Julian Jaynes Society Discussion Forum: Exploring Consciousness and the Bicameral Mind Theory since 1997

Consciousness as Integrated Information and its relation to
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Author:  selfreplicate [ Sat Nov 16, 2013 7:58 am ]
Post subject:  Consciousness as Integrated Information and its relation to

Consciousness as Integrated Information: a Provisional Manifesto

This gentleman, Giulio Tononi, a neuroscientist/psychiatrist at Wisconsin, is constructing a mathematical theory of consciousness in which the integration of information yields a 'consciousness value'. Being that a "split brain" is obviously less integrated, it has 'less consciousness'. Here is a section I thought might be of interest to Jaynes followers (actually I find the whole article to be quite interesting; it's long and loaded with information theory, but the basic idea should be easy to grasp.)

[section in which he mentions the callosum and recent split-brain studies]
By contrast, you discriminate among a vast repertoire of states as an integrated system, one that cannot be broken down into independent components each with its own separate repertoire. Phenomenologically, every experience is an integrated whole, one that means what it means by virtue of being one, and that is experienced from a single point of view. For example, the experience of a red square cannot be decomposed into the separate experience of red and the separate experience of a square. Similarly, experiencing the full visual field cannot be decomposed into experiencing separately the left half and the right half: such a possibility does not even make sense to us, since experience is always whole. Indeed, the only way to split an experience into independent experiences seems to be to split the brain in two, as in patients who underwent the section of the corpus callosum to treat severe epilepsy (Gazzaniga, 2005). Such patients do indeed experience the left half of the visual field independently of the right side, but then the surgery has created two separate consciousnesses instead of one. Mechanistically then, underlying the unity of experience must be causal interactions among certain elements within the brain.
Gazzaniga, M. S. 2005. Forty-five years of split-brain research and still going strong. Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 6: 653–659. grated Information

Author:  pcg [ Thu Nov 21, 2013 7:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Consciousness as Integrated Information and its relation

Nice reference. Great contribution.

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