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Proc Biol Sci. 2000 Jan 22;267(1439):197-200.

An extension to the hypothesis of the asynchrony of visual consciousness.

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Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Imperial College, London, UK.


An existing hypothesis states that visual consciousness is made up of 'microconsciousnesses' occurring asynchronously in several sites of the visual system of the brain with no need for direct means of binding. We extend this hypothesis to define what qualifies a neural activity for generating an element of consciousness to distinguish it from one that does not. We argue that, for these separate neural activities to represent elements of a compound sense of consciousness, they each need the support of sites that unconsciously process an important attentional referent and that it is the commonality of such referents in differing sites which bring the microconsciousnesses together. We consider the broader implications of this extended hypothesis for other sensory modalities and mental imagery.

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