For questions that have to do with a sense of being awake and aware in the literal sense, but also those having to do with the nature of the mind and the formation of the individual.

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29
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3answers
1k views

What are current neuronal explanations and models of 'consciousness'?

I would like to understand more about consciousness from a neuroscientific perspective. I have a limited understanding of it in the philosophical/psychological sense through lectures. Although it is ...
21
votes
1answer
784 views

Subconscious vs Unconscious

From what I know, we use the term 'subconscious' to refer to the things that we can bring into our conscious. and, we use the term 'unconscious' for things that we can't know, they come automatically ...
17
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3answers
305 views

Why do dreams lose clarity quickly over time after we awaken?

Right after you wake up from a dream, you seem to be able to remember most if not all of the details. Then, over time, these details fade and often disappear. Is this a form of regression? Why is ...
15
votes
1answer
430 views

Is there a region of cortex which over a period of development becomes the seat of self?

Background Mountcastle's hypothesis, which is based on the observation of uniform cortical anatomy, suggests that the there might be a uniform cortical "algorithm". The only reason that some cortical ...
14
votes
4answers
798 views

If someone becomes a split-brain patient, which side will “maintain” the continuity in their consciousness?

The brain injury might apparently produce two "independent" consciousnesses, and I'm wondering where the original person's "consciousness" would "transfer". We had a debate on this over at Reddit ...
14
votes
3answers
654 views

Research suggesting conscious control over brain region activation?

Has there been any research proving, disproving, or exploring the concept of conscious activation of specific brain regions? To elaborate on this: I've read that performing processing tasks causes ...
13
votes
3answers
252 views

Can we be conscious of our dreams?

During the day time, we are conscious of our surroundings and the brain does its work. During sleep, we are not conscious. We have dreams. But the brain continues to function. After we awake ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Running on autopilot

Sometimes, people say that they are "running on autopilot", meaning that they are doing the things that they normally do, without any real conscious involvement. I have read that it is not uncommon ...
12
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3answers
1k views

Is it possible to run multiple thought processes concurrently?

For example, let's say I have a friend sprinting a 50m distance and that friend wants me to time the race, but I don't have a stopwatch so I have to count "manually". Can I count while simultaneously ...
10
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2answers
506 views

Do characters in a dream have their own separate thoughts or identity?

I am very curious as to if any research has been done in this area, or if such a question even can be researched given the current tools and methods available to cognitive scientists. When one dreams, ...
9
votes
2answers
169 views

How does masking work?

Masking occurs when the delay between the target and the mask is less than a threshhold (say 50 milliseconds). If sensory data passes from lower to higher visual cortices/processing regions as in a ...
9
votes
3answers
241 views

What causes dreamers to accept dreams as reality?

I have long had interest in dreaming, and one of the defining features of ordinary dreams is that the dreamer either accepts the dream as "real life", or does not question the surroundings. Compare ...
9
votes
1answer
233 views

Why do we wake up when we die in our dreams?

A lot of people had some experience with dying in their dreams. They all confirm they remember the whole story until the precise moment of death and it is the death itself what woke them up - not ...
9
votes
2answers
172 views

How does this illusion - that I just inadvertently created - work?

As I was working on a basic chess application for Android, I loaded some chess clip art into my imageviews. Then this happened. Look closely at the top two rows. At first I was startled. My ...
9
votes
1answer
261 views

Can we draw conclusions about content of thoughts from neural firing patterns?

Can the neural firing patterns of animals be associated with specific kinds of thoughts? (ie Thoughts related to food, mating, or neighborly aggression?) I am curious about the speculations in ...
8
votes
5answers
494 views

Is it possible for humans to conceive of being dead?

I am reading Stephen Cave's book Immortality, and one of the claims he makes early on is that there is a "mortality paradox." This is the phenomenon that humans know that they will die (based on ...
7
votes
1answer
101 views

What are the internal and external variables for varying levels of self-awareness?

I'm looking for references to studies that show which variables increase or decrease self-awareness and to what degree. For example, internal variables could be level of a certain vitamin, brain ...
6
votes
1answer
216 views

The mind as a state of matter or physical system?

What examples of attempts to formalize a principled physical basis for consciousness and/or a general theory of the mind exist? I read a fascinating ArXiV preprint last year called Consciousness as a ...
6
votes
1answer
80 views

Relationship between oculometry/pupillometry and disorders of consciousness

I recently got to wondering whether certain eye movements or pupillary responses were correlated with disorders of consciousness (coma, VS, MCS, or even locked-in syndrome). I know that the pupillary ...
6
votes
1answer
275 views

Does the structure of consciousness mimic that of the visual process?

It seems to me that the structure of the conscious mind has some strong similarities to the way our visual field functions. The visual field has a strong and detailed focus at the center, and this is ...
6
votes
1answer
78 views

Has the inverted spectrum thought experiment ever been conducted (and if not, why)?

The inverted spectrum thought experiment posits that you (the subject) wake up one morning to find that your colour spectrum (or some part of it anyway) has inverted. This experiment has important ...
6
votes
1answer
251 views

What triggers people to do competitive activities?

From my past I have seen some people who like to compete in games and try to be first(by games I mean all kind of games or hobbies such as video-games, sports etc. in which competition is included). I ...
6
votes
1answer
300 views

How are qualia localized in consciousness?

I understand that evolution incorporated arbitrary qualia into the default network to inform consciousness (the largest cranial global processing information subnetwork) about properties and qualities ...
6
votes
1answer
312 views

Descriptive models of different types of consciousness

In behavioral experiments we get the first-person responses of the participants. The third-person perspective is available through the collected data. There is a second-person perspective collected ...
6
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0answers
87 views

Why do we talk unconsciously while sleeping [closed]

Somniloquy is very fascinating. It is unclear what are the causes, but most of the time it is not seen as a medical condition. "Sleep talking usually occurs by itself and is most often harmless. ...
5
votes
3answers
210 views

How much information is lost when conveying an experience or emotion to another person?

Certain languages have words that do not literally translate into any another language. There is already a small loss of information in this sense. Emotions are a personal experience and the ...
5
votes
1answer
37 views

Does fluency on a psychomotor task result from practice and a focus on accuracy?

I know this formula, and I don't know where did I read it (or maybe heard about): Conscious accuracy + continuous practice = spontaneous fluency It's an educational technique for long-term ...
5
votes
2answers
120 views

What correlation is there between breath control and personal self confidence?

In yoga, the instructor mentioned that controlled deep breathing can increase self-confidence. (Next time, I will ask him why he believes that but I doubt he has any references...) Furthermore, ...
5
votes
1answer
57 views

How exactly do “you” think and interact with your body?

It has been established that our brains control many processes that your body carries out autonomously and involuntarily. However, other actions are controlled by you. (e.g. you lift an arm, you ...
5
votes
0answers
64 views

Why does injury cause brief unconsciousness?

I suppose I'm thinking specifically about head injuries, though this question applies to any injury that causes unconsciousness for, say, a few minutes. If you would revive so soon, why would you fall ...
4
votes
1answer
274 views

Does “The Brain Machine” work?

I came across this article on Make Magazine on "The Brain Machine" which will supposedly put one into a trancelike meditative state via a combination of sound and light pulses. Is there any ...
4
votes
3answers
92 views

When can we say that machines are conscious?

We have already witnessed complex computing systems winning chess games and IBM Watson beat his human counterparts at a game of 'Jeopardy!'. However, so far we have not seen signs of consciousness ...
4
votes
1answer
154 views

Is consciousness a biological function?

I'm watching a TED Talk by John Searle who is claiming that consciousness is a biological function. Is there any indisputable evidence for or against this assertion?
4
votes
1answer
204 views

Is there cognizance or meta-awareness of classical conditioning?

Behaviorism's initial popularity was largely due to it's ability to take cognition and consciousness out of the equation; bringing it close to something that could be tested completely objectively by ...
4
votes
2answers
238 views

Does each sensory neuron type have a characteristic spike sequence pattern?

Background It is known that all sensory information is input to the brain as neural spike sequences. Now, to distinguish between the spike sequences generated by retinal red/blue/green cone cells ...
4
votes
1answer
53 views

How to examine person's awareness of a certain topic?

I am conducting a case study on the topic of refugees and asylum seekers. My particular interest is: How aware is my test subject of the reasons (political persecution, famine, war, ...) why these ...
4
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0answers
59 views

very weird Split Brain Dual Consciousness experiments references on Wikipedia

I have been reading about the problem of possible dual consciousness in split brain patients and I came across this wikipedia page about: ...
4
votes
0answers
92 views

Are preattentive processes necessarily unconscious processes?

Are preattentive processes necessarily unconscious processes? If no, why not, and could you please provide an example of a preattentive process of which we are conscious? If yes, why? To the ...
3
votes
3answers
280 views

How did the unique features of human intelligence evolve?

I have been debating the following topic with a friend. She argues that humans do not descend from chimpanzees or orang-utans, because if we did, such animals would share the same cognitive thinking ...
3
votes
2answers
150 views

Neurosurgically grown neural link between two brains?

I guess it's possible to surgically restore neural connection after a trauma (e.g. a severed hand can be reattached if done quickly). And, from history of evolution of hominids, it seems that just by ...
3
votes
3answers
107 views

Why does even the most rational brain forget logic in a dream?

Scenario 1) Now we all know gravity is real. Yet when we dream that we are flying we forget/or are oblivious to the entire concept of gravity as if you have never experienced gravity. Scenario 2) ...
3
votes
1answer
88 views

Is consciousness a sub product of the brain or is there a duality? [duplicate]

I am trying to understand what consciousness is, based on my basic knowledge of our senses, artificial intelligence (computer vision, specifically) and some philosophy. Here's my reasoning: As far as ...
3
votes
1answer
196 views

Why do our senses evoke different subjective experiences

I'm wondering why there are different subjective experiences when our sensor systems are technically the same neurons that just get excited by different stuff (photons, soundwaves, ...). So why does ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Scientific findings of strobe lights and the brain

While there is a lot of general discussion and articles on the web that strobe lights cause epileptic seizures - I am looking for more specific data. Perhaps scientific references, papers or articles ...
3
votes
2answers
49 views

Color and shape arriving together in visual system

I know that in the visual cortex there are separate visual pathways for both color and shape. Do these separate pathways imply that human beings become consciously aware of these features separately ...
3
votes
1answer
63 views

Finding consciousness through EEG

I've read an article about the consciousness in vegetative patients. Adrian Owen is one of the neuroscientist making research on this field. The article published on "Le scienze" was about the usage ...
3
votes
1answer
87 views

Definitions of consciousness

It seems to me that many people know for themselves some extraordinary things about consciousness but rare are the people that can provide a definition of it. I have never met two people providing the ...
3
votes
1answer
110 views

How do I change my tiredness patterns?

All of you probably know what the human 'circadian cycle' is, and depending on your personality, you would either be a night-owl or a morning-lark. I am interested in understanding the patterns of ...
3
votes
1answer
118 views

Threshold time for stimulus to be consciously perceived. Why?

A visual stimulus must last longer than some threshold duration to be perceived consciously. For example, a light dot flashed for a duration of 10ms can't be consciously perceived. Why? What prevents ...
3
votes
0answers
66 views

How does the unconscious mind work and can we consciously have any control over its contents and functions? [closed]

I have read up that the unconscious mind has substantial influence over our decisions, reactions and behaviors. Can we have much influence on how it functions and can we use it to our benefit? Also, ...