On why the unconscious prerequisites and consequences of consciousness might derail us from unraveling the neural correlates of consciousness
It has been proposed that one key step for solving the mystery of consciousness is to locate the neural correlates of consciousness (NCC). The experimental paradigms for revealing the NCC have commonly applied the contrast between conditions with and without conscious perception. However, such contrast does not exclusively reveal the neural processes directly related to conscious experience of the target but also the prerequisites for and the consequences of conscious perception. Therefore, understanding the neural bases of conscious experience requires the NCC to be experimentally disentangled from these confounding processes. Here we review some recent experimental developments and suggest some new empirical approaches for distilling the neural basis of conscious perception.