Efferent brain processes and the enactive approach to consciousness

[opening paragraph]: Nicholas Humphrey argues persuasively that consciousness results from active and efferent rather than passive and afferent functions. These arguments contribute to the mounting recent evidence that consciousness is inseparable from the motivated action planning of creatures that in some sense are organismic and agent-like rather than passively mechanical and reactive in the way that digital computers are. Newton calls this new approach the ‘action theory of understanding'; Varela et al. dubbed it the ‘enactive’ view of consciousness. It was endorsed in passing by the early Dennett , although he never followed up on it in his later work. According to Dennett, ‘No afferent can be said to have a significance ‘A’ until it is ‘taken’ to have the significance ‘A’ by the efferent side of the brain’ . Luria also stressed the neurophysiology of efferent processes as correlated with consciousness . Further elaborations of the enactive approach are defended by Ellis , Newton , Ellis and Newton , Watt , Thelen and Smith , Jarvilehto and Gendlin . According to this view, conscious information processing can arise only as the self-regulated action of a self-organizing process that confronts the world as a system of action affordances. While information can be passively absorbed in the form of afferent input, only efferent nervous activity in the interest of a living organism's homeostatic balance can create consciousness of any information, whether perceptual, imagistic, emotional or intellectual
Keywords Brain  Consciousness  Metaphysics  Science  Humphrey, N
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,793
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
Anticipating Sensitizes the Body.Anton Lethin - 2008 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 7 (2):279-300.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Consciousness, Free Action and the Brain.John R. Searle - 2000 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 7 (10):3-22.
Can Functional Brain Imaging Discover Consciousness in the Brain?Antti Revonsuo - 2001 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 8 (3):3-23.
Is Consciousness a Brain Process?Ullin T. Place - 1956 - British Journal of Psychology 47 (1):44-50.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
29 ( #195,880 of 2,214,511 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #173,694 of 2,214,511 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature