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ConsciousnessCreeping up on the hard problem$
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Jeffrey Gray

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198520917

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198520917.001.0001

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The bodily senses

The bodily senses

(p.267) Chapter 18 The bodily senses

Jeffrey Gray

Oxford University Press

The previous chapter considered the sense of self as being made up of a point of view (computed in the parietal lobes) and belongingness (computed in the hippocampal system). These processes both require the construction in consciousness of a model of the external world. Furthermore, they are both strongly cognitive. The point of view requires the construction of a map of egocentric space; and the sense of belonging requires semantic and associative interpretation of current sensory input. This chapter considers an aspect of the sense of self that offers a sharp contrast. It is concerned, not with the external world, but with states of the body; and it largely lacks that hallmark of cognitive processing, intentionality. It is argued that core consciousness (consciousness of bodily states and the emotional reactions that reflect these states) does not differ radically from cognitive consciousness in terms of brain location. Both depend for their proximal neural correlates upon activity, not in the brain stem, but in the neocortex (however, core consciousness does differ sharply from cognitive consciousness in its general lack of intentionality).

Keywords:   sense of self, core consciousness, brain location, brain activity

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