The Primary Function of Consciousness in the Nervous System.

Ezequiel Morsella, Stephen C. Krieger, Sergio Rizzo-Fontanesi, John A. Bargh


The integration consensus proposes that consciousness integrates activities in the nervous system that would otherwise be independent, but it fails to specify which kinds of integration require consciousness. By contrasting the task demands of consciously-penetrable processes (e.g., pain) and consciously-impenetrable processes (e.g., pupillary reflex, peristalsis), Supramodular Interaction Theory proposes that consciousness is required to integrate agentic, high-level systems that are vying for (specifically) skeletomotor control, as described by the principle of parallel responses into skeletal muscle (PRISM). Thus, consciousness functions above the level of the traditional module to permit cross-talk among specialized, and often multi-modal, systems

Full Text: