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The Missing Link in CognitionOrigins of self-reflective consciousness$
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Herbert S. Terrace and Janet Metcalfe

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195161564

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195161564.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 December 2021

Humans as Applied Motivation Scientists: Self-Consciousness From “Shared Reality” and “Becoming”

Humans as Applied Motivation Scientists: Self-Consciousness From “Shared Reality” and “Becoming”

(p.157) 6 Humans as Applied Motivation Scientists: Self-Consciousness From “Shared Reality” and “Becoming”
The Missing Link in Cognition

E. Tory Higgins

Oxford University Press

The chapter supports the continuity view of the evolution of self-consciousness. It argues that self-reflective consciousness is not an autonomous “add on” that is controlled by a particular module of the brain. The chapter presents a gradualist view of the emergence of self-reflective consciousness that is based on increments in freedom from the control of the stimuli from the immediate environment, in sustainable attention, in self-control, and in working memory. The chapter concludes that it is the sustainability of activity in particular networks of the brain in combination with a bodily sense of self that underlies self-reflective consciousness. The chapter uses the premise of continuity theory to present some critical ideas about testing for self-awareness, how conscious and self-conscious processes may be instantiated in the brain. Alternative explanations why human infants and animals frequently fail on tests that are designed to probe the ability to self-reflect.

Keywords:   evolution of self-consciousness, continuity theory, self-awareness, consciousness, sustainable attention, self-control, working memory

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