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Koch, C. (2000). The Unconscious Homunculus: Response to the Commentaries by Francis Crick and Christof Koch. Neuropsychoanalysis, 2(1):48-59.

(2000). Neuropsychoanalysis, 2(1):48-59

The Unconscious Homunculus: Response to the Commentaries by Francis Crick and Christof Koch Related Papers

Christof Koch


We are grateful to the various commentators for their remarks, which have helped us rethink our own ideas and have given us the opportunity to enlarge on them. Let us first restate the general thrust of our paper. We think that qualia are the hard problem, and that, to begin with, the best tactic is to try to find the neural correlate of particular kinds of qualia, and especially the activity that correlates with the content of each kind. To search for this in the brain it might help to know which psychological processes are likely to be associated, or not associated, with qualia. For example, it seems rather unlikely that retinal neural activity, by itself, is enough to produce any sort of qualia and we have argued that activity in V1 is also not sufficient. We suggested (following others) that while sensory neural activity could produce qualia, thoughts could not.

In reply to the commentaries, we shall first deal with several general points, and later consider more particular ones. The comments by Schall and Stevens are discussed at the end, after the Addendum, as they were received after the Addendum was written.

What are Qualia?

To approach the general points, let us first list some of the psychological activities that might conceivably have qualia associated with them. For example:



Images (produced by imagination) not necessarily visual





Affect (in Freud's sense)

Fringe experiences

Valuations (such as novelty)

This list may well be incomplete.

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