Consciousness and neural time travel

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Consciousness is described in this article as a perception of self that is constructed for guidance of voluntary goal-directed behaviour, including neural mechanisms for mental time travel into the future during planning and into the past during episodic retrieval. Neural time travel draws on the distributed cortical perceptual processes for detecting the state of the self along multiple dimensions, including spatial location, head direction, speed, temporal duration, and egocentric relationships to items. These circuit mechanisms are regulated by neuromodulatory influences such as muscarinic acetylcholine receptors that activate intrinsic properties of neurons involved in maintaining an internal representation of self.


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