Canonical Neurons

Since most grasping actions are executed under visual guidance, it is extremely interesting to elucidate the relationship between the features of 3D visual objects and the specific words of the motor vocabulary. In this logic the appearance of a graspable object in the visual space will immediately retrieve the appropriate ensemble of words. This process, in neuro-physiological terms, implies that the same neuron must be able not only to code motor acts but also to respond to the visual...

Broads Distinction between Emergent and Mechanically Explainable Properties

At the start of the twentieth century the question of whether life could be explained in purely mechanical terms was as hotly debated as the mind-body problem is today. Two factions opposed each other. Biological mechanists claimed that the properties characteristic of living organisms (metabolism, perception, goal-directed behavior, procreation, morphogenesis) could be explained mechanistically, in the way the behavior of a clock can be explained by the properties and the arrangement of its...

The Virtual Reality Metaphor of Consciousness

I have proposed (Revonsuo 1995, 1997) that we should take the concept of virtual reality as a metaphor for consciousness. To briefly summarize the ideas behind the VR metaphor, when the brain realizes the phenomenal level, it is actually creating the experience that I am directly present in a world outside my brain although the experience itself is brought about by neural systems buried inside the brain. The brain is essentially creating an the sense of presence in and the immersion in a...

Arbitrary Phenomenal Properties

This section is more technical than those above, and may be skipped by those not interested in philosophical details. One might try to give a general definition of an NCC of various states of consciousness, of which each of the above would be a special case. To do this, one would need a general way of thinking about arbitrary states of consciousness. Perhaps the best way is to think in terms of arbitrary phenomenal properties. For any distinctive kind of conscious experience, there will be a...