: The answer to the question of what health care services should be covered by a managed care plan is straightforward; the plan should cover whatever the consumer is willing to pay for. From the plan's perspective, the consumer is the payer, that is, the employer who negotiates the plan; not the individual patient whose personal preferences and interests may be quite different. Since managed care organizations contract with payers to arrange for health care services within a defined set of (...) benefits, there is a broader question as well: Within the benefits chosen by the payer, what actually is covered? Criteria for determining "medical necessity," which managed care plans frequently use as the basis for coverage, are discussed. (shrink)
This collection of essays, addresses, and one interview come from the years 1966-73 and cover a wide spectrum of interest, dealing with such general topics as 'The Absence of God in Modern Culture' and 'The Future of Christianity.'.
Conscious experience is one of the most difficult and thorny problems in psychological science. Its study has been neglected for many years, either because it was thought to be too difficult, or because the relevant evidence was thought to be poor. Bernard Baars suggests a way to specify empirical constraints on a theory of consciousness by contrasting well-established conscious phenomena - such as stimulus representations known to be attended, perceptual, and informative - with closely comparable unconscious ones - such (...) as stimulus representations known to be preperceptual, unattended, or habituated. Adducing data to show that consciousness is associated with a kind of global workplace in the nervous system, and that several brain structures are known to behave in accordance with his theory, Baars helps to clarify many difficult problems. (shrink)
Can we make progress exploring consciousness? Or is it forever beyond human reach? In science we never know the ultimate outcome of the journey. We can only take whatever steps our current knowledge affords. This paper explores today's evidence from the viewpoint of Global Workspace theory. First, we ask what kind of evidence has the most direct bearing on the question. The answer given here is ‘contrastive analysis’ -- a set of paired comparisons between similar conscious and unconscious processes. This (...) body of evidence is already quite large, and constrains any possible theory . Because it involves both conscious and unconscious events, it deals directly with our own subjective experience, as anyone can tell by trying the demonstrations in this article. (shrink)
Presents Bernard Lonergan's five "verbum" articles that originally appeared in Theological studies. For Thomist students and scholars this "verbum" study offers a careful appraisal of the Thomist theory of knowledge as well as an introduction to the concepts found in Father Lonergan's "Insight". Since the concept of "verbum" dynamically affects the thought of Aquinas, it is necessary to grasp this concept to understand Thomist metaphysics and rational psychology. Lonergan has carefully analyzed and explicitly outlined "verbum"--An integral part of the (...) Thomist theory of knowledge. "Verbum" is examined as a tool of definition and for its impact on understanding, logical thought procession and related ideas stemming from "verbum". Discusses "the word" and its relation to abstraction. Focusses on St. Thomas' immediate concern in finding in Aristotle the point of insertion for Augustinian thought and in fusing a phenomenology of the subject with a psychology of the soul. (shrink)
Conscious perception, like the sight of a coffee cup, seems to involve the brain identifying a stimulus. But conscious input activates more brain regions than are needed to identify coffee cups and faces. It spreads beyond sensory cortex to frontoparietal association areas, which do not serve stimulus identiﬁcation as such. What is the role of those regions? Parietal cortex support the ‘ﬁrst person perspective’ on the visual world, unconsciously framing the visual object stream. Some prefrontal areas select and interpret conscious (...) events for executive control. Such functions can be viewed as properties of the subject, rather than the object, of experience – the ‘observing self’ that appears to be needed to maintain the conscious state. (shrink)
In the last decade, careful studies of the living brain have opened the way for human consciousness to return to the heights it held before the behavioristic coup of 1913. This is illustrated by seven cases: the discovery of widespread brain activation during conscious perception; high levels of regional brain metabolism in the resting state of consciousness, dropping drastically in unconscious states; the brain correlates of inner speech; visual imagery; fringe consciousness; executive functions of the self; and volition. Other papers (...) in this issue expand on many of these points. . In the past, evidence based on subjective reports was often neglected . It is still true that brain evidence has greater credibility than subjective reports, no matter how reliable. What is new is increasing convergence between subjective experiences and brain observations. For that reason it is no longer rare to see the word 'consciousness' and 'subjectivity' in major science journals. No one so far has discovered a gulf dividing mind and brain. On the contrary, the new evidence supports the central role of consciousness as it was regarded over more than two millenia of written thought. In a sense this was predictable. Nature is full of unexpected convergences -- between fruit fly genes and the human body, between the arc of a tennis ball and the orbit of Mars, and between consciousness and the brain. These convergences show once again the remarkable unity of the observable universe. (shrink)
When are psychologists entitled to call a certain theoretical construct "consciousness?" Over the past few decades cognitive psychologists have reintroduced almost the entire conceptual vocabulary of common sense psychology, but now in a way that is tied explicitly to reliable empirical observations, and to compelling and increasingly adequate theoretical models. Nevertheless, until the past few years most cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists avoided dealing with consciousness. Today there is an increasing willingness to do so. But is "consciousness" different from other theoretical (...) entities like "working memory" or "mental imagery"? Some argue that under no circumstances can empirical science speak of consciousness as such, while others claim that the scientific goal is "knowing what it is like to be a bat" --- to share an organism's conscious experience . The Bat Criterion is ominously reminiscent of the protracted debate on the consciousness of ants and amoebas that caused so much uneasiness in psychology around 1900. It seems to demand that we first solve the mind-body problem as a condition of doing sensible science, and thereby creates the risk of endless, fruitless controversy. The endless philosophical debate about consciousness helped trigger the Behaviorist revolution about 1913, which threw out the baby of consciousness with the bathwater of perennial, circular debate. We've been that way; let's not go back to it. This paper maintains that the position of behavioristic denial is far too restrictive, but that the Bat Criterion is far too demanding --- that in fact, we only need to specify comparable pairs of psychological phenomena that differ only in the fact that one member of any pair is conscious, while the other is not. This "method of contrastive analysis" is a generalization of the experimental method, with consciousness as a variable whose interaction with other psychological and biological phenomena can be assessed in standard ways. As usual in science, this strategy is pragmatic: If it appears to yield sensible results, it can be a stepping-stone toward further understanding . This paper describes five sets of well-established pairs of phenomena that meet these criteria. Others are presented elsewhere, with more of a theoretical interpretation . Here I simply want to show that any adequate theory of conscious experience must satisfy these demanding but achievable empirical constraints. (shrink)
The world of our experience consists at all times of two parts, an objective and a subjective part . . . The objective part is the sum total of whatsoever at any given time we may be thinking of, the subjective part is the inner 'state' in which the thinking comes to pass.
?In everday language, the word ?attention? implies control of access to consciousness, and we adopt this usage here. Attention itself can be either voluntary or automatic. This can be readily modeled in the theory. Further, a contrastive analysis of spontaneously self?attributed vs. self?alien experiences suggests that ?self? can be interpreted as the more enduring, higher levels of the dominant context hierarchy, which create continuity over the changing flow of events. Since context is by definition unconscious in GW theory, self in (...) this sense is thought to be inherently unconscious as well. This proposal is consistent with a great deal of objective evidence. However, aspects of self may become known through ?conscious self-monitoring,? a process that ??is useful for self-evaluation and self?control. The results of conscious self-monitoring are combined with self?evaluation criteria, presumably of social origin, to produce a stable ?self?concept?, which functions as a supervisory system within the larger self organization. (shrink)
Soldiers returning from war have always exhibited signs of psychological and emotional distress. In this book, Bernard J. Verkamp argues that the contemporary response to such symptoms—psychiatric treatment and therapy—is only a partial solution, and that when dealing with soldiers’ emotions of guilt and shame we would benefit greatly from a consideration of the religiously grounded practices of the Middle Ages. Drawing on a wide range of sources, including Reinhold Niebuhr, Michael Walzer, and the long tradition of just war (...) theory, Verkamp offers a stirring—and timely—call to reconsider our assumptions in light of historical understanding. “A wonderful book. The author’s erudition is staggering and the analysis is equally impressive.”—Stanley Hauerwas, Duke University. (shrink)
When “divided attention” methods were discovered in the 1950s their implications for conscious experience were not widely appreciated. Yet when people process competing streams of sensory input they show both selective processesandclear contrasts between conscious and unconscious events. This paper suggests that the term “attention” may be best applied to theselection and maintenanceof conscious contents and distinguished from consciousness itself. This is consistent with common usage. The operational criteria for selective attention, defined in this way, are entirely different from those (...) used to assess consciousness. To illustrate the scientific usefulness of the distinction it is applied to Posner's brain model of visual attention. It seems that features that are often attributed to attention—like limited capacity—may more accurately be viewed as properties of consciousness. (shrink)