Journal Article

Can working memory be non-conscious?

Timo Stein, Daniel Kaiser and Guido Hesselmann

in Neuroscience of Consciousness

Published on behalf of Neuroscience

Volume 2016, issue 1
Published online February 2016 | e-ISSN: 2057-2107 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nc/niv011

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  • Neuroscience
  • Cognition and Behavioural Neuroscience
  • Neuroscientific Techniques
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
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Working memory (WM) is closely linked to conscious awareness: In most conceptions of WM, the inputs to WM need to be conscious. The findings of some recent studies, however, have been taken to suggest that WM can indeed operate on non-conscious inputs. Here, we argue that these findings can easily be accommodated by conventional conceptions of non-conscious perception and conscious WM. We conclude that these studies do not provide conclusive evidence for non-conscious WM. It is thus too early to dismiss the traditional view of a tight link between WM and conscious awareness.

Keywords: working memory; consciousness; conscious awareness; non-conscious perception

Journal Article.  1576 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience ; Cognition and Behavioural Neuroscience ; Neuroscientific Techniques ; Cognitive Neuroscience ; Consciousness

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