Abstract: Humans perceive the world in an active fashion, and process only a limited subset of the sensory data available to them. Attention selection mechanisms decide on which parts of the sensory stream to focus on. This lecture will consider two threads linking attention and consciousness. The first is the finding that the contents of consciousness (feeling) depend strongly on what is being attended to, as indicated by the "Change Blindness" phenomenon. The other thread is the connection between motor activity (doing) and attention, as espoused by Rizzolati's "Pre-Motor" Theory of Attention, and embodied consciousness theories, such as O'Regan's Sensorimotor Contingency Theory. The implications of the role of attention on consciousness for the Robotic Turing Test will be discussed.
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