Posts Tagged ‘working memory’

The specious present

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Once upon a time Laura Spinney :: New Scientist, 10 January 2015 :: www.newscientist.com Summary and review of the above article INTRODUCTION: The brain is shown to assemble the experience of the specious present from inputs arriving at a variety of times. It is seen to use its inputs to make very short timescale predictions about the future, providing the evolutionary advantage of quicker reaction times. Unusually for something published in a popular science magazine, there is also a challenge Read more […]

The Conscious Brain

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Author: Jesse J. Prinz, Published by Oxford University Press (2012) Summary and review of the above book INTRODUCTION: Prinz argues that a theory of consciousness requires a process, and also a location in the brain for that process to take effect. The direction of attention is seen as necessary and sufficient for consciousness to arise. The location is argued to be the secondary or intermediate cortex. Consciousness generated in this area is then used by the working memory for deliberative processing; Read more […]

Turing, Consciousness and Thought

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Stephen Baxter’s short article in the science magazine, Focus, highlights some of the problems that arise in dealing with consciousness in a scientific forum. Baxter suggests that Turing made a correct, or at least insightful decision, in deciding to aim at a test as to whether robots/computers could think like humans, while avoiding the possibly unscientific or undefined area of consciousness. This is not strictly speaking true. Turing appeared to have believed that having a robot/computer that Read more […]

Neuroscience of Attention

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Ed. George R. Mangun. Oxford University Press (2012) Summary and review of the above book INTRODUCTION:  Voluntary attention is shown to be involved with slower and more deliberative processing, as opposed to the quick reaction of involuntary attention. Voluntary attention involves the frontal brain regions dealing with both emotional/evaluative and planning/working memory processing; these are some of the areas most closely correlated to conscious experience. They are thought to influence Read more […]

Frontal Eye Field and Direction of Attention

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  A Stage Theory of Attention and Action Jeffrey D. Schall & Geoffrey F. Woodman, Vanderbilt Vision Research Centre The Neuroscience of Attention – Ed. George R. Mangun, Oxford University Press (2012) Summary & Review of this Chapter INTRODUCTION: The frontal eye field (FEF) receives converging inputs from many cortical areas, and may use visual representations in working memory to select targets for spatial attention. The decision to shift the gaze is seen as being dependent Read more […]

Neural basis of freewill

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Peter Ulric Tse MIT Press Summary and review of the above book The author argues for a form of conscious agency that plays a role in the brain’s executive functions and in endogneous attention (attention to issues generated within the brain rather than exogenous signals from outside). Executive functions involve assessing possible behaviours against goals. Qualia are seen as something that can be operated on by endogneous attention. Volitional attention is argued to take place only in relation Read more […]