Journal of Consciousness Studies 2 (4):290-311 (1995)

It is suggested that consciousness is primarily associated not with stimuli and perception, as commonly supposed, but with movement and responses. Consciousness of stimuli arises in situations in which possible movements are planned, or in which information must be actively acquired rather than passively registered, and may or may not require overt movements to be performed. By emphasizing response, this formulation provides a simple explanation for the perceived unity of consciousness: though stimuli can be diverse, with independent components, movements must necessarily be coordinated. Therefore, if we are to look for a `site' for consciousness, it is likely to be in a region such as the anterior cingulate that is neurally close to the higher motor hierarchical levels, and also accessible both to real sensory feedback and also to virtual feedback derived through mechanisms of efference copy from actual or proposed motor commands. It is suggested that synchrony of arrival of such information may be an important prerequisite of this unity, and that on this basis such a `master node' might be expected to be temporally `equidistant' from each of these sources; this may well be true of the anterior cingulate, but no doubt also of other structures
Keywords Brain  Consciousness  Experience  Metaphysics  Perception  Science  Unity
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,160
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

A Sensorimotor Account of Vision and Visual Consciousness.J. Kevin O’Regan & Alva Noë - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (5):883-917.
A Field Theory of Consciousness.E. Roy John - 2001 - Consciousness and Cognition 10 (2):184-213.
On the Search for the Neural Correlate of Consciousness.David J. Chalmers - 1998 - In Stuart R. Hameroff, Alfred W. Kaszniak & A.C. Scott (eds.), Toward a Science of Consciousness II. MIT Press. pp. 2--219.
Social Mirrors and Shared Experiential Worlds.Charles Whitehead - 2001 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 8 (4):3-36.

View all 13 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
26 ( #436,733 of 2,499,406 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #418,166 of 2,499,406 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes