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Lecture 25

PHIL-UA 73 Lecture 25: Lectures 22-25: Chalmers, Lau, Brown, Block -- COMBO: in-class & powerpoint notes

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New York University
Ned Block

Consciousness 3 **Combination ofProfessorBlocks notesand inclass lecture (content belondstoNedBlock) 111417 First orderpaincan beproduced by empatheticmeans o Handscannerexperimentwithnails whenshownavideoofahand gettinghammeredwith nails,thepainarea of thewatchersbrain lit up,eventhoughtheywerentactually feeling pain Scorecardforthe transitivity principle:a perceptualstatesbeing phenomenallyconsciousconsists inones being awareof oneself as beingin thatstate Good o Sourceamnesia o Gopnikbabyexperiments (childrentriedtohopinto fake carsand triedtotake animals outof the picture books) Blocksays theseexperimentsgobeyondarmchairphilosophy Bad o The inexistenceof consciousness o Loweredfrontalactivationwithhighersensoryexperience Whenthere is alot ofsensoryactivation inthebackof the brain, thefrontalcortexis lessactive. You can have intenselyconscious experienceswheretheprobability of ahigherorderthoughtdecreases. The frontalpartof thebrain doesnotworkverywellin babies;itis mostlyperception.Around6months old, babieshaveahighratio of perceptualtofrontalsynapses (however, babiesareclearlyconscious). Asweget older,wehave ahigherratiooffrontalto perceptualsynapses.Babieswhoweregivena specificallyshapedpacifierpreferredtolookat imagesthatresembledthatpacifier. Consciousness depends onwhatis mostdirectly in thevisualcortex. Sowhy is therecolor consciousness intheperiphery?Asyoumovetowardstheperiphery,integrationwindows get larger thereis a lotmorespace integratedintoasingle patch ofcortex. Eventhoughtherearefewercolor receptors,theyaddupbecause thespace is largerin theperiphery. Brownand Lau InattentionalInflationexperiment: Researchers arrangedapairsof highcontrastandlow contrastimages sothatpeoplewould notattendtohigh contrastand payattention tothe low contrast. Theyfoundthat if youequalizedthe unattendedhigh contrastand attended low contrastforsensitivity (dprime),firstorderrepresentationsarethesame butconsciousness is differentsoconsciousnesscannot befirst order. Blocks reply:whattheysayis a differenceinconsciousness isactually a differencein higher order thought.Whenmaking decisions,somepeopleare liberaland othersareconservative in their answers.Youcantreally trustwhatpeoplereport BrownandLau tooktheirrepliesasa perfectindex ofconsciousness. Theyset up asituationwherethehigher orderthought andconsciousexperience wereactually different.Attentionreduces variation; inattentionincreasesvariation.Becausethereis a lot of variation, thatinformation is more likely tocross thethreshold intoconsciousness LauPaper Metacognitive pointers that donothavetheirownperceptualcontents
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