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Is Consciousness Computable? Quantifying Integrated Information Using Algorithmic Information Theory  [PDF]
Phil Maguire,Philippe Moser,Rebecca Maguire,Virgil Griffith
Quantitative Biology , 2014,
Abstract: In this article we review Tononi's (2008) theory of consciousness as integrated information. We argue that previous formalizations of integrated information (e.g. Griffith, 2014) depend on information loss. Since lossy integration would necessitate continuous damage to existing memories, we propose it is more natural to frame consciousness as a lossless integrative process and provide a formalization of this idea using algorithmic information theory. We prove that complete lossless integration requires noncomputable functions. This result implies that if unitary consciousness exists, it cannot be modelled computationally.
From the Phenomenology to the Mechanisms of Consciousness: Integrated Information Theory 3.0  [PDF]
Masafumi Oizumi ,Larissa Albantakis ,Giulio Tononi
PLOS Computational Biology , 2014, DOI: doi/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003588
Abstract: This paper presents Integrated Information Theory (IIT) of consciousness 3.0, which incorporates several advances over previous formulations. IIT starts from phenomenological axioms: information says that each experience is specific – it is what it is by how it differs from alternative experiences; integration says that it is unified – irreducible to non-interdependent components; exclusion says that it has unique borders and a particular spatio-temporal grain. These axioms are formalized into postulates that prescribe how physical mechanisms, such as neurons or logic gates, must be configured to generate experience (phenomenology). The postulates are used to define intrinsic information as “differences that make a difference” within a system, and integrated information as information specified by a whole that cannot be reduced to that specified by its parts. By applying the postulates both at the level of individual mechanisms and at the level of systems of mechanisms, IIT arrives at an identity: an experience is a maximally irreducible conceptual structure (MICS, a constellation of concepts in qualia space), and the set of elements that generates it constitutes a complex. According to IIT, a MICS specifies the quality of an experience and integrated information ΦMax its quantity. From the theory follow several results, including: a system of mechanisms may condense into a major complex and non-overlapping minor complexes; the concepts that specify the quality of an experience are always about the complex itself and relate only indirectly to the external environment; anatomical connectivity influences complexes and associated MICS; a complex can generate a MICS even if its elements are inactive; simple systems can be minimally conscious; complicated systems can be unconscious; there can be true “zombies” – unconscious feed-forward systems that are functionally equivalent to conscious complexes.
Amplifying Phenomenal Information: Toward a Fundamental Theory of Consciousness  [PDF]
L. Gabora
Physics , 1999,
Abstract: Fundamental approaches bypass the problem of getting consciousness from non-conscious components by positing that consciousness is a universal primitive. For example, the double aspect theory of information holds that information has a phenomenal aspect. How then do you get from phenomenal information to human consciousness? This paper proposes that an entity is conscious to the extent it amplifies information, first by trapping and integrating it through closure, and second by maintaining dynamics at the edge of chaos through simultaneous processes of divergence and convergence. The origin of life through autocatalytic closure, and the origin of an interconnected worldview through conceptual closure, induced phase transitions in the degree to which information, and thus consciousness, is locally amplified. Divergence and convergence of cognitive information may involve phenomena observed in light e.g. focusing, interference, and resonance. By making information flow inward-biased, closure shields us from external consciousness; thus the paucity of consciousness may be an illusion.
An Integration of Integrated Information Theory with Fundamental Physics  [PDF]
Adam B. Barrett
Quantitative Biology , 2014, DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00063
Abstract: To truly eliminate Cartesian ghosts from the science of consciousness, we must describe consciousness as an aspect of the physical. Integrated Information Theory states that consciousness arises from intrinsic information generated by dynamical systems; however existing formulations of this theory are not applicable to standard models of fundamental physical entities. Modern physics has shown that fields are fundamental entities, and in particular that the electromagnetic field is fundamental. Here I hypothesize that consciousness arises from information intrinsic to fundamental fields. This hypothesis unites fundamental physics with what we know empirically about the neuroscience underlying consciousness, and it bypasses the need to consider quantum effects.
Critique and Comparison of Prevailing Consciousness Models with a Novel Embodied Cognition Model  [PDF]
Ravinder Jerath, Connor Beveridge
World Journal of Neuroscience (WJNS) , 2018, DOI: 10.4236/wjns.2018.83030
Abstract: In order to produce insight to the current state of consciousness research, we provide a review of some of the more preeminent models of consciousness via a comparison of these theories with a novel holistic model. The main goal of this review is to present the advantages in theoretical power of an embodied cognition, metastable model of consciousness manifest in the Default Space Theory by comparing it to other popular brain-based metastable models that though provide important insight into the cognitive nature of consciousness, are incomplete in their model of an architecture of consciousness. The Default Space Theory is a world simulation model in which the thalamus fills in processed sensory information from corticothalamic feedback loops into an internal 3D matrix termed the default space. This article examines some of the most regarded brain-based, metastable consciousness models, the Operational Architectonics Theory of Brain-Mind, Global Workspace Theory, Information Integration Theory, and the Dynamic Core Hypothesis. Through an overview and critique of these models, we illustrate their insights and deficits, and discuss why the Default Space Theory is the most comprehensive theory of consciousness.
Sensory Consciousness is Experienced through Amplification of Sensory Stimuli via Lateral Inhibition  [PDF]
Ravinder Jerath, Shannon M. Cearley, Ruchir Paladiya, Vernon A. Barnes
World Journal of Neuroscience (WJNS) , 2017, DOI: 10.4236/wjns.2017.73020
Abstract: At present, researchers are unclear about which activity within the brain is responsible for the emergence of consciousness—the subconscious or unconscious. Current literature suggests that consciousness is isolated in the brain; however, we suggest consciousness emerges from both—subconscious and unconscious activity, in addition to sensory consciousness. This article contends that sensory consciousness arises from neurophysiological brain activity, intrapersonal space, sensory information, and parallel processing of the external and internal environment through vision, olfaction, the integumentary system, gustation, and audition. Traditionally, lateral inhibition is defined as the ability for an excited neuron to laterally inhibit its neighbors, and is an integral part of neurophysiology in all senses. In this article, we are connecting the science behind the well-established physiological observations of gamma wave activity in the interneurons of peripheral receptors with what is currently unknown regarding the functional significance of seemingly unrelated gamma activity in the cortico-thalamic gamma oscillations. We suggest that this allows for instantaneous integration of the brain with sensory receptors. This article uses existing literature on lateral inhibition to investigate its role in sensory organs and various areas of the body. We explain how sensory consciousness is only one component of unified consciousness. We propose that lateral inhibition also plays a vital role in consciousness theory, and understanding this can help illustrate the dynamic interactions between the central and peripheral nervous systems within the body.
The Neural Substrate and Functional Integration of Uncertainty in Decision Making: An Information Theory Approach  [PDF]
Joaquín Go?i,Maite Aznárez-Sanado,Gonzalo Arrondo,María Fernández-Seara,Francis R. Loayza,Franz H. Heukamp,María A. Pastor
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0017408
Abstract: Decision making can be regarded as the outcome of cognitive processes leading to the selection of a course of action among several alternatives. Borrowing a central measurement from information theory, Shannon entropy, we quantified the uncertainties produced by decisions of participants within an economic decision task under different configurations of reward probability and time. These descriptors were used to obtain blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal correlates of uncertainty and two clusters codifying the Shannon entropy of task configurations were identified: a large cluster including parts of the right middle cingulate cortex (MCC) and left and right pre-supplementary motor areas (pre-SMA) and a small cluster at the left anterior thalamus. Subsequent functional connectivity analyses using the psycho-physiological interactions model identified areas involved in the functional integration of uncertainty. Results indicate that clusters mostly located at frontal and temporal cortices experienced an increased connectivity with the right MCC and left and right pre-SMA as the uncertainty was higher. Furthermore, pre-SMA was also functionally connected to a rich set of areas, most of them associative areas located at occipital and parietal lobes. This study provides a map of the human brain segregation and integration (i.e., neural substrate and functional connectivity respectively) of the uncertainty associated to an economic decision making paradigm.
Unified meta-theory of information, consciousness, time and the classical-quantum universe  [PDF]
Martin A. Green
Physics , 2013,
Abstract: As time advances in our perceived real world, existing information is preserved and new information is added to history. All the information that may ever be encoded in history must be about some fundamental, unique, atemporal and pre-physical structure: the bare world. Scientists invent model worlds to efficiently explain aspects of the real world. This paper explores the features of and relationships between the bare, real, and model worlds. Time -- past, present and future -- is naturally explained. Both quantum uncertainty and state reduction are needed for time to progress, since unpredictable new information must be added to history. Deterministic evolution preserves existing information. Finite, but steadily increasing, information about the bare world is jointly encoded in equally uncertain spacetime geometry and quantum matter. Because geometry holds no information independent of matter, there is no need to quantize gravity. At the origin of time, information goes to zero and geometry and matter fade away.
Consciousness: Here, There but Not Everywhere  [PDF]
Giulio Tononi,Christof Koch
Quantitative Biology , 2014,
Abstract: The science of consciousness has made great strides by focusing on the behavioral and neuronal correlates of experience. However, correlates are not enough if we are to understand even basic neurological fact; nor are they of much help in cases where we would like to know if consciousness is present: patients with a few remaining islands of functioning cortex, pre-term infants, non-mammalian species, and machines that are rapidly outperforming people at driving, recognizing faces and objects, and answering difficult questions. To address these issues, we need a theory of consciousness that specifies what experience is and what type of physical systems can have it. Integrated Information Theory (IIT) does so by starting from conscious experience via five phenomenological axioms of existence, composition, information, integration, and exclusion. From these it derives five postulates about the properties required of physical mechanisms to support consciousness. The theory provides a principled account of both the quantity and the quality of an individual experience, and a calculus to evaluate whether or not a particular system of mechanisms is conscious and of what. IIT explains a range of clinical and laboratory findings, makes testable predictions, and extrapolates to unusual conditions. The theory vindicates some panpsychist intuitions - consciousness is an intrinsic, fundamental property, is graded, is common among biological organisms, and even some very simple systems have some. However, unlike panpsychism, IIT implies that not everything is conscious, for example group of individuals or feed forward networks. In sharp contrast with widespread functionalist beliefs, IIT implies that digital computers, even if their behavior were to be functionally equivalent to ours, and even if they were to run faithful simulations of the human brain, would experience next to nothing.
Systematic Thinking Underlying People with Diabetes’ Beliefs on Health Outcomes: An Information Integration Theory Approach  [PDF]
Perla Lizeth Hernández-Cortés, Guadalupe Elizabeth Morales Martínes, López Ramírez Ernesto Octavio, Bertha Cecilia Salazar-González
Advances in Aging Research (AAR) , 2014, DOI: 10.4236/aar.2014.34040
Abstract: A sample of 76 older adults (27 with diabetes and 49 without diabetes) were selected to judge three information factors, metamemory related to—drug organization—stress and physical activity in relation to their perception of self-care. In order to do so, an Integration Information Theory was considered to determine systematic cognitive algebra rules underlying judgment about 24 different health self-care scenarios. Results indicate that older adults without diabetes use a summative cognitive rule to integrate relevant health information but older adults with diabetes do not. Both groups agreed that metamemory was the most relevant factor to their self-care followed by stress and physical activity. However, valuation of these factors does depend on the type of group. Implications of these results to healthcare a behavioral nursing intervention are discussed in this paper.
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