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A physiologically based approach to consciousness

coward, l andrew (1999) A physiologically based approach to consciousness. [Journal (Paginated)]

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Abstract

The nature of a scientific theory of consciousness is defined by comparison with scientific theories in the physical sciences. The differences between physical, algorithmic and functional complexity are highlighted, and the architecture of a functionally complex electronic system created to relate system operations to device operations is compared with a scientific theory. It is argued that there are two qualitatively different types of functional architecture, and that electronic systems have the instruction architecture based on exchange of unambiguous information between functional components, and biological brains have been constrained by natural selection pressures into the recommendation architecture based on exchange of ambiguous information. The mechanisms by which a recommendation architecture could heuristically define its own functionality are described, and compared with memory in biological brains. Dream sleep is interpreted as the mechanism for minimizing information exchange between functional components in a heuristically defined functional system. The functional role of consciousness of self is discussed, and the route by which the experience of that function described at the psychological level can be related to physiology through a functional architecture is outlined.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Keywords:consciousness; cognitive architecture; memory; dream sleep; physiology; complex systems
Subjects:Neuroscience > Behavioral Neuroscience
Psychology > Cognitive Psychology
Psychology > Evolutionary Psychology
ID Code:2299
Deposited By:coward, l andrew
Deposited On:29 Jun 2002
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:54

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