Experiencing more complexity than we can tell

Bert Timmermans, Bert Windey, Axel Cleeremans

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The notion of unreportable conscious contents is misguidedly premised on the idea that access necessarily follows phenomenal representation. We suggest instead that conscious experience should be viewed as a constructive, dynamical process that involves representational redescription: The brain continuously and unconsciously performs signal detection on its own representations, so developing an understanding of itself that subtends conscious experience. Cases where phenomenality seems to overflow access are thus illusory and depend on interactions between task instructions and stimulus complexity. We support this perspective through recent evidence suggesting that properly graded, qualitative subjective reports appear to be exhaustive in revealing conscious knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-230
Number of pages2
JournalCognitive Neuroscience
Issue number3
Early online date25 Aug 2010
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


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