Awareness is relative: Dissociation as the organisation of meaning

Consciousness and Cognition 15 (3):593-604 (2006)
This essay discusses how the organisation of mental material within the cognitive system can influence consciousness and awareness, and presents a theory of dissociation based on the premise that awareness is relative, contingent on the activated representation of the ongoing event being linked to the activated self-representation. It allows four possible variations of integration: non-integrated experience—perceptions about an object/event are either not perceived or they remain at the sensory level: traditional dissociative states, amnesia, depersonalisation etc; variably integrated experience—activation of information of a specific valence about an object blocks activation of information of contrasting valence: splitting; alternatively integrated experience—experience is integrated into a specific, limited active self-representation: fugue and multiple identity states; dis-integrated experience–the ongoing experience of innate drives and needs is no longer consistently activated in the core self-representation: repression and isolation
Keywords *Awareness  *Cognitive Processes  *Consciousness States  *Dissociation  *Self Concept  Meaning
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DOI 10.1016/j.concog.2005.11.006
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