Types of Consciousness
There are 3 levels
This is the first level of consciousness and is relatively dim in awareness. It is the stuff of which dreams are made of. We may think of it as the repository of all remembered experiences, impressions left on the mind by those experiences, and tendencies awakened or reinforced by those impressions.
This is the next level of consciousness from which we receive guidance. The rational awareness that usually guides our daily decisions. When we receive input from the senses, analyze the facts, and make decisions based on this information, we are using this conscious level of guidance.
Intuition and heightened mental clarity flow from superconscious awareness. The conscious mind is limited by its anlytical nature, and therefore sees all things as separate and distinct. We may be puzzled by a certain situation, but because it seems unrelated to other events, it's difficult to draw a clear course of action.
The totatlity of our consciousness is comprised of three levels: the subconscious, the conscious, and the superconscious. Each level of consciousness represents a differing degree of intensity of awreness
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the function of consciousness? What are experiences for?
Researchers have now discovered that many cognitive functions can take place in the absence of consciousness. We can perceive objects, makes decisions, and even perform apparently voluntary actions without consciousness intervening. One possibility stands out: consciousness integrates information. According to this view, each or our experiences rules out an enormous number of alternative possibilities, and in doing so generates an incredibly large amount of information.
How rich is consciousness?
The vast majority of evidence about consciousness depends on subjective reports, for example when we say we (consciously) see. A long-running debate has asked whether we are missing something by this method, if what we experience can outstrip our ability to report on it. Intriguingly, evidence is emerging that this may indeed be the case. This evidence may provide a basis for tackling one of the thorniest problems in consciousness science: distinguishing the brain mechanisms of consciousness itself from those involved in being able to relate what we experience.
What determines experience of volition and 'will'?
The questions of whether "free will" exists is guaranteed to raise philosophical hackles. But what's not in doubt is that the experience of intending and causing our actions exists and is very common. Neuroscienctists have studied this issue since the 1980's by looking for neural signatures of volition (the intending to do something) and agency (the experience of causing an action). A growing consensus now rejects the idea of volition as explicitly causing actions, instead seeing it as involving a particular brain network mediating complex, open decisions between different actions.