New Version: 15/09/2013
Forthcoming in Synthese
Cognitive theories claim whereas Non-cognitive theories deny that the cognitive access underlying reportability, which seems to depend on the working memory, is constitutive of consciousness.
Arguments in favor of non-cognitive theries are based on the high capacity of participants in partial report experiments compared to the capacity of this memory. In reply, defenders of cognitive theories have search for alternative interpretations of these experiments that make it compatible visual awareness with the capacity of the working memory.
Instead of entering the debate among alternative interpretations of partial reports experiments, this paper aims at offering an alternative methodology to contribute to settle the discussion between Cognitive and Non-Cognitive theories of consciousness. This methodology combines research in the neural mechanisms underlying cognitive access and the neurophysiological research in the study of sleep.