Using Brain Stimulation to Disentangle Neural Correlates of Conscious Vision

Front Psychol. 2014 Sep 23;5:1019. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01019. eCollection 2014.

Abstract

Research into the neural correlates of consciousness (NCCs) has blossomed, due to the advent of new and increasingly sophisticated brain research tools. Neuroimaging has uncovered a variety of brain processes that relate to conscious perception, obtained in a range of experimental paradigms. But methods such as functional magnetic resonance imaging or electroencephalography do not always afford inference on the functional role these brain processes play in conscious vision. Such empirical NCCs could reflect neural prerequisites, neural consequences, or neural substrates of a conscious experience. Here, we take a closer look at the use of non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) techniques in this context. We discuss and review how NIBS methodology can enlighten our understanding of brain mechanisms underlying conscious vision by disentangling the empirical NCCs.

Keywords: NCC; NIBS; TES; TMS; consciousness; tDCS; visual awareness.

Publication types

  • Review