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Week 6 Quiz: What is consciousness?

The due date for this quiz is Fri 2 Jan 2015 4:00 AM PET.

In accordance with the Coursera Honor Code, I (Juan Carlos Vega Oliver) certify that
the answers here are my own work.

Question 1
What is phenomenal consciousness?
Wakefulness.
The ability to discriminate between flavours, such as Coca Cola or chocolate.
The subjective "feel" of something, such as the taste of Coca Cola or chocolate.
Consciousness of wonderful or phenomenal experiences.

Question 2
What is the hard problem of consciousness?
To explain how creatures like ourselves can respond intelligently to stimuli in the environment.

To explain how creatures like ourselves can achieve what are known as higher states of
consciousness, such as those sometimes experienced during meditation.
To explain how creatures like ourselves have phenomenal consciousness.
To explain how creatures like ourselves require sleep.

Question 3
What is phenomenology?

Help

Using brain imaging techniques, for example employing an fMRI scanner, to assess which parts
of the brain are responsible for conscious experiences.
The claim that our phenomenal, introspective states cannot be explained scientifically.
Using introspection to reflect on our conscious life, from a subjective point of view.
The subjective feel of something such as the taste of chocolate or mint.

Question 4
Which of the following would be examples of reductive explanations? (Pick 3)
Explaining the properties of water by appealing to its underlying chemical structure.
Explaining how a persons conscious feelings arise by appealing to their brain mechanisms.
Explaining why we fall asleep by appealing to the tiring activities of the preceding day.

Explaining the pressure and temperature of gasses by appealing to laws and mechanisms
concerning the constituent molecules of the gas.
Explaining why a window is broken by appealing to a brick which has been thrown though it.

Explaining why a washing machine broke by appealing to the incompetence of the technician
who maintains it.

Question 5
What is Frank Jacksons thought experiment involving the character Mary supposed to show?

Learning everything there is to know about neuroscience is not sufficient to understand the
poetic connotations associated with the rose.

Learning everything there is to know about neuroscience is sufficient to know what it is like,
subjectively, to experience colour.

Learning everything there is to know about neuroscience would not be sufficient to know what it
is like, subjectively, to experience colour.
The unhealthy psychological effects of prolonged solitary confinement.

Question 6
Which of the following questions have scientists researching consciousness recently been interested
in? (Pick two)
What neural activity is responsible for the fact that we experience anything at all?

What neural activity determines the particular state of consciousness that we are in, i.e. awake,
asleep, or in a coma?
What neural activity is responsible for our moral decision making, i.e. our conscience?
What neural activity determines the content of consciousness, i.e. what we experience?

Question 7
What is the difference between wakefulness and awareness?

Wakefulness determines whether there is any activity going on in our brain, and awareness
determines whether or not we are aware of that activity.

Wakefulness determines whether we are awake or asleep, whilst awareness determines


whether we experience anything or not.
There is no difference both terms refer to whether or not we are conscious.

Question 8
What are the three hallmarks of a bistable image? (Pick 3)
Two interpretations of a single image are consciously perceived at once.
Different people see a different interpretation of the same image.
Two or more possible conscious interpretations.
The interpretation that dominates awareness tends to switch every few seconds.

An image can be interpreted in two or more different ways, but only one interpretation can ever
be seen.

Only one interpretation is consciously perceived at any one time.

Question 9
What are bistable images used for in consciousness science?

They are not used, as it might be distressing to experience a bistable image that our minds
cannot fully comprehend.
They are used in order to place subjects into a trance-like state.

Investigating a case where our perceptual experience changes even though the stimulus
evoking it does not.

Investigating a case where our perceptual experience stays the same even though our
environment is changing.

Question 10
What is backward visual masking used for in consciousness science?

Investigating whether consciousness can be used exert an influence on events that have
already occurred.

Investigating whether images that we are consciously aware of can be suppressed by later
experiences.
Investigating whether images that we are not consciously aware of can influence our behaviour.

In accordance with the Coursera Honor Code, I (Juan Carlos Vega Oliver) certify that
the answers here are my own work.

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