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Consciousness, cognition, and the hierarchy of context: extending the global neuronal workspace model

By Rodrick Wallace


We adapt an information theory analysis of interacting cognitive biological and social modules to the problem of the global neuronal workspace, the new standard neuroscience paradigm for consciousness. Tunable punctuation emerges in a natural way, 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 psychosocial stress, culture, or other cognitive modules which constitute a structured, embedding hierarchy of contextual constraints acting at a slower rate than neuronal function itself. This produces a 'biopsychosociocultural' model of individual consciousness that, while otherwise quite close to the standard treatment, meets compelling philosophical and other objections to brain-only descriptions

Topics: Neural Modelling
Year: 2004
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