Intelligent Design Mind Neuroscience

Consciousness divided ten different ways

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Neuroscientist Christopher Tyler would like to understand how the brain generates consciousness. To that end, he has identified ten different characteristics and proposed ways in which each could be scientifically studied:

While the careful breakdown of consciousness into ten different qualities (privacy, unity, interrogacy, extinguishability, iterativity, operationality, multifacetedness, complex interconnectivity, autosuppressivity, and self-referentiality) is informative, the paper reads like an ambitious but hopeless project that offers some genuinely interesting moments.

In particular, Tyler points out that “interrogacy,” the ability to formulate questions, “seems unique to a conscious mind.” Yet, he notes, it has not so far been investigated …

One suspects that interrogativity has not been investigated precisely because minds (Tyler insists on calling them “brains”) question things and galaxies don’t. That reveals—by its very nature—the hopelessness of the monist project. There is no circumstance under which a galaxy or a kidney can be got to question anything. A brain might not do so either, apart from the mind it instantiates.

News, “Can we develop tests of the brain for consciousness?” at Mind Matters News

He proposes a test for interrogacy, as for the other qualities.


Further reading on consciousness:

If your brain were cut in half, would you still be one person. Yes, with minor disabilities. Roger Sperry’s split-brain research convinced him that the mind and free will are real.

and

Neuroscientist Michael Graziano should meet the p-zombie (Michael Egnor) To understand consciousness, we need to establish what it is not before we create any more new theories. (Michael Egnor)

4 Replies to “Consciousness divided ten different ways

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Nice analysis News.

  2. 2
    jawa says:

    This is very interesting indeed.

  3. 3
    jawa says:

    Does this make the “hard problem of consciousness” easier or harder?

    Has somebody asked David Chalmers yet?

    🙂

  4. 4
    polistra says:

    I’m not sure that forming a question is peculiar to consciousness. It’s definitely peculiar to complex intelligences, and it’s a ‘shibboleth’ that hasn’t been overused and worn out. Worth thinking about.

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