Neural Darwinism and consciousness

Seth, Anil K and Baars, Bernard J (2005) Neural Darwinism and consciousness. Consciousness and Cognition, 14 (1). pp. 140-168. ISSN 1053-8100

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Abstract

Neural Darwinism (ND) is a large scale selectionist theory of brain development and function that has been hypothesized to relate to consciousness. According to ND, consciousness is entailed by reentrant interactions among neuronal populations in the thalamocortical system (the `dynamic core¿). These interactions, which permit high-order discriminations among possible core states, confer selective advantages on organisms possessing them by linking current perceptual events to a past history of value-dependent learning. Here, we assess the consistency of ND with 16 widely recognized properties of consciousness, both physiological (for example, consciousness is associated with widespread, relatively fast, low amplitude interactions in the thalamocortical system), and phenomenal (for example, consciousness involves the existence of a private flow of events available only to the experiencing subject). While no theory accounts fully for all of these properties at present, we find that ND and its recent extensions fare well.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Depositing User: Anil Seth
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 18:36
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2012 11:42
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/17381
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