We consciously perceive just a small part of the information processed in
> the brain – but which information in the brain remains unconscious and
> which reaches our consciousness remains a mystery. However, neuroscientists
> Natalia Zaretskaya and Andreas Bartels from the Centre for Integrative
> Neuroscience (CIN) at the University of Tübingen have now come one step
> closer to answering this question.
> Their research, published in *Current Biology*, used a well-known visual
> illusion known as 'binocular rivalry' as a technique to make visual images
> invisible. Eyes usually both see the same image – binocular rivalry happens
> when each eye is shown an entirely different image. Our brains cannot then
> decide between the alternatives, and our perception switches back and forth
> between the images in a matter of seconds. The two images are 'rivals' for
> our attention, and every few seconds they take turns to enter our
> Using this approach the two scientists used a moving and a static picture
> to cause perceptual alternations in their test subjects' minds.
> Simultaneously they applied magnetic pulses to disturb brain processing in
> a 'motion <http://medicalxpress.com/tags/motion/> area' that specifically
> processes visual motion <http://medicalxpress.com/tags/visual+motion/>.
> The effect was unexpected: 'zapping' activity in the motion area did not
> have any effect on how long the moving image was perceived – instead, the
> amount of time the static image was perceived grew longer.
> So 'zapping' the motion area while the mind was unconsciously processing
> motion meant that it took longer for it to become conscious of the moving
> image. When the moving image was being perceived, however, zapping had no
> This result suggests that there is a substantial difference between
> conscious and unconscious motion representation in the
> Whenever motion is unconscious, its neural representation can easily be
> disturbed, making it difficult for it to gain the upper hand in the
> rivalry. However, once it becomes conscious it apparently becomes more
> resistant to disturbance, so that introducing noise has no effect.
> Therefore, one correlate of conscious neural codes may be a more stable and
> noise-resistant representation of the outside world, which raises the
> question of how this neural stability is achieved.
Indeed. It is almost as if consciousness is actually trying to make sense *on
purpose* ;) Could it be that consciousness is actually *conscious???*
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