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I do not have much knowledge, if any, on cognitive sciences so bare with me if this question is trivial or absurd.

I wonder this question because, personally, I feel less or more conscious during days where I'm less or more cognitively active. I'm sure this is not an uncommon experience. On days where I am very 'slow', I zone in and out of focus quite frequently and I cannot retain focus for long periods of time. During these moments out of focus and inside of my mind, thinking, I don't feel conscious. I feel as though I am waking up each time I come back to attention.

Then, when I really try hard to focus on, say, a beautiful scene (like a setting sun) I feel extremely more conscious because I am actively processing the definition of the image quality (requiring working memory, correct?).

It feels wrong posting something like this because it's entirely anecdotal but I'm not sure how else to research this 'feeling'..

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    $\begingroup$ I think you can find the answer in my answer to another question about attention and mind-wandering: cogsci.stackexchange.com/a/13973/11318 . I believe your experience of "lack of consciousness" is perceptual decoupling, where people are less capable of perceiving external stimuli. $\endgroup$ – Robin Kramer Dec 23 '16 at 6:26