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Behav Brain Res. 1995 Nov;71(1-2):171-5.

The problem of animal consciousness in relation to neuropsychology.

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Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, UK.


It is argued that experimental analyses of changes in sensory awareness require not only a measure of discrimination, but a separate commentary or classificatory judgment by subject. In human blindsight there is a dissociation between successful discrimination, on the one hand, and a commentary which acknowledges no awareness of the discriminanda, on the other. Comparable judgments should be possible, in principle, in animal studies of blindsight and other neurological dissociations in which there is retention of function in the absence of awareness. Important animal studies are beginning to appear along these lines. Such a procedure also always entails an assumption of normal "awareness". A complementary approach for some situations is the study of intentionality in the context of altered goals.

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