Consciousness and Complexity

Neurosciences Institute, 10640 John J. Hopkins Drive, San Diego, CA 92121, USA.
Science (Impact Factor: 33.61). 01/1999; 282(5395):1846-51. DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5395.1846
Source: PubMed


Conventional approaches to understanding consciousness are generally concerned with the contribution of specific brain areas or groups of neurons. By contrast, it is considered here what kinds of neural processes can account for key properties of conscious experience. Applying measures of neural integration and complexity, together with an analysis of extensive neurological data, leads to a testable proposal-the dynamic core hypothesis-about the properties of the neural substrate of consciousness.

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Available from: Giulio Tononi, Sep 09, 2014
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    • "Two years later they presented a measure hypothesised to describe the neural complexity of functional integration in the brain (Tononi et al., 1994). The ideas of the reentering model and neural complexity measure developed into the more known dynamic core hypothesis (DCH) of the neural substrate of consciousness (Tononi & Edelman, 1998). The thalamocortical pathways played the foundation of sensory modality integration. "
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    ABSTRACT: This thesis evaluates the integrated information theory (IIT) by looking at how it may answer some central problems of consciousness that the author thinks any theory of consciousness should be able to explain. The problems concerned are the mind-body problem, the hard problem, the explanatory gap, the binding problem, and the problem of objectively detecting consciousness. The IIT is a computational theory of consciousness thought to explain the rise of consciousness. First the mongrel term consciousness is defined to give a clear idea of what is meant by consciousness in this thesis; followed by a presentation of the IIT, its origin, main ideas, and some implications of the theory. Thereafter the problems of consciousness will be presented, and the explanation the IIT gives will be investigated. In the discussion, some not perviously—in the thesis—discussed issues regarding the theory will be lifted. The author finds the IIT to hold explanations to each of the problems discussed. Whether the explanations are satisfying is questionable.
    Full-text · Thesis · Sep 2015
    • "T. Touskova and P. Bob: Consciousness and schizophrenia 297 to nonartists also show significantly higher phase synchrony in EEG in the high-frequency β-and γ-bands due to their ability of binding various details of complex artwork to create internal representations (Bhattacharya and Petsche, 2002). Also other studies confirmed that increased γ oscillations are closely associated with insight (Smith and Kounios, 1996; Jung-Beeman et al., 2004; Bowden et al., 2005; Kounios et al., 2008; Sandkuhler and Bhattacharya , 2008; Danko et al., 2009; Dietrich and Kanso, 2010) and conscious awareness related to attentional focus in general (Tononi and Edelman, 1998; Baars, 2002; Tononi, 2004; Uhlhaas and Singer, 2010). In this context, insight corresponds to contextual awareness, emergence of new perspectives, and creative solutions reflected in largescale information integration, and its typical neural correlate is represented by increased synchrony in the γ range (Bhattacharya and Petsche, 2002; Dietrich and Kanso, 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract According to recent research, disturbances of self-awareness and conscious experience have a critical role in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, and in this context, schizophrenia is currently understood as a disorder characterized by distortions of acts of awareness, self-consciousness, and self-monitoring. Together, these studies suggest that the processes of disrupted awareness and conscious disintegration in schizophrenia might be related and represented by similar disruptions on the brain level, which, in principle, could be explained by various levels of disturbed connectivity and information disintegration that may negatively affect usual patterns of synchronous activity constituting adaptive integrative functions of consciousness. On the other hand, mental integration based on self-awareness and insight may significantly increase information integration and directly influence neural mechanisms underlying basic pathophysiological processes in schizophrenia.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Reviews in the neurosciences
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    • "Nowhere is this more evident than when riding a motorcycle at speed 5 , where safety demands a mental " backing off " from direct visual contact with the surroundings to a holistic " place " where any scalar aspect of the scene's totality can be equivalently and speedily accessed whenever needed. It is tempting to associate this " place " with " the zone " referred to by professional athletes as the " state " within which they perform their best, and to identify the different " locations " to which we transfer our presence with the multiple differentiated conscious states of Tononi and Edelmans' [6] Dynamic Core Hypothesis. "
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    ABSTRACT: The human mind’s evolution owes much to its companion phenomena of intelligence, sapience, wisdom, awareness and consciousness. In this paper we take the concepts of intelligence and sapience as the starting point of a route towards elucidation of the conscious mind. There is much disagreement and confusion associated with the word intelligence. A lot of this results from its use in diverse contexts, where it is called upon to represent different ideas and to justify different arguments. Addition of the word sapience to the mix merely complicates matters, unless we can relate both of these words to different concepts in a way which acceptably crosses contextual boundaries. We have established a connection between information processing and processor “architecture” which provides just such a linguistic separation, and which is applicable in either a computational or conceptual form to any context. This paper reports the argumentation leading up to a distinction between intelligence and sapience, and relates this distinction to human “cognitive” activities. Information is always contextual. Information processing in a system always takes place between “architectural” scales: intelligence is the “tool” which permits an “overview” of the relevance of individual items of information. System unity presumes a degree of coherence across all the scales of a system: sapience is the “tool” which permits an evaluation of the relevance of both individual items and individual scales of information to a common purpose. This hyperscalar coherence is created through mutual inter-scalar observation, whose recursive nature generates the independence of high-level consciousness, making humans human. We conclude that intelligence and sapience are distinct and necessary properties of all information processing systems, and that the degree of their availability controls a system’s or a human’s cognitive capacity, if not its application. This establishes intelligence and sapience as prime ancestors of the conscious mind. However, to our knowledge, there is no current mathematical approach which can satisfactorily deal with the native irrationalities of information integration across multiple scales, and therefore of formally modeling the mind.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · International Journal of Intelligence Science
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