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New Course Supplement 2016


PSYC 81.10 Neural Bases of Attention and Consciousness

This course will cover the relationship between volitionally attending and consciousness, particularly in the domain of human visual processing. By consciousness we mean that which is currently subjectively experienced. The relationship between attention and consciousness appears to be very tight; that which we choose to attend to we are conscious of, and that which we are conscious of we could choose to attend to in the next moment. We will examine what is known about the neural bases of the different types of attention, with a particular focus on 'endogenous attention,' which is the mode of attending that is under volitional control. We will at the same time examine what is known about the neural bases of visual consciousness, with a particular focus on those aspects of neural processing that are modulated by volitionally attending to a stimulus or not. In addition to one main text ("The Quest for Consciousness" by Christof Koch) we will read scientific papers that place useful constraints on the neural bases of volitional attention and visual consciousness.

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