UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Consciousness, Plasticity, and Connectomics: The Role of Intersubjectivity in Human Cognition

Allen, M; Williams, G; (2011) Consciousness, Plasticity, and Connectomics: The Role of Intersubjectivity in Human Cognition. Frontiers in Psychology , 2 , Article 20. 10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00020. Green open access

[thumbnail of Allen_fpsyg-02-00020.pdf]
Preview
Text
Allen_fpsyg-02-00020.pdf

Download (624kB) | Preview

Abstract

Consciousness is typically construed as being explainable purely in terms of either private, raw feels or higher-order, reflective representations. In contrast to this false dichotomy, we propose a new view of consciousness as an interactive, plastic phenomenon open to sociocultural influence. We take up our account of consciousness from the observation of radical cortical neuroplasticity in human development. Accordingly, we draw upon recent research on macroscopic neural networks, including the “default mode,” to illustrate cases in which an individual’s particular “connectome” is shaped by encultured social practices that depend upon and influence phenomenal and reflective consciousness. On our account, the dynamically interacting connectivity of these networks bring about important individual differences in conscious experience and determine what is “present” in consciousness. Further, we argue that the organization of the brain into discrete anti-correlated networks supports the phenomenological distinction of prereflective and reflective consciousness, but we emphasize that this finding must be interpreted in light of the dynamic, category-resistant nature of consciousness. Our account motivates philosophical and empirical hypotheses regarding the appropriate time-scale and function of neuroplastic adaptation, the relation of high and low-frequency neural activity to consciousness and cognitive plasticity, and the role of ritual social practices in neural development and cognitive function.

Type: Article
Title: Consciousness, Plasticity, and Connectomics: The Role of Intersubjectivity in Human Cognition
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00020
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00020
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2011 Allen and Williams. This is an open-access article subject to an exclusive license agreement between the authors and Frontiers Media SA, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original authors and source are credited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1492855
Downloads since deposit
53Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item