David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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It has been over a decade and half since Christof Koch and the late Francis Crick first advocated the now popular NCC project (Crick and Koch, 1990), in which one tries to find the neural correlate of consciousness (NCC) for perceptual processes. Here we critically take stock of what have actually been learned from these studies. Many authors have questioned whether looking for the neural correlates would eventually lead to an explanatory theory of consciousness, while the proponents of NCC research maintain that focusing on correlates is a strategically sensible first step, given the complexity of the problem (Crick and Koch, 1998;Crick and Koch, 2003). My point here is not to argue whether studying the NCC is useful, but rather, to question whether we are really studying the NCC at all. I argue that in hoping to sidestep the difficult conceptual issues, we have sometimes also missed the phenomenon of perceptual consciousness itself.
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