Reflections on silence and consciousness without contents according to the Sphere Model of Consciousness

In the current hypothesis paper, we propose that focusing attention on silence can be used as a paradigm conceptually similar to sensory deprivation, to study consciousness without content.

We briefly overview recent influential models of consciousness and consider how they assess the relationship between consciousness and contents. After discussing the strengths and weaknesses of current models, we suggest an extension based on the Sphere Model of Consciousness (SMC) and introduce new definitions for identification and self-awareness as states of consciousness. We further compare Paoletti’s theoretical model for the development of self with other influential models, highlighting similarities and differences. We conclude with a discussion of how attentional focus on silence can be empirically tested. .

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