Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

Consciousness is more than wakefulness

Alain Morin a1
a1 Department of Behavioral Sciences, Mount Royal College, Calgary, Alberta, T3E 6K6 Canada.

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Merker's definition of consciousness excludes self-reflective thought, making his proposal for decorticate consciousness not particularly ground-breaking. He suggests that brainstem sites are neglected in current theories of consciousness. This is so because broader definitions of consciousness are used. Split-brain data show that the cortex is important for full-blown consciousness; also, behaviors exhibited by hydranencephaly patients and decorticated rats do not seem to require reflective consciousness.

(Published Online May 1 2007)