Phenomenal consciousness, access consciousness and self across waking and dreaming: bridging phenomenology and neuroscience

The distinction between phenomenal and access consciousness is central to debates about consciousness and its neural correlates. However, this distinction has often been limited to the domain of perceptual experiences. On the basis of dream phenomenology and neuroscientific findings this paper suggests a theoretical framework which extends this distinction to dreaming, also in terms of plausible neural correlates. In this framework, phenomenal consciousness is involved in both waking perception and dreaming, whereas access consciousness is weakened, but not fully eliminated, during dreaming. However, access consciousness is more active during lucid dreaming. The proposed framework accounts for different aspects of dream phenomenology, including levels of integration of perceptual, cognitive and affective features in dreams, bizarreness, dream amnesia and the occurrence of meta-awareness and accessibility in lucid dreaming. Self-related experiences and their neural substrates are suggested to be differently involved in waking cognition and dreaming. Further, phenomenal consciousness during both waking and dream experiences involve widespread recurrent interactions and convergence-divergence zones in the thalamo-cortico-limbic system, activated before conscious access in global workspace areas. Finally, we discuss the relationships of the proposed framework with other neurocognitive theories and models of consciousness and major theories of dreaming, and propose novel experimental predictions.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11097-016-9491-x
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 38,992
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

What is It Like to Be a Bat?Thomas Nagel - 1974 - Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.
Epiphenomenal Qualia.Frank Jackson - 1982 - Philosophical Quarterly 32 (April):127-136.
On a Confusion About a Function of Consciousness.Ned Block - 1995 - Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.

View all 50 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Consciousness During Dreams.P. Cicogna & M. Bosinelli - 2001 - Consciousness and Cognition 10 (1):26-41.
Dreaming.Brian O'Shaughnessy - 2002 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 45 (4):399-432.
Dreams.Thomas Metzinger & Jennifer Michelle Windt - 2007 - In D. Barrett & P. McNamara (eds.), The New Science of Dreaming. Praeger Publishers.
Dreaming and the Brain: Toward a Cognitive Neuroscience of Conscious States.J. Allan Hobson, Edward F. Pace-Schott & Robert Stickgold - 2003 - In Edward F. Pace-Schott, Mark Solms, Mark Blagrove & Stevan Harnad (eds.), Sleep and Dreaming: Scientific Advances and Reconsiderations. Cambridge University Press. pp. 793-842.
Phenomenal Consciousness, Attention and Accessibility.Tobias Schlicht - 2012 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 11 (3):309-334.
Dreaming and Consciousness: Testing the Threat Simulation Theory of the Function of Dreaming.Antti Revonsuo & Katja Valli - 2000 - PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 6.


Added to PP index

Total views
26 ( #282,249 of 2,319,657 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
8 ( #149,439 of 2,319,657 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature