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Perceiving the World$
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Bence Nanay

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195386196

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195386196.001.0001

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When Is Perception Conscious?

When Is Perception Conscious?

(p.310) 11 When Is Perception Conscious?
Perceiving the World

Jesse J. Prinz (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter defends the thesis that perception is conscious when and only when we pay attention to what we perceive. Attention is what makes perception conscious. Empirical evidence for this thesis reviewed, and an analysis of attention is offered, according to which attention makes perceptual states available to working memory, but does not necessarily require encoding in working memory. The idea that consciousness involves availability to working memory bears similarities to other theories of consciousness in the literature, but it is also importantly different. The chapter ends with a critical survey of recent experimental results that purport to establish dissociations between attention and consciousness.

Keywords:   attention, consciousness, perception, working memory

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