The Fleeting Nature of Fame

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Science  16 Feb 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5507, pp. 1159
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5507.1159e

An experimental approach to probing the neural processes underlying consciousness has focused on identifying the differences in brain activity (via neurophysiology or brain imaging) when stimuli are presented and perceived versus when stimuli are presented yet masked or not perceived. Kanwisher uses these studies to hypothesize that awareness exists within the same circuits that process the stimuli and that this quantity must both be accessible to other cortical modules and linked to specific items in order to reach consciousness. Dennett weaves together this and other papers from this special issue into a “cerebral celebrity” theory, in which networks of evolving representations compete (invisible hand-like) for 15 minutes of fame. — GJC

Cognition79, 89 (2001); Cognition79, 221 (2001).

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