The unfolding argument: Why IIT and other causal structure theories cannot explain consciousness

How can we explain consciousness? This question has become a vibrant topic of neuroscience research in recent decades. A large body of empirical results has been accumulated, and many theories have been proposed. Certain theories suggest that consciousness should be explained in terms of brain functions, such as accessing information in a global workspace, applying higher order to lower order representations, or predictive coding. These functions could be realized by a variety of patterns of brain connectivity. Other theories, such as Information Integration Theory (IIT) and Recurrent Processing Theory (RPT), identify causal structure with consciousness. For example, according to these theories, feedforward systems are never conscious, and feedback systems always are. Here, using theorems from the theory of computation, we show that causal structure theories are either false or outside the realm of science.


Published in:
Consciousness And Cognition, 72, 49-59
Year:
Jul 01 2019
Publisher:
San Diego, ACADEMIC PRESS INC ELSEVIER SCIENCE
ISSN:
1053-8100
1090-2376
Keywords:
Laboratories:




 Record created 2019-06-19, last modified 2019-12-11


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