blindsight article in _The Sciences_

[From: Bruce Nevin (Wed 92107 14:00:02)]

While waiting for some administrivia, just read the article "Unconscious
vision: the strange phenomenon of blindsight" by Lawrence Weiskrantz (of
Oxford) with Sr. Editor Karen Fitzgerald, in _The Sciences_,
September/October 1992 (23-28). This suggests to me that control
systems in the midbrain and hindbrain (not exclusively for visual
perception) operate in parallel with those in the cortex, but without
conscious awareness.

Descriptions of "guessing" responses to stimuli to which systems in the
cortex (but not those in other systems) are blind are remarkably similar
to descriptions of responses in tests for socalled psychic perception.
This suggests to me a possible explanation for at least some of these
experience, namely, that there may be perceptions controlled in the
midbrain and hindbrain that are not controlled in the cortex.

In any case, the article (avowedly) bears squarely on the question of
the seat(s) of consciousness in the brain, and summarizes interesting
results and interesting questions, for which I recommend it.