Merker's definition of consciousness excludes self-reflective thought, making his proposal for decorticate consciousness not particularly ground-breaking. He suggests that brainstem sites are neglected in current theories of consciousness. This is so because broader definitions of consciousness are used. Split-brain data show that the cortex is important for full-blown consciousness; also, behaviors exhibited by hydranencephaly patients and decorticated rats do not seem to require reflective consciousness.
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