On the evolution of conscious attention

Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 22 (3):595-613 (2015)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This paper aims to clarify the relationship between consciousness and attention through theoretical considerations about evolution. Specifically, we will argue that the empirical findings on attention and the basic considerations concerning the evolution of the different forms of attention demonstrate that consciousness and attention must be dissociated regardless of which definition of these terms one uses. To the best of our knowledge, no extant view on the relationship between consciousness and attention has this advantage. Because of this characteristic, this paper presents a principled and neutral way to settle debates concerning the relationship between consciousness and attention, without falling into disputes about the meaning of these terms. A decisive conclusion of this approach is that extreme views on the relationship between consciousness and attention must be rejected, including identity and full dissociation views. There is an overlap between the two within conscious attention, but developing a full understanding of this mechanism requires further empirical investigations.



External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Attention and consciousness.Christopher Mole - 2008 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 15 (4):86-104.
Attention as Structuring of the Stream of Consciousness.Sebastian Watzl - 2011 - In Christopher Mole, Declan Smithies & Wayne Wu (eds.), Attention: Philosophical and Psychological Essays. Oxford University Press. pp. 145.
Consciousness, Attention and Commonsense.F. de Brigard - 2010 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 17 (9-10):189-201.
Reference and Consciousness.John Campbell - 2002 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
What is Conscious Attention?Wayne Wu - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (1):93-120.
Conscious attitudes, attention, and self-knowledge.Christopher Peacocke - 1998 - In Crispin Wright, Barry C. Smith & Cynthia Macdonald (eds.), Knowing Our Own Minds. Oxford University Press. pp. 83.
Inductive parsimony and the Methodological Argument.Carolyn Suchy-Dicey - 2012 - Consciousness and Cognition 21 (2):605-609.


Added to PP

1,822 (#4,984)

6 months
93 (#42,958)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Harry Haladjian
Université Paris Descartes
Carlos Montemayor
San Francisco State University

References found in this work

Metaphors we live by.George Lakoff & Mark Johnson - 1980 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Mark Johnson.
What is it like to be a bat?Thomas Nagel - 1974 - Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.
On a confusion about a function of consciousness.Ned Block - 1995 - Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.

View all 80 references / Add more references