Consciousness and Cognition 22 (4):1318-1331 (2013)

Authors
Ezequiel Morsella
San Francisco State University
Abstract
The contents of our conscious mind can seem unpredictable, whimsical, and free from external control. When instructed to attend to a stimulus in a work setting, for example, one might find oneself thinking about household chores. Conscious content thus appears different in nature from reflex action. Under the appropriate conditions, reflexes occur predictably, reliably, and via external control. Despite these intuitions, theorists have proposed that, under certain conditions, conscious content resembles reflexes and arises reliably via external control. We introduce the Reflexive Imagery Task, a paradigm in which, as a function of external control, conscious content is triggered reliably and unintentionally: When instructed to not subvocalize the name of a stimulus object, participants reliably failed to suppress the set-related imagery. This stimulus-elicited content is considered ‘high-level’ content and, in terms of stages of processing, occurs late in the processing stream. We discuss the implications of this paradigm for consciousness research.
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DOI 10.1016/j.concog.2013.08.007
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References found in this work BETA

The Language of Thought.J. A. Fodor - 1978 - Critica 10 (28):140-143.
Cognitive Maps in Rats and Men.Edward C. Tolman - 1948 - Psychological Review 55 (4):189-208.

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