Chapter

Onstage: Sensations, Images, and Ideas

Bernard J. Baars

in In the Theater of Consciousness

Published in print March 1997 | ISBN: 9780195102659
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199864126 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195102659.003.0004
 Onstage: Sensations, Images, and Ideas

Show Summary Details

Preview

This chapter argues that sensory consciousness gives us our most vivid moment-to-moment experiences. Mental images seem to be “faint copies” of sensory events, generated from within the brain itself. As far as the brain is concerned, sensations and images belong together. Abstract ideas, on the other hand, allow us to transcend the limitations of the perceptual world in time and space, to enter the many realms of abstraction. The parts of the human cortex that support abstract thinking seem relatively recent on an evolutionary scale, and may ride on the older functioning of sensory cortex. In language, in interpreting other people, in music and art, we often combine the sensory and the abstract into a single, seamless flow of experience.

Keywords: human consciousness; sensory consciousness; brain; blindsight; language; meaning

Chapter.  12716 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.