The Theater Stage Has <i>Limited Capacity</i> but Creates <i>Vast Access</i>

Bernard J. Baars

in In the Theater of Consciousness

Published in print March 1997 | ISBN: 9780195102659
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199864126 | DOI:
 The Theater Stage Has Limited Capacity but Creates Vast Access

Show Summary Details


This chapter uses the theater metaphor to analyze consciousness. It argues that the great body of evidence can be understood in terms of the six basic ideas: the stage, the bright light of attention, actors and their speeches, the audience, contexts, and director. The actors in the spotlight perform on the stage, cued by the director against a background created by contextual operators. The spotlight selects the most important events on stage, which are then distributed to an audience consisting of all the unconscious routines and knowledge sources in the hall. These are the basic ingredients of the theater, a few ideas to limn a vast biological brain in broad outline.

Keywords: human consciousness; theater model; unconscious; problem solving; convergence; divergence; learning

Chapter.  8618 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.