Bernard J. Baars

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Global workspace (GW) theory emerged from the cognitive architecture tradition in cognitive science. Newell and co-workers were the first to show the utility of a GW or "blackboard" architecture in a distributed set of knowledge sources, which could cooperatively solve problems that no single constituent could solve alone. The empirical connection with(More)
We argue that the functions of consciousness are implemented in a bio-computational manner. That is to say, the conscious as well as the non-conscious aspects of human thinking, planning, and perception are produced by adaptive, biological algorithms. We propose that machine consciousness may be produced by similar adaptive algorithms running on the machine(More)
Conscious perception, like the sight of a coffee cup, seems to involve the brain identifying a stimulus. But conscious input activates more brain regions than are needed to identify coffee cups and faces. It spreads beyond sensory cortex to frontoparietal association areas, which do not serve stimulus identification as such. What is the role of those(More)
The standard behavioral index for human consciousness is the ability to report events with accuracy. While this method is routinely used for scientific and medical applications in humans, it is not easy to generalize to other species. Brain evidence may lend itself more easily to comparative testing. Human consciousness involves widespread, relatively fast(More)
When researchers use the term mind wandering for task-unrelated thoughts in signal detection tasks, we may fall into the trap of believing that spontaneous thoughts are task unrelated in a deeper sense. Similar negative connotations are attached to common terms like cognitive failures, resting state, rumination, distraction, attentional failures,(More)
When "divided attention" methods were discovered in the 1950s their implications for conscious experience were not widely appreciated. Yet when people process competing streams of sensory input they show both selective processes and clear contrasts between conscious and unconscious events. This paper suggests that the term "attention" may be best applied to(More)
The evidence can therefore be summarized as follows: (1) RF, nRt, and ILN activity seem to be necessary but not sufficient for conscious experience. (2) Stimulus representation in primary sensory projection areas also seems to be necessary but not sufficient for conscious perceptual experience (Weiskrantz, 1980). The simplest hypothesis is that both(More)
This joint article reflects the authors' personal views regarding noteworthy advances in the neuroscience of consciousness in the last 10 years, and suggests what we feel may be promising future directions. It is based on a small conference at the Samoset Resort in Rockport, Maine, USA, in July of 2012, organized by the Mind Science Foundation of San(More)