The Emergence of Consciousness: A top-down, social phenomenon?
  • ISSN 0929-0907
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9943
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In the first talk I discuss recent experiments designed to elucidate the neural correlates of consciousness. Implicit in this discussion are operational definitions of what I mean by consciousness. In the second talk I explore the extent to which we are conscious of being in control of our actions, our sense of agency. I raise the question of why we need to be aware of actions at all since we can achieve so much without such awareness. In the final talk I propose that consciousness has a critical role in social interactions. Consciousness of action allows us to assign responsibility and develop culturally acceptable justifications for action. Furthermore, consciousness enables us to share our experiences in a manner that is optimal for group decisions.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): action; agency; Bayesian committee; consciousness; intention; responsibility; social
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