A Theory of the Microdynamics of Occurrent Thought and the Neural Correlates of Consciousness


  • Herbert Demmin 57 Palm St., apt. 323, Nashua, NH 03060, USA




A portion of a phenomenologically based model of thinking and conscious mental states called, A Theory of the Microdynamics of Occurrent Thought (TMDOT), is outlined (Demmin, 2015). Micro phases of occurrent thoughts (OTs) are delineated that consist of phenomenal contents in which a central executive (CE) becomes immersed, followed by one of several transitions of attention characterized by its “face up” or “face down” surfacing from them. The transitions bring about different degrees of consciousness of those contents, ones that reflect different forms of cognitive processing, revealing a relatively invariant structure that carries “on-line” cognition. In this article, it is shown that TMDOT can account for how self-consciousness develops out of object-consciousness during OTs, for how different degrees of object- and self-consciousness are engendered by the interaction of a CE (or minimal self) with different phase-based contents of the thought process, for how a gradually intensifying phenomenology of object- and self-consciousness are engendered within OTs, for a how a pulse-like phenomenology of object- and self-consciousness are engendered across OTs, and for an integrated CE that functions “within” the specious present and traverses the OT process. Significant cognitive and neuroscientific data appear to be consistent with phenomenological observations outlined in TMDOT and are incorporated into it. The integration of such data within the model appears to result in clarification, reinforcement, and validation of each other. A direction is offered for future neuroscientific research which may be able to establish a neurological link between consciousness of an object and pre-reflective self-consciousness embodied in a CE which is attending to that object, thereby validating (or not) the TMDOT proposal that a CE “moves” through phenomenal contents in two fundamentally different ways, each of which serves different cognitive functions that are necessary for the on-line processing of such contents and for different degrees of consciousness of that object.


Phenomenology, Philosophy, Mind, Brain, Cognition, Thinking


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Author Biography

Herbert Demmin, 57 Palm St., apt. 323, Nashua, NH 03060, USA

57 Palm St., apt. 323, Nashua, NH 03060, USA


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How to Cite

Demmin, H. (2023). A Theory of the Microdynamics of Occurrent Thought and the Neural Correlates of Consciousness. Journal of NeuroPhilosophy, 2(2). https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.10202871