The role of memory in consciousness is often taken for granted. Without the brain's various memory systems it would be unlikely that conscious experience would even occur. Consciousness not only relies on working memory to maintain perceptual and other information but also on long-term memory to enrich our present experience with information from the past.
With the increasing momentum in technological advances, it seems we have reached a turning point in our ability to create advanced artificial intelligence systems. Some would argue that soon we will have a form of human-like consciousness in robots. But is that really the case?
Here we learn a little bit about conscious attention, the experience of flow, and Lloyd, a professional writer and expert pianist who often experiences a form of effortless conscious attention when fully engaged in his work.
Understanding how attention is related to consciousness requires some knowledge about the philosophical debates on the nature of consciousness, which essentially can be described as being both wild and structured.
To understand the relationship between visual attention and consciousness, we must first examine the various forms of attention that have been identified through empirical studies in cognitive psychology.
Can conscious awareness be reduced to the contents of visual attention? Although consciousness and attention overlap in some ways, we argue that they are mostly two distinct types of mental states. Here we introduce this topic, which will be elaborated over several posts.