Consciousness without a cerebral cortex: A challenge for neuroscience and medicine

  title={Consciousness without a cerebral cortex: A challenge for neuroscience and medicine},
  author={Bjorn H. Merker},
  journal={Behavioral and Brain Sciences},
  pages={63 - 81}
  • B. Merker
  • Published 1 February 2007
  • Biology, Psychology
  • Behavioral and Brain Sciences
A broad range of evidence regarding the functional organization of the vertebrate brain – spanning from comparative neurology to experimental psychology and neurophysiology to clinical data – is reviewed for its bearing on conceptions of the neural organization of consciousness. A novel principle relating target selection, action selection, and motivation to one another, as a means to optimize integration for action in real time, is introduced. With its help, the principal macrosystems of the… 

Neuropsychology of Consciousness: Some History and a Few New Trends

A review of historical steps in the formulation of consciousness as a global brain function with arousal and content as principal ingredients, respectively, instantiated in the subcortex and the neocortex reports a few fresh developments in neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience which emphasize the importance of the hippocampus for thinking and dreaming.

Preserved Consciousness in the Absence of a Cerebral Cortex, the Legal and Ethical Implications of Redefining Consciousness and Its Neural Correlates: A Case for a Subcortical System Generating Affective Consciousness

It is necessary to establish that multiple forms of consciousness exist and to distinguish between affective and reflective consciousness, because such a distinction would have tremendous ethical implications in the conventional medical treatment of those with disorders of consciousness.

Discrepancy Between Cerebral Structure and Cognitive Functioning: A Review

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Returning from Oblivion: Imaging the Neural Core of Consciousness

The emergence of consciousness, as assessed with a motor response to a spoken command, is found to be associated with the activation of a core network involving subcortical and limbic regions that become functionally coupled with parts of frontal and inferior parietal cortices upon awakening from unconsciousness.

Human Consciousness: The Role of Cerebral and Cerebellar Cortex, Vagal Afferents, and Beyond

  • A. Abdulgader
  • Biology
    Cerebral and Cerebellar Cortex – Interaction and Dynamics in Health and Disease [Working Title]
  • 2020
This chapter is a call for holistic perception of human consciousness incorporating the ancient wisdom of the human civilizations with the massive current advances in different disciplines of applied sciences to perceive consciousness as a massive universal event expanding from human genes to galaxies with cerebral cortex as major player.

The “Primitive Brain Dysfunction” Theory of Autism: The Superior Colliculus Role

  • R. Jure
  • Biology, Psychology
    Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience
  • 2022
The purpose of this review is to show that several enigmas about the complexity of autism might be explained by disruptions of collicular and brainstem functions.

Evolutionary aspects of self- and world consciousness in vertebrates

It is concluded that basic aspects of consciousness like primary self and core self (based on anoetic and noetic consciousness) are present in many species of vertebrates and that, even self-consciousness (autonoetic consciousness), does not seem to be a prerogative of humans and of some non-human primates but may, to a certain extent, be present in some other mammals and birds.



Consciousness and the brainstem

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An explication of the role of this "neural global workspace" in providing the essential basis for the central control of attention and the generation of unified, conscious percepts is explication.

The Midbrain and Motor Integration

  • D. Denny-Brown
  • Medicine, Psychology
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine
  • 1962
His outstanding contribution was the unravelling of the patterns of spinal reflexes and their interaction and enough to show the complexity and lability of these in contrast to the more readily identifiable spinal level of management.

Consciousness: At the Frontiers of Neuroscience

This volume studies consciousness as a function, reviewing different levels and states of consciousness across the sleep-waking cycle; thalamocorticol coherence and consciousness; language contrivance on consciousness; and contributions of human brain mapping.

Of dreaming and wakefulness

Criteria for consciousness in humans and other mammals

A new view of specific and nonspecific thalamocortical connections.

  • E. Jones
  • Biology
    Advances in neurology
  • 1998
Evidence is presented to show the presence of a matrix of superficially projecting cells extending throughout the whole thalamus that could form a substrate for diffusion of activity across the cortex, essential for the binding of all aspects of sensory experience into a single framework of consciousness.

An integrative theory of prefrontal cortex function.

It is proposed that cognitive control stems from the active maintenance of patterns of activity in the prefrontal cortex that represent goals and the means to achieve them, which provide bias signals to other brain structures whose net effect is to guide the flow of activity along neural pathways that establish the proper mappings between inputs, internal states, and outputs needed to perform a given task.

The evolving theory of basal forebrain functional—anatomical ‘macrosystems’

  • D. S. Zahm
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  • 2006

The centrecephalon and thalamocortical integration: Neglected contributions of periaqueductal gray

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