The progressive multistage stabilization of memory (consolidation) relies on post-acquisition neural reorganization. We hypothesize that two processes subserve procedural memory consolidation and are reflected in delayed post-acquisition performance gains: (1) synaptic consolidation, which is classical Hebbian, and (2) in some tasks, concurrently or consequently, “system consolidation,” which might in some skills be sleep-dependent. Behavioral interference may affect either type of consolidation.
Until recently, it has been thought that under interocular suppression high-level visual processing is strongly inhibited if not abolished. With the development of continuous flash suppression (CFS), a variant of binocular rivalry, this notion has now been challenged by a number of reports showing that even high-level aspects of visual stimuli, such as familiarity, affect the time stimuli need to overcome CFS and emerge into awareness. In this “breaking CFS” (b-CFS) paradigm, differential unconscious processing during suppression is inferred when (...) (a) speeded detection responses to initially invisible stimuli differ, and (b) no comparable differences are found in non-rivalrous control conditions supposed to measure general threshold differences between stimuli. To critically evaluate these assumptions was the aim of the present study. In six experiments we compared the time upright and inverted faces needed to be detected. We found that not only under CFS, but also in control conditions upright faces were detected faster and more accurately than inverted faces, although the effect was larger during CFS. However, reaction time (RT) distributions indicated critical differences between the CFS and the control condition. When RT distributions were matched, similar effect sizes were obtained in both conditions. Moreover, subjective ratings revealed that CFS and control conditions are not perceptually comparable. These findings cast doubt on the usefulness of non-rivalrous control conditions to rule out mere detection threshold differences as a cause of shorter detection latencies during CFS. In conclusion, we acknowledge that the b-CFS paradigm can be fruitfully applied as a highly sensitive device to probe differences between stimuli in their potency to gain access to awareness. However, our current findings suggest that such differences can not unequivocally be attributed to differential unconscious processing under interocular suppression. (shrink)
While converging evidence implicates the right inferior parietal lobule in audiovisual integration, its role has not been fully elucidated by direct manipulation of cortical activity. Replicating and extending an experiment initially reported by Kamke, Vieth, Cottrell, and Mattingley (2012), we employed the sound-induced flash illusion, in which a single visual flash, when accompanied by two auditory tones, is misperceived as multiple flashes (Wilson, 1987; Shams, et al., 2000). Slow repetitive (1Hz) TMS administered to the right angular gyrus, but (...) not the right supramarginal gyrus, induced a transient decrease in the Peak Perceived Flashes (PPF), reflecting reduced susceptibility to the illusion. This finding independently confirms that perturbation of networks involved in multisensory integration can result in a more veridical representation of asynchronous auditory and visual events and that cross-modal integration is an active process in which the objective is the identification of a meaningful constellation of inputs, at times at the expense of accuracy. (shrink)
Man is an open existence, exposed to mortality and free towards the coming that is revealed to him in the lightening flash of language. Free towards, and endowed with the ever new possibility of beginning, the mortal is endowed with the gift of language that remains beyond his death: here alone lies redemption for the mortals. It is this affirmative question of the coming time that is pursued in this work: it occurs as and in a configuration of questions, (...) not constituting a system: question of mortality and temporality, the flash of language that reveals man - beyond any predication - his finitude, the opening where man finds himself to welcome the coming, and finally redemption in the coming itself in the existential attunement of hope. This article attempts, reading the works of Schelling, Heidegger and Benjamin, to think the gift of language as redemptive, beyond any appropriation, in the face of evil whose possibility is given to the mortal alone. (shrink)
The FLASH communicator consists of an apparatus which can distinguish between plane unpolarized (PUP) and circularly unpolarized (CUP) light plus a simple EPR arrangement. FLASH exploits the peculiar properties of “measurements of the Third Kind.” One purpose of this article is to focus attention on the operation of idealized laser gain tubes at the one-photon limit.
In cases of imaginative contagion, imagining something has doxastic or doxastic-like consequences. In this reply to Tamar Szabó Gendler's article in this collection, I investigate what the philosophical consequences of these cases could be. I argue (i) that imaginative contagion has consequences for how we should understand the nature of imagination and (ii) that imaginative contagion has consequences for our understanding of what belief-forming mechanisms there are. Along the way, I make some remarks about what the consequences of the (...) contagion cases are for the relation between knowledge and imagination. (shrink)
Tamar Gendler argues that, for those living in a society in which race is a salient sociological feature, it is impossible to be fully rational: members of such a society must either fail to encode relevant information containing race, or suffer epistemic costs by being implicitly racist. However, I argue that, although Gendler calls attention to a pitfall worthy of study, she fails to conclusively demonstrate that there are epistemic (or cognitive) costs of being racist. Gendler offers three supporting (...) phenomena. First, implicit racists expend cognitive energy repressing their implicit biases. I reply, citing Ellen Bialystok’s research, that constant use of executive functioning can be beneficial. Second, Gendler argues that awareness of a negative stereotype of one’s own race with regard to a given task negatively affects one’s performance of that task. This phenomenon, I argue, demonstrates that those against whom the stigma is directed suffer costs, but it fails to demonstrate that the stigmatizers suffer cognitively. Finally, Gendler argues that racists are less competent when recognizing faces of other races than when recognizing faces of their own race because, in the first instance, they encode the race of the face (taking up cognitive space that could have been used to encode fine-grained distinctions), whereas in the second instance they encode no race. I argue that in-group/out-group categorization rather than racism is the cognitive cost. I conclude that Gendler has failed to demonstrate that there are cognitive costs associated with being a racist. (shrink)
This is a short note on a problem arising from lewis's account of 'truth in fiction'. In the case of the unreliable narrator, A writer, On lewis's view, Must pretend to pretend. An explanation is offered for this in terms of mimicry or impersonation, And some consequences drawn about fictional ontology.
O texto a seguir apresenta em diálogo ou aplica a uma certa concepção de experiência estética um amplo conjunto de evidências experimentais retirado da investigação de outros fenômenos mentais, em particular a experiência subjetiva de emoções e sentimentos. Provém de António Damásio a viga mestra, o esqueleto, a base, a estrutura de toda a minha argumentação. Minha principal hipótese é a de que certos objetos e situações ativam hiper-espaços dispositivos cerebrais associados à ocorrência de fenômenos como sensação de beleza, prazer (...) e alegria. Proponho que a emergência de uma experiência estética deve ser compreendida como resultado de uma percepção sensível que aciona uma rotina somático-cognitiva, função do disparo de um padrão de padrões neurais dispositivos. (shrink)
The advent of the new nanotechnologies has been heralded by government, media, and many in the scientific community as the next big thing. Within the agricultural sector research is underway on a wide variety of products ranging from distributed intelligence in orchards, to radio frequency identification devices, to animal diagnostics, to nanofiltered food products. But the nano-revolution (if indeed there is a revolution at all) appears to be taking a turn quite different from the biotechnology revolution of two decades ago. (...) Grappling with these issues will require abandoning both the exuberance of diffusion theory and ex post facto criticism of new technologies as well in favor of a more nuanced and proactive view that cross the fault line between the social and natural sciences. (shrink)
The operations and processes that the human brain employs to achieve fast visual categorization remain a matter of debate. A first issue concerns the timing and place of rapid visual categorization and to what extent it can be performed with an early feed-forward pass of information through the visual system. A second issue involves the categorization of stimuli that do not reach visual awareness. There is disagreement over the degree to which these stimuli activate the same early mechanisms as stimuli (...) that are consciously perceived. We employed continuous flash suppression, EEG recordings and machine learning techniques to study visual categorization of seen and unseen stimuli. Our classifiers were able to predict from the EEG recordings the category of stimuli on seen trials but not on unseen trials. Rapid categorization of conscious images could be detected around 100 ms on the occipital electrodes, consistent with a fast, feed-forward mechanism of target detection. For the invisible stimuli, however, continuous flash suppression eliminated all traces of early processing. Our results support the idea of a fast mechanism of categorization and suggest that this early categorization process plays an important role in later, more subtle categorizations and perceptual processes. (shrink)
Previous studies have shown that complex visual stimuli, such as emotional facial expressions, can influence brain activity independently of the observers’ awareness. Little is known yet, however, about the “informational correlates” of consciousness—i.e., which low-level information correlates with brain activation during conscious vs. non-conscious perception. Here, we investigated this question in the spatial frequency (SF) domain. We examined which SFs in disgusted and fearful facial expressions modulate activation in the insula and amygdala over time and as a function of awareness, (...) using a combination of intracranial event-related potentials (ERPs), SF Bubbles (Willenbockel et al., 2010a), and Continuous Flash Suppression (CFS; Tsuchiya and Koch, 2005). Patients implanted with electrodes for epilepsy monitoring viewed face photographs (13° x 7°) that were randomly SF filtered trial-by-trial. In the conscious condition, the faces were visible; in the non-conscious condition, they were rendered invisible using CFS. Data were analyzed by performing multiple linear regressions on the SF filters from each trial and the transformed ERP amplitudes across time. The resulting classification images suggest that many SFs are involved in the conscious and non-conscious perception of emotional expressions, with those between 6 and 10 cycles per face width being particularly important early on. The results also revealed qualitative differences between the awareness conditions for both regions. Non-conscious processing relied on low SFs more and was faster than conscious processing. Overall, our findings are consistent with the idea that different pathways are employed for the processing of emotional stimuli under different degrees of awareness. The present study represents a first step to mapping with a high temporal resolution how SF information “flows” through the emotion-processing network and to shedding light on the informational correlates of consciousness in general. (shrink)
Can human observers distinguish physical removal of a visible stimulus from phenomenal suppression of that stimulus during binocular rivalry? As so often happens, simple questions produce complex answers, and that is the case in the study reported here. Using continuous flash suppression to produce binocular rivalry, we were able to identify stimulus conditions where most – but not all -- people utterly fail to distinguish physical from phenomenal stimulus removal, although we can be certain that those two equivalent perceptual (...) states are accompanied by distinct neural events. More interestingly, we find subtle variants of the task where distinguishing the two states is trivially easy, even for people who utterly fail under the original conditions. We found that stimulus features are differentially vulnerable to suppression. Observers are able to be aware of existence/removal of some stimulus attributes (flicker) but not others (orientation), implying that interocular suppression breaks down the unitary awareness of integrated features belonging to a visual object. These findings raise questions about the unitary nature of awareness and, also, place qualifications on the utility of binocular rivalry as a tool for studying the neural concomitants of conscious visual awareness. (shrink)