Extending the global workspace theory to emotion: Phenomenality without access

Consciousness and Cognition 13 (3):539-549 (2004)
Recent accounts on the global workspace theory suggest that consciousness involves transient formations of functional connections in thalamo-cortico-cortical networks. The level of connectivity in these networks is argued to determine the state of consciousness. Emotions are suggested to play a role in shaping consciousness, but their involvement in the global workspace theory remains elusive. In the present study, the role of emotion in the neural workspace theory of consciousness was scrutinized by investigating, whether unconscious and conscious display of emotional compared to neutral facial expressions would differentially modulate EEG coherence. EEG coherence was measured by means of computing an average EEG coherence value between the frontal, parietal, and midline scalp sites. Objective awareness checks evidenced that conscious identification of the masked facial expressions was precluded. Analyses revealed reductions in EEG coherence in the lower frequency range for the masked as compared to unmasked neutral facial expressions. Crucially, a decline in EEG coherence was not observed for the emotional facial expressions. In other words, the level of EEG coherence did apparently vary as a function of awareness, but not when emotion was involved. The current finding suggests that EEG coherence is modulated by unconscious emotional processes, which extends common views on the global workspace architecture of consciousness
Keywords *Consciousness States  *Emotions  *Facial Expressions  *Neural Networks
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/j.concog.2004.05.002
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 27,141
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
Toward a Neurobiological Theory of Consciousness.Francis Crick & Christof Koch - 1990 - Seminars in the Neurosciences 2:263-275.
A Framework for Consciousness.Francis Crick & Christof Koch - 2003 - Nature Neuroscience 6:119-26.

View all 17 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Précis of the Brain and Emotion.Edmund T. Rolls - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (2):177-191.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

25 ( #201,804 of 2,163,620 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #348,040 of 2,163,620 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums