David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In Lawrence Weiskrantz & Martin Davies (eds.), Frontiers of Consciousness. Oxford University Press. 2008--245 (2008)
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. In his chapter in this book Chris Frith provides a splendid review of how neuroimaging has contributed greatly to this project. For the sake of contrast, this chapter takes a more critical stance on what we have actually learned. Many authors have written on whether looking for the neural correlates would eventually lead to an explanatory theory of consciousness, while the proponents defend 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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Citations of this work BETA
Elizabeth Irvine (2009). Signal Detection Theory, the Exclusion Failure Paradigm and Weak Consciousness—Evidence for the Access/Phenomenal Distinction? Consciousness and Cognition 18 (2):551-560.
Michał Wierzchoń, Dariusz Asanowicz, Borysław Paulewicz & Axel Cleeremans (2012). Subjective Measures of Consciousness in Artificial Grammar Learning Task. Consciousness and Cognition 21 (3):1141-1153.
Hakwan Lau & David Rosenthal (2011). Empirical Support for Higher-Order Theories of Conscious Awareness. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 15 (8):365-373.
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