Is human information processing conscious?

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 14 (4):651-69 (1991)
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Abstract

Investigations of the function of consciousness in human information processing have focused mainly on two questions: (1) where does consciousness enter into the information processing sequence and (2) how does conscious processing differ from preconscious and unconscious processing. Input analysis is thought to be initially "preconscious," "pre-attentive," fast, involuntary, and automatic. This is followed by "conscious," "focal-attentive" analysis which is relatively slow, voluntary, and flexible. It is thought that simple, familiar stimuli can be identified preconsciously, but conscious processing is needed to identify complex, novel stimuli. Conscious processing has also been thought to be necessary for choice, learning and memory, and the organization of complex, novel responses, particularly those requiring planning, reflection, or creativity.

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Max Velmans
Goldsmiths College, University of London

Citations of this work

Facing up to the problem of consciousness.David Chalmers - 1995 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 2 (3):200-19.
Perceptual symbol systems.Lawrence W. Barsalou - 1999 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (4):577-660.
Conscious experience.Fred Dretske - 1993 - Mind 102 (406):263-283.

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The View From Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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