Document Type

Response or Comment

Publication Date



In consciousness research, we have a very large number of theories, which exceeds by far the number of theories in other fields. We recently presented a set of criteria for evaluating and comparing theories of consciousness, and then applied the criteria to a number of different theories. Our publication sparked strong responses as evident by the many comments published in Cognitive Neuroscience (this issue). Overall, there seems to be consensus that a theory of consciousness (ToC) needs to have an unconscious alternative, but other criteria sparked controversy. The hottest debate is to what extent consciousness needs to work with purely 1st person data, containing information not available in 3rd person reports. We would like to thank all the commentators for their lively input and we look forward to continued dialog as theories evolve and compete.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Cognitive Neuroscience in 2020, available online at It may differ slightly from the final version of record.


Taylor & Francis

Available for download on Monday, November 29, 2021