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In the Theater of ConsciousnessThe Workspace of the Mind$
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Bernard J. Baars

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780195102659

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195102659.001.1

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Onstage: Sensations, Images, and Ideas

Onstage: Sensations, Images, and Ideas

Chapter:
(p.62) three ONSTAGE: SENSATIONS, IMAGES, AND IDEAS
Source:
In the Theater of Consciousness
Author(s):

Bernard J. Baars

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195102659.003.0004

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

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