The unity of consciousness and the consciousness of unity

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Every language-learning child eventually automatically segments the organization of word sequences into natural units. Within the natural units, processing of normal conversation reveals a disconnect between listener's representation of the sound and meaning of utterances. A compressed or absent word at a point early in a sequence is unintelligible until later acoustic information, yet listeners think they perceived the earlier sounds and their interpretation as they were heard. This discovery has several implications: Our conscious unified experience of language as we hear and simultaneously interpret it is partly reconstructed in time-suspended "psychological moments"; the "poverty of the stimulus language learning problem" is far graver than usually supposed; the serial domain where such integration occurs may be the "phase," which unifies the serial percept with structural assignment and meanings; every level of language processing overlaps with others in a "computational fractal"; each level analysis-by-synthesis interaction of associative-serial and structure dependent processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOn Concepts, Modules, and Language
Subtitle of host publicationCognitive Science at its Core
PublisherOxford University Press
Pages87-112
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9780190464783
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017

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Keywords

  • Analysis-by-synthesis
  • Computational fractal
  • Consciousness
  • Conversational speech
  • Good-enough processing
  • Last comprehension model
  • Perceptual units
  • Phase
  • Poverty of the stimulus
  • Structure dependence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Bever, T. G. (2017). The unity of consciousness and the consciousness of unity. In On Concepts, Modules, and Language: Cognitive Science at its Core (pp. 87-112). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780190464783.003.0005