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Poster Session I


Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM

£»PS 1.1. Philosophy I
£»PS 1.2. Science I
PS 1.1. Philosophy I

Embodied Cognition: Dualism Redux?

Andrew R. Bailey, Philosophy, University of Guelph, Canada

This paper examines the consequences of recent movements in cognitive science¡Xattention newly being paid to embodiment¡Xfor the theoretical status of phenomenal consciousness.
I provide an analysis of the thesis of embodied cognition, developed by considering the sources of empirical evidence typically adduced for embodiment (as a distinctive thesis from classical cognitivism), and distinguish six different key claims that may form part of an embodiment hypothesis:
¡E partialness of mental models;
¡E action-orientation of mental models;
¡E off-loading off cognitive work to the environment;
¡E non-representational mental models;
¡E embodiment constraints on cognitive capacities;
¡E rejection of organism-environment dualism.
I consider some of the ways in which these claims may be¡Xand have been¡Xcombined, and some of the ways in which they are in mutual tension.
I identify a particularly central philosophical cluster of embodiment theses¡Xcommon, I argue, between such important recent embodiment hypotheses as enactivism and neurophenomenology. I argue that this form of embodiment, though often touted as anti-Cartesian and opposed to various out-dated dualisms, in fact introduces a new form of dualism (or, alternatively, reintroduces an old dualism in a new form). This is a dualism between consciousness and mind.

  • Keywords: embodied cognition; phenomenal consciousness; perception; extended mind;
    _________ anti-representationalism; dualism; enactivism; neurophenomenology
  • Support: SSHRC
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at VIP Room
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The Role of Time and Pace in Sequence Learning

Stephanie Chambaron, Seminaire de Recherche en Sciences Cognitives, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
Arnaud Destrebecqz, SRSC, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
Dominique Ginhac, LE2I, Universite de Bourgogne, France
Axel Cleeremans, SRSC, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium

In this study, we investigated the role of the pace of the learning task on sequence learning in a serial reaction time (SRT) task. We manipulated the value of the response-stimulus interval (RSI), i.e the interval between the response and onset of the next target.
We assumed that a random RSI would disturb chunk formation during the training phase and would have a detrimental effect on learning.
To test this hypothesis, we ran a series of experiments in which we systematically compared SRT and recognition performance in training conditions differing by the averaged length and the variable or constant nature of the RSI. In Experiment 1, we compared SRT and recognition performance between a variable short RSI condition (0, 200, 400, 1000 ms) and a constant short RSI condition (400 ms). In Experiment 2, we compared SRT and recognition performance between a variable long RSI condition (1000, 1200, 1400, 2000 ms) and a constant long RSI condition (1400 ms). If longer RSI improve explicit sequence learning, we expect SRT and recognition performance to be improved in the long RSI as compared to the short RSI conditions. If temporal organization is predominant, we expect improved performance in the constant RSI conditions compared to the random RSI conditions.
Previous studies about impact of RSIs variation on the learning showed that implicit sequence learning is sensitive to organizational variables. Stadler (1993) showed a better learning when the organization of the sequence was conserved. Similarly, Willingham & Greenberg (1997) showed performance improvement when the RSI varied according to a fixed pattern, compared to random variation. Moreover, Destrebecqz & Cleeremans (2003) and Miyawaki (2006) indicate that longer RSI improves explicit learning.
By contrast, our results are very interesting and reveal that while a random RSI had no impact on SRT performance, recognition of sequence fragments was only observed with constant RSI. It is therefore argued that :
(1) Temporal organization of the sequence is mandatory for explicit sequence learning to take place.
(2) The organization is primordial to recognize but not to learn the sequence.

  • Keywords: implicit learning, response-stimulus interval, SRT task, consciousness
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at VIP Room
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Transparency Explained

Yu-Jen Chen, Department of Philosophy, National Taiwan University, Taiwan

Transparency is the thesis that when introspecting one¡¦s own experience, one cannot be aware of the properties of one¡¦s experience, but can only be aware of the properties of objects represented by experience. This feature of experience thus poses a challenge to those who believe in qualia, which are supposed to be qualities of experience. If via introspection, we can¡¦t find such qualities, then it is tempting to say there are no qualia, no phenomenal character not exhausted by the qualities of represented objects.
Objections to the transparency thesis typically take the form of counterexamples. In phosphene-experience, Ned Block claims, we can be aware of mental paint, those qualities that represent. Also, it is claimed that there is a phenomenal difference between seeing things blurrily and seeing things normally, whereas there is no difference in qualities of represented objects. These counterexamples to transparency suggest, at least, transparency is not so obvious in every kind of experience.
I will argue that Dennett¡¦s account of qualia can explain both transparency in normal experiences and the degree of transparency as shown in the counterexamples. The thought experiments given by Dennett, like the coffee tasters Chase and Sanborn, strongly suggest that there are no introspectible qualities of experience independent of our reaction to them. In normal perception, external objects are the obvious targets of our judgment and reaction. Thus conceived, Dennett¡¦s account of qualia provides a good explanation of transparency. Meanwhile, the degree of transparency can be explained by the ease to form judgments in our normal visual experiences and the difficulty to form judgments in counterexamples, and can in turn be explained by the absence of obvious target to react or judge. In contrast, those who believe in qualia have the burden to explain why in normal situations there seems to be no introspectible qualities of experiences, and why there seems to be a degree of transparency. In the transparent aspect of experience, Dennett¡¦s account seems more satisfactory.

  • Keywords: transparency, qualia, Dennett
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at Archimedes Hall
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Time and Representation of Time in Conscious Experience

Peng Chien, Institute of Neuroscience, National Yang Ming University, Taiwan
Allen Y. Houng, Institute of Neuroscience, National Yang Ming University, Taiwan

With regard to the issue of time in consciousness, many think about the experience of time, e.g. the special present, the experience of duration, and the experience of order. Dennett and Kinsbourne¡¦s time stamp, Damasio¡¦s mind time and Wright¡¦s psychological stopwatch are examples.
Some also argue that as long as we understand the experience of time, we can solve the problem of the time of consciousness. For example, in Dennett and Kinsbourne (1992), they argue that the representation of time can solve the paradox of the time in consciousness, such as the color phi phenomenon, the cutaneous rabbit, and Libet¡¦s experiments of the backward referral in time and the subjective delay of consciousness of intention. In these four temporal anomalies, it seems that the perception of the event happens earlier than the neural processing of it. Dennett and Kinsbourne propose that what we are conscious of is the representation of time, the ¡§time stamp¡¨ or the happening time of the event, but not the time of representation, the time of neural processing. Thus, what we are conscious of is not the perception happens before its neural processing but the representation of time which is earlier than the time of neural processing.
In this paper, I will argue that Dennett and Kinsbourne did not successfully dissolve the temporal anomalies. Besides, Damasio¡¦s mind time and Wright¡¦s psychological stopwatch, which are also representation of time, are not solution either. The main reason is that the representation of time is not ¡¥time¡¦ in physics, but just representation. Furthermore, time in physics cannot be representation of time, and the representation of time is just the representation of ¡§the order of events happening in consciousness.¡¨ Thus, if we want to solve the problem of the ¡§time¡¨ of consciousness, we cannot just provide ¡§representation¡¨ as solution. What is really needed to solve the problem is ¡§physical time.¡¨ We have to answer the question: What is the role of physical time in conscious experience?

  • Keywords: time, consciousness, representation of time, time of representation, time stamp, mind time
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at VIP Room
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Neurophenomenology and Neurobiology: Dual Explanations in the Qualia Debate

Carlos Eduardo Batista de Sousa, Philosophy, University of Konstanz, Germany

The qualia debate centers on the claim that qualia suppose to be ¡§the way things seems to us¡¨ or ¡§what it is like, for an organism, to experience something.¡¨ In a sentence, qualia refer to the phenomenal content arising from conscious experiences. In such terms the discussion is bounded within the philosophical scope. Usually philosophers do not consider neuroscientific data and avoid naturalistic claims about consciousness. However available findings from cognitive neuroscience indicate that neurobiological processes underlie conscious events. But the controversies remain; there exist still few studies concerning the neurobiological processes underlying qualia. After all, qualia are just neurobiological mechanisms of detecting changes and assigning sense to incoming physical information. As a matter of fact, qualia-emergence depends on neurobiological processes, and the richness of conscious experience originates firstly in the sensory systems. Moreover, qualia have an evolutionary survival value. They play a fundamental role in maintaining organisms informed about the actual state of affairs inside and outside the body. By means of sensory systems ¡V the sensory detectors and the interface between organism and environment, e.g., visual, olfactory, auditory systems, etc. ¡V raw information is detected and selected from a multitude of patterns in the surroundings. The next step is processing and conversion into qualitative information which is performed by neuronal networks in the brain. At first sight no challenge presents to the standard conception of qualia. However an explanation on the neurobiological level could in principle diminish the importance of phenomenological level, even though they complement each other. The present hypothesis tries to take into account both levels of explanation, and does not imply reductionism or elimination. In other words it is an attempt to reconcile phenomenology with neuroscience, something near of what currently is called neurophenomenology. The present hypothesis is grounded on the Global Neuronal Workspace Theory of Consciousness, formulated by B. Baars and S. Deheane.

  • Keywords: qualia, global workspace, neurobiology, sensory systems, neurophenomenology,
    _________ information-processing
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at VIP Room
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Theory of Mind and Mental Simulation ¡V Possibilities of Combination

Maushumi Ghosh (nee Guha), Department of Philosophy, Jadavpur University, India

The current state of the art in the Theory-Simulation Debate about mind-reading is that either people argue in a blind, partisan manner in favour of one theory (either the Theory Theory or the Simulation Theory) or they provide a vague suggestion about following a mid-way between theory-use and mental simulation. After having examined the views extant in the theory of mind literature, it seems to me that there is an urgent need to address the possibility of a hybrid solution to the theory of mind debate. This hybrid solution (we may call it in any name ¡V we may call this ¡¥syncretism¡¦ or ¡¥a theory-simulation combination¡¦ or anything that gives a sense of reconciliation) may be approached from two directions and I have taken both routes. First, I will look at some of the available combinatorial suggestions from writers like Carruthers, Heal, Stich, Barnes & Thagard and a few others. Second, I will give a few suggestions of my own to show how theory-use and mental simulation combine in our folk predictive, ascriptive and explanatory practices. One thing is very clear ¡V third-person psychological understanding cannot be explained only by the Theory Theory or the Simulation Theory. There are cases in which theory-use is redundant or mental simulation is ineffective. Furthermore, with the growing psychological complexity that accompanies chronological development, just simulation or just theory may not be the best way of understanding other minds. In the end I will work out what I consider to be the best way of combining the Theory Theory and the Simulation Theory in order to give the best possible explanation of our mindreading abilities.

  • Keywords: Theory Theory, Simulation Theory, Mindreading, Combination, Folk Psychology
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  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at VIP Room
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Practical Self-Awareness in Expertise

Huei-Ying Cheng, Philosophy, Cheng-Chi University, Taiwan

Sapience and sentience are two major aspects of human being's mental life. The history of the interests concerning these two fabulous aspects is arguably more than two millennia. Since 1970s, phenomenologist Hubert Dreyfus (1978, 1992, 2000, etc.) has undertaken the task to articulate correct paths to understand "sapience" through his critique of artificial intelligence. Recently he opens a new debate over rationality and action with philosopher John McDowell. McDowell (1996, 2007) holds that our movements of limbs underlying intentional actions are conceptual and therefore rational all the way out, but Dreyfus (2007) descents. He proposes a distinction between "detached rule-following" and "situation-specific ways of coping" (and refines it later) and uses it to interpret several intriguing examples, such as Grandmasters in chess games. Dreyfus argues that in expertise, we never step back and reflect our ways of coping with our immediate environment, and if we do step back, our skillful ways of coping will degenerate significantly. I have argued, in another occasion, that Dreyfus's position presupposes too narrow conceptions of "rationality," "concept," and "agency." In this poster I would like to concentrate on another aspect of the debate: in criticizing McDowell, Dreyfus says something about "sentience" in passing, and I think it should be rejected either. According to Dreyfus, when experts skillfully cope with their situations, they are in complete flows and therefore without any self-awareness. I shall argue that this view of sentience violates a crucial distinction between expertise and cases like "alien hand," originally reported by Banks and his colleagues (1989). Alien hand patients have no feeling of control over particular portions of their bodies when the syndrome appears, and experts sometimes report that they do not actively control their actions. However, there is still a vital difference between these two kinds of case: we can attribute implicit, practical self-awareness to the latter, but not the former. And this difference helps further clarify important notions concerning sapience, such as "rationality" and "agency," as mentioned above. The wider aim of this discussion is to connect phenomenology to scientific studies with regard to consciousness.

  • Keywords: self-awareness, skillful coping, concept, alien hand
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at VIP Room
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Dissociative Identity Disorder, Somnambulism, and the Higher-Order Thought Theory of Consciousness

Timothy Joseph Lane, Office of Research and Development, National Chengchi University, Taiwan
Caleb Liang, Philosophy, National Taiwan University, Taiwan

Previously we (Lane and Liang, forthcoming) argued that phenomena such as Anton¡¦s Syndrome and phantom pain show Rosenthal¡¦s higher-order thought (HOT) theory of consciousness to be inadequate as an explanation of phenomenal consciousness (p-consciousness), because p-consciousness can occur when no sensory state is available to be targeted by the HOT and (pace Rosenthal) HOTs are insufficient for p-consciousness. Failings of that type we refer to as radical confabulation. In this paper, we argue that the HOT theory suffers from two other problems: the problem of alternative selves and the problem of enervated HOTs.
First, on Rosenthal¡¦s account, HOTs make us conscious not only of target states, but also of the self to which those targets are attributed. Rosenthal (2005: 342) claims that: ¡§being conscious of a state as present is being conscious of it as belonging to somebody. But to be conscious of a state as belonging to somebody other than oneself would plainly not make it a conscious state.¡¨ We argue that sometimes p-consciousness occurs even though target states are being attributed to somebody other than oneself. In some instances of Dissociative Identity Disorder p-consciousness occurs even though the targeted state is attributed to an alter, not to oneself. Second, as for the problem of enervated HOTs, we argue that sometimes p-consciousness fails to occur even when we have good reason to believe that HOTs are targeting self¡¦s sensory states. Some instances of sleepwalking, other forms of non-insane automatisms, and epileptic fugues provide evidence that counts against the HOT theory.
In other words, based upon our previous research, we (1) have good reason to believe that p-consciousness can occur when no sensory state is available for targeting by the HOT. Here we argue that (2) p-consciousness can occur even when HOTs are not being attributed to oneself; moreover, (3) even when we have reason to believe that HOTs are targeting self¡¦s sensory states, p-consciousness can fail to occur. These problems suggest that the HOT theory is not able to explain why p-consciousness occurs, not able to explain why it fails to occur, and not able to explain its relationship to self.

  • Keywords: Higher-Order Thought, Phenomenal Consciousness
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at VIP Room
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A Re-evaluation of the Contribution of Buddhist Philosophy to the Study of Consciousness

Kent Lin, Institute of Religion and Culture, Buddhist Tzu Chi University, Taiwan

The main goal of this proposal is to re-evaluate the possible contribution of Buddhist Philosophy to the general study of consciousness. Currently, the study of consciousness is a popular and controversial topic in contemporary Western academic circles. However, this topic has been an important issue in Buddhist philosophy for a long time. Some Western researchers, therefore, do not confine their viewpoints to their own traditional understandings but widely incorporate Buddhist thoughts. They blend with the ideas of Buddhism and develop the subjects such as Neurophenomenology and Contemplative Science.
The central idea of this endeavor is to turn the attention back to the Buddhist problem-setting of consciousness and re-examine its inspiration to the study of consciousness. This discussion would come in three parts. Firstly, the Buddhist Philosophy¡¦s focuses on consciousness that are very different from that of Western research would be presented. Modern scientists or philosophers are used to solving the issue of consciousness from the physiological aspect, and thus, consciousness is viewed as merely a physical or biological problem. By contrast, under the framework of Asian thought, e.g. Indian and Chinese Buddhism, consciousness would be mostly an ethical topic which is relevant to one¡¦s cultivation of personality to pursue a happy life.
Secondly, due to the view of consciousness as a key point to realize ethical goal, Buddhist study of consciousness is not merely theoretical but mainly for practical application. We could say that Buddhist study of consciousness is not just a kind of propositional knowledge but would also require skill gaining. That is, from the viewpoint of Buddhist Philosophy, knowing how to refine our consciousness and make good use of it is not less important than knowing what it is.
Lastly, once we are aware of different approaches to the study of consciousness, we can expect the reforming or redirecting of the problem of consciousness and look forward to the integration of Western and Eastern views. By doing so, we might find a way which not only reduces the suffering of disease as consciousness disorder but also increases our virtue and happiness by the skillful training of consciousness.

  • Keywords: Buddhist Philosophy, Consciousness Refining, Ethical Know-how, Virtue, Happiness
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at VIP Room
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Uberbewusstsein. The Reconstruction of Consciousness-Process and Consciousness in the Postmodern

Shing-Shang Lin, Philosophy, Heinrich-Heine-University Duesseldorf, Germany

According to Virilio and Baudrillard, the human body is expanded and transformed by an optical meta-body in the Postmodern, an era immensely characterized by speed, information technology, multimedia as well as Virtualization. In this way, human beings can live in the tele-reality or exist in hyper-reality.
On the one hand, the physical transformation of the meta-body will be substituted by organs or micro-machines; on the other, it transforms itself into an additional optical body which is bonded with the physical body through a combination with pictures or displays and becomes one part of the meta-body.
In this way human beings possess a dislocalized and reconstructed perception. Therefore, his relation to objects and knowledge about the world as well as his everyday life have been changed.
Thus, it is necessary for the human existence and everyday life to construct research into the reconstruction of perception and consciousness.
This research is grounded in the philosophical aspects within the context of Baudrillard's and Virilios' theories and adopts Kant's perception-theory as parameter of the changes.
Based on the reconstruction of body and reality, this research aims to explore the reconstruction of the consciouness-process and thus to bring the key factor of the central problems in light, such as juvenile violence, rampage, a serial of committing suicides and the fractal.

1. Reconstruction of reality through high speed, symbolization, visualization as background of the reconstruction of
__ the consciousness-process.
2. Consciousness-process of Kants perception theory.
3. Mechanization and reconstruction of body based on Virilios' and Baudrillards theories as the reconstruction
___principle of consiousness-process in the Postmodern
4. Reconstruction of consciousness-process and subjective Self
5. What will be changed due to the reconstruction of consciousness and consciousness-process?
6. Case Study: The actual phenomena of rampage, a serial of committing suicides

  • Keywords: Consciousness, perception, reconstruction of body, tele-reality, hyper-reality, Baudrillard,
    _________ Virilio, cognition
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at Archimedes Hall
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It¡¦s Not All in Your Head: An Externalist-Process Approach to Consciousness

Michele C. Merritt, Philosophy, Linguistics, University of South Florida, United States

The intent behind this paper is to suggest that the ¡¥hard problem¡¦ of qualia might not be a problem at all. I argue for this ¡¥not-so-hard-not-such-a-problem¡¦ concerning conscious experience on two grounds: First, whether reductive, dualistic, emergent or otherwise, attempts at explaining qualitative experience share in common a reliance on an internalist picture of mental content. This, I argue, is a mistake. Although the idea that consciousness remains wholly within a ¡¥skin and skull¡¦ boundary is intuitively appealing, this intuition in no way warrants asserting internalsim as absolute truth. The fact that neurophysiological accounts have so far failed to provide a comprehensive map of the mind should indicate a shortcoming on the part of internalism. As Clark and Chalmers (1998) have famously shown, it is quite probable that mental content is the result of a coupling between the mind-brain of the person and the tools he or she uses. Thus, conscious experience, I argue, is not all ¡¥in the head,¡¦ but is rather the result of dynamic interactions between brains, bodies, and world. This leads to the second part of the paper, wherein I claim that by insisting that there is a ¡¥what¡¦ it is like to be conscious, a reversion to substance is implicit, thereby committing what I take to be a category mistake in classifying phenomenal experience. Like Nagel, I agree that any objective understanding of consciousness will fail to account for the actual experience of it, but moreover, any substance account of mental experience whatsoever will always already miss a crucial element of consciousness, namely, its dynamicism. Thus, Kim¡¦s psychophysical reduction laws and Cartesian dualism alike suffer from lack of attention paid to processes. If conscious experience is an emergent process, arising from other processes, none of which are ¡¥things,¡¦ then it can be explained quite simply by referring to those processes that tend to bring about qualitative experience. While this might indeed usher in an entirely new problem of consciousness, I think the original ¡¥hard problem¡¦ should be abandoned in favor of the ¡¥problem of process,¡¦ one which, unlike its predecessor, seems immanently solvable.

  • Keywords: The Hard Problem, Externalism, Dynamic Systems, Emergence
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at Archimedes Hall
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Critical Theory Meets Cognitive Science

Saskia Kathi Nagel, Neurobiopsychology, Institute of Cognitive Science, Germany
Jan Slaby, Philosophy, Institute of Cognitive Science, Germany
Suparna Choudhury, Division of Social & Transcultural Psychiatry, McGill University, Canada

The scientific study of consciousness is a crucial part of the interdisciplinary endeavour of cognitive science. As research in all participating disciplines progresses, prospects of significant impacts on the future of human experience and even human nature appear on the horizon.

That is why we see the need for a ¡¥critical cognitive science¡¦: a self-reflexive, context-sensitive and socially conscious scientific practice that responds to the social, cultural, legal and political challenges posed by present and future advances in the behavioural and brain sciences, and in the affiliated fields of AI, robotics and computer science. Against the background of a re-assessment of the philosophical project of critical theory we distinguish external critique of science from a critical engagement of scientific practice from within. This leads to a sketch of a sensitive self-reflective stance that can be adopted by scientific practitioners and external commentators alike. Ideally, the integration of critical theorizing into cognitive science initiates a process of attaining a more thorough self-understanding and awareness of the social implications of scientific procedures and results. Ultimately, this can contribute to beneficial social transformations which help to create and sustain the conditions that enable a ¡¥good life¡¦ for a maximum number of people. In order to illustrate this, we discuss five areas of application that call for critical reflection and engagement: (1) the increasing possibilities of neuropharmacological interventions, which can have profound impacts on experience; (2) biological psychiatry as the principle psychiatric paradigm; (3) the role of AI and computer science in the development of a system of control and surveillance that begins to reach out to many parts of society; (4) the increasing interaction between cognitive science and popular media/culture as exemplified by the recent trend towards a ¡§science of happiness¡¨ and its key branch ¡§positive psychology¡¨, which promotes a distorted view of emotional experience and well-being; (5) the public portrayal and perception of imaging data from neuroscience as evidence about ¡¥human nature¡¦, even in the absence of a theory of how imaging data can be systematically related to conscious experience. In discussing these five areas of concern, we demonstrate the shape of our critical agenda in practice and begin to sketch models for critical engagement of scientific practice from within cognitive science.

  • Keywords: cognitive science, critical theory, social implications of science, good life, conscious experience
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at Archimedes Hall
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Anatolian Interaction on Antique and Medieval Roots of Modern Cognitive Science

Murat Ozgoren, Department of Biophysics, Chair ,Brain Dynamics Research Center, Dokuz Eylul University, Turkey

This study is aimed at historical approach to Anatolia and its impact on the evolvement of cognitive sciences. The modern science has recently started gaining insight to this theme, finding surprising facts about valuable ideas and concepts that the past scientists might have had. Anatolia envelops the first line of positive-science movements. These Ionic schools include Anaxagoras, Hippocrates, Heraphilus and Galen. These early thinkers supported the brain as the ¡§cognitive organ¡¨. The works of Galen in the 14th century Sabuncuoglu are among the scientists who diligently kept the records of their experiments, remedies, the effects, their observations on the human body. This is also the line of modern evidence based approach of the modern science. The Asclepions were the large organized medical facilities of the ancient world. The Pergamon Asclepion is acknowledged for the basis of group psychotherapy, with present day annual international conventions being held within the complex. Furthermore, the incubation was applied, which is a very different approach, aiming to make use of the subconscious recollection of the patients. The projection of this institution in the medieval period was Gevher Nesibe Shifahane which became the first medical faculty (1261) and Cifte Medrese as the first medieval school of anatomy, as well as Bursa and Edirne Madrasas which were large size medical faculties. These and similar faculties had teachings of the ancient scientists and their concepts on the brain, mind etc. The lineage of the scientists from Galen and Hippocrates is enriched by Avicenna and later by Serefeddin Sabuncuoglu (1385-1470), who was a Turkish surgeon, lived in the 15th century in Amasya. The status of the scientists and doctors in the society are telltale marks of the periods and the related societies. The early fifteenth century also marks an interesting event that there were female neurosurgeons in the Ottoman medical fields. The modern cognitive sciences and related applications including the neuropsychiatry concepts have been influenced and rooted through the continuum of remarkable achievements in the past. The increase of research in this area can result in more evidence and facts, presenting the course of development of modern cognitive science.

  • Keywords: history of science, cognitive sciences, concepts of mind
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at Archimedes Hall
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Concept of ¡§Consciousness¡¨ in the Context of Russian Psychophysiological Theories: Philosophical and Methodological Analysis

Aleksandr Nikolaevich Savostyanov, NeuroImaging Group, Institute of Statistical Science, Academia Sinica.
__________________________________Institute of Physiology of SB RAMS, Taiwan

Despite numerous attempts to define the meaning of the term ¡§consciousness¡¨, there is as yet no definition accepted by majority of researchers. In addition, the interrelations of this term with other terms applied to the specification of such phenomena as thinking, reason, mind and mentality are also unclear. The aim of study is to compare alternative definitions of the ¡§consciousness¡¨ concept in classical Russian psychophysiology of the twentieth century. The terminological system of I.P.Pavlov¡¦s conditioned reflexes theory is accepted as an initial point for comparison. In this system, the term ¡§consciousness¡¨ is defined as a system of uncompleted reflexes of the second signal systemor as internal speech, which does not have a motor component. The main critics of I.P.Pavlov were V.M.Bekhterev and P.K.Anokhin, who showed the incompleteness of such a definition. According to the V.M.Bekhterev's theory, ¡§consciousness¡¨ is defined as an ability to generate a self-report concerning external events and internal experiences. In his categorical system, the term ¡§consciousness¡¨ is connected with two concepts - structure (stable, anatomically predetermined properties of the brain) and energy (measure of interactions of the organism with the environment). Consciousness comprises an ability to control energy, i.e. the management of the interaction between the organism and the environment. In P.K.Anokhin's theory - consciousness is a form of information processing, i.e. a set of rules on the basis of which a person perceives the external world. According to this theory, consciousness arises on the basis of congenital personal aims. Further, consciousness carries out the function of goal setting, i.e. it generates new aims for behavior.
The comparison of alternative categorical systems shows that the main reason for divergence is various interpretations of the concept of ¡§law¡¨, in relation to designation of mental phenomena. Pavlov¡¦s theory interprets law as the set of stable properties of the World, reflected in brain processes. Bekhterev¡¦s theory considers law as a constant property of the brain. Anokhin's theory considers law as being the internal factor of the organism defining a system of vital aims. Distinctions in interpretations of the ¡§law¡¨ concept influence understanding of all psychophysiological terms, including the term ¡§consciousness¡¨.

  • Keywords: psychophysiology, I.P.Pavlov¡¦s theory, concept of consciousness
  • Support: This research was supported by grant NSC 96-2413-H-001-001-MY3 from the National Science
    ________ Council (Taiwan).
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at Archimedes Hall
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Boredom and the Experience of Time

Jan Slaby, Cognitive Science, University of Osnabrueck, Germany

In a state of severe boredom, elements of the existential predicament of being human come to the fore, although the unpleasantness of boredom usually prevents an explicit appreciation of them. Sense and meaning drain away, motivation ceases, and the experience of time is altered in a peculiar way: Time literally seems to stand still, and in this it becomes strangely obtrusive.
In a remarkable analysis, Martin Heidegger drew a number of important conclusions from a consideration of boredom. His main claim is that boredom is a specific form of experiencing time that points to the basic structure and constitution of the temporal nature of human existence. Ultimately, boredom as the experience of an all-encompassing emptiness and meaningless, which manifests itself in a strange slowing or even stopping of the experience of time, is said to reveal the fact that human beings are the free and responsible creators of any kind of sense and meaning in their lives. While philosophers interpreting Heidegger have so far been mostly concerned with these existentialist conclusions and their consequences, some other insights can be gleaned from his analysis that are much more important to current research on conscious experience. First, Heidegger describes the very nature of moods or background feelings in a way that can help correct current thinking on the nature of emotions and feelings. According to Heidegger, moods are not subjective states of feeling, but rather existential orientations which affect the entire being of a person, i.e. her behaviour, demeanour, and the stance and posture a person adopts towards the world. The most important insight to be "hidden" in experiences of boredom, however, concerns the peculiar alteration of the temporal structure of conscious experience. In my talk I will focus on this seldomly considered fact and show in how far subjectively experienced time is the key to understanding conscious experience in general. In a peculiar way, subjective time is created in experience, and this process, in turn, depends crucially on action and action's being framed in sets of future-oriented intentions. My analysis of boredom's relation to time experience lends support to enactivist approaches to consciousness and to the "action in cognition" paradigm.

  • Keywords: Boredom, Consciousness of Time, Self Awareness, Moods
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at Archimedes Hall
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What the Gist?

Carolyn Michele Suchy-Dicey, Philosophy, Boston University, United States

Perceptual gist is the first conscious perceptual phenomenon that takes place in any given perceptual experience. Within 100 milliseconds of being exposed to a visual display, for example, a normally functioning human being can recognize a scene's structure, its category or type, and certain eye-catching details. After this gist perception, the subject can use top-down attentional mechanisms to search within the scene for further details. Some neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers claim that gist perception serves as evidence that conscious perception can occur without attention. If this were true, gist perception would fuel the conjecture that vegetative patients have phenomenal, if not access, consciousness, as maintained by Ned Block.

However, there are several scientific reasons to reject the claim that gist perception evinces conscious perception without attention. For one, as Aude Oliva points out in her experiments on gist, the subject "chooses" between low and high frequency versions of an image depending on the visual task. Additionally, Geoffrey Loftus and David Irwin show that subjects perform better in their fast rate visual tasks when they look at the scene in one of two possible ways. Finally, what is seen in gist perception varies significantly from high to low-level visual features, which suggests that the subject is using attention to focus on different features in varying situations.

Furthermore, there are philosophical reasons to consider gist as part of, rather than different from, normal visual perception. Namely, as with George Sperling's experiments on iconic memory, we have no reason to assume that attention is absent so we should not assert it. Thus, for reasons of coherence and simplicity, as well as the evidence from the above experiments, gist perception is best understood as the first stage of normal visual perception, likewise benefiting from top-down attention.

  • Keywords: gist, Oliva, Sperling, Loftus, attention, consciousness
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at Archimedes Hall
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Antinomy of Identity- The Self and Self-Consciousness

Michael Lee Thompson, Philosophy, University of South Florida, United States

Personal identity, the self, has long been a topic for discussion in both rational and empirical philosophies. Arguments from both positions inevitably find themselves discussing the nature and possibility of consciousness. Upon scrutiny, classical arguments for personal identity and self-consciousness, the rationalist and empiricist, are predicated upon fundamental assumptions that, when exposed, undermine the arguments themselves. Following the antinomic structure, in my paper I first demonstrate the possibility and inevitable reductio of both arguments. The thesis, the rationalist/transcendental theory of identity/self posits an absolute, unified, formal consciousness in order to assert identity, but inevitably relies upon an empirical assumption¡Xthat of a series of changing, particular data which is collated by the formal unified self. The antithesis, the empiricist account, argues for no identity of self, citing contingency both at the material level and at the level of consciousness, yet ultimately depends upon a transcendental position from which to make such a claim. By demonstrating that both thesis and antithesis are prima facie plausible and also dependant upon a reductio ad absurdum argument, the antinomy provides a context for further critical understanding and highlights the classical dispute, with a solution to the antinomy in view.
Following the dynamic-antinomic structure, I argue for the truth of both thesis and antithesis, but in modified format. It is only by placing the perceiving ¡§self¡¨ in context, an existential context, that both the particularity of experience and the sense of unified self necessary to recognize contingency can obtain. Following Maurice Merleau-Ponty and his critique of both rationalist and empiricist traditions, I argue for an existential understanding of consciousness that can provide a plausible sense of self and identity, one that is indeed a self, and yet celebrates the particularity of individuals.

  • Keywords: the self, identity, existential consciousness
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at Archimedes Hall
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First-Person Utterances of Facial Expressions Are Typically Avowals

Simon van Rysewyk, Language Center, Shih Hsin University, Taiwan

This paper contributes to the philosophy of human facial expression by characterizing reports of facial expressions in the first-person present tense singular as avowals. We claim that they are not 'read-outs' of private mental objects experienced in the mind as previously claimed (Ekman 1994, 1997; Izard 1991), but exclamations or interjections analogous to the function of non-verbal manifestations (Wierzbicka, 1999, 2000). Avowals of facial expressions are expressive in the way in which a smile or frown manifests emotion or an attitude, and are partial substitutes for them (Wittgenstein, 1958). Further, we claim that there is a logical asymmetry between avowals of smiles ('I feel something good now'), and descriptions of smiles ('She feels something good now'). In contrast to descriptions, avowals of facial expressions do not allow of confirmation or misidentification of their subject: since I cannot verify or 'perceive' my experience, neither can I confirm nor doubt the truth of 'I feel something good now', nor indeed fail to mistake myself, or myself for you. At the same time, utterances like 'I feel something bad now' can be used descriptively to make a report or to give an explanation, are also grammatically articulate, and can be true or false. Avowals may be termed descriptive, but they lack conceptual connections that distinguish ordinary descriptions. For example, the truth of avowals of facial expressions is guaranteed by truthfulness, and they are only subject to insincerity, not ignorance or error (Wittgenstein, 1958, 1980). Therefore, it is incorrect to conceive that we 'read-off' descriptions of facial expressions from mental facts.

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On the Consciousness of Slips of the Tongue

Xiaolu Wang, The Center for the Study of Language and Cognition, Zhejiang University, China
Yunqi Wang, The Center for the Study of Language and Cognition, Zhejiang University, China

People¡¦s daily speech can be divided into conscious speech acts and unconcsious speech acts. For example, the ordinary speech falls into the former while the balderdash and other senseless talks belong to the latter. In this paper, slips of the tongue are singled out for discussion. So far there is no certain idea whether a tongue slip is a conscious speech act or an unconcsious speech act. David Crystal in his The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language (2002:264) defines ¡§the slips of thetongue¡¨ as ¡§involuntary departure from the speaker's intended production of a sequence of language units, which are very common. Sounds, syllables, morphemes, words, and sometimes larger units of grammar can be affected. Often, the deviant performance is immediately detected by the speaker (though not always consciously) and corrected.¡¨ Following this definition, it¡¦s hard for us to decide whether a tongue slip is a conscious or unconcsious speech act. It seems that one is unconcsious when he/she makes speech errors but often he/she is concsious to know the mistake and correct them immediately. It is argued in the paper that slips of the tongue can occur in both concsious or unconscious states. According to the notion of Parallel Processing in the brain, analyzing the cause of slips of the tongue¡X¡§slips¡¨ of the brain, and supporting our analysis by ERP data from other research, we propose that slips of the tongue can be categorized into conscious ones and unconscious ones. For the former the speaker more often than not tends to correct his mistake the moment it is spoken out while for the latter the speaker would not do that since he himself does not realize his own speech errors. It is proposed in the paper that the main cause of the slips of the tongue is the contridiction of the parallel processing of the language information in the brain and the linear production of the speech, which leads to the confusion of the concepts in the utterance. Therefore, the speaker can avoid quite a few conscious slips of the tongue as long as he speaks attentively and calmly.

  • Keywords: slips of the tongue; consciousness; unconsciousness
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at Archimedes Hall
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Turning the Table on the Dual Content Structure of Self-Representationalism

Jerry Yang, General Education Center, National Taipei University of Technology, Taiwan

I point out that Self-representationalism does not need to commit to a dual content structure as its followers suggested. They think that every mental state must involve an object such as a rose, and the content of a representational state is what it represents as being the case, or as about that object. Moreover, if every mental state must require a representation of that state as they insisted, then that representation has to be either a separate mental state or the mental state in question itself. Given that Self-representationalism does not accept any higher-order monitoring thought, its representation hence has to be that mental state itself. Prima facie, Self-representationalism has a case for its dual content structure. I challenge this view by exploring the geographical profile a conscious state is endowed with. I argue that each conscious state should be viewed as a state with a singular content but two different functions. We may first equate a conscious state with some neurophysiological information produced by the brain. The content of each conscious state then plays a role as a space where such information can travel between several places. ¡§Information space¡¨ hence could be defined by a (neural) system of places in space between which such information signals can travel. A neural region hence is part of a single information space if such information bearing signals pass from one place to another through that region. The first function of a conscious state thus is to make its content an information space. The second function, on the other hand, may be identified in such a way that to describe a state as representational, or has a representational basis, is to say that it has a function of self-representing. When one is conscious of being in a state, I argue, it is because certain neurophysiological information self-represents itself, meaning such information informs one as to the way things are or shows one how things are. The position I hold here will be strengthened by bringing in an exploration of the transactions of one¡¦s body awareness such as one¡¦s body image and body schema.

  • Keywords: Self-representationalism, dual content structure, information space, body awareness, body image
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at Archimedes Hall
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On the Disjunctivist's Account of Hallucination

Bosuk Yoon, Philosophy, Ewha Womans University, Republic of Korea

The core thesis of disjunctivism is that a veridical perception of F and a hallucination of F are two fundamental different kinds of events: they share at most the disjunctive property of "either a veridical perception or a hallucination of F." In denying the common fundamental property of veridical perception and hallucination, disjunctivism distinguishes itself from most other philosophical theories of experience. For example, one of the most divisive issues in the recent philosophical discussion on the nature of consciousness is the question of whether the phenomenal or qualitative character of perceptual experience can be identified as a kind of representational character. Both sides of the debate agree, however, that veridical perception and hallucination shares a fundamental property; the disagreement lies in what the nature of the common property is. Despite its controversial content, there seems to be some good reasons to take disjunctivism seriously. Reflections on one's own experience seems to show that one has direct awareness of external objects and their features. Even when one tries to direct one's attention inwardly to focus on one's own perception of objects, those objects do not disappear from the center of attention. In veridical perceptions at least, we seem to have direct awareness of external objects and their features. Yet, in trying to preserve the essential relationality of perceptual experiences, disjunctivists run into the problem of explaining hallucination. Philosophers such as Siegel and Sturgeon have presented several objections to show that disjunctivists probably don't have sufficient resources to work out a plausible account of hallucination. In this paper, I try to protect the disjunctivist's approach to perceptual experiences from their objections.

  • Keywords: disjunctivism, hallucination, phenomenology, indiscriminability
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at Archimedes Hall
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PS 1.2. Science I
Schizotypal Personality Traits and Prediction of One's Own Movements in Motor Control: What Causes an Abnormal Sense of Agency?

Tomohisa Asai, Department of Cognitive and Behavioral Science, University of Tokyo, Japan

Background; Positive schizophrenic symptoms, especially passivity phenomena, including auditory
hallucinations, may be caused by an abnormal sense of self-agency, which schizotypal personality traits
also tend to exhibit. A sense of self-agency asserts that it is oneself who is causing or generating an action.
It is possible that this abnormal sense of self-agency is attributable to the abnormal prediction of one's own
movements in motor control. Method; The present study conducted an experiment using the "disappeared
cursor" paradigm, in which participants are required to click a target using an invisible mouse cursor.
Prediction error was defined as the distance between the target and the click point. Results; The results
showed that not depressive or anxiety personality traits, but rather schizotypal personality traits, have
deficits in predicting movements of the subjects' left hand. In particular, auditory hallucination proneness had
the strongest relationship with movement prediction error. In this report, we also discuss the error tendency
(overestimations or underestimations of one's own movements). Conclusions; This finding is in accordance
with the idea that passivity phenomena or proneness may be caused by the abnormal prediction of one's
own actions or movements.

  • Keywords: Auditory hallucination, forward model, motor control, prediction, schizotypy, schizophrenia
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at VIP Room
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Quantum Mechanics and the Nonphysical Mind

Casey Blood, Physics, Retired (from Rutgers University), United States

In the Schroedinger's cat experiment, quantum mechanics says that the cat is both dead and alive at the same time. More generally, in the mathematics of quantum mechanics, several potential versions of the physical universe can exist simultaneously. But we perceive only a single, seemingly objective version of the world.

To explain this, one might suppose that, in addition to the multi-version wave function, there exists an objective reality made up of particles. In spite of the treatments given in modern physics texts, however, there is no evidence for the existence of particles. All the usual "evidence" put forth--the photoelectric and Compton effects, localization (in which a spread-out light wave exposes only one grain of film), particlelike trajectories in cloud and bubble chambers, the discrete properties of matter such as charge, mass, and atomic "graininess"--can be accounted for by the properties of the wave function alone.

One could also obtain an objective reality if the wave function collapsed to just one version. But experimental attempts to find evidence of collapse have not been successful.

These two together--no evidence for particles or collapse--imply it is reasonable to suppose that only the wave function, with all its versions of reality, physically exists. One can show that Everett's many-minds interpretation is not valid because he makes unwarranted assumptions in his derivation of the probability law. Thus, instead of all versions being aware, we infer that only one version of the brain corresponds to our conscious awareness.

What is it that perceives--is aware of--a single version? One can prove that "that which perceives one version" cannot be subject to the mathematics of quantum mechanics. But the widespread successes of quantum mechanics make it reasonable (to a physicist) to define the physical universe as that to which quantum mechanics applies. Under this definition, then, "that which perceives" is outside the physical unverse. More specifically, there must be a nonphysical "Mind" aspect within each of us that is consciously aware of just one quantum version of our physical brain. (Note: The nonphysical Mind just perceives; it does not collapse the wave function.)

  • Keywords: quantum mechanics, mind, consciousness, particles, wave function
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at VIP Room
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Learning under Pentobarbital Anesthesia in Rats: An Enabling Effect of Epinephrine Injected Systemically on Two Fear Conditioning Tasks

Shih-Dar Chang, Psychology,Taiwan University, Taiwan
Shu-Tang Chao, Psychology, Taiwan University, Taiwan
Der-Yow Chen, Psychology, Taiwan University, Taiwan
K. C. Liang, Psychology, Taiwan University, Taiwan

Whether new association could be acquired under anesthesia is controversial. The few studies reporting positive findings usually employed aversive stimuli which may release epinephrine (E) acting as an endogenous memory modulator. A former study showed that in a conditioned emotion task E given systemically enhanced association of tone and shock presented to anesthetic rats. To test the generality of these findings, the present study examined the effect of E on acquisition under anesthesia in two fear conditioning tasks: conditioned-fear potentiation of startle and conditioned freezing. Male Sprague-Dawley rats received a session of one or five training trials of tone-shock pairing after an injection of pentobarbital (45 mg/kg) or saline. Fear responses, as measured by potentiation of startle or freezing, to the conditioned stimuli were assessed 24 hrs later under a wakeful state. Results showed that in the conditioned-fear potentiation of startle task trained under wakefulness with one trial, E administered before training enhanced conditioning at 0.01 or 0.1 mg/kg but impaired it at 1.0 mg/kg. E had no effect on the response acquired in one trial under anesthesia but enhanced that acquired in five trials under anesthesia, yet the effective doses shifted to 0.1 and 1.0 mg/kg. This effect could not be due to alteration in shock sensitivity or anesthesia. On the other hand, in the conditioned freezing task E injected after a training trial at various doses failed to enhance conditioned freezing if the response was tested directly, no matter when the rats were trained under wakefulness or anesthesia. When the rats previously trained under anesthesia and receiving E were retrained under wakefulness and receiving no drug, they showed significant saving in comparison with the rats previously having saline. In summary, these results showed that E did play a permissive role in learning various responses under anesthesia, yet the effects rely on the behavioral procedures and the drug dose.

  • Keywords: stress hormones, fear conditioning, implicit learning, affective memory, fear potentiation of startle
  • Support: This study was supported by grants from the National Science Council of Taiwan, ROC
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at VIP Room
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Symmetry Perception is Strongly Affected by Awareness of the Axis Location

Chien-Chung Chen, Psychology, National Taiwan University, Taiwan
Christopher W. Tyler, Brain Imaging Center, The Smith-Kettlewell Eye research Institute, United States

In a symmetric display, some part of the stimulus is a reflection of another part about some axis. Mathematically, one cannot decide whether two parts of an image are symmetric unless the location and orientation of the symmetric axis is determined; while one cannot determine the symmetric axis location unless two parts of the image are recognized as reflections of each other. We investigated how the human visual system resolves such chicken-and-egg problem by observing how prior information about symmetry axis affects symmetry detection.
The symmetric stimuli consisted of random dot displays structured to have symmetry about an axis whose orientation was either vertical, horizontal, or one of the two diagonals. In each trial, either a symmetric (target) or a non-symmetric pattern was superimposed on another random pattern (mask). The observers were to determine whether the target was presented in each trial. The stimuli were viewed through eight apertures (1o diameter) evenly distributed around a 6o diameter circle. The information about the axis was manipulated by (1) priming: half of the trials had a line flashed before the trial indicating the axis orientation and (2) salience: the axis location fell within the apertures on half of the trials, but between them on the other half. We also systematically manipulated the mask dot density and measured the psychometric functions of percentage correct responses for a range of mask densities in a constant stimuli paradigm.
The slope of the psychometric functions, a measure of the observer¡¦s state of uncertainty, was about the same regardless of the priming and axis salience manipulations. However, when the axes were visible and/or primed the target threshold showed up to a 10-fold reduction. Conversely, the target threshold vs. mask density function was flat at low mask density and increased with a slope of one beyond the same critical density that was increased by both salience and priming. Thus, we conclude that the awareness of the axis orientation increases perceptual sensitivity to symmetry and decreases the effect of the noise mask without affecting the level of uncertainty about the axis location.

  • Keywords: uncertainty, sensitivity, priming, salience
  • Support: NSC 96-2413-H-002-006-MY3
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at VIP Room
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¡§Sadness¡¨ Components Dominated Expression Judgment on Ambiguous Faces

Mei Yen Chen, Department of Psychology, National Taiwan University, Taiwan
Chien Chung Chen, Department of Psychology, National Taiwan University, Taiwan

Facial expression, as a combination of movements and states of facial muscles, is an efficient and accurate indication of emotion. A reliable judgment of one another¡¦s expressions is important for human activities in a social environment. We are interested in how such efficient and reliable expression judgment is possible given that there are only subtle differences in facial features among different expressions. In this study, we investigated how the visual system integrates emotional signals transmitted on individual or a combination of facial features into a unified percept of facial expressions. We used face images with different emotion valence that were created by interpolating either between neutral and happy or between neutral to sad. In each trial, the stimulus was a composite face whose upper and lower parts were randomly selected from different morphs. The task of the observers was to press keys to indicate whether the stimulus represents ¡§sad¡¨ or ¡§happy¡¨ in each trial. When the expressions of the upper and lower parts of the face were consistent, the probability of ¡§happy¡¨ response increased with happy valence and decreased with sad valence. However, when they were inconsistent, the observers always made ¡§sad¡¨ response. In addition, the increment of happy valence actually led to an increment in the ¡§sad¡¨ response. This result suggests that the information used for facial expression judgment to a whole face cannot be a simple combination of information provided by local components. Components for a negative emotion may be able to attenuate the effects of the components for a positive emotion. As a result, components for a negative emotion dominate our expression judgment of an ambiguous face.

  • Keywords: face perception, facial expression
  • Support: NSC 96-2752-H-002-007-PAE
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at VIP Room
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How Consciousness and Spatial Frequencies interact during Face Processing

Vincent de Gardelle, departement d'etudes cognitives, Ecole Normale Superieure, France
Sid Kouider, departement d'etudes cognitives, Ecole Normale Superieure, France

The field of face perception has always played an important role in the research on visual consciousness. Moreover, the role of spatial frequencies has raised a great interest on face processing research. However, little is known about the interaction between spatial frequency and visual consciousness. Recently, Bar et al. (2007) proposed a model of object recognition that distinguishes the respective role of High vs. Low spatial frequencies (HSF vs. LSF). On the one hand, HSF are assumed to be processed slowly along the ventral stream, conveying the content of visual consciousness. On the other hand, LSF propagates faster and directly from early visual areas to orbito-frontal cortex, and in the model the result of this fast and automatic LSF computation can modulate the slow processing of HSF.
Here, we investigated whether the processing of spatial frequencies varies as a function of awareness during face perception. We used a masked face priming paradigm (Kouider & al., 2007) with hybrid prime images (i.e., mixture of LSF from one face and HSF from another) that where either visible or subliminal.
Our results show that both low and high spatial frequencies information had a comparable influence under subliminal conditions. In addition, there was also a strong interaction with awareness: while HSF influences greatly increased with stimulus visibility, LSF influences remained unchanged.
The fact that HSF information can be extracted from subliminal images goes against models that associate HSF with a slow and conscious processing. We also discussed the evidences in the light of the diagnostic approach (Ruiz-Soler & Bertrand, 2006, Smith & al, 2007), which predicts that the respective contribution of spatial frequencies are task-specific and context dependant. Further experiments are currently run in our lab to investigate diagnosticity and contextual modulation during subliminal and conscious face perception.

  • Keywords: consciousness, perception, faces, spatial frequencies, LSF, HSF, subliminal priming
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at VIP Room
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How Do We Find Words In Implicit Artificial Language Learning?

Arnaud Destrebecqz, Cognitive Science Research Unit, Universite libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
Axel Cleeremans, Cognitive Science Research Unit, Universite libre de Bruxelles, Belgium

Implicit learning is often viewed as a central mechanism in natural language learning. In line with this idea, recent studies have shown that infants and adults could identify the "words" of an artificial language in which the only cues available for word segmentation are the transitional probabilities between syllables. However, the exact nature of the learning mechanisms and of the computational models that can account for these results remains controversial.
According to one class of models, statistical learning amounts to parse the speech stream by forming chunks between adjacent elements. In this view, the sensitivity to statistical regularities is an emergent property following from the acquisition of rigid, conscious, word-like representations. According to a second class of models (the Sequential Recurrent Network, SRN) learning is based on the computation of the statistical regularities present in the input. The ability to extract words out of the speech stream is then rooted in the processing of the basic statistical properties of the material. Learning occurs automatically and implicitly and the knowledge of the words follows from the flexible sensitivity to the transitional probabilities of the material.
In order to contrast these two hypotheses, we ran experimental and simulation studies in which we studied, within the context of a Serial Reaction Time (SRT) task, the participants' and model's ability (1) to process statistical contingencies between non-adjacent elements and (2) to flexibly learn different artificial languages composed of a different set of words but sharing the same transitions between successive elements. These two kinds of linguistic regularities are indeed particularly challenging for models based on chunking processes.
Our results show that the SRN can account for the essential features of human behavior suggesting that implicit statistical learning might be more powerful than previously anticipated and can indeed constitute a central mechanism of language processing.

  • Keywords:implicit statistical learning, connectionist models
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at VIP Room
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Conscious Reports Matter: Semantic 'Subliminal' Priming Differs According to Objective and Subjective Measures of Prime Awareness

Doris Eckstein, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, United Kingdom
Matt Davis, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, United Kingdom
Rik Henson, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, United Kingdom

Words that are presented below visibility threshold are called ¡¥subliminal¡¦, because it is assumed that they are processed nonconsciously to a certain extent. Psycholinguistic researchers for instance investigate orthographic priming with subliminally presented prime words, where the letter information in the prime words is known to have an effect on word recognition of a subsequent probe word (a so-called priming effect). One of the most frequent methods of subliminal presentation is to hide words in rapid sequences of pattern masks. Because the threshold of visibility depends on many factors that cannot be controlled in an experiment, word visibility must be controlled after a priming test. One way to assess visibility is to ask the participants to describe their phenomenal perception of the masked words. This measure is often thought to be too crude and unreliable. Another way involves measuring the visibility of masked words in a further experiment, where participants are asked to try to classify the masked words. We present experiments on subliminal category priming, for which prime visibility was assessed with various tests and verbal reports. Phenomenal awareness or unawareness of the prime words modulated semantic priming, as did prime visibility ¡V but the two measures were not correlated and had clearly differential effects on priming. We discuss the implications for subliminal semantic priming and prime visibility tests.

  • Keywords: priming,subliminal,word perception
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at VIP Room
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Dissociation of Conscious and Unconscious Knowledge in Sequence Learning: Evidence from Event-Related Potentials

Qiufang Fu, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
Guangyu Bin, Department of Biomedical Enginerring, Tsinghua University, China
Zoltan Dienes, Department of Psychology, University of Sussex, United Kingdom
Xiaolan Fu, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
Xiaorong Gao, Department of Biomedical Enginerring, Tsinghua University, China

This paper investigated how unconscious and conscious knowledge in sequence learning is reflected in event-related potentials (ERPs).
ERPs were recorded during an oddball-version of a serial reaction time (SRT) task. A sequence consisted mainly of regular triplets; the probability of a deviant triplet was .125. In the training phase subjects simply performed a complex reaction time task for either seven or 15 blocks. After the training two generation tests measured which triplets were known consciously according to Jacoby¡¦s process dissociation logic. On each test trial, subjects were asked to generate a triplet either the same as training (inclusion instructions) or different from training (exclusion instructions) and to report their confidence. RTs were faster for standard than deviant triplets whether trained for seven or 15 blocks, confirming that all subjects acquired some procedural knowledge about the sequence. Further subjects acquired conscious knowledge but only some time after more than seven blocks of training. Initially the knowledge was apparently unconscious.
To look at the ERP correlates of the conscious status of knowledge, chunks were classified according to whether they were learnt at all and whether the knowledge was conscious. For each chunk separately, procedural knowledge was measured by the RT speed up between the first and second half of training. Procedural knowledge was associated with N2 and N3 modulations. Conscious knowledge for each chunk was defined by the difference between inclusion and exclusion performance. In the absence of conscious knowledge, there were modulations in N2 and N3. For those chunks that became consciously known later in training, there were modulations of P3 late in training. That is, unconscious knowledge could be measured online by amount of N2 and N3 modulation and conscious knowledge by the amount of P3 modulation. These results challenge previous conclusions in the literature because previous studies have not cleanly separated conscious and unconscious knowledge. Further, the findings suggest different neural systems are involved in the acquisition of conscious and unconscious knowledge in sequence learning.

  • Keywords: sequence learning, conscious knowledge, unconscious knowledge, ERPs
  • Support: This research was supported in part by grants from 973 Program of Chinese Ministry of Science
    ________ and Technology (2006CB303101) and grants for Young Scientists from Institute of Psychology,
    ________ Chinese Academy of Sciences.
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at VIP Room
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Can Neural Adaptation Occur at the Semantic Level? A Study of Semantic Satiation

Bruno Galmar, Institute of education, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan
Jenn-Yeu Chen, Institute of Education and Institute of Cognitive Science, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan

When a stimulus appears, the neural system responds to it immediately. But, if the stimulus does not change, the neural system will respond less and less until it may not respond at all. That is, the stimulus disappears from consciousness. This has been known as neural adaptation or sensory adaptation. We are interested in knowing whether adaptation can occur at the semantic level by re-examining the much debated phenomenon of semantic satiation. The phenomenon refers to the experience of the temporary loss of meaning when the participant is repeatedly exposed to a word visually or auditorily. In one task of the present study, the participants judged whether, for example, PHILLIPINE is a COUNTRY for 30 trials, on each of which the word COUNTRY was shown with a country name or a non-country name. In a second task, the participants judged for 30 trials whether CANADA and JAPAN were both countries, without seeing the word COUNTRY. In the third task, serving as a reference, the participants received 30 different member-member pairs each of which came from a different category. They judged whether the members of each pair belonged to the same category. If adaptation occurs at the semantic level, we expect to observe a trend of prolonged response times over trials, not only in the first task, but most crucially, in the second task. In this talk, we will discuss the methodology and the theoretical implication of semantic satiation.

  • Keywords: Neural adaptation, semantic satiation, habituation, loss of meaning
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at VIP Room
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Visual Masking and Conscious Face Perception in 5-Month-Old Infants

Sofie A. V. Gelskov, DEC, Ecole Normale Superieure, France

Visual masking has become a standard method for assessing subliminal perception and how it differs from conscious perception (Kouider & Dehaene, 2007). Recent studies using both objective and subjective measure of consciousness have found a steep rise in visibility around 50ms, leading to a non-linear (i.e., sigmoidal) curve of visibility. While the literature on conscious versus unconscious processing is extensive for adult populations, there exist almost no empirical studies on this topic in infant populations partly because of methodological problems. In fact, it remains uncertain to what extent infants are conscious, and if they are, how much their consciousness resembles the one of adults. In this study, we present a new behavioral method to assess the presentational threshold of fast and masked visual stimuli and to study the curve of visibility at different presentation durations in 5-month-old infants. The method uses preferential looking as a measure of visibility and relies on the saliency of faces which naturally capture infants¡¦ attention in a two alternative forced choice setup. We report two experiments showing that 5-month-old infants can react to masked faces presented for as short as 150ms. In addition, as for adults, we observed a sudden rise in visibility for face durations above 150ms. These results suggest that although infants have a higher threshold for conscious perception (150ms vs. 50ms in adults) similar processes might be leading to conscious perception in infants and adults.

  • Keywords: Masking, infants, visibility curve, conscious perception, face processing
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at VIP Room
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Does Unconscious Observation of Manual Actions Induce Action Priming?

Jason Han, Institute of Neuroscience, National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan
Erik Chang, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, National Central University, Taiwan
Daisy L. Hung, Institute of Neuroscience, National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan
Ovid J. L. Tzeng, Institute of Neuroscience, National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan

Although it has been suggested that the observation of actions facilitates motor responses consistent with the observed ones, it is unknown whether the awareness of the previewed actions is critical to this action priming effect. In the current study, we used a continuous flash suppression (CFS) paradigm to suppress the conscious perception of action primes, and examined whether consciously and unconsciously viewed manual actions resulted in differential priming effects on the performance of the same manual actions. Each trial began with a prime period in which an animation of manual action (power / precision grip) was presented to the participant¡¦s non-dominant eye, while the same animation (conscious condition) or a dynamic Mondrian (unconscious condition) was presented to one¡¦s dominant eye. A patch of an oblique grating either tilted leftwards or rightwards was then presented and the participant either made predesignated precision or power grips to indicate the grating orientation. We found a congruency effect showing that the response time (RT) was shorter for the congruent condition where the participant observed and executed precision grips than the RT for the incongruent condition where the participant observed a power grip but performed a precision grip. More interestingly, there was a tendency that the congruency effect was greater when participants consciously perceived the action primes than when they unconsciously viewed them. These results suggest that conscious awareness of visual inputs may be crucial for activating the human mirror neuron system.

  • Keywords: conscious awareness, action priming, mirror neuron system, continuous flash suppression
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at VIP Room
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Exploring Consciousness via Attention Studies: The Capture Effect of the Angry Faces

Shwu-Lih Huang, Department of Psychology, RCMBL, National Chengchi University, Taiwan
Yu-Chieh Chang, Department of Psychology, National Chengchi University, Taiwan
Yu-Ju Chen, Department of Psychology, National Chengchi University, Taiwan

The study of attention is closely related to the issues of consciousness. Some kinds of attentional control can be operated automatically without conscious awareness. In this regard, the capture effect of the emotional stimuli is investigated in the present study. Some previous studies showed that threatening stimuli, such as angry faces, can capture attention automatically. But the evidences were controversial. Therefore, a modified visual search paradigm was used to test the hypothesis in more details. There are two experiments in this study. In the first experiment, three kinds of schematic faces (angry face, happy face, and neutral face) were included as the emotional stimuli. For each trial, there were eight faces presented in a circular layout around the central fixation point. One of the faces having a dot in it was defined as the target face. Target face can be any of the three schematic faces. Participants¡¦ task is to discriminate which side (left or right) of the target face the dot was presented in. The results showed that angry face as the target can facilitate participants¡¦ response compared to the neutral target condition. And when angry face is not the target but being a distractor, participants respond to the target more slowly. The happy face can not have the same effect. These results support that angry face, but not happy face, can capture attention. In the second experiment, inverted faces were included also for the purpose of eliminating the emotional content. The results showed that the effect of the inverted angry face is not the same as the upright angry face. All the results obtained in the two experiments support that angry face can in some degree capture our attention. The implication of the results was discussed in respect to the attentional control process before or after conscious awareness.

  • Keywords: attention, capture, angry face, visual search
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at VIP Room
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Selective Attention Modulates the Motion Sensitivity After a Speed Learning Task

Ya-Ting Huang, Institute of Cognitive Science, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan
Chia-Huei Tseng, Department of Psychology, National Taiwan University, Taiwan

Specificity is a notable feature in many types of perceptual learning. In motion perception, observers gained direction-specific sensitivity improvement after practice in motion detection and discrimination tasks. Here we present a motion speed discrimination task and study (1) whether motion speed discrimination generates direction-specific and eye-specific sensitivity improvements, and (2) if selective attention modulates the sensitivity improvements.
Methods. Participants wore red-blue eyeglasses to receive binocular or monocular stimuli throughout the experiment containing three stages: pre-test, training, and post-test. At the pre-test and post-test stages, participants¡¦ 75% motion coherence thresholds for each eye at eight major directions (N, S, W, E, NE, NW, SE, SW) were measured. During the training phase, participants undergo 7 hourly sessions of speed discrimination involving two transparently moving families of dots moving either in opposite or orthogonal directions. Observers¡¦ task is to attend to dots in the target direction (always projected to the right eye) and indicate the speed change (faster or slower) in the middle of the trial while ignoring the other (distracter) direction (always projected to the left eye). In the control condition, observers discriminate speed change with single motion direction projected to the right eye only.
Results. In the case of opposite motion, although practice led to an increased sensitivity for both the attended and the neglected motion direction, the sensitivity enhancement was significantly larger for the attended motion direction. The pattern is held in both eyes. Practicing with an orthogonal transparent motion display, however, resulted in an enhanced sensitivity for the attended direction and its opposite direction, and an obvious suppression for the neglected direction. Surprisingly, the modulation is observed only in the right eye, not the left eye. In our control condition ¡V single motion direction during practice - we found no direction-related modulation of the motion direction sensitivity for both eyes. Additionally, the motion sensitivity modulation from learning in both eyes lasted over two weeks, indicating a long-persistent change in neural plasticity.
Conclusion: Our results provide evidence that visual attention can strongly modulate the practice-induced changes in the sensitivity for different motion directions and it lasts for at least two weeks.

  • Keywords: selective attention, motion perception, speed discrimination, perceptual learning
  • Support: NSC 95-2413-H-006-019-MY2 to CT
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at VIP Room
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Internal Model Theory of Visual Awareness: Convergent Evidence from Studies of Monkeys with Blindsight

Tadashi Isa, Department of Developmental Physiology, National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Japan
Masatoshi Yoshida, Department of Developmental Physiology, National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Japan
Kana Takaura, Department of Developmental Physiology, National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Japan

In the accompanying paper, we reported neurophysiological findings about monkeys with unilateral V1 lesions. Here we provide evidence, based on behavioral data, that V1 lesion may affect neuronal mechanisms required for control or maintenance of internal models of the environment and the body. 1) Two monkeys with unilateral V1 lesions were tested with a forced-choice (FC) task. Trajectories of saccades to the ipsilateral ('normal') hemifield were curved, suggesting that errors in the initial direction are compensated in the course of eye movements, so that the accuracy of the end points is attained. On the other hand, those of the saccades to the contralateral ('affected') hemifield were straight. The effect was not entirely due to deficits in vision, since even when the luminance contrast of the stimuli in the normal hemifield was near-threshold, their saccades were also curved. These results suggest that V1 lesions affect not only vision but also saccadic control. One of possible explanations for the effects is that V1 lesions affect internal monitoring of saccadic commands. 2) The distribution of saccadic reaction times during the FC task was modeled by the diffusion model. The modeling revealed that the decision criteria were lower when the stimulus was presented in the affected hemifield than in the normal hemifield. These results suggest that V1 lesions affect decision process for initiation of saccades in the FC task. 3) The monkeys were also tested with a yes-no (YN) task, in which the monkeys were required either to make saccades to the targets when the targets were presented or to maintain fixation when the targets were absent. Analysis based on signal detection theory revealed that the decision criteria were deviated positively from zero. The results 2) and 3) suggest that the observed dissociation between the performance of the FC task and that of the YN task is, at least partly, due to the difference between the decision criteria in the two tasks (Lau, 2007). The difference may arise from deficits in availability of the probability distribution of internal representation in the YN task. Based on convergent evidence, we propose an internal model theory of visual awareness, in which offline control and maintenance of internal models require visual awareness. This is consistent with the view that motor control and visual awareness share similar machinery that act as models of the environment based on internal monitoring (Kawato, 1997; Grush, 2004).

  • Keywords: decision, signal detection theory, implicit perception, saccade
  • Support: KAKENHI 13854029, 16700343 and CREST
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at VIP Room
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Pedunculopontine Tegmental Nucleus Neurons Signal Predicted and Actual Reward for Reinforcement Learning

Yasushi Kobayashi, Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University, Japan

Behavioral learning is accomplished by choosing the behaviors expected to give maximum reward and revising those predictions to minimize ¡¥reward prediction error¡¦, the difference between predicted and actual rewards. Evidence has accumulated suggesting that midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons encode ¡§reward prediction error¡¨ and that the striatum uses this signal to perform reinforcement learning. However, the question of how this reward prediction error is computed remains elusive.
The pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTN) of the brainstem supplies strong excitatory inputs to the DA neurons, and we were interested in the possibility that PPTN supplies the information for this computation. This hypothesis was tested by studying the activity of PPTN neurons in monkeys performing a visually guided saccade task for a juice reward. The magnitude of the reward could have one of two values (randomly selected each trial) cued by the shape of the initial fixation target. Two groups of PPTN neurons that were selectively responsive to the fixation target and the reward delivery, respectively, the former encoding the magnitude of the predicted reward and the latter the magnitude of the actual reward, which are the two essential pieces of information required to compute the reward prediction error.
Thus, rather than the striatum, as has been hypothesized by reinforcement learning models, the PPTN appears to be the key structure for computing reward prediction error. Moreover, this is the first demonstration that past structural memory in the striatum is decoded into dynamic neural activity and compared with that of a current experience, the PPTN being the site where both signals are simultaneously represented.

  • Keywords: reinforcement learning, motivation, reward prediction, monkey
  • Support: This study was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Priority Areas-System study
    ________ on higher-order brain functions-from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and
    ________ Technology of Japan (17022027, 18020019).
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at VIP Room
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Perceived Object Size Depends on the Relative Size of Background Elements

Ansgar Roald Koene, Psychology, National Taiwan University, Taiwan
Chien-Chung Chen, Psychology, National Taiwan University, Taiwan

The purpose of this study was to determine the relations between perceived and physical size of an object. Early visual areas encode visual information in retinotopic coordinates, signaling retinotopic size and orientation properties. Distance and orientation invariant object recognition however requires stimulus processing based on relative stimulus dimensions (e.g. relative lengths and orientation of edges with respect to each other) independent of absolute retinotopic size or orientation. Thus we investigated how relative size of an object, with respect to its surroundings, affects the perceived size of said object.

The test stimulus was a variant of the Ebbinghaus illusion and consisted of a test disk superimposed on a texture background whose circle elements were varied in size. We used a two interval forced choice task to measure how perceived size of the test disk was affected by the size of background texture elements. For background texture with uniform element sizes, the perceived size of an object decreased linearly with the size of the background texture elements. When the size of the background elements was randomly distributed, the perceived size of the object is a function of the range of element sizes with little to no effect of the skewedness of the distribution.
The experiment was performed in normal room light conditions with the monitor at 90cm distance from the subject such that subjects were perfectly able to use disparity (and other) depth cues to judge the distance to the stimuli. In the context of the size distance invariance hypothesis (SDIH) our results suggests that the observers would have to perceive the stimuli (and thus the screen) to move by about 10cm, or about 10% change, in depth between trials with small or large background textures. This suggests that perceived size is not simply a function of the subtended angle at the eye and the perceived distance. Instead we suggest that perceived size of an object is directly modulated by the ratio of the retinal object size to the retinal size of stimulus elements around it.

  • Keywords: vision, size perception, psychophysics, illusion
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at VIP Room
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Syncronized Oscillations as the Neural Correlate of Consciousness

John Lin, Neuroscience, Prometheus Press, United States

Modularization and hierarchical processing appear to be general features of all cortical processing. Using the processing of visual information as an example, this paper proposes a general model of hierarchical processing to explain how information from specialized visual areas--those processing lines, colors, motion, and so on--is integrated (and, in many instances, combined with information from other modalities, such as auditory, tactile, and semantic perceptions) to decipher the identity of an object. In the model, specialized modules are organized by hierarchical levels stacked together in a pyramidal configuration. A specialized module processes information received from subordinates at lower levels and passes the result to its superior at the next higher level. Information becomes progressively more concise, and meaningful, as it flows from the bottom of the pyramid toward the top. In the visual system, information from the retina enters the bottom level (area V1) of the pyramid, and the processed result emerges at the top (the visual association cortex). The resultant high-level representation then becomes available in conscious awareness (or the imaginary thinking theater of the mind) to interact and correlate with data from other modalities to achieve perceptual unity and understanding. In the hierarchy, feedforward pathways are frequently accompanied by reciprocal feedback pathways. Feedback pathways also exist among many levels of the hierarchy. These feedback circuits are used to provide mental predictions from higher-level representations and to exert top-down influence. Their presence sets up circular loops of feedforward and feedback circuits in the hierarchy, which create synchronized oscillations at the moment of perceptual recognition. This occurs because, in a steady state, when the perceptual result is correct--that is, when the perceptual result corresponds to the mental image in conscious awareness, as corroborated by results from other cortical modalities--predictions (feedback signals) will match input signals to the modules at all levels of the hierarchy, and the entire circuitry will oscillate in synchrony. The syncrony is broken when conscious attention is disengaged to attend to other matters.

  • Keywords: Neural correlate of consciousness, neural synchrony and binding, brain oscillations,
    _________ heirarchical neural processing, visual perception, distributed memory, neural networks.
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at VIP Room
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Multisensory Stimulus-Response Compatibility Effect Occurs Only When the Stimuli Are Consciously Perceived

Shih-Yu Lo, Psychology,National Taiwan University,Taiwan
Su-Ling Yeh, Psychology, National Taiwan University, Taiwan

The relationship between information processing and consciousness has been an important issue in studies of consciousness because it illuminates the nature of consciousness. We modified the inattentional blindness paradigm of Moore, Lleras, Grosjean, and Marrara (2004) and examined the relatively unexplored issue about the relationship between consciousness, within-/cross- modal processing, and a kind of stimulus-response compatibility effect, the Simon effect, which refers to the phenomenon that task-irrelevant spatial information of the stimulus influences the response. Unawareness to the critical stimulus is defined as when participants deny seeing it and their forced-choice responses to the critical stimulus are merely at chance level. We asked the participants to discriminate a visually presented letter (H or S emerged from a placeholder figure eight) by pressing the corresponding left or right key, and task-irrelevant visual and auditory distracters appeared concurrently at the left or right side of the target letter. In the first block, participants were not informed that there were distracters. After the first block, they were inquired about the visual background and the location of sound source, after which another block of trials was conducted. We found that when the participants were aware of the distracter, a typical Simon effect was observed in that when either a visual or an auditory distracter was presented at the contralateral side of the response key, the performance was impeded compared to the condition when the distracter was at the ipsilateral side. When both visual and auditory distracters were at the contralateral side, the magnitude of interference was larger than the sum of uni-modal interference, presumably due to visual-auditory integration. However, when participants were unaware of the distracter, the Simon effect was observed only with auditory distracters. We conclude that at the response selection stage, the external stimuli from two or more modalities are integrated to influence the action execution, and this occurs only when the external stimuli are consciously perceived.

  • Keywords: awareness, inattentional blindness, multisensory integration, the Simon effect,
    _________ stimulus-response compatibility
  • Support: Supported by the National Science Council of Taiwan, NSC 96-2752-H-002-008-PAE and
    ________ 96-2413-H-002-009-MY3
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at VIP Room
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Different Patterns of Eye Movements between Implicit and Explicit Processes in Visual Search

Takuro Mano, Research Institute of Electrical Communication, Tohoku University, Japan
Satoshi Shioiri, Research Institute of Electrical Communication, Tohoku University, Japan
Kazumichi Matsumiya, Research Institute of Electrical Communication, Tohoku University, Japan
Ichiro Kuriki, Research Institute of Electrical Communication, Tohoku University, Japan

When some of the layouts are repeated in a visual search task, participants learn the display layout implicitly. They become to be able to detect the target more quickly as the number of repeats increases (contextual cueing effect). In this study, we asked whether the display layouts can also be learned when participants are instructed to memorize layouts explicitly and how the learning differs (if it does) between explicit and implicit learning conditions. We compared learning effect on search time, recognition rate, and eye movements between the two conditions. One was the implicit condition, where no information of repeating presentation of layouts was given. The other was the explicit condition, where the participants were instructed to memorize stimulus layouts for visual search at later trials. Contextual cuing effect was found in both conditions, so that search time became shorter than the novel layouts after learning trials. However, the amount of the effect was larger in the implicit condition when the time for memorizing in the explicit condition was 1s, which is approximately the same as the search time for implicit learning trial. With 3s of display time for memorizing in the explicit condition, the contextual cuing effect was equivalent to that in the implicit condition. The recognition test performed after the search experiment showed that better recognition memory in the explicit condition both with 1s and 3s display time. They suggest that there are different functions between explicit and implicit learning. The eye movement patterns are also different between the two conditions. Although the reaction time is similar in the two conditions with the 3s learning time eye movement patterns are different. The number of fixations is less in the explicit condition than in the implicit condition, while the average fixation duration was longer less in the explicit condition. Based on the two different factors, similar reaction time was obtained in the two conditions. The longer fixation duration in the explicit condition may be explained by the time required to access in the memory in the explicit condition, where explicit accesses to memory could play an important role.

  • Keywords: implicit, explicit, visual search, eye movements, learning
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at Archimedes Hall
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Influence of Awareness on Adaptation to Visuomotor Distortions

Kazumichi Matsumiya, Research Institute of Electrical Communication, Tohoku University, Japan
Hironori Nagata, Research Institute of Electrical Communication, Tohoku University, Japan
Satoshi Shioiri, Research Institute of Electrical Communication, Tohoku University, Japan
Ichiro Kuriki, Research Institute of Electrical Communication, Tohoku University, Japan

With the visual feedback that does not coincide with arm movements, the visuomotor mapping is disrupted but can be adapted with practice. For this type of adaptation, there are at least two cases: in one case, the subject tries to adjust the arm movements to the given movements being aware of the distortion of visual feedback, and in the other case, the subject simply repeats the arm movements with a distorted visual feedback without the awareness of the distortion. It is important to know such the effect of the awareness of the change in visuomotor map. We investigated whether the awareness of the distortion of visual feedback affects the updating of visuomotor mapping. Participants were instructed to track a visual target moving along a circular path on a display using a visual cursor controlled by a forced feedback pen-shaped device. They held the device in the right hand. We changed the relationship between the position of the cursor and the position of the pen: the cursor was shifted by a certain degree of rotation around the center of the display. The change was made in one of three types of time courses. In the continuous condition, very small shift continuously embedded until it reached a given amount. In the gradual condition, small shift embedded every cycle of stimulus rotation until it reached the given amount. In the sudden condition, the given amount of shift was embedded at a time. In each condition, the tracking error was measured. The effect of awareness in the visuomotor adaptation was evaluated by error changes as a function of trials. The participants were aware of the distortion of visual feedback in the sudden condition, not in the continuous condition. There were individual differences in the gradual condition. The results showed larger adaptation effect in the conditions where the participants were aware of the distortion than the other conditions. An additional experiment confirmed that presenting an indicator of the actual hand position removed the differences in adaptation-effects among the three conditions. These results suggest that the awareness of visuomotor distortion influences the updating of visuomotor mapping.

  • Keywords: visuomotor adaptation, explicit adaptation, implicit adaptation, awareness, visual feedback
  • Support: This work was partially supported by the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture,
    ________Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) (18047005) to SS.
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at Archimedes Hall
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On the Common Representation between Physical and Mental Causations

Hidemichi Mitsumatsu, Department of Media Science, Graduate School of Information Science, Nagoya University,
_____________________ Japan

There are two types of causation: physical and mental causations. Physical causation is an occurrence of something the origin of which is force of an object. The collision of objects is the typical example of physical causation. Mental causation is self-attribution of a change of an environment. The sameness between the perceptual processes of physical and mental causations has long been pointed out by psychological researchers. Because the two have been studied independently of each other, the empirical evidence directly showing the connection between the two was scarce. The present study investigated how experience of mental causation was affected by observing a task-irrelevant collision event. The stimuli display included three motion objects of the same speed each of which started in a different timing. The participants observed the entraining effect where one object collided with and carried another one along. One object was not involved in the collision. The participants started the motion display by the initial mouse movement and had to keep moving the mouse to continue the replay of the movie. The task was to indicate which disk among the three they felt they had caused to move. Thus, the collision event was irrelevant to the task at hand. The results showed that the participants tended to self-attribute the colliding object as action effect compared to the case where the object of the same start-timing was not involved in the collision. The context effect of the collision on the judgment of mental causation seemed to be explained by assuming the common representation of causality between the physical and mental causations. That is, the collision event automatically evoked the representation of the mental causation, resulting in the mental causation of the collision event. The subsequent experiments showed that the visual attention and perception of the entraining effect which were considered mediating factors could not account for the context effect. The context effect would be the first direct evidence for the traditional belief of the common process between the two types of causation.

  • Keywords: voluntary action, collision, causality, common representation, self-attribution
  • Support: The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, and Technology, Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B),
    _____ __ 19730459
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at Archimedes Hall
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The Role of Semantic Representations in Grapheme-Colour Synaesthesia

Aleksandra Mroczko, Department of Philosophy, University of Mainz; Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research,
___________________ Germany
Thomas Metzinger, Department of Philosophy, University of Mainz; Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies,
Wolf Singer, Department for Neurophysiology, Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research; Frankfurt Institute for
___________ Advanced Studies, Germany
Danko Nikolic, Department for Neurophysiology, Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research; Frankfurt Institute for
_____________ Advanced Studies, Germany

In synaesthesia, a certain stimulus (inducer) is associated reliably and automatically with a phenomenal experience, mostly from the perceptual domain (concurrent). Grapheme-colour synaesthesia is triggered by linguistic entities like letters and numerals, and generates perception-like phenomenal experience of colours - e.g. for some people the letter ¡¥A¡¦ induces the perception of a red colour. These associations are acquired in early childhood and remain robust throughout the lifetime. Our study examined the relationship between inducer and concurrent showing how this relation can be extended by creating new semantic associations in the course of a short learning process. There is evidence that synaesthetic associations can be adopted by novel inducers in adulthood as one learns a second language with another writing system. We found that grapheme-colour associations were transferred to novel forms of graphemes after completing only a short writing exercise of less than 10 minutes. Five synaesthetes learned an ancient Slavic writing system, Glagolitic (orthographically largely unrelated to Latin, Greek, Cyrillic or Arabic) and were asked to handwrite 20 familiar words (or, alternatively, sequences of numbers) such that they substituted one Latin letter (or one Arabic digit) with a single Glagolitic letter (or digit). After the exercise, all subjects reported experiencing synaesthetic associations to these newly learnt graphemes, the qualia of concurrent colours being preserved from the original synaesthetic colours. Due to the short duration, the learning process relied on the formation of new semantic associations rather than on the mechanisms of perceptual learning. Unlike old synaesthetic associations, the new ones were font-specific and did not affect colour naming in an adapted Stroop task. This indicates that associations in grapheme-colour synaesthesia begin at the semantic level of processing (where the inducer is represented) and result in a phenomenal experience at the perceptual level (where the concurrent is represented); they connect the semantic, conceptual content associated with each grapheme with the sensory content, namely an involuntarily triggered conscious colour experience.

  • Keywords: grapheme-colour synaesthesia, cognition, perception
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at Archimedes Hall
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Chunking in Serial Reaction Time Tasks: An Objective Measure of Conscious Learning

Antoine Pasquali, Cognitive Science Research Unit, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
Luis Jimenez, Psychology Department, Universidad de Santiago, Spain
Axel Cleeremans, Cognitive Science Research Unit, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium

What is the difference between learning with and without awareness? Here, we propose that while both unconscious and conscious learners may become sensitive to the statistical structure of the environment within which they interact, only the conscious learner will chunk this information, that is, segment it in an intentional, conscious manner so as to form memory representations that can be accessed and manipulated independently of any context. Such chunking, which is constrained by the agent¡¦s memory limitations, allows one to integrate information in a goal-consistent and reliable manner. To address this issue, we examined performance in the serial reaction time (SRT) task, an implicit learning task in which people¡¦s responses to successive visual stimuli can be shown to be highly sensitive to the sequential structure of the material despite the fact that they often remain unaware of the existence of these sequential relationships. Chunking in such a task is characterized by the occurrence of groups of consecutive responses for which associated reaction times (RT) are successively shorter. Such group may reflect the fact that a single representation (a chunk) drives responding to every internal event within the group. Crucially, by examining the manner in which RT variability changes over training, we can track the emergence of chunks over long time periods. We identified a pattern of RT variability that uniquely characterizes intentional, but not incidental learning in this situation. Such a pattern can therefore be taken as an objective correlate of conscious learning. This interpretation is supported by the further findings that (1) chunk learners perform better when reporting the sequence in post-test generation tasks, and that (2) they tend to use the chunks they had learned in such direct tasks.

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Consciousness and Perceptual Organization: the Illusion of Meaning

Baingio Pinna, Dipartimento di Scienze dei Linguaggi, University of Sassari, Italy

The relationship between consciousness and the ability and distinctiveness of human visual system to perceive meanings is the main topic of this work. Human perception goes beyond the perception of objects or shapes. It is mostly perception of meanings. Each perceptual object has a shape that conveys and signifies one or more meanings that are related to other meanings creating a whole complex net of perceptual meanings that is the world we perceive in everyday life and where consciousness plays a basic role. The questions are: What is a perceptual meaning? Can the problem of perception of meanings be reduced to a process of perceptual organization? What are the main phenomenal rules governing the formation of meanings? Can consciousness be reduced to the problem of meaning? The answers to these questions help to understand how the brain creates meanings and the consciousness. We have shown through phenomenal and psychophysical experiments that vision is mostly perception of meanings. Briefly, the results showed that a perceptual meaning (i) is an emergent result normally and spontaneously conveyed by vision, (ii) is the extreme reduction of information load and of the algorithmic complexity, i.e. many disparate components are reduced to a minimum number, (iii) is the result of a special organization process that complement Gestalt principles of grouping and where at least two levels (modal and amodal) are hierarchically structured in a part-whole organization, (iv) is the atom of the primitive language of vision used before spoken language (it contains at least a subject, a predicate and a complement), (v) creates other meanings placed at the same and at different perceptual levels where one is included and is the raw materials of the other ¡V this process creates a hierarchy of meanings and works recursively. We suggest a new theory of perceptual organization and a possible neural scenario for both perceptual meanings and consciousness based on the primitive language of vision where consciousness plays the role of the subject.

  • Keywords: Consciousness; Perceptual Organization; Grouping Principles; Perceptual Meaning;
    _________ Gestalt Psychology
  • Support: PRIN ex 40% Cofin. es. 2005 (prot. 2005112805_002), Fondo d¡¦Ateneo (ex 60%),
    ______ _ Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Fondazione Banco di Sardegna
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at Archimedes Hall
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Using an Active Event Related Paradigm to Detect Consciousness in Coma Survivors

Caroline Schnakers, Coma Science Group, Research Center of Cyclotron, University of Liege, Belgium
Fabien Perrin, UMR 5020, University of Lyon, France
Manuel Schabus, CNRS, University of Salzburg, Austria
Steve Majerus, Division of Physiological Psychology, University of Liege, Belgium
Didier Ledoux, Department of Cognitive Sciences, University hospital of Liege, Belgium
Pierre Damas, Department of Intensive Care, University hospital of Liege, Belgium
Melanie Boly, Department of Intensive Care, University of Liege, Belgium
Audrey Vanhaudenhuyse, Coma Science Group, University of Liege, Belgium
Marie-Aurelie Bruno, Research Center of Cyclotron, University of Liege, Belgium
Gustave Moonen, Coma Science Group, University hospital of Liege, Belgium
Steven Laureys, Research Center of Cyclotron, University of Liege, Belgium

Objectives. Detecting signs of consciousness in severely brain injured patients recovering from coma is often difficult when relying only on behavioral observation. Previous electrophysiological studies exclusively used passive paradigms to assess residual cognitive functioning. However, these paradigms do not necessarily imply conscious processing. In this context, using an active paradigm where the patient has to perform actively a task could be a surrogate marker of consciousness. In this study, we explored a new ¡§active¡¨ event related potential (ERP) paradigm as an alternative method for the detection of voluntary brain activity.
Methods. The participants were twenty-two right-handed patients (10 traumatic) diagnosed as being in a vegetative (VS) (n=8) or in a minimally conscious state (MCS) (n=14). They were presented sequences of names containing the patient¡¦s own name or other names, in both passive and active conditions. In the active condition, the patients were instructed to count (i) her/his own name or (ii) to count another target name.
Results. Like controls, MCS patients presented a larger P3 response to the patient¡¦s own name, in the passive and in the active conditions. Moreover, the P3 to target stimuli was higher in the active than in the passive condition, suggesting voluntary compliance to task instructions like controls. These ERP task related changes were even found in patients presenting few signs of consciousness such as visual fixation or pursuit. In contrast, no P3 differences between passive and active conditions were observed for VS patients.
Conclusion. The present results suggest that ¡§active¡¨ ERP paradigms may permit detection of voluntary brain function and, therefore, conscious processing in severely brain damaged patients, and this in cases with very limited external behavioral responses. Further studies should investigate the residual cognitive functions which are preserved in case of minimally conscious state in order to define exactly which cognitive component is needed for conscious processing (e.g., intervention of working memory).

  • Keywords: consciousness, coma, event-related potentials
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at Archimedes Hall
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The Division of Labor for Internal-External Information Processing-An Extended Theory of Global Workspace

Xiaolan Song, Psychology, Zhejiang University, China
Xiao Wei Tang, Physiology, Zhejiang University, China

Global Workspace Theory and Global Neuronal Workspace Hypothesis are two theories about the mechanism of consciousness. The former, proposed by Bernard J. Baars, constructed a structure named ¡§Global workspace¡¨. It actualized the function of integrating and coordinating of specialized networks which otherwise operated autonomously. The latter, raised by Stanislas Dehaene, advanced a neuronal model of the global workspace and made a successful computer simulation. Both of them were supported by many experimental results.
The Default Mode Network Hypothesis was proposed based on the findings that a relatively steady brain network decrease it¡¦s activity in attention and working memory tasks comparing with that in resting state, and that the spontaneous activities in these areas are highly correlated. These findings indicated that an organized brain network is active when the information from environment is not processed consciously. As evidence, the experiences of mind wandering also remind us that our brain is never at rest even during resting state.
Although there are internal elements such as inner speech or visual imagery in Global Workspace Theory, Baars and Dehaene haven¡¦t distinguished the internal and external information. Considering the phenomenon that we drop into daydreaming, mind wandering or popping out of other mental events constantly, and that there exists an relatively steady brain network which is active in resting state whereas prohibitive in external tasks, we here combine Global (Neuronal) Workspace Theory and Default Mode Network Hypothesis, and put forward an Extended Theory of Global Workspace about consciousness. We suggest that the brain processes information from external environment and internal representations in an organized way. We propose that, 1) The attention resource can be devoted into processing internal as well as external ; 2) The processing of external and internal information are two states of an unified system of consciousness, and the ongoing internal processing such as mind wandering has its adaptive meaning; 3) The brain is a self-organized system that guarantee the division of labor between external and internal information processing; 4) The Default Mode Network can be integrated into the Global Workspace, and so the Global workspace is extended.

  • Keywords: Global workspace, Default mode network, Internal information processing
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at Archimedes Hall
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Subjective Experiences during Sleep Onset

Wei-Cheng Su, Psychological Department, National Cheng-Chi University, Taiwan
Min-Hsin Yang, Psychological Department, National Cheng-Chi University, Taiwan
Hui-Ya Han, Psychological Department, National Cheng-Chi University, Taiwan
Chien-Ming Yang, Psychological Department, National Cheng-Chi University, Taiwan

A. Introduction:
Sleep onset process is characterized by progressive changes of consciousness state, as shown by various physiological and psychological indices. However, previous studies focused more on objective measures of physiological changes. The current study aimed to investigate the consciousness changes during sleep onset, by waking subjects up at different points of sleep onset period and assessing their subjective experiences.

B. Method:
Twenty students, averaged 24.5 years old, participated in the study. They were asked to take a nap in the sleep laboratory during daytime. They were waked up, according to polysomnography, at four different points of sleep onset process: the emerge of a slow eye movement (SEM), entering stage 1 sleep (S1), after the emerge of a sleep spindle or a K-complex (S2), entering stage 2 for 5 minutes (S2+5m). They were then asked to answered questions of a semi-structured questionnaire immediately upon awakening. The questionnaire consists of items regarding thinking processes and perception of external stimuli. Items on thinking processes included control over thinking processes (THCO), continuity of thoughts (THCONT), logic of thoughts (THLOG); items regarding external experiences included perception of external stimuli (EXST), feeling of control over perceptual experiences (EXCO), feeling of reality over perceptual experiences (EXRE), orientation (EXORI), and extend of participation in the perceptual experiences (EXPA).

C. Result:
EXST decreased significantly from SEM to S1, and from S1 to S2+5m. EXCO showed no significant changes between consecutive points of awakening, but with significant differences between SEM and S2, and between S1 and S2+5m. EXRE showed significant reduction from S1 to S2; EXPA demonstrated no significant differences between consecutive awakenings, but reduced significantly from SEM to S2 and S1 to S2+5m. In EXORI, there were two significant reductions, from S1 to S2, and from S2 to S2+5m. There were significant differences among all the awakenings in THCO, from SEM to S1, from S1 to S2, and from S2 to S2+5m. THCONT showed significant changes from S1 to S2 only. THLOG reduced significantly from SEM to S1, and from S1 to S2+5m.

In summary, the results indicated that the transition of consciousness experience during sleep onset process does not change as a whole, like turning a switch. Rather, the perception of external stimuli, control over thinking processes, as well as logic of thoughts decrease first, after falling into stage 1 sleep. The thinking processes then become fragmented subsequently, after getting into stage 2 sleep. Finally, the consciousness enters into sound sleep.

  • Keywords: sleep onset(SO), Subjective Experiences
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at Archimedes Hall
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The Effect of Generation on Output Monitoring and the Sense of Agency in Speech

Eriko Sugimori, Cognitive and Behavioral Science, University of Tokyo, Japan
Yoshihiko Tanno, Cognitive and Behavioral Science, University of Tokyo, Japan

The sense of agency is the feeling that "I am the one who causes an action". It may be related to action output monitoring. We examined output monitoring using the effects of word generation. In the self-generated condition, we asked participants to generate a word from an anagram; in the other-offered condition, the experimenter presented words to participants who then read aloud, lip-synched, or imagined reading them. We investigated whether generation effects occur for output recognition by asking whether each word had been read aloud, lip-synched, or reading had been imagined. We also investigated whether the integration of the information by the participant is ¡§richer¡¨ under the self-generated condition than under the other-offered condition by asking whether each word had been read aloud or not. The rates of both correct responses to ¡§read aloud¡¨ for read words and misattribution to ¡§read aloud¡¨ for words that were not read were higher in the self-generated condition than in the other-offered condition. The encoding of motor information did not differ between the conditions, and the integration of the information of a word and the act of the participant generating that word caused the participant to regard the word as having been read aloud.

  • Keywords: output monitoring, speech, memory, agency
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at Archimedes Hall
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Can People Estimate the Memory Accuracy from the Self-Rated Confidence? : Confidence-Accuracy Relations in an Eyewitness Memory and a General Memory Test

Mizue Tachi, Department of Psychology, Japan Women's University, Japan

Can we monitor our memory skills? Can we estimate the accuracy of our memory from the confidence judgment? Many psychologists have been researching on this topic, and they concluded that in general we can predict the accuracy of memory from the self rated confidence. Now, the main topic in the confidence-accuracy relation (C-A relation) researches is to justify whether we trust the self rated confidence for recollection to predict accuracy of eyewitness memory. In this research, we will give further empirical data to discuss the confidence-accuracy relations in free recall tests on general knowledge (GM) and eyewitness memory (EM). We conducted an experiment where participants answered to the free recall questions in an EM and a GK tests giving confidence ratings for each answer. And we examined the relationship between the test performance (accuracy) and confidence judgment in these tests. Within-subject analysis revealed that the significant C-A relations for both of the EM and GK tests indicating that more confident answer tended to be more correct. While, between-subject analysis showed the significant C-A relation in the EM test but not in the GK test indicating that participants with higher confidence tended to answer more correctly in the EM test. Our results suggest that confidence judgment might be useful to predict the accuracy of memory in general memory and eyewitness testimony, and also that people can monitor their memory skills, under some conditions.

  • Keywords: confidence, memory performance, meta-memory
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at Archimedes Hall
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Perceptual Ambiguity Does Not Increase Perceptual Latency of Bistable Visual Stimuli

Shigekazu Takei, Department of Information Processing, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan
Shin'ya Nishida, Human and Information Science Laboratory, NTT Communication Science laboratories, Japan

Previous study suggests that response latency, a useful measure to infer the time course of visual awareness, is shorter for unambiguous perceptual decisions than for ambiguous decisions (Ratcliff & Rouder, 1998; Shadlen & Newsome, 1996). For instance, in detection of a signal, a reduction of signal strength makes detection response more ambiguous and response latency longer, as predicted from integrator (diffusion) models that assume that a perceptual decision is reached when temporal integration of sensory evidence exceeds a threshold (for reviews, see Bogacz et al., 2006). However, it is not known whether perceptual decision is generally delayed for ambiguous perceptual decisions, because previous study has not tested multistable stimuli that allow more than one perceptual interpretations, but each interpretation is clear and compelling when it is dominant. We therefore examined the relationship between perceptual ambiguity and reaction time using a bistable apparent motion display. Four Gaussian blobs located at the corners of a virtual square were rotated around the centre in two-frame apparent motion. The rotation angle was variable between 0 and 90 deg. Subjects had to report the perceived direction of rotation as quick as possible by pressing one of two buttons. Data analysis excluded trials in which subjects indicated response errors. Preferred perceived rotation was the smaller angle direction, being most ambiguous (50%) at around 0 (90) deg and 45 deg. In the former case where response ambiguity is caused by motion signal weakness, response latency was elongated as expected from previous reports. On the other hand, in the latter case where response ambiguity is caused by perceptual bistability, response latency was as fast as that for rotations with unambiguous angles, indicating that perceptual ambiguity does not delay perceptual decision. We obtained a similar result for another bistable stimulus, Rubin¡¦s vase.

  • Keywords: perceptual latency, ambiguity, reaction time
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at Archimedes Hall
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A New Paradigm from the Bedside for Patients in a Vegetative State: Neuroethics ''toward'' Consciousness

Soichiro Toda, Psychiatry and Clinical Ethics, Yamanashi University School of Medicine and Engineering, Japan

Persistent vegetative state (PVS) raises various ethical issues in clinical services due to the difficulty in diagnosis and the inability to communicate with patients. Recently, Owen et al. (2006) proposed an experimental paradigm to detect patients' awareness, and, surprisingly, their results indicated that some of the patients diagnosed as PVS could have awareness. Their experimental paradigm, however, does not determine whether the patient actually has awareness in the strict sense. Here we raise two issues in their paradigm that are likely to occur in clinical practice. We then suggest a new paradigm that can overcome those issues. The first issue concerns the temporal aspect of brain activity. When ¡§sustained¡¨ task-specific brain activity is observed through fMRI images, the experimenter must distinguish between ¡§sustained¡¨ and ¡§transient¡¨ activity. Any ambiguous images¡Xnot infrequent in medical practice¡Xmake such distinction difficult. The second issue concerns the spatial aspect. The paradigm where a patient¡¦s brain images are compared with the controls could prohibit the detection of patient-specific brain activities, thus leading to the possibility of chained-false-negatives. To resolve these issues, we propose a new experimental paradigm involving working memory. In this paradigm, the patients are asked to perform three imagery tasks: First, the patients are required to perform an imagery task, followed by a second imagery task. Subsequently, the third task requires the patients to recall the contents of the first task by using their working memory. This experimental design is simple, in that it requires neither the precise location of acquired brain activity nor the precise evaluation of the strength of the BOLD signals. It thus avoids both the temporal and spatial shortcomings aforementioned. Furthermore, using this paradigm could increase the validity of brain-computer interface (BCI), which involves decision-making that requires the working memory. Finally, our paradigm has a clinical advantage, in that it provides more definitive criteria to evaluate patients' awareness by requiring sufficient conditions for consciousness. To conclude, our perspective is considered to be a new methodology to evaluate scientific and ethical problems regarding PVS, which has been difficult because of the ambiguity in the very definition of consciousness.

  • Keywords: persistent vegetative state(PVS), functional magnetic resonance imaging(fMRI), working memory,
    _________ awareness, ethical problems from the bedside
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at Archimedes Hall
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Endogenous and Exogenous Attention Effect on Visual Afterimage

Shu-Hwa Tsai, Institute of Cognitive Science, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan
Chia-Huei Tseng, Department of Psychology, National Taiwan University, Taiwan

Afterimage used to be considered a low-level visual phenomenon caused by the bleaching of photochemical pigments; yet, to full account the subjective experience associated with afterimages including attentional modulation, higher level processing beyond photoreceptor is critical. In this study, we investigate whether endogenous and exogenous attention exerts the same mechanisms on visual afterimage.
Methods. (1) Endogenous attention. We used a dot-integration paradigm similar to Suzuki and Grabowecky (2003) which contained 6 randomly positioned color disks among a circular array of 12 possible positions as afterimage inducers with an inner ring in the center. The disks and rings changed colors at 4 Hz (4 times per second) and 2 Hz (twice per second) respectively and lasted for 10 seconds in each trial. Subjects were to detect when the inner ring turned green (attend-to-inner ring condition/ignore the outer disks) or when the outer disks turned the same color (attend-to-outer disks condition). Immediately after the adaptation, subjects performed a dot-integration task in which an opening within the array of 12 positions could be successfully detected only when complete afterimages were visible. (2) Exogenous attention. With identical task, we manipulated exogenous attention by synchronizing auditory beeps with the color disks (directly relevant to the opening detection test), or with the inner ring (irrelevant to the opening detection test).
Results. (1) Endogenous attention. Observers¡¦ afterimages were weaker when they attended to the disks on the outer array than when they attended to the central ring during the 10-second adaptation phase. This is consistent with what was observed by Suzuki and Grabowecky (2003) that endogenous attention weakened visual afterimages, with a smaller effect size (33%) in our setting. (2) Exogenous attention. Our results showed that auditory beeps when in synchrony with the color disks enhanced afterimages, opposite to what was discovered in endogenous attention. The size that exogenous attention exerted on afterimage was equivalent to that induced by endogenous attention condition. Our results suggested that exogenous and endogenous attention might modulate visual afterimages from different neural substrates and supported that afterimage was not a strictly low-level visual phenomenon.

  • Keywords: endogenous attention, exogenous attention, afterimage
  • Support: NSC 95-2413-H-006-019-MY2 to CT
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at Archimedes Hall
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Neural Correlates of the Two Dimensions of Awareness: Awareness of Environment and Awareness of Self

Audrey Vanhaudenhuyse, Coma Science Group, University of Liege, Belgium
Athena Demertzi, Coma Science Group, University of Liege, Belgium
Manuel Schabus, Department of Psychology, University of Salzburg, Austria
Christophe Phillips, Coma Science Group, University of Liege, Belgium
Quentin Noirhomme, Coma Science Group, University of Liege, Belgium
Serge Bredart, Department of Cognitive Science, University of Liege, Belgium
Steven Laureys, Coma Science Group, University of Liege, Belgium
Melanie Boly, Coma Science Group, University of Liege, Belgium

Introduction. Wakefulness and awareness are the two main components of consciousness. Wakefulness is thought to be related to brainstem and thalamic areas and awareness to a global fronto-parietal network. We tested the hypothesis that within this fronto-parietal network, some areas are involved in the awareness of environment and others in awareness of self. We here explored the brain activity during the conscious resting state associated with awareness of the environment versus of self, using fMRI.
Methods. We used a blocked fMRI paradigm in 23 volunteers. We assessed the brain activity linked to thoughts related to the environment, defined as perception of stimuli through sensory modalities which are experienced as part of the external world; and thoughts related to self defined as mental processes that were not related to external stimuli. Subjects were asked to be immobile, to keep their eyes closed and to avoid structured thinking (e.g., counting, singing, etc). Subjects were presented with a beep on average every 20 seconds (range 3 to 30 seconds). They were asked to evaluate by button press whether they were thinking about the environment or themselves during the period preceding the beep. Subjects rated their thoughts on a scale: clearly external, rather external, rather internal and clearly internal. Results of random effects group analyses were thresholded at small-volume corrected p<.05.
Results. We observed a significant activation of lateral fronto-parietal cortices when subjects had thoughts related to environmental stimuli, including intra parietal sulcus and middle frontal gyrus. When subjects had thoughts related to self, there was a significant activation of precuneus/posterior cingulate and anterior cingulate/mesiofrontal cortices.
Discussion and conclusion. Our data shed light on the neural correlates of awareness¡¦ two dimensions in the conscious resting state: awareness of environment - linking to activity in dorsolateral prefrontal and posterior parietal cortices (in line with e.g. Boly et al 2007 & Rees et al 2002) - and awareness of self - linking to activation of midline structures (e.g. Northoff et al., 2004 & Perrin et al 2005).
References. Boly et al Proc Natl Acad Sci 2007 104(29):12187-92; Rees et al Nat Rev Neurosci. 2002 3(4):261-70; Northoff, G., & Bermpohl, F. (2004). Trends Cogn Sci, 8(3), 102-107; Perrin et al Neuropsychologia. 2005;43(1):12-9.

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Intentional Control in Implicit Learning Based on Familiarity

Lulu Wan, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
Zoltan Dienes, Department of Psychology, University of Sussex, United Kingdom
Xiaolan Fu, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

The current research investigated whether subjective familiarity could be controlled intentionally when subjects are trained on two artificial grammars. It is commonly held that implicit learning is based largely on familiarity. It is also commonly held that familiarity is not affected by intentions. Indeed, Jacoby (1991) defines familiarity as that memorial process not affected by intentional control. It follows that people should not be able to use familiarity to distinguish strings from two different grammars. However, if familiarity is defined as what feels familiar to the subject, the intention to use one grammar may make strings of that grammar feel more familiar. In two experiments, subjects were either incidentally trained on two artificial grammars equally (experiment 1) or trained twice as long on the to-be-ignored grammar as the target grammar (experiment 2). Training involved asking subjects to memorize strings of letters generated by the grammars. Only then were subjects informed that the strings before and after the short break belonged to two different complex sets of rules. In the test stage, subjects were asked to endorse strings from only one of the two grammars. Additionally, they rated how familiar each string felt on a scale (0-100), and reported how they made their grammaticality judgment using five options (guessing, intuition, familiarity, rules, or recollection). The results indicated that subjects could endorse the strings of just one grammar and ignore the strings from the other. That is, subjects had strategic control over which grammar they used. Nevertheless, subjects most commonly believed they used familiarity (rather than conscious rules or recollection) to do this. Importantly, when subjects said they were using familiarity, the rated familiarity for test strings consistent with their chosen grammar was greater than that for strings from the other grammar even when the target grammar had been trained half as much as the to-be-ignored grammar. In sum, subjective familiarity is sensitive to intentions and can play a key role in strategic control, challenging conventional notions of familiarity amongst psychologists.

  • Keywords: familiarity, intentional control, implicit learning, artificial grammar, unconscious
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at Archimedes Hall
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Correlate Visual Motor Control and Alternation of Conscious Experience in Perceptual Rivalry

Shwu-Fen Wang, Graduate Institute and School of Physical Therapy, College of Medicine, National Taiwan
________________ University, Taiwan
Wen-Hsin Hu, Graduate Institute and School of Physical Therapy, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University,
_____________ Taiwan
Ya-Jung Lin, Graduate Institute and School of Physical Therapy, Collee of Medicine, National Taiwan University,
____________ Taiwan
Su-Ling Yeh, Department of Psychology, National Taiwan University, Taiwan

In clinical settings, patients with symptoms of eye movement disorders tend to have problems of attention and awareness. However, which component in the visual motor control of eye movements is indicative of attentional control has not yet been identified. We aimed at identifying this component for the purpose of developing a diagnostic tool for early detection of possible deficits in attentional control. We used two versions of the Necker Cube Pattern Control (NCPC) test, measuring the alternation of two views with this bistable figure. One version asked the participants to maintain a given view as long as possible whereas the other version asked them to switch between views as quickly as possible. Eye movements were measured with videonystagmography that consisted of two distinct-frequency smooth pursuits and one random-rate saccade while the participant was asked to move his/her eyes when a dot was shown one at a time at a random position. The recorded variables included the number of Necker Cube reversal, pursuit gain, saccade latency, speed, and precision. Results showed median correlation between the maintain version of NCPC and saccade latency, suggesting that the lower the frequency of alternation between the two views in NCPC, the slower the saccade latency from one target to another. Furthermore, high correlation was found between saccade latency and speed, but only on the left side. No other significant correlations were found. These results suggest that the association between alternation in perceptual rivalry and visual motor control explains part of the physiological reasoning behind consciousness. With the knowledge of the physiological factor in consciousness, we expect further study to find the indicator for diagnosing consciousness disorders.

  • Keywords: Necker Cube Pattern Control test, saccade, smooth pursuit
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at Archimedes Hall
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Supporting Hypothesized Evolutionary Functions of Consciousness

Juliane Charlotte Wilcke, Psychology, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

Coming up with an idea for why consciousness evolved is not difficult, but turning the initial speculation into a well supported hypothesis is. In this presentation I will report the results of an evaluation of strategies and methods that have been used to generate and develop hypotheses about the current or evolutionary function of consciousness. The aim of this evaluation was to determine the strategies and methods on which we should concentrate our efforts in order to make progress toward a scientifically respectable evolutionary explanation of consciousness. In the first evaluation step, the adequacy of the strategy or method was assessed by analyzing the relation of its aim to the research objective of finding an evolutionary explanation of consciousness. Here it proved useful to group the specific aims of the strategies and methods into five general approaches for studying the evolutionary function of consciousness, which have the following goals respectively: showing that consciousness has a function and identifying its current function, along with the evolutionary equivalents of showing that consciousness is an adaptation and identifying its adaptive significance, and discovering the origin and history of consciousness in evolution. The second evaluation step was concerned with whether the strategy or method actually tends to promote its aim: The validity of the strategy or method was appraised using empirical evidence from its past performance and plausible arguments. In the final evaluation step, the strengths and weaknesses of the strategy or method were examined in relation to, for example, the strategy or method's assumptions, rules, and required resources. The evaluation of the promise of strategies and methods highlighted difficulties with some common forms of reasoning and types of evidence in the present context, but it also identified which strategies and methods are worth pursuing. A multi-method approach that combines specific evolutionary methods (including those used to support consciousness being an adaptation independent of the function it may have) with Baars's contrastive analysis and Flanagan's natural method seems most promising. We now need a concerted effort which uses these strategies and methods and which combines their results to develop well-supported evolutionary explanations of consciousness.

  • Keywords: consciousness, evolution, function, adaptation, method evaluation
  • Support: New Zealand Postgraduate Study Abroad Award; conference grant-in-aid from the
    ______ _ Department of Psychology, University of Canterbury
  • Corresponding Email:
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at Archimedes Hall
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Incremental Effective Connectivity Is in Response to Differential Working Load Demands of An N-back Working Memory Network: A DCM Study

Yen Yu, Institute of Brain Science, National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan
Wen-Jui Kuo, Institute of Neuroscience, National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan
Jen-Chuen Hsieh, Institute of Brain Science, National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan
Karl J. Friston, The Wellcome Department of Imaging Neuroscience, University College London, United Kingdom
Tung-Ping Su, Department of Psychiatry, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taiwan
Yu-Te Wu, Institute of Brain Science, National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan

The central executive system in an n-back working memory network played an essential role in initiating a strategic control of cognition for differential task difficulty. The information transmission in the subsidiary phonological loop was then manipulated depending on the system's capability. The task difficulty in our experiment was parameterized as 1-back and 2-back. The control of cognition for on-line manipulation of task-relevant information was hypothesized to have representative influences in effective connectivity of the network. In this study, we investigated the connectivity of the generic network, which initially included neural correlates of phonological store, subvocal rehearsal processing, and central executive system, using dynamic causal modeling (DCM). Dynamic causal modeling is a nonlinear system identification technique which incorporates the neuronal kinetics and hemodynamic nature of brain activities. DCM estimates sets of parameters describing intrinsic and induced connectivities of a priori functional architecture based on the assumption that the architecture is perturbed by the context and stimuli in the experiment. We set up the analysis using 2 contextual and 1 stimulus inputs. The selection of task-relevant ROIs was based on 11 normal subjects of n-back fMRI data using independent component analysis (ICA). A Bayesian-averaged result revealed that the transition of context from 1-back to 2-back made the system more dependent upon dorsolateral prefrontal (DLPFC, around BA-46) relay and intuitively on more frequent subvocal rehearsal. In regard to the hypothesis that has already been strengthen by current result, we sought extensions in central executive representations to incorporate more elaborate functional architecture.

  • Keywords: Dynamic Causal Model, effective connectivity, n-back, working memory, central executive,
    _________ phonological loop
  • Presentation: Poster, Friday June 20, 5:30PM-7:30PM at Archimedes Hall
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