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The Conscious Brain$
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Jesse Prinz

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195314595

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195314595.001.0001

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Where Is Consciousness? The Intermediate Level

Where Is Consciousness? The Intermediate Level

(p.49) 2 Where Is Consciousness? The Intermediate Level
The Conscious Brain

Jesse J. Prinz

Oxford University Press

There is ample evidence that perception is hierarchically organized. This raises the question, where in perceptual hierarchies does consciousness arise? Long ago, Ray Jackendoff proposed an answer: consciousness arises only at an intermediate-level, which lies between piecemeal sensory inputs and the more abstract representations used in object recognition. The intermediate level is perspectival; it presents a world of objects from a particular point of view. The chapter surveys evidence from neuroscience in support of the hypothesis is restricted to this level of representation. The evidence mostly concerns vision, but is extended to other sensory modalities, to language, and to emotions. Nine objections are addressed, including evidence that purports to show evidence for consciousness at low or high levels of perceptual hierarchies.

Keywords:   perceptual hierarchy, visual brain areas, the senses, the intermediate-level hypothesis, perceptual deficits

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