Two neural correlates of consciousness

Trends Cogn Sci. 2005 Feb;9(2):46-52. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2004.12.006.


Neuroscientists continue to search for "the" neural correlate of consciousness (NCC). In this article, I argue that a framework in which there are at least two distinct NCCs is increasingly making more sense of empirical results than one in which there is a single NCC. I outline the distinction between phenomenal NCC and access NCC, and show how they can be distinguished by experimental approaches, in particular signal-detection theory approaches. Recent findings in cognitive neuroscience provide an empirical case for two different NCCs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Consciousness / physiology*
  • Haplorhini
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Motion Perception / physiology*
  • Psychological Theory
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*