This is a question that I’ve been pondering from time to time. Consciousness would seem to be a coherent signal that rises above the noise of the other electric phenomena in unmyelinated neuronal areas. But is it more a case of the signal being felt beyond the coherent field, or is it significantly felt internal to the coherent set of electric fields?
What I think is that at the least it tends to be “felt” externally more than internally, while it needn’t be all one or the other. This goes back to what consciousness “is like,” the “knowing together” that the etymology gives us, and also what seems to be such a problem for most “models of consciousness.” Sameness probably tends not to be “felt” by consciousness, and I would guess that a solid field of qualia, like a color, tends to be internally felt largely due to a lack of becoming uniform immediately, and fades out from consciousness when the “field” becomes more uniform (we know that sameness makes the eye cease sending the same signals, but I would not be surprised if consciousness does much the same thing).
The tendency of edges to be more prominent in consciousness (edge signals are accentuated by pre-conscious visual processing, of course, which presumably increases the coherence and difference of the edges in consciousness) would agree with this assessment, I believe. But it simply makes sense that a coherent and strong signal affects the nearby receptive fields in a way that would cause a register of the signal’s force (while sameness would not register with sameness), which likely include especially those which are somehow correlated with the signaling field, either as complement or contrast. These include related fields involving the same sense (vision, sound, etc.), naturally, yet would seem to also involve signals coming from other sensory fields.
This is not an especially important matter in the overall issues of consciousness, I would think, but it does seem worth considering. For although I believe that I have implied most of this in my book and websites, I don’t know that I previously spelled out how I think this particular matter comes out. It may matter in teasing out the relationship of consciousness to the nerves’ electric fields.