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An information processing view of fringe consciousness

May, J. (2004) An information processing view of fringe consciousness. Psyche, 10 (1). pp. 1-9. ISSN 1039-723X

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Abstract

Commentary on: Mangan, B. (2001) Sensation's ghost: the non-sensory "fringe" of consciousness. Psyche, 7(18), October 2001 http://psyche.cs.monash.edu.au/v7/psyche-7-18-mangan.html

In posing the sense of 'Rightness' as a quality-of-processing measure, Mangan runs the risk of a homuncular argument, since some process needs to observe Rightness, as well as the sensory qualia. Interacting Cognitive Subsystems (ICS) is an information processing account of cognitive activity that is concordant with Mangan's arguments, but which avoids the need for any supervisory system or central executive. The approach models thought as the flow of information between nine different levels of mental representation, and includes a distinction between an unselective diffuse awareness of all active levels of representation, and a selective focal awareness of a single topic of processing. A distinction is introduced between two non-sensory representations: propositional and implicational meaning. While the propositional representations can be easily verbalised, the sensory and implicational representations can only be verbalised via propositional representations. All representations are accessible, although implications and sensory representations are harder to express verbally. As a principled model, ICS can be mapped into anatomical and neural models, supporting argumentation about physical pathways in the brain and functional pathways in the mind.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: Copyright © Jon May 2002
Keywords: Consciousness, Cognition, Information Processing, Awareness, Fringe
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > Department of Psychology (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2005
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2014 15:16
Published Version: http://psyche.cs.monash.edu.au/
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/304

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