Our awareness of time and temporal properties is a constant feature of conscious life. Subjective temporality structures and guides every aspect of behavior and cognition, distinguishing memory, perception, and anticipation. This milestone volume brings together research on temporality from leading scholars in philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience, defining a new field of interdisciplinary research. The book's thirty chapters include selections from classic texts by William James and Edmund Husserl and new essays setting them in historical context; contemporary philosophical accounts of lived (...) time; and current empirical studies of psychological time. These last chapters, the larger part of the book, cover such topics as the basic psychophysics of psychological time, its neural foundations, its interaction with the body, and its distortion in illness and altered states of consciousness. _Contributors_Melissa J. Allman, Holly Andersen, ValtteriArstila, Yan Bao, Dean V. Buonomano, Niko A. Busch, Barry Dainton, Sylvie Droit-Volet, Christine M. Falter, Thomas Fraps, Shaun Gallagher, Alex O. Holcombe, Edmund Husserl, William James, Piotr Jaskowski, Jeremie Jozefowiez, Ryota Kanai, Allison N. Kurti, Dan Lloyd, Armando Machado, Matthew S. Matell, Warren H. Meck, James Mensch, Bruno Mölder, Catharine Montgomery, Konstantinos Moutoussis, Peter Naish, Valdas Noreika, Sukhvinder S. Obhi, Ruth Ogden, Alan o'Donoghue, Georgios Papadelis, Ian B. Phillips, Ernst Pöppel, John E. R. Staddon, Dale N. Swanton, Rufin VanRullen, Argiro Vatakis, Till M. Wagner, John Wearden, Marc Wittmann, Agnieszka Wykowska, Kielan Yarrow, Bin Yin, Dan Zahavi. (shrink)
adiant Cool" has the makings of a gripping noir thriller: a missing body, a tough-talking female sleuth and a mustachioed Russian agent mixed up in a shadowy plot to take over the world. But the novel, by Dan Lloyd, a neurophilosopher at Trinity College in Hartford, is also a serious work of scholarship, the unlikely vehicle for an abstruse new theory of consciousness.
Most philosophers believe that we have experiences as of temporally extended phenomena like change, motion, and succession. Almost all theories of time consciousness explain these temporal experiences by subscribing to the doctrine of the specious present, the idea that the contents of our experiences embrace temporally extended intervals of time and are presented as temporally structured. Against these theories, I argue that the doctrine is false and present a theory that does not require the notion of a specious present. Furthermore, (...) I argue that the different aspects of temporal experiences arise from different mechanisms operating separately. If the theory is true, then temporal experiences do not tell us anything special about the nature of consciousness and its temporal properties per se. (shrink)
The cognitive penetrability of perceptual experiences has been a long-standing topic of disagreement among philosophers and psychologists. Although the notion of cognitive penetrability itself has also been under dispute, the debate has mainly focused on the cases in which cognitive states allegedly penetrate perceptual experiences. This paper concerns the plausibility of two prominent cases. The first one originates from Susanna Siegel’s claim that perceptual experiences can represent natural kind properties. If this is true, then the concepts we possess change the (...) way things appear to us. The second candidate for cognitive penetration is Fiona Macpherson’s claim that, in addition to concepts, our beliefs can penetrate perceptual experiences. It is argued that neither candidate is a case of cognitive penetration. In doing so, I provide an explanation to both that is based on perceptual learning, a non-cognitive phenomenon where relatively slow and long-lasting modifications to an organism’s perceptual system bring about changes in perception. This explanation is theoretically more plausible and remains closer to the empirical data than the explanations based on cognitive penetration. (shrink)
& Functional brain imaging offers new opportunities for the begin with single-subject (preprocessed) scan series, and study of that most pervasive of cognitive conditions, human consider the patterns of all voxels as potential multivariate consciousness. Since consciousness is attendant to so much encodings of phenomenal information. Twenty-seven subjects of human cognitive life, its study requires secondary analysis from the four studies were analyzed with multivariate of multiple experimental datasets. Here, four preprocessed methods, revealing analogues of phenomenal structures, datasets from the (...) National fMRI Data Center are considered: particularly the structures of temporality. In a second Hazeltine et al., Neural activation during response competi- interpretive approach, artificial neural networks were used tion; Ishai et al., The representation of objects in the human to detect a more explicit prediction from phenomenology, occipital and temporal cortex; Mechelli et al., The effects of namely, that present experience contains and is inflected by presentation rate during word and pseudoword reading; and past states of awareness and anticipated events. In all of 21 Postle et al., Activity in human frontal cortex associated with subjects in this analysis, nets were successfully trained to spatial working memory and saccadic behavior. The study of extract aspects of relative past and future brain states, in consciousness also draws from multiple disciplines. In this comparison with statistically similar controls. This exploratory article, the philosophical subdiscipline of phenomenology study thus concludes that the proposed methods for provides initial characterization of phenomenal structures ‘‘neurophenomenology’’ warrant further application, includ- conceptually necessary for an analysis of consciousness. These ing the exploration of individual differences, multivariate structures include phenomenal intentionality, phenomenal differences between cognitive task conditions, and explora- superposition, and experienced temporality.. (shrink)
The central characteristic of cognitive explanations of behavior is the appeal to inner representations. I examine the grounds which justify representational explanations, seeking the minimum conditions which organisms must meet to be candidates for such explanations. I first discuss Fodor's proposal that representationality be attributed to systems which respond to nonnomic properties, arguing that the distinction between the nomic and nonnomic in perception is fatally ambiguous. Then I turn to an illustrative review of the behavior and neurobiology of Hermissenda crassicornis, (...) a marine mollusk. Concerning this "model system," I compare the representational style of explanation with both behaviorist and neurophysiological explanations. Representational explanation is potentially more comprehensive than its rivals, and thus I conclude that representations are useful posits wherever internal information-bearing states mediate behavior. (shrink)
Apparent motion is an illusion in which two sequentially presented and spatially separated stimuli give rise to the experience of one moving stimulus. This phenomenon has been deployed in various philosophical arguments for and against various theories of consciousness, time consciousness and the ontology of time. Nevertheless, philosophers have continued working within a framework that does not reflect the current understanding of apparent motion. The main objectives of this paper are to expose the shortcomings of the explanations provided for apparent (...) motion and to offer an alternative explanation for the phenomenon. (shrink)
Commonsense psychology and cognitive science both regularly assume the existence of representational states. I propose a naturalistic theory of representation sufficient to meet the pretheoretical constraints of a "folk theory of representation", constraints including the capacities for accuracy and inaccuracy, selectivity of proper objects of representation, perspective, articulation, and "efficacy" or content-determined functionality. The proposed model states that a representing device is a device which changes state when information is received over multiple information channels originating at a single source. The (...) changed state of a representing device is a representation. The unitary information source which would give rise to the information impinging on the representing device, and hence, give rise to the representation, is the content of the representation. The model meets the pretheoretic constraints, and also conforms to available neurobiological data for two invertebrate species. (shrink)
The thesis of cognitive penetrability, according to which cognitive states can affect perceptual experiences, remains the topic of intense debate among philosophers. A new candidate for a case of cognitive penetration is presented and defended. The candidate is based on studies involving suggestions that something is a certain way, which are usually given under hypnosis, rather than mere request to imagine that things are a certain way.
The continual background awareness of duration is an essential structure of consciousness, conferring temporal extension to the many objects of awareness within the evanescent sensory present. Seeking the possible neural correlates of ubiquitous temporal awareness, this article reexamines fMRI data from off-task “default mode” periods in 25 healthy subjects studied by Grady et al. , 2005). “Brain reading” using support vector machines detected information specifying elapsed time, and further analysis specified distributed networks encoding implicit time. These networks fluctuate; none are (...) continuously active during DM. However, the aggregate regions of greatest variability closely resemble the default mode network. It appears that the default mode network has an important role as a state-dependent monitor of temporality. (shrink)
abstract Postdiction effects are phenomena in which a stimulus influences the appearance of events taking place before it. In metacontrast masking, for instance, a masking stimulus can ren- der a target stimulus shown before the mask invisible. This and other postdiction effects have been considered incompatible with a simple explanation according to which (i) our perceptual experiences are delayed for only the time it takes for a distal stimulus to reach our sensory receptors and for our neural mechanisms to process (...) it, and (ii) the order in which the processing of stimuli is completed corresponds with the apparent temporal order of stimuli. As a result, the theories that account for more than a single postdiction effect reject at least one of these theses. This paper presents a new framework for the tim- ing of experiences—the non-linear latency difference view—in which the three most dis- cussed postdiction effects—apparent motion, the flash-lag effect, and metacontrast masking—can be accounted for while simultaneously holding theses (i) and (ii). This view is grounded in the local reentrant processes, which are known to have a crucial role in perception. Accordingly, the non-linear latency difference view is both more parsimonious and more empirically plausible than the competing theories, all of which remain largely silent about the neural implementation of the mechanisms they postulate. (shrink)
For more than a century the paradigm inspiringcognitive neuroscience has been modular and localist.Contemporary research in functional brain imaginggenerally relies on methods favorable to localizingparticular functions in one or more specific brainregions. Meanwhile, connectionist cognitive scientistshave celebrated the computational powers ofdistributed processing, and pioneered methods forinterpreting distributed representations. This papertakes a connectionist approach to functionalneuroimaging. A tabulation of 35 PET (positronemission tomography) experiments strongly indicatesdistributed function for at least the ''medium sized''anatomical units, the cortical Brodmann areas. Moreimportant, when these PET (...) experiments were interpretedas distributed representations, multidimensionalscaling revealed a ''brain activation space'' with asalient structure organized primarily by the sensorymodality of the stimulus, and secondarily by the typeof motor response. These results suggest that currentanalytical techniques in functional neuroimagingshould be augmented by distributed processinganalyses, and that these analyses may lead to manydiscoveries about the structure of ''inner space.''. (shrink)
It is generally agreed upon that Grice's causal theory of perception describes a necessary condition for perception. It does not describe sufficient conditions, however, since there are entities in causal chains that we do not perceive and not all causal chains yield perceptions. One strategy for overcoming these problems is that of strengthening the notion of causality. Another is that of specifying the criteria according to which perceptual experiences should match the way the world is. Finally, one can also try (...) to provide sufficient conditions by elaborating on the content of perceptual experiences. These different strategies are considered in this paper, with the conclusion that none of them is successful. However, a careful examination of their problems points towards the general solution that we outline at the end. (shrink)
Connectionism and phenomenology can mutually inform and mutually constrain each other. In this manifesto I outline an approach to consciousness based on distinctions developed by connectionists. Two core identities are central to a connectionist theory of consciouness: conscious states of mind are identical to occurrent activation patterns of processing units; and the variable dispositional strengths on connections between units store latent and unconscious information. Within this broad framework, a connectionist model of consciousness succeeds according to the degree of correspondence between (...) the content of human consciousness (the world as it is experienced) and the interpreted content of the network. Constitutive self-awareness and reflective self-awareness can be captured in a model through its ability to respond to self-reflexive information, identify self-referential categories, and process information in the absence of simultaneous input. The qualitative feel of sensation appears in a model as states of activation that are not fully discriminated by later processing. Connectionism also uniquely explains several specific features of experience. The most important of these is the superposition of information in consciousness — our ability to perceive more than meets the eye, and to apprehend complex categorical and temporal information in a single highly-cognized glance. This superposition in experience matches a superposition of representational content in distributed representations. (shrink)
Accounting for phenomenal structure—the forms, aspects, and features of conscious experience—poses a deep challenge for the scientific study of consciousness, but rather than abandon hope I propose a way forward. Connectionism, I argue, offers a bi-directional analogy, with its oft-noted “neural inspiration” on the one hand, and its largely unnoticed capacity to illuminate our phenomenology on the other. Specifically, distributed representations in a recurrent network enable networks to superpose categorical, contextual, and temporal information on a specific input representation, much as (...) our own experience does. Artificial neural networks also suggest analogues of four salient distinctions between sensory and nonsensoty consciousness. The paper concludes with speculative proposals for discharging the connectionist heuristics to leave a robust, detailed empirical theory of consciousness. (shrink)
There exist two widely used notions concerning the structure of phenomenal color space. The first is the notion of unique/binary hue structure, which maintains that there are four unique hues from which all other hues are composed. The second notion is the similarity structure of hues, which describes the interrelations between the hues and hence does not divide hues into two types as the first notion does. Philosophers have considered the existence of the unique/binary hue structure to be empirically and (...) phenomenally well-grounded, and the structure has been considered to be primary because this can account for the similarity structure. Consequently, the unique/binary hue structure has played a central role in color philosophy. This calls for the assessment of the justification for its existence carried out in this paper. It is concluded that, despite the prevalent view among philosophers, none of their reasons for endorsing the existence of the unique/binary hue structure are justified. Since the notion of the unique/binary hue structure appears intuitively plausible for many, however, a sketch explaining this intuition is outlined at the end. (shrink)
Dustin Stokes argues for the existence of orectic penetration, a phenomenon in which a desire-like state penetrates our perceptual experience. His candidate for a case of orectic penetration is the most convincing candidate presented thus far. It is argued here that his candidate and his further arguments for the existence of orectic penetration do not support the claim that orectic penetration takes place. As a result, it is concluded that there are no convincing cases of desire-like states penetrating perceptual experience.
To william james, conscious life was a stream; to Edmund Husserl, a flow. These metaphors point to the marvelous continuity of experience as it weaves through the world of thought and things. We might similarly talk about the flow of the body, as I reach for my cup of coffee. A physiologist could decompose the action, isolating the contribution of each muscle and joint to the whole. This functional analysis would constitute one form of explanation of the movement. As we (...) replace "I grab the cup" with the physiologist's account, there is a shift in level of description and a turn toward underlying processes, but the physiologist has added nothing to nature. Explanation of this sort, functional reduction, is simply a .. (shrink)
The information processing that constitutes accessconsciousness is not sufficient to make a representational state conscious in any sense. Standard examples of computation without consciousness undermine A-consciousness, and Block's cases seem to derive their plausibility from a lurking phenomenal awareness. That is, people and other minded systems seem to have access-consciousness only insofar as the state accessed is a phenomenal one, or the state resulting from access is phenomenal, or both.
The philosophical debate over the nature of color has been governed by what we have learnt from color vision science and what color phenomenology suggests to us. It is usually thought that color eliminativism, which maintains that physical objects do not have any properties that can be identified with colors, can account for the former but not the latter. After all, what could be more obvious than the external world to be colored? Here I outline one color eliminativistic response to (...) the objections based on phenomenology. (shrink)
Albert Newen and Petra Vetter argue that neurophysiological considerations and psychophysical studies provide striking evidence for cognitive penetration. This commentary focuses mainly on the neurophysiological considerations, which have thus far remained largely absent in the philosophical debate concerning cognitive penetration, and on the cognitive penetration of perceptual experiences, which is the form of cognitive penetration philosophers have debated about the most. It is argued that Newen and Vetter's evidence for cognitive penetration is unpersuasive because they do not sufficiently scrutinize the (...) details of the empirical studies they make use of-the details of the empirical studies are crucial also when the studies are used in philosophical debates. The previous does not mean that cognitive penetration could not occur. Quite the contrary, details of the feedback connections to the visual perceptual module and one of the candidates presented by Newen and Vetter suggest that cognitive penetration can occur in rare cases. (shrink)
Good research requires, among other virtues,(i) methods that yield stable experimentalobservations without arbitrary (post hoc)assumptions, (ii) logical interpretations ofthe sources of observations, and (iii) soundinferences to general causal mechanismsexplaining experimental results by placing themin larger explanatory contexts. In TheNew Phrenology , William Uttal examines theresearch tradition of localization, and findsit deficient in all three virtues, whetherbased on lesion studies or on new technologiesfor functional brain imaging. In this paper Iconsider just the arguments concerning brainimaging, especially functional MagneticResonance Imaging. I think (...) that Uttal is tooharsh in his methodological critique, butcorrect in his assessment of the conceptuallimitations of localist evidence. I proposeinstead a data-driven test for assessingrelative modularity in brain images, and showits use in a secondary analysis of fMRI datafrom the National fMRI Data Center(www.fmridc.org). Although the analysis is alimited pilot study, it offers additionalempirical challenge to localism. (shrink)
Connectionism—also known as parallel distributed processing, or neural network modeling—offers promise as a framework to unite clinical and cognitive psychology, and as a tool for studying conscious and unconscious mental activity. This paper describes a neural network model of the case study of Lucy R., from Freud and Breuer's Studies on Hysteria. Though very simple in architecture, the network spontaneously displays analogues of repression and hallucination, corresponding to Lucy R.'s symptoms. Salient elements of Lucy's conscious experience are represented in the (...) model by the activations of neuronlike processors in a fully interconnected network, without hidden units. The model learns to associate elements of experience that were associated in Lucy's case history. Some of these configurations of elements were traumatic for Lucy; trauma is modeled in the network by "emphatic learning," learning accomplished at an abnormally high learning rate. The model suggests that changing associations among conscious elements are sufficient to generate the symptoms Freud observed: apparent repression, hallucination, and recovery through therapy. In the case of Lucy R., Freud's theoretical inference regarding active but unconscious thought is not required by his data. Instead, the unconscious can be understood as a set of complex dispositions embodied in connections between elements of conscious experience. (shrink)
A philosophical zombie is a being indistinguishable from an ordinary human in every observable respect, but lacking subjective consciousness. Zombiehood implies *linguistic indiscriminability*, the zombie tendency to talk and even do philosophy of mind in language indiscriminable from ordinary discourse. Zombies thus speak *Zombish*, indistinguishable from English but radically distinct in reference for mental terms. The fate of zombies ultimately depends on whether Zombish can be consistently interpreted. If it can be interpreted consistently, then zombies remain possible, but no test (...) could ever reveal whether anyone is speaking Zombish. Any materialist theory of consciousness is therefore already a theory in Zombish, and is equally confirmable in its human language edition and its zombie-language edition . On the other hand, if Zombish cannot be consistently interpreted, then the zombies described in Zombish are logically impossible. Either way, the search for a materialistic theory of consciousness should be untroubled by the zombies among us. (shrink)
Our heads are full of representations, according to cognitive science. It might seem inevitable that conscious states are a type of brain-based representation, but in this paper I argue that representation and consciousness each form conceptually distinct domains. Representational content depends on context, usually causal, as shown by familiar cases in which context varies while brain states do not -- twin earth cases and brains-in-vats, for example. But these same cases show that conscious content does not depend on context. The (...) vatted brain, for example, enjoys the same experiences as its in vivo counterpart. The structure of experience -- its parts and their distinctive characters -- is the dynamic structure of the brain, viewed "from within." I call this position methodological phenomenalism (MP), and consider its prospects as a foundation for a science of consciousness. I close with a consideration of MP on the subjective "character" of conscious states. Turning away from representation dissolves the perplexity of subjectivity, leaving hopeful prospects for the scientific study of consciousness. (shrink)
Gallagher’s main claim can be enhanced neurophenomenologically. In his 1907 lectures Thing and Space, Husserl argued that perception in general is enactive. Moreover, the neuroscientific theory of predictive processing connects neatly to a future-oriented phenomenology.
According to the thesis of temporal isomorphism, the experienced order of events in the world and the order in which experiences are processed in the brain are the same. The thesis is encompassed in the brain-time view, a popular view on the literature of the temporal illusions. The view is commonly contrasted with the event-time view, which maintains that the experienced order of events reflects the order in which the events occur in the world. This chapter focuses on the conflict (...) between the two views in the contexts of perceptual asymmetry in visual perception and temporal order judgment tasks. It is argued that both views mean slightly different things in these contexts. Accordingly, it is possible for one to endorse both the brain-time view and the event-time view at the same time. On the broader perspective, the chapter illustrates how time order is employed differently by various perceptual processes, resulting in different characteristics from implicit and explicit time perception. (shrink)
Context: Neurophenomenology lies at a rich intersection of neuroscience and lived human experience, as described by phenomenology. As a new discipline, it is open to many new questions, methods, and proposals. Problem: The best available scientific ontology for neurophenomenology is based in dynamical systems. However, dynamical systems afford myriad strategies for organizing and representing neurodynamics, just as phenomenology presents an array of aspects of experience to be captured. Here, the focus is on the pervasive experience of subjective time. There is (...) a need for concepts that describe synchronic (parallel) features of experience as well as diachronic (dynamic) structures of temporal objects. Method: The paper includes an illustrative discussion of the role of temporality in the construction of the awareness of objects, in the tradition of Husserl, James, and most of 20th century phenomenology. Temporality illuminates desiderata for the dynamical concepts needed for experiment and explanation in neurophenomenology. Results: The structure of music – rather than language – is proposed as a source for descriptive and explanatory concepts in a neurophenomenology that encompasses the pervasive experience of duration, stability, passing time, and change. Implications: The toolbox of cognitive musicology suddenly becomes available for dynamical systems approaches to the neurophenomenology of subjective time. The paper includes an illustrative empirical study of consonance and dissonance in application to an fMRI study of schizophrenia. Dissonance, in a sense strongly analogous to its acoustic musical meaning, characterizes schizophrenia at all times, while emerging in healthy brains only during distracting and demanding tasks. Constructivist content: Our experience of the present is a continuous and elaborate construction of the retention of the immediate past and anticipation of the immediate future. Musical concepts are almost entirely temporal and constructivist in this temporal sense – almost every element of music is constructed from relations to non-present musical/temporal contexts. Musicology may offer many new constructivist concepts and a way of thinking about the dynamical system that is the human brain. (shrink)
Introspectively, it appears that we can have experiences as of temporally extended phenomena such as change, motion, and the passage of time. A central question in the ontology of time is whether we can make sense of these experiences without assuming that the passage of time is real. The antireductionist argument against such a possibility maintains that if there is no passage of time, but only static time slices, then our experiences as of arguably temporally extended phenomena cannot be explained. (...) Consequently, insofar as we can have such experiences, reductionists need to show that these experiences are in fact realized by static means. By drawing from cognitive sciences, this is exactly what Laurie A. Paul recently aimed to show. I will argue that Paul’s argumentation fails on two grounds. First, even if her argument for accounting apparent motion by static means is successful, it does not apply to other experiences of temporal phenomena. Second, there are reasons to doubt that even apparent motion is represented by static means. Accordingly, the antireductionist argument remains to be addressed. (shrink)
“Sensation’s Ghost” identifies one type of non-sensory experience, the quasi-feelings that attend perception, inflecting them vaguely and globally. Following Husserl, I suggest that non-sensory awareness includes much more than the fringe elements Mangan discusses. Every perceptual property can be either sensed, or apprehended in a non-sensory manner. Non-sensory apprehensions are nonetheless part of the occurrent conscious awareness of objects and scenes.
Could "cognitive neuroscience" be an oxymoron? "Cognitive" and "neuroscience" cohere only to the extent that the entities identified as "cognitive" can be coordinated with entities identified as neural. This coordination is typically construed as intertheoretic reduction between "levels" of scientific description. On the cognitive side, folk psychological concepts crystallize into behavioral taxonomies, which are further analyzed into purported cognitive capacities. These capacities are expressed or operationalized in paradigmatic experimental tasks. These cogs comprise a stable ontology, sustaining more than a century (...) of psychology. On the neural side, the biological hierarchy from cells to brains also affords a . (shrink)
Many recovering dualists find that the old Cartesian demons are hard to exorcise. Dual substance abuse manifests itself not only as metaphysical dualism, but as a pervasive epistemological framework that creates an unhealthy codependent relationship between scientific realism and phenomenology. Daniel Dennett has led philosophers to recognize many of the symptoms of creeping crypto Cartesianism. In this paper, I try to take Dennett to the limit: Descartes lives on, I argue, in the very heart of cognitive science, in the concept (...) of representation. I outline a five-step program for overcoming this lingering, fundamental, allegiance to Cartesianism, and discuss Dennett's own progress along this path. (shrink)