How does conscious thought occur? In the scene 'The cat is next to the dog', the cat is within a proximal distance to the left or right of the dog. This probabilistic proximal left/right cognitive space is an example of a mental 'place field'. A place field -- also in humans presumably represented by place cells in the hippocampus -- represents latent and thus potentially unconscious thought. Mentally 'seeing' the cat to the left or right is an example of a 'localized point' within a place field. A localized point represents manifest and thus conscious thought. As proposed, this field-to-point reduction is naturally described in terms of force dynamics, a prominent theory of causal cognition. Possible generalizations from spatial mental imagery to all conscious occurrences of thought and emotion are discussed.