The preconscious is the part of the mind not present in consciousness, but readily recalled into it like memories. These memories are not conscious, but we can retrieve them to conscious awareness at any time.

“The unconscious is the larger circle which includes within itself the smaller circle of the conscious; everything conscious has its preliminary step in the unconscious, whereas the unconscious may stop with this step and still claim full value as a psychic activity.” – Sigmund Freud

While these memories are not part of your immediate awareness, they can be quickly brought into awareness through conscious effort.

Freud believed that the preconscious functions as an intermediate or transitional level of the mind—between the unconscious and the conscious—through which repressed material passes.


The consciousness of our own existence – a general term for all mental processes in which a presentation is brought into connexion with an already existent and systematized mental conception, and thereby is classified, explained or, in a word, understood; e.g. a new scientific phenomenon is explained in the light of phenomena already analysed and classified. The whole intelligent life of man is, consciously or unconsciously, a process of apperception, inasmuch as every act of attention involves the appercipient process.