Speculations on the evolution of awareness

Citation:

Graziano, M. S. A. (2014). Speculations on the evolution of awareness. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience , 26 (6), 1300-1304.
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Date Published:

2014 Jun

ISSN:

1530-8898

Abstract:

The "attention schema" theory provides one possible account of the biological basis of consciousness, tracing the evolution of awareness through steps from the advent of selective signal enhancement about half a billion years ago to the top-down control of attention, to an internal model of attention (which allows a brain, for the first time, to attribute to itself that it has a mind that is aware of something), to the ability to attribute awareness to other beings, and from there to the human attribution of a rich spirit world surrounding us. Humans have been known to attribute awareness to plants, rocks, rivers, empty space, and the universe as a whole. Deities, ghosts, souls--the spirit world swirling around us is arguably the exuberant attribution of awareness.

Publisher's Version

DOI:

10.1162/jocn_a_00623

Alternate Journal:

J Cogn Neurosci
Last updated on 05/09/2019