Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Continuing Commentary
Jeffrey A. Gray (1995). The contents of consciousness: A neuropsychological conjecture. BBS 18:659–722.

The contents of consciousness: From C to shining C++

Michael H. Joseph a1 and Samuel R. H. Joseph a2
a1 Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, University of London, London SE5 8AF, United Kingdom
a2 Centre for Cognitive Science, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH8 9LW, United Kingdom


We suggest that consciousness (C) should be addressed as a multilevel concept. We can provisionally identify at least three, rather than two, levels: Gray's system should relate at least to the lowest of these three levels. Although it is unlikely to be possible to develop a behavioural test for C, it is possible to speculate as to the evolutionary advantages offered by C and how C evolved through succeeding levels. Disturbances in the relationships between the levels of C could underlie mental illness, especially schizophrenia.