Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Author's Response

The self-organizing consciousness as an alternative model of the mind

Pierre Perruchet a1 and Annie Vinter a1
a1 Université de Bourgogne, LEAD/CNRS, 21000 Dijon, France


Through the concept of self-organizing consciousness (SOC), we posit that the dynamic of the mind stems from the recurrent interplay between the properties of conscious experiences and the properties of the world, hence making it unnecessary to postulate the existence of an unconscious mental level. In contrast, arguments are provided by commentators for the need for a functional level of organization located between the neural and the conscious. Other commentaries challenge us concerning the ability of our model to account for specific phenomena in the domains of language, reasoning, incubation, and creativity. The possibility of unconscious semantic access and other alleged instances of adapted performance in the absence of any conscious counterpart are also put forth as evidence against our view. Our response emphasizes the fact that opponents to our model often present as factual, theory-free evidence which is in fact nothing more than the postulates underlying the classical computational framework.