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Author & Title: Giorgio Marchetti, A New perspective on Human Consciousness, in Salvati G. and Rabuano V. (eds.) Cognitive Psychology Perspectives, Nova Science Publishers, Hauppauge, NY, 2010



The aim of this paper is to provide an answer to a fundamental question concerning human consciousness: how can we explain the phenomenal quality of our conscious experiences? It is argued that the first-person perspective is the most suitable one to deal with conscious experience. Accordingly, a model is developed on the idea that the person emerges as an entity from the organism’s continuous application of its own energy to itself. The model is composed of two main parts: the perceptual system and the schema of self. The perceptual system makes it possible for an organism to be conscious, whereas the schema of self provides the rules that make an organism perceive, move, act, behave, and live in general. The stream of consciousness arises from the uninterrupted interaction of these two systems. The core part of the model is represented by attention. Attention, which is the activity the organism can perform thanks to the nervous energy supplied by the organ of attention, gives the organism the possibility of performing actions capable of directly varying the organism’s state of nervous energy. It is this variation that constitutes the phenomenal aspect of consciousness. When acting, the organism can directly experience and feel its actions and the results of its actions, thus making possible the delimitation and emergence of the person


Keywords: Consciousness, Attention, Nervous Energy, Organ of Attention, Perception, Schema of Self


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