Our understanding of how the brain produces consciousness is very limited, and it is claimed that
this will not change because consciousness simply falls outside the scope of scientific explanations.
During the first three years of my FWO postdoctoral fellowship, by emphasising how scientific
explanation in certain cases proceeds, I argued that this is not necessarily so. My goal now is to
demonstrate that this explanatory schema can be applyied to anchor consciousness to brain
processes by identifying structural or functional similarities and establishing explanatory links
between features of consciousness and features of neural mechanisms. In my proposed research, I
will concentrate on three different sets of features of conscious experience, each being in the
centre of fundamental contemporary psychological and philosophical debates. The focus areas of
my proposed research will be: (1) degraded conscious experiences as in the case of inattention,
brief presentation time, and brain damage, (2) the richness (detailedness) of conscious
experiences even when one cannot report all the details, (3) the fact that certain conscious
experiences, like seeing the colour red, are simple (unstructured). My proposed research will
address these topics by linking these central features of consciousness to features of underlying
neural representations and the mechanisms modulating them.