There was another thing that really caught my eye in Baars and McGovern, Cognitive views of consciousness: What are the facts? How can we explain them? (here) They give a list of metaphors that have been used over the years for consciousness.
1. The Threshold Metaphor – a stimulus above a certain value automatically enters consciousness.
2. The Tip-of-the-Iceberg Metaphor – consciousness emerges from the bulk of unconscious processes.
3. The Novelty Metaphor – consciousness is concerned with what is new or unexpected.
4. The integration Metaphor – sensory data is passes from low-level processes to higher-level ones and consciousness is the highest and most integration perceptions.
5. The Executive Metaphor – consciousness produces the ‘self’ that is controlling.
6. The Searchlight Metaphor – the focus of attention is basic to consciousness.
7. The Theater in the Society of Mind Metaphor – access by all parts of the brain to shared information is the function of consciousness.
All of these metaphors have more than a large grain the truth to them, or they would not have lasted so long. But they also each have gaps and problems.
What I noticed, of course, was that my favorite metaphor was missing.
8. The Working Model Metaphor – consciousness is the best-fit scenario of the information available to the brain to model reality.