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Breakthrough to awareness: a preliminary neural network model of conscious and unconscious perception in word processing

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A neural network model is constructed to mimic the processing involved in semantic and working memory when subliminal effects are involved. These effects involve modifications of reaction time to later inputs, according to whether or not there has been conscious or unconscious processing of the earlier input. The model is constructed of two separate modules: one (a semantic memory module) allowing for processing at a semantic, but unconscious, level, and the other (a working memory module) for conscious experience. The latter module, although a replica of the earlier one, has different lateral connectivity and output function from the former. The model is shown to give a good fit to Marcel's data on the processing of polysemous words. Further tests are suggested for the model, and a possible cortical implementation suggested. The relevance of the model to recent approaches to consciousness is also explored.

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Taylor, J.G. Breakthrough to awareness: a preliminary neural network model of conscious and unconscious perception in word processing. Biol. Cybern. 75, 59–72 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00238740

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  • Neural Network
  • Reaction Time
  • Network Model
  • Neural Network Model
  • Output Function