hallucinations (Neuropsychiatric Inventory), severity of
      fluctuations in consciousness (fluctuation assessment scale) and
      cognitive ability (CAMCOG) were assessed at both time points. After
      controlling for changes in cognitive ability and effect of
      cholinesterase medication, we found a significant correlation between an
      increase in perfusion in midline posterior cingulate and decrease in
      hallucination severity. There was also a significant correlation between
      increased fluctuations of consciousness and increased thalamic and
      decreased inferior occipital perfusion. We have identified important
      neural correlates of key clinical features in Lewy body dementia and
      postulate that the associations can be understood through the influence
      of the cholinergic system on attention.

      Read More: http://tinyurl.com/8zr7w [ScienceDirect]
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      ************************
      9. News - "If it's in your mind, it's in your knowledge": Children's
      developing anatomy of identity
      Kathleen H. Corriveau, Elisabeth S. Pasquini and Paul L. Harris
      ************************
      Recent work has investigated children's developing understanding of the
      anatomical locus of identity. In two studies, we extend this work by
      exploring the role of the mind as opposed to the brain in children's
      conceptualization of identity. In Experiment 1, an analysis of natural
      language indicated that adults use the term mind more frequently than
      the term brain with reference to identity-related mental processes.
      Children's output displayed a similar bias. In Experiment 2, we compared
      the judgments of 5- and 7-year-old children to those displayed by
      adults. Participants heard stories in which a magical transformation
      resulted in either a creature with a mismatch between brain and body or
      a creature with a mismatch between mind and body. Children were more
      accurate in recognizing the enduring identity of this transformed
      creature when the transformation resulted in a mismatch between mind and
      body as compared to brain and body.

      Read More: http://tinyurl.com/bytb8 [ScienceDirect]
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      ************************
      10. News - Making sense of another mind: The role of the right
      temporo-parietal junction
      Rebecca Saxea,and Anna Wexlera

      ************************
      Human adults conceive of one another as beings with minds, and attribute
      to one another mental states like perceptions, desires and beliefs. That
      is, we understand other people using a ‘Theory of Mind’. The current
      study investigated the contributions of four brain regions to Theory of
      Mind reasoning. The right temporo-parietal junction (RTPJ) was recruited
      selectively for the attribution of mental states, and not for other
      socially relevant facts about a person, and the response of the RTPJ was
      modulated by the congruence or incongruence of multiple relevant facts
      about the target's mind. None of the other three brain regions commonly
      implicated in Theory of Mind reasoning – the left temporo-parietal
      junction (LTPJ), posterior cingulate (PC) and medial prefrontal cortex
      (MPFC) – showed an equally selective profile of response. The
      implications of these results for an alternative theory of reasoning
      about other minds – Simulation Theory – are discussed.

      Read More: http://tinyurl.com/beljr [ScienceDirect]

      Freely available preprint from author's homepage
      http://webscript.princeton.edu/~psych/psychology/related/socneuconf/pdf/Saxe&Wexler_IP.pdf
      [PDF document]
      _________________________________________________________________________
      _________________________________________________________________________

      ************************
      11. News - The neural bases of amusement and sadness: A comparison of
      block contrast and subject-specific emotion intensity regression approaches
      Philippe R. Goldina,Cendri A.C. Hutchersona, Kevin N. Ochsnerb, Gary H.
      Gloverc, John D.E. Gabrielia and James J. Gross
      ************************
      Neuroimaging studies have made substantial progress in elucidating the
      neural bases of emotion. However, few studies to date have directly
      addressed the subject-specific, time-varying nature of emotional
      responding. In the present study, we employed functional magnetic
      resonance imaging to examine the neural bases of two common
      emotions–amusement and sadness–using both (a) a stimulus-based block
      contrast approach and (b) a subject-specific regression analysis using
      continuous ratings of emotional intensity. Thirteen women viewed a set
      of nine 2-min amusing, sad, or neutral film clips two times. During the
      first viewing, participants watched the film stimuli. During the second
      viewing, they made continuous ratings of the intensity of their own
      amusement and sadness during the first film viewing. For sad films, both
      block contrast and subject-specific regression approaches resulted in
      activations in medial prefrontal cortex, inferior frontal gyrus,
      superior temporal gyrus, precuneus, lingual gyrus, amygdala, and
      thalamus. For amusing films, the subject-specific regression analysis
      demonstrated significant activations not detected by the block contrast
      in medial, inferior frontal gyrus, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex,
      posterior cingulate, temporal lobes, hippocampus, thalamus, and caudate.
      These results suggest a relationship between emotion-specific temporal
      dynamics and the sensitivity of different data analytic methods for
      identifying emotion-related neural responses. These findings shed light
      on the neural bases of amusement and sadness, and highlight the value of
      using emotional film stimuli and subject-specific continuous emotion
      ratings to characterize the dynamic, time-varying components of
      emotional responses.

      Read More: http://tinyurl.com/9bxfp [ScienceDirect]

      Free from author homepage
      http://www-psych.stanford.edu/%7Epsyphy/Pdfs/Goldin2005Neuroimage_AmusementSadness.pdf
      [PDF document]
      _________________________________________________________________________
      _________________________________________________________________________

      ************************
      12. News - Is Consciousness a Gradual Phenomenon? Evidence for an
      All-or-None Bifurcation During the Attentional Blink
      Claire Sergent and Stanislas Dehaene
      ************************
      Several theories of the neural correlates of consciousness assume that
      there is a continuum of perception, associated with a gradual change in
      the intensity of brain activation.

      But some models, considering reverberation of neural activity as
      necessary for conscious perception, predict a sharp non-linear
      transition between unconscious and conscious processing. We asked
      participants to evaluate the visibility of target words on a continuous
      scale during the attentional blink, which is known to impede explicit
      reports. Participants used this continuous scale in an all-or-none
      fashion: Targets presented during the blink were either identified as
      well as targets presented outside the blink period or not detected at all.

      We suggest that a stochastic non-linear bifurcation in neural activity
      underlies the all-or-none perception observed during the attentional blink.

      Full article: http://www.fmri.org/pdfs/Sergent&Dehaene2004.pdf [PDF]

      Comment:
      It should be noted that developments in both philosophy and experimental
      psychology point out that perception CAN be a gradual phenomenon. For
      example, building upon William James' term "fringe" consciousness, Bruce
      Mangan (2001) distinguishes between non-sensory and sensory fringes.
      Non-sensory fringes are used for e.g. the feeling of familiarity and the
      tip-of-the-tongue" phenomena, while sensory fringes points to e.g.
      sensations around the threshold for conscious vision.

      From recent studies in experimental psychology, Ramsoy & Overgaard
      (2004) demonstrate that subjects, when explicitly told to focus on their
      experiences (instead of, say, their feeling of certainty about their
      judgement), and given the opportunity to report in a non-dichotomic way,
      that they readily and consistently report some threshold stimuli as
      being "vague" or "almost clear". This should at least indicate that
      neither non-sensory nor sensory perception is a dichotomic, either-or
      (i.e. conscious vs .unconscious) phenomenon.

      Are Sergent & Dehaene's findings invalid? At least two competing
      explanations can apply: 1) that the stochastic nonlinear bifurcation is
      valid for some phenomena (such as attentional blink) but not others
      (such as threshold vision), or 2) that the method applied by Sergent &
      Dehaene for reporting conscious experience is not appropriate. While
      these researchers are using a 5-point scale and asking the subjects to
      "evaluate the visibility of target words", it can be argued that these 5
      points do not reflect the subjects' perceptual awareness of the
      clearness of the stimuli. What, for example, would be the difference
      between point 2 and 3 on this scale? In Ramsoy & Overgaard, while using
      a 4 point scale, each step is explicit with reference to perceptual
      awareness (no experience --- glimpse --- almost clear experience ---
      clear experience), a scale that was developed by the subjects both in a
      pilot study. The subjects were also allowed to alter (add, alter delete)
      items on the scale as they pleased. However, for the study, the four
      item scale was chosen by all subjects. In this vein, it may be suggested
      that a non-explicated 5-point scale is insufficient and potentially
      misleading when one studies consciousness explicitly.

      It should also be noted that in an in prep. manuscript, Christensen et
      al are demonstrating that each item on a three-item scale (no experience
      --- glimpse --- clear experience); i.e. an altered scale from Ramsoy &
      Overgaard (2004), have significantly different neural correlates.
      Conscious vs. unconscious perception gives rise to activity in frontal,
      parietal, temporal and occipital areas coupled to large, bilateral
      thalamic activity. Fringe vs. unconscious perception gave activity in
      prefrontal and parietal activity, and to some extent, occipital and
      temporal activity (but no thalamic activity). Conscious vs. fringe gave
      significant signal in bilateral thalamus plus prefrontal and parietal
      areas. This work is now prepared for submission.

      Mangan (2001) - Sensation's Ghost. The Non-Sensory "Fringe" of
      Consciousness
      http://psyche.cs.monash.edu.au/v7/psyche-7-18-mangan.html

      Ramsoy & Overgaard (2004) - Introspection and subliminal perception
      http://ramsoy.dk/docs/Rams%F8y%20&%20Overgaard%20(2004)%20Introspection%20and%20subliminal%20perception.pdf

      _________________________________________________________________________
      _________________________________________________________________________

      ************************
      13. Journal - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences
      Volume 4 Number 2
      ************************
      Volume 4 Number 2 of Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences is now
      available on the SpringerLink web site at http://springerlink.metapress.com

      This issue contains:

      Introduction: Phenomenology of imagination p. 117
      James Morley
      http://springerlink.metapress.com/link.asp?id=V3J4V07L08623807

      On the development of Husserl's transcendental phenomenology of
      imagination and its use for interdisciplinary research p. 121
      Julia Jansen
      http://springerlink.metapress.com/link.asp?id=X35G42P25148R885

      Defining imagination: Sartre between Husserl and Janet p. 133
      Beata Stawarska
      http://springerlink.metapress.com/link.asp?id=H5G1014P387G8366

      On the function of weak phantasmata in perception: Phenomenological,
      psychological and neurological clues for the transcendental function of
      imagination in perception p. 155
      Dieter Lohmar
      http://springerlink.metapress.com/link.asp?id=V5787486N2730222

      Is there imaginary loudness? Reconsidering phenomenological method p. 169
      Daniel Schmicking
      http://springerlink.metapress.com/link.asp?id=T524154H77622T38

      Imagination after neurological losses of movement and sensation: The
      experience of spinal cord injury p. 183
      Jonathan Cole
      http://springerlink.metapress.com/link.asp?id=K4742370632X2704

      Hume and cognitive science: The current status of the controversy over
      abstract ideas p. 197
      Mark Collier
      http://springerlink.metapress.com/link.asp?id=T5W657G536U35665

      The duality of non-conceptual content in Husserl's phenomenology of
      perception p. 209
      Michael K. Shim
      http://springerlink.metapress.com/link.asp?id=P11U2404403H2682

      Read More: http://springerlink.metapress.com/link.asp?id=U788479780U3
      _________________________________________________________________________
      _________________________________________________________________________

      ************************
      14. Journal - Journal of Consciousness Studies
      Volume 12, No. 6, June 2005
      ************************
      SPECIAL ISSUE: SHELDRAKE AND HIS CRITICS:
      The Sense Of Being Glared At, Edited by Anthony Freeman

      Editorial Introduction
      ===============
      Anthony Freeman, The Sense of Being Glared At: What Is It Like to be a
      Heretic?

      Target Papers
      ==========
      Rupert Sheldrake, The Sense of Being Stared At Part 1: Is it Real or
      Illusory?

      Rupert Sheldrake, The Sense of Being Stared At Part 2: Its Implications
      for Theories of Vision

      Open Peer Review
      =============
      Anthony P. Atkinson, Staring at the Back Of Someone's Head Is No Signal,
      And a Sense of Being Stared At Is No Sense

      Ian S. Baker, Nomenclature and Methodology

      Susan Blackmore, Confusion Worse Confounded

      William Braud, The Sense of Being Stared At: Fictional, Physical,
      Perceptual, or Attentional/Intentional?

      Jean E. Burns, Detection of Staring - Psi or Statistical Artifact?

      R.H.S. Carpenter, Does Scopesthesia Imply Extramission?

      Chris Clarke, The Sense of Being Stared At: Its Relevance to the Physics
      of Consciousness

      Ralph Ellis, The Ambiguity of 'In Here/Out There' Talk: In What Sense Is
      Perception 'Out in the World'?

      David Fontana, Rupert Sheldrake and the Staring Effect

      Christopher C. French, A Closer Look at Sheldrake's Treatment of
      Rattee's Data

      Dean Radin, The Sense of Being Stared At: A Preliminary Meta-Analysis

      Marilyn Schlitz, The Discourse of Controversial Science: The
      Sceptic-Proponent Debate on Remote Staring

      Stefan Schmidt, Comments on Sheldrake's 'The Sense of Being Stared At'

      Max Velmans, Are We Out of Our Minds?

      Author's Response
      =============
      Rupert Sheldrake, The Non-Visual Detection of Staring: Response to
      Commentators

      Read More:
      Abstracts and selected full text:
      http://www.imprint-academic.com/jcs
      Full text e-service (JCS subscribers and pay-per-view):
      http://www.ingenta.com/journals/browse/imp/jcs

      _________________________________________________________________________
      _________________________________________________________________________
      Science and Consciousness Review <http://www.sci-con.org>

      --
      _____________________________________
      Thomas Zoëga Ramsøy

      *** Neuropsychologist, Cand.psych.aut. ***

      *** Ph.D. graduate ***
      Supported by the University of Copenhagen’s Research Priority Area, "Body and Mind"
      http://www.ku.dk/Priority/Body_and_Mind/index.htm

      Homepage: http://www.ramsoy.dk
      Blog: http://ramsoy.blogspot.com/
      E-mail: thomasr@...
      Office: (+45) 3632 3329

      _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

      Danish Research Centre for Magnetic Resonance
      http://www.drcmr.dk
      MR-dept., section 340
      Copenhagen University Hospital, Hvidovre
      Kettegaards Allé 30
      2650 Hvidovre
      Denmark

      _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

      Managing Editor
      Science & Consciousness Review
      http://www.sci-con.org


      Moderator
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