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The Character of Consciousness$
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David J. Chalmers

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195311105

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195311105.001.0001

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On the Search for the Neural Correlate of Consciousness

On the Search for the Neural Correlate of Consciousness

Chapter:
(p.91) 4 On the Search for the Neural Correlate of Consciousness
Source:
The Character of Consciousness
Author(s):

David J. Chalmers (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195311105.003.0004

This chapter addresses the question: how can we isolate the neural correlate of consciousness (NCC) in the absence of a “consciousness meter,” which measures consciousness directly? The obvious answer is that we rely on verbal reports and other behavioral indicators of consciousness. Importantly, the use of these indicators tacitly relies on pre-experimental principles that connect these behavioral indicators to consciousness. The use of these principles is unavoidable, and this has a number of interesting consequences for the science. After drawing out some of the key principles, the chapter presents some conclusions that bear directly on the practical methodology of the scientific work in this area.

Keywords:   neural correlate of consciousness, study of consciousness, conscious experience, behavioral indicators, consciousness meter

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