Consciousness is a state of being conscious (117), the normal mental condition of the waking state, characterized by the experience of perception, thought, feelings, awareness of the external world, and self-awareness.
Phenomenal consciousness (P-consciousness) is subjective experience, a state with qualities when the experiences, considered independently of any impact on behaviour, being something; simply experience. It is moving, coloured forms, sounds, sensations, emotions and feelings with our bodies and responses at the centre.
Access consciousness (A-consciousness) refers to the universal availability of information to processing systems in the brain. It is a state of being conscious of something, the introspective information, information in our minds is accessible for verbal report, reasoning, and the control of behaviour.
Preconditions for consciousness in the human brain.
Preconscious processing/automatic processing is information processing occurring without conscious awareness, as in subliminal perception and various phenomena, observed in the study of memory and emotion.
Subconscious is of or concerning the part of the mind of which one is not fully aware but which influences one's actions and feelings (117), an operation existing outside of consciousness. Events occurring the mind outside of phenomenal or access consciousness are known as subconscious events.
The unconscious is the part of the mind which is inaccessible to the conscious mind but which affects behaviour and emotions (117).
Unconsciousness is lack of awareness of mental experience as perceptions, thoughts, emotions, lack of deliberate intention; loss of consciousness, lack of consciousness. It is a dramatic alteration of mental state, involves complete or near-complete lack of responsiveness to environmental stimuli.
Theory of two visual streams (the dorsal and ventral streams)
Studies show that conscious versus unconscious behaviours can be linked to specific brain areas and patterns of neuronal activation. Visual perception arises as the result of processing of visual information by the ventral stream areas (located mostly in the temporal lobe), the dorsal stream areas (located mostly in the parietal lobe) process visual information unconsciously (Vision for perception versus vision for action of Melvyn Goodale, David Milner).
The processes acting on conscious experience
Philosophical approach states that phenomenal consciousness characteristics are judgements and consequent behaviour.
Globalist theories of consciousness state that the claim for a widespread, global network necessary for consciousness to interact with non-mental reality.
Heterophenomenology approach considers consciousness in terms of impact on behaviour.
Cognitive neuroscience approach to the processes acting on conscious experience states that the mind is a complex structure derived from various localized functions that are bound together with a unitary awareness; common mechanisms in different clinical conditions, as persistent vegetative state (PVS) that lead to loss of consciousness. PVS is a condition in which an individual loses the higher cerebral powers of the brain, but maintains sleep-wake cycles with full or partial autonomic functions with an impaired connectivity between the deeper (brainstem and thalamic) and the upper (cortical) areas of the brain. The general brain activity in the cortex is lower in the PVS state.
Electroneurobiological approach to the processes acting on conscious experience states that brain chemistry affects human consciousness. Electroneurobiological interpretations of unconsciousness includes loss of consciousness is a loss of the ability to resolve time along a continuum that starts with inattention, continues on sleep, and arrives to coma and death.
Consciousness is associated with the ability to recall information, and the hippocampal cortex. Direct anaesthetic actions on hippocampal neurons have been shown to underlie EEG (electroencephalography) effects that occur in humans and animals during loss of recall. Neuronal mechanisms of consciousness are intricately related to prefrontal cortex.
Physical approaches to the processes acting on conscious experience are associated with the modern physical theories of consciousness, such as the theories to explain behaviour building part of neuroscience; the Edelman's theory of access consciousness; Space-time theories of consciousness and Electromagnetic theories of consciousness to explain phenomenal consciousness.
The quantum mechanical (QM) theories attempt to explain the QM (Quantum mind) measurement problem. They include Pribram and Bohm's Holonomic brain theory, Hameroff and Penrose's Orch-OR theory and the Many-minds interpretation. Some of these QM theories offer descriptions of phenomenal consciousness, as well as QM interpretations of access consciousness. None of the quantum mechanical theories has been confirmed by experiment.