•  2425
    For many years emotion theory has been characterized by a dichotomy between the head and the body. In the golden years of cognitivism, during the nineteen-sixties and seventies, emotion theory focused on the cognitive antecedents of emotion, the so-called “appraisal processes.” Bodily events were seen largely as byproducts of cognition, and as too unspecific to contribute to the variety of emotion experience. Cognition was conceptualized as an abstract, intellectual, “heady” process separate fro…Read more
  •  1654
    Buddhism originated and developed in an Indian cultural context that featured many first-person practices for producing and exploring states of consciousness through the systematic training of attention. In contrast, the dominant methods of investigating the mind in Western cognitive science have emphasized third-person observation of the brain and behavior. In this chapter, we explore how these two different projects might prove mutually beneficial. We lay the groundwork for a cross-cultural co…Read more
  •  556
    Are there neural correlates of consciousness?
    with Alva Noë
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 11 (1): 3-28. 2004.
    In the past decade, the notion of a neural correlate of consciousness (or NCC) has become a focal point for scientific research on consciousness (Metzinger, 2000a). A growing number of investigators believe that the first step toward a science of consciousness is to discover the neural correlates of consciousness. Indeed, Francis Crick has gone so far as to proclaim that ‘we … need to discover the neural correlates of consciousness.… For this task the primate visual system seems especially attra…Read more
  •  514
    This paper sketches a phenomenological analysis of visual mental imagery and uses it to criticize representationalism and the internalist-versus-externalist framework for understanding consciousness. Contrary to internalist views of mental imagery imagery experience is not the experience of a phenomenal mental picture inspected by the mind’s eye, but rather the mental simulation of perceptual experience. Furthermore, there are experiential differences in perceiving and imagining that are not dif…Read more
  •  475
    This paper explores some of the differences between the enactive approach in cognitive science and the extended mind thesis. We review the key enactive concepts of autonomy and sense-making . We then focus on the following issues: (1) the debate between internalism and externalism about cognitive processes; (2) the relation between cognition and emotion; (3) the status of the body; and (4) the difference between ‘incorporation’ and mere ‘extension’ in the body-mind-environment relation.
  •  470
    Sensorimotor subjectivity and the enactive approach to experience
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 4 (4): 407-427. 2005.
    The enactive approach offers a distinctive view of how mental life relates to bodily activity at three levels: bodily self-regulation, sensorimotor coupling, and intersubjective interaction. This paper concentrates on the second level of sensorimotor coupling. An account is given of how the subjectively lived body and the living body of the organism are related via dynamic sensorimotor activity, and it is shown how this account helps to bridge the explanatory gap between consciousness and the br…Read more
  •  449
    Empathy and consciousness
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 8 (5-7): 1-32. 2001.
    This article makes five main points. Individual human consciousness is formed in the dynamic interrelation of self and other, and therefore is inherently intersubjective. The concrete encounter of self and other fundamentally involves empathy, under- stood as a unique and irreducible kind of intentionality. Empathy is the precondi- tion of the science of consciousness. Human empathy
  •  426
    The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience
    with Francisco J. Varela and Eleanor Rosch
    MIT Press. 1991.
    The Embodied Mind provides a unique, sophisticated treatment of the spontaneous and reflective dimension of human experience.
  •  412
    Look again: Phenomenology and mental imagery (review)
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 6 (1-2): 137-170. 2007.
    This paper (1) sketches a phenomenological analysis of visual mental imagery; (2) applies this analysis to the mental imagery debate in cognitive science; (3) briefly sketches a neurophenomenological approach to mental imagery; and (4) compares the results of this discussion with Dennett’s heterophenomenology
  •  372
    Neurophenomenology - integrating subjective experience and brain dynamics in the neuroscience of consciousness
    with Antoine Lutz
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 10 (9-10): 31-52. 2003.
    The paper presents a research programme for the neuroscience of consciousness called 'neurophenomenology' and illustrates it with a recent pilot study . At a theoretical level, neurophenomenology pursues an embodied and large-scale dynamical approach to the neurophysiology of consciousness . At a methodological level, the neurophenomenological strategy is to make rigorous and extensive use of first-person data about subjective experience as a heuristic to describe and quantify the large-scale ne…Read more
  •  358
    Radical embodiment: Neural dynamics and consciousness
    with Francisco J. Varela
    Trends in Cognitive Sciences 5 (10): 418-425. 2001.
  •  303
    The Philosophy of Mind Wandering
    In Fox Kieran & Christoff Kalina (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Spontaneous Thought and Creativity, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
    Our paper serves as an introduction to a budding field: the philosophy of mind-wandering. We begin with a philosophical critique of the standard psychological definitions of mind-wandering as task-unrelated or stimulus-independent. Although these definitions have helped bring mind-wandering research onto centre stage in psychology and cognitive neuroscience, they have substantial limitations that researchers must overcome to move forward. Specifically, the standard definitions do not account for…Read more
  •  240
    Neurophenomenology: An introduction for neurophilosophers
    with A. Lutz and D. Cosmelli
    In Andrew Brook & Kathleen Akins (eds.), Cognition and the Brain: The Philosophy and Neuroscience Movement, Cambridge University Press. pp. 40. 2005.
    • An adequate conceptual framework is still needed to account for phenomena that (i) have a first-person, subjective-experiential or phenomenal character; (ii) are (usually) reportable and describable (in humans); and (iii) are neurobiologically realized.2 • The conscious subject plays an unavoidable epistemological role in characterizing the explanadum of consciousness through first-person descriptive reports. The experimentalist is then able to link first-person data and third-person data. Yet…Read more
  •  237
    Neurodynamics of consciousness
    with Diego J. Cosmelli and Jean-Philippe Lachaux
    In P.D. Zelazo, Morris Moscovitch & Evan Thompson (eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Consciousness, Cambridge University Press. pp. 731--774. 2007.
    cal basis of consciousness. We continue by discussing the relation between spatiotem- One of the outstanding problems in the cog- poral patterns of brain activity and con- nitive sciences is to understand how ongo- sciousness, with particular attention to pro- ing conscious experience is related to the cesses in the gamma frequency band. We workings of the brain and nervous system. then adopt a critical perspective and high-
  •  211
    Life and mind: From autopoiesis to neurophenomenology. A tribute to francisco Varela
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 3 (4): 381-398. 2004.
    This talk, delivered at De l''autopoièse à la neurophénoménologie: un hommage à Francisco Varela; from autopoiesis to neurophenomenology: a tribute to Francisco Varela, June 18–20, at the Sorbonne in Paris, explicates several links between Varela''s neurophenomenology and his biological concept of autopoiesis
  •  210
    Embodiment or envatment? Reflections on the bodily basis of consciousness
    with Diego Cosmelli
    In J. Stewart, O. Gapenne & E. Di Paolo (eds.), Enaction: Towards a New Paradigm for Cognitive Science, Mit Press. 2010.
    Suppose that a team of neurosurgeons and bioengineers were able to remove your brain from your body, suspend it in a life-sustaining vat of liquid nutrients, and connect its neurons and nerve terminals by wires to a supercomputer that would stimulate it with electrical impulses exactly like those it normally receives when embodied. According to this brain-in-a-vat thought experiment, your envatted brain and your embodied brain would have subjectively indistinguishable mental lives. For all you k…Read more
  •  196
    Sorting out the neural basis of consciousness: Authors' reply to commentators
    with Alva Noe
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 11 (1): 87-98. 2004.
    Correspondence: Alva Noë, Department of Philosophy, University of California, Berkeley CA 94720-2390, USA. _Email: [email protected]_ Evan Thompson, Philosophy Department, York University, 4700 Keele Street, North York, Ontario, M3J 1P3, Canada. _Email: [email protected]_
  •  188
    In visual science the term filling-inis used in different ways, which often leads to confusion. This target article presents a taxonomy of perceptual completion phenomena to organize and clarify theoretical and empirical discussion. Examples of boundary completion (illusory contours) and featural completion (color, brightness, motion, texture, and depth) are examined, and single-cell studies relevant to filling-in are reviewed and assessed. Filling-in issues must be understood in relation to the…Read more
  •  187
    Brain in a Vat or Body in a World? Brainbound versus Enactive Views of Experience
    with Diego Cosmelli
    Philosophical Topics 39 (1): 163-180. 2011.
    We argue that the minimal biological requirements for consciousness include a living body, not just neuronal processes in the skull. Our argument proceeds by reconsidering the brain-in-a-vat thought experiment. Careful examination of this thought experiment indicates that the null hypothesis is that any adequately functional “vat” would be a surrogate body, that is, that the so-called vat would be no vat at all, but rather an embodied agent in the world. Thus, what the thought experiment actuall…Read more
  •  178
    Enacting emotional interpretations with feeling
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (2): 200-201. 2005.
    This commentary makes three points: (1) There may be no clear-cut distinction between emotion and appraisal “constituents” at neural and psychological levels. (2) The microdevelopment of an emotional interpretation contains a complex microdevelopment of affect. (3) Neurophenomenology is a promising research program for testing Lewis's hypotheses about the neurodynamics of emotion-appraisal amalgams.
  •  165
    Colour vision, evolution, and perceptual content
    Synthese 104 (1): 1-32. 1995.
    b>. Computational models of colour vision assume that the biological function of colour vision is to detect surface reflectance. Some philosophers invoke these models as a basis for 'externalism' about perceptual content (content is distal) and 'objectivism' about colour (colour is surface reflectance). In an earlier article (Thompson et al. 1992), I criticized the 'computational objectivist' position on the basis of comparative colour vision: There are fundmental differences among the colour vi…Read more
  •  154
    with Antoine Lutz
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 10 (9-10): 31-52. 2003.
    _sciousness called ‘neurophenomenology’ (Varela 1996) and illustrates it with a_ _recent pilot study (Lutz et al., 2002). At a theoretical level, neurophenomenology_ _pursues an embodied and large-scale dynamical approach to the_ _neurophysiology of consciousness (Varela 1995; Thompson and Varela 2001;_ _Varela and Thompson 2003). At a methodological level, the neurophenomeno-_ _logical strategy is to make rigorous and extensive use of first-person data about_ _subjective experience as a heurist…Read more
  •  154
    Cambridge Handbook of Consciousness (edited book)
    with Morris Moscovitch and Philip Zelazo
    Cambridge University Press. 2007.
    The Cambridge Handbook of Consciousness is the first of its kind in the field, and its appearance marks a unique time in the history of intellectual inquiry on the topic. After decades during which consciousness was considered beyond the scope of legitimate scientific investigation, consciousness re-emerged as a popular focus of research towards the end of the last century, and it has remained so for nearly 20 years. There are now so many different lines of investigation on consciousness that th…Read more
  •  150
    Colour fascinates all of us, and scientists and philosophers have sought to understand the true nature of colour vision for many years. In recent times, investigations into colour vision have been one of the main success stories of cognitive science, for each discipline within the field - neuroscience, psychology, linguistics, computer science and artificial intelligence, and philosophy - has contributed significantly to our understanding of colour. Evan Thompson's book is a major contribution t…Read more
  •  134
    The mind-body-body problem
    with Robert Hanna
    Theoria Et Historia Scientiarum 7 (T): 24-44. 2003.
    ? We gratefully acknowledge the Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona, Tucson, which provided a grant for the support of this work. E.T. is also supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the McDonnell Project in Philosophy and the Neurosciences. 1 See David Woodruff Smith
  •  104
    Beyond the grand illusion: What change blindness really teaches us about vision
    with Alva Noë and Luis Pessoa
    Visual Cognition 7 (1-3): 93-106. 2000.
    Experiments on scene perception and change blindness suggest that the visual system does not construct detailed internal models of a scene. These experiments therefore call into doubt the traditional view that vision is a process in which detailed representations of the environment must be constructed. The non-existence of such detailed representations, however, does not entail that we do not perceive the detailed environment. The “grand illusion hypothesis” that our visual world is an illusion …Read more
  •  93
    Autopoiesis and lifelines: The importance of origins
    with Francisco J. Varela
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (5): 909-910. 1999.
    Lifelines provides a useful corrective to “ultra-Darwinism” but it is marred by its failure to cite its scientific predecessors. Rose's argument could have been strengthened by taking greater account of the theory of autopoiesis in biology and of enactive cognitive science.