Advertisement

Not a HOT Dream

  • Miguel Ángel SebastiánEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Studies in Brain and Mind book series (SIBM, volume 6)

Abstract

Higher-Order Thought (HOT) theories of consciousness maintain that the kind of awareness necessary for phenomenal consciousness depends on the cognitive accessibility that underlies reporting.

There is empirical evidence strongly suggesting that the cognitive accessibility that underlies the ability to report visual experiences depends on the activity of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC). This area, however, is highly deactivated during the conscious experiences we have during sleep: dreams. HOT theories are jeopardized, as I will argue.

I will briefly present HOT theories in the first section. Section 29.2 offers empirical evidence to the effect that the cognitive accessibility that underlies the ability to report depends on the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex: dlPFC is the neural correlate of HOTs. Section 29.3 shows the evidence we have of the deactivation of this brain area during dreams and, in Sect. 29.4, I present my argument. Finally, I consider and rejoin two possible replies that my opponent can offer: the possibility of an alternative neural correlate of HOTs during dreams and the denial that we have phenomenally conscious experiences during sleep.

Keywords

Stimulus Onset Asynchrony Neural Correlate Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Conscious Experience Paradoxical Sleep 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Amstrong, D. 1968. A materialist theory of the mind. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. Block, N. 1995–2002. On a confusion about the function of consciousness. In Consciousness, function, and representation: Collected papers, vol. 1, ed. N. Block. Bradford: Bradford Books.Google Scholar
  3. Block, N. 2007. Consciousness, accessibility, and the mesh between psychology and neuroscience. The Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30: 481–548.Google Scholar
  4. Block, N. 2011. The higher order approach to consciousness is defunct. Analysis 71(3): 419–431.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Braun, A., T.J. Balkin, N.J. Wesenten, R. Carson, M. Varga, P. Baldwin, S. Selbie, G. Belenky, and P. Herscovitch. 1997. Regional cerebral blood flow throughout the sleep wake cycle. An H2(15)O pet study. Brain 120: 1173–1197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Carruthers, P. 2000. Phenomenal consciousness: A naturalistic theory. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chalmers, D.J. 1996. The conscious mind: In search of a fundamental theory, 1st ed. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Crick, F., and G. Mitchison. 1983. The function of dream sleep. Nature 304: 111–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dennett, D.C. 1976. Are dreams experiences? Philosophical Review 73: 151–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Flanagan, O. 1995. Deconstructing dreams: The spandrels of sleep. The Journal of Philosophy 92(1): 527.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Foulkes, D. 1985. Dreaming: A cognitive-psychological analysis. Hillsdale: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  12. Franklin, M., and M. Zyphur. 2005. The role of dreams in the evolution of the human mind. Evolutionary Psychology 3: 59–78.Google Scholar
  13. Fuster, J. 2008. The prefrontal cortex, 4th ed. London: Academic.Google Scholar
  14. Gennaro, R.J. 1996. Consciousness and self-consciousness: A defense of the higher-order thought theory of consciousness. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  15. Haynes, L., and G. Rees. 2003. What defines a contour in metacontrast masking? Perception 32: 48.Google Scholar
  16. Hobson, A. 2009. REM sleep and dreaming: Towards a theory of protoconsciousness. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 10: 803–813.Google Scholar
  17. Hobson, J.A., and R.W. McCarley. 1977. The brain as a dream state generator: An activation-synthesis hypothesis of the dream process. The American Journal of Psychiatry 134: 1335–1348.Google Scholar
  18. Hobson, J., E. Pace Schott, and R. Stickgold. 1994. The chemistry of conscious states. Boston: Little, Brown.Google Scholar
  19. Hobson, J., E. Pace-Schott, and R. Stickgold. 2000. Toward a cognitive neuroscience of conscious states. Behavioral and Brain Science 23: 793–842.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ichikawa, J. 2009. Dreaming and imagination. Mind and Language 24(1): 103–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ichikawa, J., and E. Sosa. 2009. Dreaming, philosophical issues. In The Oxford companion to consciousness, ed. A.C. Tim Bayne and P. Wilken. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Kahn, D. 2007. Metacognition, recognition and reflection while dreaming. In The new science of dreaming, ed. D. Barrett and P. McNamara. Westport: Praeger.Google Scholar
  23. Kahn, D., and J.A. Hobson. 2005. A comparison of waking and dreaming thought. Consciousness and Cognition 14: 429–438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Karim, A.A. 2010. Transcranial cortex stimulation as a novel approach for probing the neurobiology of dreams: Clinical and neuroethical implications. International Journal of Dream Research 3: 17–20.Google Scholar
  25. LaBerge, S. 1988. Lucid dreaming in western literature. In Conscious mind, sleeping brain. Perspectives on lucid dreaming. New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  26. LaBerge, S. 2000. Lucid dreaming: Evidence and methodology. The Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23(6): 962–963.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. LaBerge, S., and W. Dement. 1982. Voluntary control of respiration during REM sleep. Sleep Research 11: 107.Google Scholar
  28. LaBerge, S.P., L.E. Nagel, W.C. Dement, and V.P. Zarcone. 1981. Lucid dreaming verified by volitional communication during REM sleep. Perceptual and Motor Skills 52: 727–732.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lau, H. 2008. A higher-order Bayesian decision theory of perceptual consciousness. Progress in Brain Research 168: 35–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lau, H., and R. Passingham. 2006. Relative blindsight in normal observers and the neural correlate of visual consciousness. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 103: 18763–18768.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Llinas, R., and D. Pare. 1991. Of dreaming and wakefulness. Neuroscience 44: 521–535.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lycan, W.G. 1996. Consciousness and experience. Cambridge: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  33. Malcolm, N. 1959. Dreaming. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  34. Maquet, P., J. Peters, J. Aerts, G. Delore, C. Degueldre, A. Luxen, and G. Franck. 1996. Functional neuroanatomy of human rapid-eye-movement sleep and dreaming. Nature 383: 163–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Maquet, P., P. Ruby, A. Maudoux, G. Albouy, V. Sterpenich, T. Dang-Vu, and S. Laureys. 2005. Human cognition during rem sleep and the activity prole within frontal and parietal cortices: a reappraisal of functional neuroimaging data. Progress in Brain Research 150: 219–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Metzinger, T. 2003. Being no one: The self-model theory of subjectivity, illustrated edition edn. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  37. Metzinger, T. 2009. The ego tunnel. The science of the mind and the myth of the self. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  38. Muzur, A., E.F. Pace-Schott, and J.A. Hobson. 2002. The prefrontal cortex in sleep. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 6: 475–481.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Revonsuo, A. 1995. Consciousness, dreams, and virtual realities. Philosophical Psychology 8: 35–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Revonsuo, A. 2000. The reinterpretation of dreams: An evolutionary hypothesis of the function of dreaming. The Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23(6): 877–901.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Revonsuo, A. 2006. Inner presence. Consciousness as a biological phenomenon. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  42. Rosenthal, D.M. 1997. A theory of consciousness. In The nature of consciousness, ed. N. Block, O.J. Flanagan, and G. Guzeldere. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  43. Rosenthal, D.M. 2005. Consciousness and mind. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Rosenthal, D.M. 2008. Consciousness and its function. Neuropsychologia 46(3): 829–840.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Rosenthal, D.M. 2011. Exaggerated reports. Reply to block. Analysis 71: 431–437.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Rowarg, H.P., W.C. Dement, J.N.J.N. Muzio, and C. Fisher. 1962. Dream imagery: Relationship to rapid eye movements of sleep. Archives of General Psychiatry 7: 235–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Schwarz, S., and P. Maquet. 2002. Sleep imaging and neuropsychological assessment of dreams. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 6: 23–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Solms, M. 1997. The neuropsychology of dreams: A clinico-anatomical study. Mahwah: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  49. Sosa, E. 2005. Dreams and philosophy. Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 79: 718.Google Scholar
  50. Tononi, G. 2009. Sleep and dreaming. In The neurology of consciousness: Cognitive neuroscience and neuropathology, ed. S. Laurey and G. Tononi. Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  51. Tye, M. 1997. Ten problems of consciousness: A representational theory of the phenomenal mind. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  52. Tye, M. 2002. Consciousness, color, and content. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  53. Voss, U., R. Holzmann, I. Tuin, and J.A. Hobson. 2009. Lucid dreaming: A state of consciousness with features of both waking and non-lucid dreaming. Sleep 32: 1191–1200.Google Scholar
  54. Wehrle, R., M. Czisch, C. Kaufmann, T.C. Wetter, F. Holsboer, D.P. Auer, and T. Pollmaecher. 2005. Rapid eye movement-related brain activation in human sleep: A functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Neuroreport 16: 853–857.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Wehrle, R., C. Kaufmann, T.C. Wetter, F. Holsboer, D. Auer, T. Pollmaecher, and M. Czisch. 2007. Functional microstates within human REM sleep: First evidence from fMRI of a thalamocortical network specific for phasic REM periods. European Journal of Neurosciences 25: 863–871.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Weisberg, J. 2011. Abusing the notion of what-it’s-like-ness: A response to Block. Analysis 71: 438–443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Winson, J. 1993. The biology and function of rapid eye movement sleep. Current Opinions in Neurobiology 3: 243–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UNAM/LOGOSMadridSpain

Personalised recommendations