How is phenomenal consciousness related to attention?
- Prinz (2000). A neurofunctional theory of visual consciousness. Consciousness and Cognition 9 (2), 243-59.
- Mack and Rock (1998) Inattentional Blindness MIT Press.
- Christof Koch & Naotsugu Tsuchiya, Attention and Consciousness: Two Distinct Brain Processes. Trends in Cognitive Sciences (2007) 11, 16-22
- Chris Mole, “Attention in the Absence of Consciousness?” forthcoming in Trends in Cognitive Sciences
- Chris Mole, “Attention and Consciousness”, Journal of Consciousness Studies.
- Change blindness = Failure to notice large changes in the visual scene occurring in full view.
- Inattentional blindness = Failure to detect unexpected objects that are not under visual attention.
- Attentional blink
- One proposal - the richness of visual experience is an illusion. We see only what we attend to.
Four kinds of cases
Consciousness with attention
- Identifying novel and unexpected stimuli
Consciousness without attention
- Perception of non-attended area - the gist of a photograph
- Male/female, famous/not-famous face discrimination in non-attended periphery (but cannot distinguish rotated 'T' from rotated 'L')
Attention without consciousness
Commonsense psychology suggests that it is impossible. "X attends to Y" entails "X is conscious of Y".
- Priming of invisible words being attended to
- Nudes of opposite sex suppressed by continuous flash attract attention
- Attention to target in blindfield improves reaction time in blindsight subject GY
- Shows only attention to a location without conscious awareness of the object at that location.
- Fails to show that it is possible to attend to an object without being consciously aware of it.
Neither consciousness nor attention
- Information in the optic fibre
- Attention necessary for consciousness (but might not be sufficient).
- Visual consciousness a matter of attention directing information from sensory systems into short-term memory.
- Intriligator and Cavanagh (2001). The Spatial Resolution of Visual Attention. Cognitive Psychology, 43, 171-216.
- According to Block, subjects have visual experience of the lines as individually distinct even though they cannot attend individually to some of the lines.
- Aerodontalgia - perhaps there is P-consciousness depsite the lack of attention.