Neuroscience - inspiration on Consciousness

Three Problems of Consciousness

by C2-PO

I've been reading up on consciousness yesterday, and I think I just had a nice insight in how consciousness could potentially operate. It's not a big theory, just a few things that always bothered me, and now seem to be solved. So let's jump right in...

Problem #1 - Where does it all come together?

Consciousness presents us with what Thomas Metzinger calls a 'transparant' interface to the world. Vision, sound, touch all present themselves in an easy, integrated interface of qualia, totally uncluttered by things like meters and indicators. Do all those things come together in a particular brain area, where they are 'converted' into consciousness?

I think they don't have to! One trick that consciousness obviously pulls off is the projection of information into a 'space'. Why couldn't this be done by separate areas, which then all project into the same conscious 'space'? Superimposed theatres. That was insight #1.

Problem #2 - Spooky action from consciousness?

Let's stick to this line of thinking. Then we can pose the question: can this superimposed information be received and acted upon?

I think the solution to this problem is to accept that the proposed consciousness is simply a product of real brain activity.

Problem #3 - Combining and processing conscious information?

So it's not spooky. It must however be limited. Since it combines information from lots of areas, it would call for a homunculus if it were not limited in scope.

The areas responsible can do their thing with their information, and: as I have chosen theta gamma brainwave coupling as my favorite consciousness causing mechanism, I would propose a limited amount of information is indeed exchanged between the areas by means of theta gamma coupled brainwaves.

What is exchanged? First of all I think waves are ideal to calibrate all superimposed theatres to be identical.

Again, not to integrate all their information, but have an identical reference frame makes areas compatible when for example you want to look at the source of a sound you just heard.

So, secondly, focus of attention is a thing that's probably exchanged as well.

Thirdly, in line with problem #3 I would propose that most other information exchanged is symbolic. Simply because there isn't a second brain that could process all the raw, analog information present in the different senses (and possibly other information about objects and actions that could be made available to conscious attention and thought by the superimposed theatres).

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