Consciousness
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Consciousness
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Consciousness is information integration across sensory modalities

Consciousness is information integration across sensory modalities | Consciousness | Scoop.it

"Consciousness is information integration across sensory modalities. The information is transferred by waves riding waves...riding waves. If you think of a wave as a cyclical event then you can start with your biological waves(cycles) like your circadian rhythm and work your way up to other waves like light and sound. Radio, for example is a sound wave hitch hiking on a light wave to get that information to your device. 

The brain works on a set of activation and inhibition waves riding on a set of noise waves for amplification. When your attention tunes to a specific wave you become aware of the information in that particular wave by the adjustment of your sensory apparatus."
-- +Mani Scienide 

http://goo.gl/MzbxZY


My Venn diagram by failing-senses
http://goo.gl/pBB5sg


Via Bettina Ascaino
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Integrated Information Theory

Integrated Information Theory | Consciousness | Scoop.it

Giulio Tononi, a University of Wisconsin psychiatrist and neuroscientist, invented the Integrated Information Theory of consciousness. Online in Scientific American last Friday, he published an excerpt of a new book, titled “PHI: A Voyage from the Brain to the Soul,” in which he expounds his ideas.


“Consciousness lives where information is integrated by a single entity above and beyond its parts,” he writes in the subheading of the published chapter. (...)


The core of Intergrated Information Theory is the identification Tononi makes of consciousness with “the information generated by the whole above and beyond its parts,” which he calls “integrated information.” Using a measure of information derived from information theory, he assigns this bonus quantity of information the symbol Ф. 


As an example, Tononi imagines a row of men. If each is whispered the word of a single sentence, each man may think of that word, but “nowhere will there be a consciousness of the whole sentence,” Tononi writes.  (...)


In the case of the men in a row, Ф is the quantity of information that corresponds to the meaning of the sentence, which does not emerge until each man speaks his word. (...)


When information is exchanged between objects (i.e., when photons pass between them), the wavefunctions of those objects become entangled, and to some extent merge together (overlap) as a single wavefunction. Thus, when the men exchange the information of their words, the wavefunctions of their brains entangle and overlap to a degree. Their individual brain wavefunctions come to share a mathematical component — a factor, if you will — and that shared component corresponds to the meaning of the sentence.

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Synchronized Brain Waves Focus Our Attention

Synchronized Brain Waves Focus Our Attention | Consciousness | Scoop.it

A deluge of visual information hits our eyes every second, yet we’re able to focus on the minuscule fraction that’s relevant to our goals. When we try to find our way through an unfamiliar area of town, for example, we manage to ignore the foliage, litter and strolling pedestrians, and focus our attention on the street signs.

 

Now, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have discovered that the brain’s control center syncs up to its visual center with high-frequency brain waves, directing attention to select features of the visual world.

 

“It’s been known that the prefrontal cortex plays an important role in focusing our attention, but the mystery was how,” said neuroscientist Robert Desimone, who led the study, published in Science Friday. “Now we have some insight into how it has that focusing role — through this synchrony with our sensory systems.”

 

This novel understanding of attention may inform future studies on disorders like schizophrenia and ADHD, in which patients are easily distracted and the prefrontal cortex is thought to be impaired. The region’s newly discovered role as a source of synchronized brain activity may be crucial to understanding these diseases.

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The User Illusion: Cutting Consiousness Down to Size

The User Illusion: Cutting Consiousness Down to Size | Consciousness | Scoop.it

In his book The User Illusion: Cutting Consciousness Down to Size Danish science journalist Tor Norretranders presents a scientifically sound and intellectually stimulating theory of conscious experience. “The user illusion” refers to a computer users idea of how the computer works based on how they interact with it. The bits and bytes are concealed by a largely metaphorical, extremely simplified, and not necessarily accurate illusion. Norretranders central thesis is that consciousness is our user illusion of ourselves. Consciousness arises after much information has been discarded. Conscious experience is a manageable distillation, essence, of our extremely rich raw experience. The User Illusion is incredibly readable in spite of its plethora of references. Norretranders pulls from innumerable sources, most notably Gödel, Libet, and Shannon. He integrates a wide array of prior research, tying together ideas from information theory, thermodynamics, physics, psychology, and philosophy to substantiate his theory; this is indeed the strongest aspect of the book.

 

Norretranders builds his theory of consciousness on the tenants of information theory. He makes sure the reader understands the basics before he applies them to his broader claims. The take home message is the notion of information and exformation. Exformation is discarded information. Norretrander uses the example of grocery shopping, among others. At the register the prices of the individual items are summed, it is this number, the total, that we are interested in. The sum is useful to us, it tells us how much money to take out of our wallet, the individual prices are not, they are irrelevant once we obtain the total. The author then extrapolates to consciousness, explaining that a huge amount of information must be discarded along the path from unconscious to conscious experience.

 

via Serendip's Exchange

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Max Tegmark on our place in history: "We're Not Insignificant After All"

Max Tegmark on our place in history: "We're Not Insignificant After All" | Consciousness | Scoop.it

"I believe that consciousness is, essentially, the way information feels when being processed. Since matter can be arranged to process information in numerous ways of vastly varying complexity, this implies a rich variety of levels and types of consciousness. The particular type of consciousness that we subjectively know is then a phenomenon that arises in certain highly complex physical systems that input, process, store and output information. Clearly, if atoms can be assembled to make humans, the laws of physics also permit the construction of vastly more advanced forms of sentient life. Yet such advanced beings can probably only come about in a two-step process: first intelligent beings evolve through natural selection, then they choose to pass on the torch of life by building more advanced consciousness that can further improve itself."

 

Max Tegmark, Physicist, MIT

quoted from Edge.org

via - Less Wrong

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UCLA Psychologists Report New Insights On Human Brain, Consciousness

UCLA Psychologists Report New Insights On Human Brain, Consciousness | Consciousness | Scoop.it

UCLA psychologists have used brain-imaging techniques to study what happens to the human brain when it slips into unconsciousness. Their research, published Oct. 17 in the online journal PLOS Computational Biology, is an initial step toward developing a scientific definition of consciousness.

 

The psychologists analyzed the “network properties” of the subjects’ brains using a branch of mathematics known as graph theory, which is often used to study air-traffic patterns, information on the Internet and social groups, among other topics.

 

“It turns out that when we lose consciousness, the communication among areas of the brain becomes extremely inefficient, as if suddenly each area of the brain became very distant from every other, making it difficult for information to travel from one place to another,” Monti said.

The finding shows that consciousness does not “live” in a particular place in our brain but rather “arises from the mode in which billions of neurons communicate with one another,” he said.

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Creativity, evolution of mind and the "vertigo of freedom"

Creativity, evolution of mind and the "vertigo of freedom" | Consciousness | Scoop.it

Darwin’s Pharmacy suggests that psychedelics were precisely a mutation in information technology that increased sexually selective fitness, through the capacity to process greater amounts of information, and that they are “extraordinarily sensitive to initial rhetorical traditions.” What this means is that because ecodelic experiences are so sensitive to the context in which we experience them, they can help make us aware of the effect of language and music, etc, on our consciousness, and thereby offer an awareness of our ability to effect our own consciousness through our linguistic and creative choices.

 

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Why your brain is a quantum computer

Why your brain is a quantum computer | Consciousness | Scoop.it

The particles and atoms in your body are “entangled” with each other: they receive and transmit information not just by biochemical means, but by the remarkable process known in quantum physics as “phase-conjugate quantum resonance.” Phase-conjugate quantum resonance is a term used by physicists that means that the particles are “non-locally entangled.” It is thanks to the existence of this ultrafast, ultrasubtle, but enormously efficient way of transmitting information that your body can be alive, and stay alive.

 

What’s revealed at the leading edge of quantum physics and quantum biology is that your body is not just a biochemical system: it’s also a “macroscopic quantum system.” Quantum systems were believed to exist only at the submicroscopic level, where quanta are in the state known as “coherent,” which means that they are able to get into synch with each other.

 

by Ervin Laszlo

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Steven Pinker: ‘The mind doesn’t work by fluid... - Lapidarium

"You can’t understand the mind only by looking directly at the brain. (…) The difference comes from the ways in which hundreds of millions of neurons are wired together to process information. I see the brain as a kind of computer—not like any commercial computer made of silicon, obviously, but as a device that achieves intelligence for some of the same reasons that a computer achieves intelligence, namely processing of information. (…)"

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Measuring Consciousness

Measuring Consciousness | Consciousness | Scoop.it

"Dr. Tononi has a different approach, and a different opinion about the consciousness. He believes that he can translate the conscious process into mathematical formula, and if he and his colleagues manage to do that, then the doctors would be able to measure the consciousness, just like they are able to measure the blood pressure. In order to do so, they are using a series of mathematical formulas which are usually used in the case of computers."

 

"Dr. Tononi believes that the consciousness is not strictly related to the amount of information our minds receive. He believes that the information from our own minds is similar to the information from the computers. He believes that the brain stores information just like a computer or any other digital devices can store information. He believes that when we are sleeping the brain simply stores less information then when we are awake, and that’s about it. There are many people who believe that Dr. Tononi’s information lacks certain elements, and believe that the theory is still in its infancy."

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