BLUE & ORANGE blog_e

neuroscience, consciousness, AI

Discussion regarding NONconsciousness for IIT (Integrated Information Theory)

Currently IIT: From the Phenomenology to the Mechanisms of Consciousness: Integrated Information Theory 3.0 provides many arguing points regarding consciousness research. This time I pay attention to NONconsciousness comparing to consciousness.

I saw Tononi wrote that cerebellum wasn't relevant to consciousness. Was that true? Actually cerebellum may not have senses. That means the object that has only reflexes doesn't have consciousness. But is 'the operated mouse that doesn't have senses' zombie? I don't completely deny that kind of idea. But that means human fetuses and unicellularlives don't have consciousness. Isn't this a ruler that shows the zombie to be nonconscious? I think nonconsciousness can be explained with the same theory as consciousness, and those two theories would be joined as grand unified theory in the future even if those are separated currently.

IIT's understing for consciousness:
I think IIT understands that consciousness is defined without reflexes (feedforward). There is an intriguing example: IIT3.0 Fig.19. It shows a photodiode as has consciousness. And it seems that referring to memories is a necessary condition for consciousness. I think this is one of the problems of IIT as having restriction, but a key of IIT. 'Whether consciousness involve reflex or not' would be a simple difference based on the definition. And minimum consciousness would have senses of pain or color, despite that reflex is involved or not. IIT seems to show narrower scope of consciousness based on its definition.

Further consideration for 'unit qualia' and 'feedforward and nonconsciousness':
The photodiode of IIT3.0 Fig.19 has two more view points. One is the case thinking about unit qualia. The photodiode is similar to unit qualia. However, it's not allowed to show complicated qualia with combination of unit qualia by IIT, due to Tononi's red triangle. And IIT doesn't show qualia for feedforward process, though even simple senses should have qualia intrinsically.

The other is the case thinking about feedforward and nonconsciousness. My hypothesis shows wider scope of consciousness, separated from IIT. Explanation 1: My hypothesis shows seamless access between memories and gene's memories (instinct). That means consciousness arises without memories in the narrow sense. It's difficult to distinguish instinct from consciousness process, though instinct is based on feedforward process. A conscious object has the (kind of) memory information from birth, though it hasn't learned anything then.

Explanation 2: The simplest feedforward system like reflex doesn't have referring to memories. But it's difficult to distinguish simple reflex from instinct, because both show action based on inputs without hesitation. I don't want to miss the point due to the reason that it ISN'T consciousness without thinking definition clearly.

Problem presentation:
For example, my hypothesis shows that No.1 to 5 shown as follows are treated as consciousness. (Some would be overlapped. For example, No.1 and 3, because the list involves both conceptual and empirical.)

1. cerebellum
2. instinct (There is a case we can have senses.)
3. the case we come not to feel senses after some experience
4. the case there is smaller saliency comparing to other sensible input (We can feel senses if we test it independently.)
5-1. photodiode (Simplest)
5-2. photodiode (Corresponding IIT3.0 Fig.19)

Show illustration of relevance of No.1 to 5 shown above. If you can show it which is different from mine, it may be a new hypothesis of consciousness theory.

In fact, though there are a few problems for IIT, I expect it, especially because it has high possibility for evaluating consciousness. And also it should be a start point for discussion for consciousness.

IIT seems that consciousness needs senses, though it seems to be a problem in defining. It shouldn't be denied. But if considering the IIT definition, senses need memories, and a simple photodiode or some unicellularlives don't have consciousness. It's because they don't have senses, because they don't have memories. In detail 'memories' include gene's memories which can be used for memories. And even if there aren't that kind of 'memories', if there is a box which can keep memories, the object would be able to have senses as a first experience after there is an input information.

This definition (based on IIT) can be also explained by my hypothesis. But as we feel hesitation for saying that there is no consciousness for smaller saliency input, we feel difficulty with definition simply for deciding whether there is consciousness or not. (With my hypothesis, both uses the same process.) (A grand unified theory may be going to unify consciousness and others which are told as there is no consciousness.) No1 to 5 shown before may be treated as non consciousness or gray zone. But I worry that IIT excludes some non-memory process from consciousness, because smaller saliency input should be based on the same process as representative consciousness process. Discussion shouldn't be excluded.

Concluding remarks:
IIT and additional documents seem not to be discussed for common recognition by IIT supporters. Though I don't understand its field very well, a little additional common recognition will help to proceed with research. Only reading papers might cause misleading. Especially regarding consciousness research each advocate seems to have different ideas. (I understand each paper and each researcher wants to avoid weak points to be unveiled.) I understand IIT could provide many possible arguing points.

Basically, regarding consciousness research, I even feel considering IIT's possibility is necessary condition to join the discussion for consciousness, especially for evaluating consciousness. I expect IIT for the start point for the discussion of consciousness.

This entry is retouched based on the twitter on 1/1/2017 to 1/5/2017.

Keywords: neuroscience, consciousness, nonconsciousness, cerebellum, reflexes, feedforward, definition, unit qualia