Experimental cognitive scientists don't study consciousness, because consciousness is not observable or measureable. We study attention. If someone is attending, one is conscious. Likewise, we don't study subconsciousness, preconsciousness, or the unconscious. We study preattentive processes.
There are quite a variety of eye movements that can be controlled by attention: fixation, pursuit, convergence, and accommodation. However, there is one type of eye movement outside of the control of attention: saccadic eye movements. A saccadic eye movement is an example of a preattentive process.
Saccadic eye movements are often elicited by peripheral movement. We make an involuntary saccade to the source of movement, identify a target, and fixate--all of these processes are preattentive--we're not aware of them--but they afford attention driven information processing activities.
I hope this gives you a sense of both what we study and how we study it.
Susan, you say:
I am talking about a level of consciousness in the brain which precedes the person's awareness of a decision to do something ... and doing it. Do you agree that this has been discovered and found to be correctly
and objectively tested?
Ray: No. I don't have the slightest idea of what you're talking about.
Although the term 'subconscious' may not be used in scientific papers in relation to particular neurological conditions, I think you will agree that it is a term generally used, and that it refers to the actions we perform automatically etc
Ray: maybe in some novels.