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A Global Neuronal Model

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Posted by Richard Ruquist on January 15, 2004 15:54:07 UTC


Here is the latest thinking on the explanation of consciousness in terms of neurons alone, without any quantum effects. You might say that this is the conventional approach to consciousness in medical research. Crick has been the leading exponent of this approach in contrast to Penrsoe who claims a quantum basis for consciousness. But Crick is not even mentioned in Wallace's paper.

Anyway this paper deals with the integration problem of the neuron approach. It is also the problem of the Penrose approach as there has to be some integrating mechanism for the microtubule seats of consciousness. The axion medium accomplishes that in my model. But it is interesting to see how it is handled in medical research. His is the abstract of the paper and its link.

Consciousness, cognition, and context: extending the global neuronal workspace model
Authors: Rodrick Wallace
Comments: 12 pages
Subj-class: Neurons and Cognition; Tissues and Organs

We adapt an information theory analysis of interacting cognitive biological and social modules to the problem of the global neuronal workspace, the current standard neuroscience picture of consciousness. Tunable punctuation emerges in a natural manner, suggesting the possibility of fitting appropriate phase transition power law, and away from transition, generalized Onsager relation expressions, to observational data on conscious reaction. The development can be extended in a straightforward manner to include the role of psychosocial stress or other embedding cognitive modules or contexts in individual consciousness, with obvious implications for understanding certain forms of psychopathology. Such extension could give a fuller 'biopsychosocial' workspace picture of consciousness which might better meet compelling philosophical objections to brain-only descriptions.
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