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Nested ontology and causal options: A paradigm for consciousness

Merker, Dr. Bjorn (2010) Nested ontology and causal options: A paradigm for consciousness. [Preprint]

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Abstract

A brain charged with guiding its body through a complex and lively world from a position of solitary confinement inside its opaque skull faces a set of functional problems whose solution may account for the existence and nature of consciousness. An analysis of the more general and basic of these problems, sensory as well as motor, suggests the utility of implementing a high-level mutual interface between sensory target selection, motor action selection, and motivational ranking of needs at a late stage in the run-up to the brain’s decision about the very next action to take. The three selection processes are subject to a number of mutual dependencies such that a regimen of constraint satisfaction among them would yield gains in behavioral efficiency. The logistics of implementing such a regimen can be simplified by casting the interface in a particular nested, analog format. It would host a running synthetic summary of the rest of the brain’s interpretive labors, reflecting best estimates of the veridical current state of world, body, and needs for purposes of real-time decision making. Detailed scrutiny of the design requirements for such a mechanism discloses that it would be functionally partitioned in a way that defines a conscious mode of operation. Moreover, the design of the mechanism mandates a specific departure from veridicality at a point that makes its functional format match the assumptions of naive realism. Consciousness itself thus introduces a significant, though not insuperable, psychological obstacle to the development of a veridical account of its nature.

Item Type:Preprint
Keywords:Architecture of consciousness, constraint satisfaction, control theory, egocenter, naive realism
Subjects:Biology > Theoretical Biology
ID Code:6853
Deposited By:Merker, Björn
Deposited On:06 Jun 2010 15:35
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:57

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