Tuesday, 7 February 2012
Segregating Conscious Vision
Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition and Department of Philosophy
Carnegie Mellon University
12:05 pm, 817R Cathedral of Learning
Abstract: One aim in the neuroscience of consciousness is to identify neural correlates. Interpreted in one way, to identify a neural correlate of consciousness would be to segregate consciousness to certain parts of the brain. For visual consciousness, a highly influential theory of human vision segregates consciousness to one of the two anatomical human cortical visual streams. This received view, I shall argue, is not tenable. I focus on the spatial features of visual experience and the deployment of various spatial reference frames. The first step is conceptual work to show how visual experience represents space egocentrically (centered on the perceiver's body). The second step is to show that we have empirical evidence that our spatial experience of the world is a result of the integration of information processed in both streams. I conclude that the current model of the neural substrate for visual consciousness is too restrictive.