Cognition with and without awareness
This chapter discusses the issues involved in establishing an implicit/explicit distinction and the necessity of awareness for information processing. Most of the evidence reviewed in the chapter suggests that the recognition of simple stimuli can be achieved without attention and awareness, but this fact does not imply that attention serves no purpose or that awareness adds nothing to cognition. On the other hand, when we focus our attention, we are selectively aware of some parts of the environment while leaving out of other parts and these changes in perception can be observed in our behaviour. This chapter also explains that the difference between implicit and explicit memories has been used to describe performance in amnesic, hypnotic, anaesthetized, and normal subjects, and this confirms the evidence of remembering while devoid of awareness of memories. Memories that do not comprise conscious representations are not inevitably dormant. Awareness of an experience is neither a necessary consequence nor condition for cognition.
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