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Consciousness Online: Hakwan Lau on the Higher-Order Theory of Consciousness

 

 
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Hakwan Lau, a cognitive neuroscientist at Columbia University and the Donders Institute, is interested in empirically testing philosophical theories of consciousness. In this talk he presents the results of his experiments that provide support for the higher-order theory of consciousness. Roughly speaking, this is the view that ordinary consciousness arises as the result of our awareness of ourselves as being in our own mental states.

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Posted August 16, 2012 by Natalie Geld

 
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H

akwan Lau, a cognitive neuroscientist at Columbia University and the Donders Institute, is interested in empirically testing philosophical theories of consciousness.

In this talk he presents the results of his experiments that provide support for the higher-order theory of consciousness.

Roughly speaking, this is the view that ordinary consciousness arises as the result of our awareness of ourselves as being in our own mental states.

Lau presents the results of his 2006 paper with Dick Passingham at Oxford. In these studies they produce a blind-sight like condition in normal subjects. That is to say that these subjects are good at detecting whether a stimulus was a square or a diamond, but in some cases reported that they were merely guessing. Because they used a masking paradigm they were able to find conditions where subjects were equally good at detecting the stimulus, but in one case said they were guessing whereas in the other case they said they clearly saw the stimulus.

When put in the scanner it was activity in the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex that was active when subjects said the stimulus was clearly visible, and was relatively deactivated when the subjects reported they were merely guessing.

Lau also considers and rebuts objections.

 

Video responses to Hakwan Lau’s presentation

…by Ned Block, David Rosenthal, and David Chalmers are on CONSCIOUSNESS ONLINE.

Ned’s Powerpoint Slides & Podcast

David’s Powerpoint Slides & Podcast

Dave’s Powerpoint slides & Podcast

 

CHECK OUT THESE PRESENTATIONS + PROFESSOR RICHARD BROWN’S INCREDIBLE CONFERENCE ARCHIVES @ CONSCIOUSNESS ONLINE

http://consciousnessonline.com/2010/02/19/sensory-awareness-and-perceptual-certainty/

 

ABOUT Consciousness Online

The Online Consciousness Conference was founded and is organized by Richard Brown and is dedicated to the rigorous study of consciousness and mind. I construe consciousness studies very broadly so as to include philosophy of mind, psychology, neuroscience, cognitive science, linguistics, neurophilosophy, and even some philosophy of language! Basically, if it relates to the mind then it relates to consciousness.

The goal is to bring philosophers, scientists, and interested lay persons together in an online venue to promote high-level discussion and exchanging of views, ideas and data related to the scientific and philosophical study of consciousness and mind. A subsidiary goal is to promote and facilitate interaction between online venues and traditional print venues.

The format of the conference is inspired by and adapted from the first and second Online Philosophy Conference.

About Founder, Richard Brown, PhD

…of all the Richard Browns in the world, I am the Onemorebrowniest.

I am a philosopher at the City University of New York. In particular I am an Associate Professor in the Philosophy Program at LaGuardia Community College. I earned my PhD in Philosophy with a"Richard Brown mbSci Executive Editorial Team Consciousness Online Bio" concentration in Cognitive Science from the Graduate Center in 2008. My work is focused on the philosophy of mind, consciousness studies, and the foundations of cognitive science but I also have interests and projects in the philosophy of language, metaethics, logic and the philosophy of logic, as well as the history of philosophy.

You can find a full list of my publications at my PhilPapers profile or see some video presentations at my Youtube channel (as well some video of me jamming with my fellow philosophers and cognitive scientists :)

 

Selected Papers

The Emperor’s New Phenomenology? The Empirical Case for Conscious Experience without First-Order Representations Co-written with Hakwan Lau (forthcoming)  in a Festschrift for Ned Block edited by Adam Pautz and Daniel Stoljar. MIT Press. Will include a reply from Block

The Brain and its States (2012) in Being in Time: Dynamical Models of Phenomenal Experience

Zombies and Simulation (2012) in a special issue of the Journal of Consciousness Studies on David Chalmers’ article The Singularity: A Philosophical Analysis, with a reply from Chalmers

The Myth of Phenomenological Overflow (2012) Consciousness and Cognition

Deprioritizing the A Priori Arguments Against Physicalism (2010) Journal of Consciousness Studies

What is a Brain State? (2006) Philosophical Psychology

 


Natalie Geld

 
Co-founder + Creative Director of mbSci, Natalie Geld is a writer, communications specialist, producer, and educator, and has spent much of her life fostering educational opportunities for activating vivid human potential. She researches the integral nature of energy and the relationship of science, consciousness, and our health.


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