Do cortical midline variability and low frequency fluctuations mediate William James' "Stream of Consciousness"? "Neurophenomenal Balance Hypothesis" of "Inner Time Consciousness"

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William James famously characterized consciousness by 'stream of consciousness' which describes the temporal continuity and flow of the contents of consciousness in our 'inner time consciousness'. More specifically he distinguished between "substantive parts", the contents of consciousness, and "transitive parts", the linkages between different contents. While much research has recently focused on the substantive parts, the neural mechanisms underlying the transitive parts and their characterization by the balance between 'sensible continuity' and 'continuous change' remain unclear. The aim of this paper is to develop so-called neuro-phenomenal hypothesis about specifically the transitive parts and their two phenomenal hallmark features, sensible continuity and continuous change in 'inner time consciousness'. Based on recent findings, I hypothesize that the cortical midline structures and their high degree of variability and strong low frequency fluctuations play an essential role in mediating the phenomenal balance between sensible continuity and continuous change. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-200
Number of pages17
JournalConsciousness and Cognition
Publication statusPublished - 2014



  • Cortical midline structures
  • Frequency fluctuations
  • Functional connectivity
  • Inner time Consciousness
  • Variability
  • William James
  • brain cortex
  • brain region
  • consciousness
  • electroencephalogram
  • human
  • intrinsic activity
  • resting state network
  • Review
  • sensibility
  • stimulus response
  • time
  • nerve cell network
  • physiology
  • psychological theory
  • Cerebral Cortex
  • Consciousness
  • Humans
  • Nerve Net
  • Psychological Theory

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