Space, self, and the theater of consciousness

Consciousness and Cognition 16 (2):310-330 (2007)
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Over a decade ago, I introduced a large-scale theory of the cognitive brain which explained for the first time how the human brain is able to create internal models of its intimate world and invent models of a wider universe. An essential part of the theoretical model is an organization of neuronal mechanisms which I have named the Retinoid Model (Trehub, 1977, 1991). This hypothesized brain system has structural and dynamic properties enabling it to register and appropriately integrate disparate foveal stimuli into a perspectival, egocentric representation of an extended 3D world scene including a neuronally-tokened locus of the self which, in this theory, is the neuronal origin of retinoid space. As an integral part of the larger neuro-cognitive model, the retinoid system is able to perform many other useful perceptual and higher cognitive functions. In this paper, I draw on the hypothesized properties of this system to argue that neuronal activity within the retinoid structure constitutes the phenomenal content of consciousness and the unique sense of self that each of us experiences. Trehub, A. (1977). Neuronal models for cognitive processes: Networks for learning, perception, and imagination. _Journal of Theoretical Biology_ 65: 141-169. Trehub, A. (1991). _The Cognitive Brain_. MIT Press.



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Arnold Trehub
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

References found in this work

‘the Self’.Galen Strawson - 1997 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 4 (5-6):405-428.
Orienting of attention.M. I. Posner - 1980 - Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 32 (1):3-25.
Moving attention through visual space.G. L. Shulman, R. W. Remington & J. P. Mclean - 1979 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 5 (3):522-526.

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