A three stage model of awareness: formulation and initial experimental support

Neuroreport. 1998 Jun 1;9(8):1787-92. doi: 10.1097/00001756-199806010-00021.


The various components which together make up the complex state of consciousness require neural support involving a connected network of many brain areas at differing levels. At the lowest level is non-aware processing, of which there is not direct awareness. There are also modules involved in processing with awareness but without focussed attention. Finally there must be a set of modules involved in directing attention in a controlled manner. We expect to be able to dissociate the various components of the three-stage network by using different levels of attention. The results of an auditory experiment performed under three different levels of awareness and attention are analysed to show support for the three-stage model of awareness. The relevant auditory areas are delineated.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Awareness / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology
  • Stereotaxic Techniques
  • Temporal Lobe / physiology