Consciousness Essay example

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Consciousness

To define such a universally experienced phenomena as consciousness may seem on the most superficial level rather unnecessary. Yet a more scientific, and at times philosophical, investigation into the phenomena demands some sort of confirmed interpretation which supercedes any such common understanding. For our purposes the content of consciousness may be deemed those things of which one is aware and thus can report. Thinking, as well, and the higher-level mechanisms associated there in may also be components of this consciousness. While additionally an individuals' conception that the way in which she experiences the world comes from more than just the neuronal activity of her brain can be understood as a contribution
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Certain individuals who have experienced extensive damage to those cortical areas related to sight may report an inability to perceive visual stimuli. In some cases, when presented with a moving spot of light, such individuals who claim to have witnessed no optical occurrence whatsoever will subsequently "guess", well above chance level, the direction of the lights' movement (1). In this phenomena of blindsight it would be the individual's "on-line system" (or "I-function") which provokes the claims that he perceives no stimuli while clearly the "seeing system" has, though on an unconscious level, seen something (1).

In an attempt to determine the location of the neuronal correlate of consciousness Crick and Koch conducted research that used images characterized by their bistable precepts. Such visual stimuli (ex: the Serendip - directional arrows) present a constant visual input which results in two possible subject precepts - which tend to alternate in conscious perception. An experimental determination is subsequently made as to which neurons in the brain are attending to the input and which to the precept (whichever is being conceived at that moment). This type of investigative procedure has been preformed on the macaque visual system and results from research published in 1989 by Logothetis indicated that monkeys (non-human primates) and humans perceive such bistable inputs in
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