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Questions tagged [consciousness]

For questions that have to do with a sense of being awake and aware in the literal sense, but also those having to do with the nature of the mind and the formation of the individual.

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53 votes
4 answers
3k views

What are current neuronal explanations and models of 'consciousness'?

I would like to understand more about consciousness from a neuroscientific perspective. I have a limited understanding of it in the philosophical/psychological sense through lectures. Although it is ...
Vielle's user avatar
  • 1,991
24 votes
2 answers
3k views

Subconscious vs Unconscious

From what I know, we use the term 'subconscious' to refer to the things that we can bring into our conscious. and, we use the term 'unconscious' for things that we can't know, they come automatically ...
cpx's user avatar
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21 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why do dreams lose clarity quickly over time after we awaken?

Right after you wake up from a dream, you seem to be able to remember most if not all of the details. Then, over time, these details fade and often disappear. Is this a form of regression? Why is ...
CheeseConQueso's user avatar
20 votes
5 answers
2k views

If someone becomes a split-brain patient, which side will "maintain" the continuity in their consciousness?

The brain injury might apparently produce two "independent" consciousnesses, and I'm wondering where the original person's "consciousness" would "transfer". We had a debate on this over at Reddit ...
InquilineKea's user avatar
  • 2,317
20 votes
4 answers
555 views

Can we be conscious of our dreams?

During the day time, we are conscious of our surroundings and the brain does its work. During sleep, we are not conscious. We have dreams. But the brain continues to function. After we awake though,...
Sai Krishna's user avatar
19 votes
3 answers
20k views

Is it possible to run multiple thought processes concurrently?

For example, let's say I have a friend sprinting a 50m distance and that friend wants me to time the race, but I don't have a stopwatch so I have to count "manually". Can I count while simultaneously ...
pasawaya's user avatar
  • 309
19 votes
1 answer
743 views

Is there a region of cortex which over a period of development becomes the seat of self?

Background Mountcastle's hypothesis, which is based on the observation of uniform cortical anatomy, suggests that the there might be a uniform cortical "algorithm". The only reason that some cortical ...
16 votes
3 answers
1k views

Research suggesting conscious control over brain region activation?

Has there been any research proving, disproving, or exploring the concept of conscious activation of specific brain regions? To elaborate on this: I've read that performing processing tasks causes ...
BenCole's user avatar
  • 1,603
14 votes
4 answers
8k views

Running on autopilot

Sometimes, people say that they are "running on autopilot", meaning that they are doing the things that they normally do, without any real conscious involvement. I have read that it is not uncommon ...
Schroedingers Cat's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
4k views

Do characters in a dream have their own separate thoughts or identity?

I am very curious as to if any research has been done in this area, or if such a question even can be researched given the current tools and methods available to cognitive scientists. When one dreams, ...
Josh's user avatar
  • 5,390
12 votes
1 answer
111k views

Why do we wake up when we die in our dreams?

A lot of people had some experience with dying in their dreams. They all confirm they remember the whole story until the precise moment of death and it is the death itself what woke them up - not ...
vojta's user avatar
  • 223
12 votes
1 answer
402 views

Can we draw conclusions about content of thoughts from neural firing patterns?

Can the neural firing patterns of animals be associated with specific kinds of thoughts? (ie Thoughts related to food, mating, or neighborly aggression?) I am curious about the speculations in ...
Kai Lin Zhang's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
584 views

Why do we talk unconsciously while sleeping

Somniloquy is very fascinating. It is unclear what are the causes, but most of the time it is not seen as a medical condition. "Sleep talking usually occurs by itself and is most often harmless. ...
SiXUlm's user avatar
  • 211
10 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is it possible for humans to conceive of being dead?

I am reading Stephen Cave's book Immortality, and one of the claims he makes early on is that there is a "mortality paradox." This is the phenomenon that humans know that they will die (based on ...
Andy McKenzie's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
663 views

What causes dreamers to accept dreams as reality?

I have long had interest in dreaming, and one of the defining features of ordinary dreams is that the dreamer either accepts the dream as "real life", or does not question the surroundings. Compare ...
Alex Stone's user avatar
  • 9,390
10 votes
2 answers
336 views

How does this illusion - that I just inadvertently created - work?

As I was working on a basic chess application for Android, I loaded some chess clip art into my imageviews. Then this happened. Look closely at the top two rows. At first I was startled. My ...
zlaporta's user avatar
  • 101
9 votes
2 answers
1k views

How does masking work?

Masking occurs when the delay between the target and the mask is less than a threshhold (say 50 milliseconds). If sensory data passes from lower to higher visual cortices/processing regions as in a ...
Eric's user avatar
  • 375
9 votes
1 answer
474 views

The mind as a state of matter or physical system?

What examples of attempts to formalize a principled physical basis for consciousness and/or a general theory of the mind exist? I read a fascinating ArXiV preprint last year called Consciousness as a ...
Christian Hummeluhr's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
587 views

Is the split-brain, dual consciousness experiment from Rhawn Joseph valid?

I have been reading about the problem of possible dual consciousness in split brain patients and I came across this wikipedia page. In the "other experiments" section, the two last ...
ceillac's user avatar
  • 526
8 votes
1 answer
689 views

How are qualia localized in consciousness?

I understand that evolution incorporated arbitrary qualia into the default network to inform consciousness (the largest cranial global processing information subnetwork) about properties and qualities ...
Robert K's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
342 views

Has the inverted spectrum thought experiment ever been conducted (and if not, why)?

The inverted spectrum thought experiment posits that you (the subject) wake up one morning to find that your colour spectrum (or some part of it anyway) has inverted. This experiment has important ...
Arnon Weinberg's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
320 views

How much information is lost when conveying an experience or emotion to another person?

Certain languages have words that do not literally translate into any another language. There is already a small loss of information in this sense. Emotions are a personal experience and the ...
CheeseConQueso's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
344 views

Does "The Brain Machine" work?

I came across this article on Make Magazine on "The Brain Machine" which will supposedly put one into a trancelike meditative state via a combination of sound and light pulses. Is there any ...
Steve French's user avatar
7 votes
5 answers
414 views

When can we say that machines are conscious?

We have already witnessed complex computing systems winning chess games and IBM Watson beat his human counterparts at a game of 'Jeopardy!'. However, so far we have not seen signs of consciousness ...
Trewesta Anamoly's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
114 views

Relationship between oculometry/pupillometry and disorders of consciousness

I recently got to wondering whether certain eye movements or pupillary responses were correlated with disorders of consciousness (coma, VS, MCS, or even locked-in syndrome). I know that the pupillary ...
Louis Thibault's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
174 views

What are the internal and external variables for varying levels of self-awareness?

I'm looking for references to studies that show which variables increase or decrease self-awareness and to what degree. For example, internal variables could be level of a certain vitamin, brain ...
Greg McNulty's user avatar
  • 1,926
7 votes
2 answers
394 views

Does each sensory neuron type have a characteristic spike sequence pattern?

Background It is known that all sensory information is input to the brain as neural spike sequences. Now, to distinguish between the spike sequences generated by retinal red/blue/green cone cells from ...
bfrs's user avatar
  • 397
7 votes
2 answers
141 views

System 1 and unconsious

Kahneman (2011) apparently suggests there is system 1 and system 2 in decision making. If I am not wrong he says system 1 is more prone to errors because it is automatic. Is this correct assumption ...
don's user avatar
  • 71
7 votes
1 answer
126 views

Why is IIT "unmotivated"?

I'm trying to understand Searle's reply to Tononi and Koch's objections to Searle's characterization of their Intergrated Information Theory (IIT) of consciousness. Although I do understand why IIT ...
Seanny123's user avatar
  • 8,853
7 votes
1 answer
213 views

How exactly do "you" think and interact with your body?

It has been established that our brains control many processes that your body carries out autonomously and involuntarily. However, other actions are controlled by you. (e.g. you lift an arm, you walk)....
Rohan's user avatar
  • 173
6 votes
2 answers
369 views

If reality is just hallucination, how come different people see same objects

I wanted to ask this question for a long time but couldnt find any thing to support my argument. Today i found this https://www.ted.com/talk/...
GraphicalDot's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
461 views

Is hypnosis really concentration/focus?

It's widely claimed that hypnosis is a state of highly focused attention. But I've also seen many claims that the hypnotic state is about accessing the subconscious mind directly, essentially "...
Marc.2377's user avatar
  • 300
6 votes
2 answers
3k views

Do many people have an "Accompanying Voice" - an equal they converse with?

A hypnosis professional told me this is true, so I am asking: is it a fact of psychology that many people have a voice that they talk with "in their head" which talks back to them and helps solve ...
user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
63 views

Does fluency on a psychomotor task result from practice and a focus on accuracy?

I know this formula, and I don't know where did I read it (or maybe heard about): Conscious accuracy + continuous practice = spontaneous fluency It's an educational technique for long-term ...
Saeed Neamati's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
156 views

What correlation is there between breath control and personal self confidence?

In yoga, the instructor mentioned that controlled deep breathing can increase self-confidence. (Next time, I will ask him why he believes that but I doubt he has any references...) Furthermore, ...
Greg McNulty's user avatar
  • 1,926
6 votes
1 answer
158 views

Is there a term in psychology for when a tool is perceived as an extension of your body?

Is there a specific term that describes the phenomenon where you perceive a tool as an extension of your own body? An example of this would be when a skilled artist or tradesman has so mastered their ...
Scribbler's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
339 views

Does the structure of consciousness mimic that of the visual process?

It seems to me that the structure of the conscious mind has some strong similarities to the way our visual field functions. The visual field has a strong and detailed focus at the center, and this is ...
Clay C's user avatar
  • 61
6 votes
1 answer
736 views

Do brain cells get replaced/repaired completely?

Okay so this is a claim that you can see made on the internet that the none of the atoms remain in your body forever. This caught my interest cause this could be used to show that consciousness is not ...
Tangent's user avatar
  • 61
6 votes
1 answer
108 views

Different levels of consciousness

The answer provided by @user287279 to When does a human baby develop a consciousness? is a great answer in my mind which scrapes the surface of what consciousness consists of. When you look at ...
Chris Rogers's user avatar
  • 12.3k
6 votes
1 answer
381 views

Descriptive models of different types of consciousness

In behavioral experiments we get the first-person responses of the participants. The third-person perspective is available through the collected data. There is a second-person perspective collected ...
Dana Sugu's user avatar
  • 511
6 votes
0 answers
1k views

Can you self-induce a derealization episode?

From The experimental induction of depersonalization (DP) and derealization (DR) in panic disorder and nonanxious subjects (Miller, et al., 1994) DP and DR induction procedures were the following: ...
Declan Konroyd's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

How does subjective experience arise from matter?

Forgive me for lacking rigor, but if what I know is correct, it is established that consciousness and other higher functions characteristic of humans are a consequence of our cortex, specifically ...
w128's user avatar
  • 349
5 votes
3 answers
436 views

How can machine possibly possess consciousness if computation is a human idea?

Suppose a computer simulates a human brain so that it passes the Turing test. Suppose that this brain is given sensory stimuli that correspond to an experience of being in an Earth-like world. From ...
Dan's user avatar
  • 159
5 votes
3 answers
879 views

Why does even the most rational brain forget logic in a dream?

Scenario 1) Now we all know gravity is real. Yet when we dream that we are flying we forget/or are oblivious to the entire concept of gravity as if you have never experienced gravity. Scenario 2) ...
Flood Gravemind's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
408 views

Is there cognizance or meta-awareness of classical conditioning?

Behaviorism's initial popularity was largely due to it's ability to take cognition and consciousness out of the equation; bringing it close to something that could be tested completely objectively by ...
Ben Brocka's user avatar
  • 9,846
5 votes
2 answers
260 views

Threshold time for stimulus to be consciously perceived. Why?

A visual stimulus must last longer than some threshold duration to be perceived consciously. For example, a light dot flashed for a duration of 10ms can't be consciously perceived. Why? What prevents ...
Eric's user avatar
  • 375
5 votes
2 answers
451 views

Why does injury cause brief unconsciousness?

I suppose I'm thinking specifically about head injuries, though this question applies to any injury that causes unconsciousness for, say, a few minutes. If you would revive so soon, why would you fall ...
MackTuesday's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
431 views

What triggers people to do competitive activities?

From my past I have seen some people who like to compete in games and try to be first(by games I mean all kind of games or hobbies such as video-games, sports etc. in which competition is included). I ...
Phil_Charly's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
272 views

Meditation for patients with neuroleptic induced tension

Patients taking antipsychotic (neuroleptic) drugs often suffer from some kind of discomfort or tension. This can manifest as a neuroleptic induced dysphoria, akathisia, or some kind of anxiety. Is ...
xralf's user avatar
  • 373
5 votes
0 answers
121 views

At what point does a human become self-aware?

What are the conditions for being self-aware? If this answer can not be answered by naming specific traits, behavior unique to a self-aware being, complexity of development or other tangible concepts, ...
marko-36's user avatar
  • 151