Phenomenal Consciousness and the Allocentric-Egocentric Interface
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Phenomenal Consciousness and the Allocentric-Egocentric Interface

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    Phenomenal Consciousness and the Allocentric-Egocentric Interface Phenomenal Consciousness and the Allocentric-Egocentric Interface Presentation Transcript

    • Phenomenal Consciousness and the Allocentric-Egocentric Interface Pete Mandik Associate Professor Coordinator, Cognitive Science Laboratory Chairman, Department of Philosophy William Paterson University, New Jersey USA
    • Three Problems of Consciousness
      • What is state consciousness?
        • (What makes a mental state conscious and not unconscious?)
      • What is transitive consciousness?
        • (What are we conscious of ?)
      • What is phenomenal character?
        • (What are qualia? What is “what it is like” ?)
    • The Allocentric-Egocentric Interface Theory of Consciousness
      • Consciousness consists in the interface between allocentric and egocentric coding schemes for perceptible features
      • Conscious states are hybrids of allocentric and egocentric representations and phenomenal character is determined by their contents
    • What is the egocentric allocentric distinction? ALLOCENTRIC EGOCENTRIC Self-specifying contents Non-self-specifying contents Online (sensorimotor) Offline (memory and planning) Analog, isomorphism Conceptual, categorical Info. encapsulation Inferential promiscuity
    • Levels of visual processing
    • What is the progression of levels?
      • Egocentric-to-Allocentric transformations
      Low-level (LGN and V1) Egocentric reps Intermediate-level (IT and PP) Egocentric/Allocentric Hybrid reps Highlevel (Frontal Cortex and Hippocampus) Allocentric reps
    • So, where is consciousness?
      • Not at either end of the Egocentric-Allocentric continuum
      • Pure Allocentric
      Pure Egocentric Retinocentric Body-centered Limited viewpoint invariance Amodal Category knowledge The Allocentric-Egocentric Interface The reciprocally influencing representations jointly comprise a conscious state
    • Consciousness is not purely egocentric
      • Patient DF’s visual form agnosia (Milner and Goodale 1995)
      • Bilateral ventral stream damage to area LO
    • Consciousness is not purely egocentric
      • Patient DF’s visual form agnosia
      • Perceptual consciousness of form and orientation destroyed, but sensorimotor skill intact
    • Consciousness is not purely egocentric
      • Visual consciousness is conceptually informed
      • Theory ladeness of perception
      • Dog
      • Dog sniffing ground
      • Dog’s butt facing you
      • Did I mention the dog?
      What is this a picture of? Hints:
    • Consciousness is not purely allocentric Thoughts alone have no phenomenal character: “ Pi is an irrational number” “ Natural selection depends on the variable inheritance of fitness” “ Democracy and capitalism are incompatible” Apparent phenomenality of thought due to associated imagery (Jackendoff 1987)
    • Consciousness is not purely allocentric
      • . . .this . . . this, . . . or this . . .
      . . .but not this. THREE HOUSES Visual consciousness is never viewpoint independent. The contents are like. . .
    • The need for recurrence:
        • TMS: feedback from area MT+/V5 to V1 necessary for visual awareness (P ascual-Leone & Walsh 2001)
        • Backward masking invokes feedforward activation but suppresses recurrence (Lamme 2004)
        • Feedforward activation recorded in anesthetized animals (Lamme 2004)
    • State Consciousness
      • Conscious states are composed of mutually influencing egocentric and allocentric representations
      • Contra Higher Order Representational theories, metarepresentational states are unnecessary
      • Contra First Order Representational theories, involvement of higher- level (though not higher order) states is necessary
    • Transitive Consciousness
      • What we are conscious of are the contents of the allocentric-egocentric hybrid reps
      • Contra HO theories, contents need not include other mental states (Transitivity is false)
      • Contra FO theories, contents need not exclude other mental states (Transparency is false)
    • Phenomenal Character
      • What it is like to be in a conscious state is fully determined by the representational content of that state.
      • THE END