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A Model of the hierarchy of behaviour, cognition, and consciousness

Toates, Frederick (2006). A Model of the hierarchy of behaviour, cognition, and consciousness. Consciousness and Cognition, 15(1) pp. 75–118.

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Processes comparable in important respects to those underlying human conscious and non-conscious processing can be identified in a range of species and it is argued that these reflect evolutionary precursors of the human processes. A distinction is drawn between two types of processing: (1) stimulus-based and (2) higher-order. For ‘higher-order’, in humans the operations of processing are themselves associated with conscious awareness. Conscious awareness sets the context for stimulus-based processing and its end-point is accessible to conscious awareness. However, the mechanics of the translation between stimulus and response proceeds without conscious control. The paper argues that higher-order processing is an evolutionary addition to stimulus-based processing. The model’s value is shown for gaining insight into a range of phenomena and their link with consciousness. These include brain damage, learning, memory, development, vision, emotion, motor control, reasoning, the voluntary versus involuntary debate and mental disorder.

Item Type: Journal Item
ISSN: 1053-8100
Keywords: consciousness; automaticity; behavioural hierarchy; cognition; determinism; development; goal; habit; modal action pattern; motivation; reflex; will; hippocampus; prefrontal cortex
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Life, Health and Chemical Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Item ID: 4444
Depositing User: Frederick Toates
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2006
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2017 09:37
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