Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The T=0 Complexity Theory of Consciousness (p. 6)

For transitional purposes, it may be recalled, we have labeled this t=0, paleo-mammalian brain as “not-conscious”. Moreover, by the time of the advent of the earliest primates, our ancestors, nature had tried out various approaches to neo-cortical grey matter with various results and levels of success, as indicated by the brain structures of various living mammals and primates representing various evolutionary strata. By all indications, and as is consonant with evolutionary progress, the development of the neo-cortex reaches farther back than we can effectively put a date to, and t=0 exists only as a useful abstraction allowing us to collect together evolutionary advances actually accomplished fitfully over many millions of years and describe them as a series of discrete events.

If we will remember our seventh axiom ― “Some or all of Consciousness resides in the brain” ― then, we have run out of brain in which to locate it unless we will find it in the neo-cortex. And that is precisely where we find it: in some portion or all of the neo-cortex. At t=0 it is, from one perspective, most purely itself: undifferentiated within itself, a structure with tremendous potential which will be put to use in favor of the survival of its host, but which has no qualities whatsoever except for the qualities describing and inhering in its physical structure.

At t=0, that is to say, the neo-cortex, the locus of the Consciousness has no emotion (and thus no volition), no senses (and thus no qualia), no “programmed” structures by which to reflect upon or affect behavior. As a result of all of this, the Consciousness at t=0 can have no unified sense of self. Even the host organism’s not-conscious unified sense of self, such as it is, resides unmodified and un-enhanced in the white matter cerebrum. It is purely a brain structure with the ability to solve problems at a much more complex level than white matter can achieve and the potential to use that ability to mediate or modify behavior in directions that will improve the brain’s capability to enhance the survival of its host. It is also absolutely inherent in Consciousness that it has the capability to modify itself, to solve the enormously complex problem of evaluating and altering itself, short, medium and long terms.

Having finally arrived at these points, it is now time to return to our transitional assignment of “not-consciousness” to the paleo-mammalian brain and to give it its final term. As previously stated, the mammalian consciousness could just as easily have been considered an expression along the spectrum of consciousness rather than mere “not-consciousness”. We chose the latter because we were seeking a definition of Consciousness, and, for that purpose, needed to discriminate between terms as completely and clearly as possible. After accomplishing our definition we would presumably put the matter right and the moment for this has arrived

But first, let us repeat our definition, to this point, in the clearest and most succinct terms possible. Consciousness is located in all or part of the grey matter of the neo-cortex where the neuronal processes per unit volume are vastly denser and better organized. It contains no inherent emotions, volition, senses or unified sense of self. It is an area of neuronal processes particularly and solely fitted for problem solving. It has no inherent biological biases except to solve problems and no emotional biases at all.

Our definition stated, it will behoove us to consider another perspective on consciousness. Whereas Mclean presented a theory in the matter of consciousness from the field of neurology, the technologies necessary in order to develop the kinds of data necessary in order to forward theories based in that science have only recently come available. Prior to the emergence of contemporary neurology Consciousness was studied in the outward or express behavior of the

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