The unity of consciousness and the consciousness of unity

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Every language-learning child eventually automatically segments the organization of word sequences into natural units. Within the natural units, processing of normal conversation reveals a disconnect between listener's representation of the sound and meaning of utterances. A compressed or absent word at a point early in a sequence is unintelligible until later acoustic information, yet listeners think they perceived the earlier sounds and their interpretation as they were heard. This discovery has several implications: Our conscious unified experience of language as we hear and simultaneously interpret it is partly reconstructed in time-suspended "psychological moments"; the "poverty of the stimulus language learning problem" is far graver than usually supposed; the serial domain where such integration occurs may be the "phase," which unifies the serial percept with structural assignment and meanings; every level of language processing overlaps with others in a "computational fractal"; each level analysis-by-synthesis interaction of associative-serial and structure dependent processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOn Concepts, Modules, and Language
Subtitle of host publicationCognitive Science at its Core
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9780190464783
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Analysis-by-synthesis
  • Computational fractal
  • Consciousness
  • Conversational speech
  • Good-enough processing
  • Last comprehension model
  • Perceptual units
  • Phase
  • Poverty of the stimulus
  • Structure dependence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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