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October 2021

Dynamical systems as an approach to consciousness: emotion, self-organization, and the mind-body problem

Journal/Book: New Idea Psychol. 1999; 17: the Boulevard Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford Ox5 1GB, England. Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd. 237-250.

Abstract: Problems involving mental causation and subjective ''privacy'' require a theory of consciousness as a self-organizing system around emotional-motivational purposes using representational systems to appropriate elements useful for those purposes, thus directing attention toward motivationally relevant items. For example, afferent activity in occipital areas alone produces no perceptual consciousness. Consciousness occurs when the limbic system prompts corticothalamic loops, including frontal areas such as anterior cingulate, extended amygdala and reticular formation, to look for items of interest for the organism's purposes. Emotions include (1) ''tendencies'' to certain self-organizing patterns; and (2) ''representation'' of items relevant to achieving/maintaining the desired pattern.

Note: Article Ellis RD, Clark Atlanta Univ, Atlanta,GA 30314 USA

Keyword(s): consciousness; emotion; dynamical systems; mind-body problem; efference; agency; MODEL

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