Consciousness

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The Web’s Largest Database of Consciousness Papers

Years ago philosopher David Chalmers put together a database of online papers on consciousness http://consc.net/online/ – it now contains about 7734 free online available papers neatly categorised:

It is truly Ali Baba’s cave, especially because they are topically organised.

Measuring Consciousness using fMRI

Functional magnetic resonance imaging is a measure of activity in the brain using an MRI machine. MRI machines generate a magnetic field that can scan a brain for electrical activity. In this way, researchers are not able to know what you are thinking but where you are thinking and associate certain areas with certain purposes. For example, the act of seeing and vision is associated with the back of the brain.

When is comes to measuring consciousness, fMRI scanners are incredibly useful too. They surpass the traditional methods of simply observing a patient’s behaviour (more…)

Measuring Consciousness 2: Measuring the measures of consciousness

In a recent paper by Bert Timmermans they compared: i) the Perceptual Awareness Scale (PAS) ii) confidence ratings (CR) and iii) post-decision wagering (PDW) which are all scales of measuring consciousness. Although other measures do exist these are more commonly used to measure subjective awareness, and a systematic overview of them was long overdue.
What is the Perceptual Awareness Scale?
The PAS was originally developed (more…)

Measuring Consciousness 1: Tipping the scales

Perhaps of all the concepts dealt with in Psychology — the conscious experience — is one of the most subjective. In 1889 consciousness was recognised by Stuart Smith as a term “impossible to define except in terms that at unintelligible without grasp of what consciousness means.” Finding the correct scales to use to measure such a thing is, therefore, pretty difficult. Let’s take a look at some of the measures and methods used to determine good subjective scales in consciousness ratings. (more…)