A global workspace model for phenomenal and access consciousness

Consciousness and Cognition 19 (2):580-596 (2010)
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Both the global workspace theory and Block’s distinction between phenomenal and access consciousness, are central in the current debates about consciousness and the neural correlates of consciousness. In this article, a unifying global workspace model for phenomenal and access consciousness is proposed. In the model, recurrent neural interactions take place in distinct yet interacting access and phenomenal brain loops. The effectiveness of feedback signaling onto sensory cortical maps is emphasized for the neural correlates of phenomenal consciousness. Two forms of top-down attention, attention for perception and attention for access, play differential roles for phenomenal and access consciousness. The model is implemented in a neural network form, with the simulation of single and multiple visual object processing, and of the attentional blink



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