Saturday, November 23, 2013

[Comp-neuro] Special issue on the hard problem of consciousness


Special issue on the hard problem of consciousness

Deadline for submission: 31 January 2014

What is the function of consciousness? If define as Mark Solms suggests that consciousness as an evaluative mechanism, built by evolution which enables the subject to know information about current status as an organism then the function of consciousness, is the ability of expressing emotional feeling. Sources of consciousness are thus limited to more evolved mammals like primates where information is continuously handled, but not digital computers where information is discretely processed. Consciousness as a processor of information is therefore limited for understanding the nature of consciousness which undoubtedly rests on a different platform to information processing. Can such a non-information processing paradigm solve the hard problem of consciousness? The role physical interactions have in creating consciousness and the extent to which these interactions create subjective qualities of experience is David Chalmers' hard problem. Unfortunately theoretical neuroscience does not have yet ways in solving the hard problem of consciousness because "sentience" cannot be algorithmically represented through reductionism. Providing a solution to this problem requires an understanding of this difficulty. According to Colin McGinn the difficulty comes from consciousness being nowhere and everywhere in the brain, thus not amenable to the methodic reductionist analysis. This is another way of thinking about Chalmers' hard problem. Consciousness arises from widespread cortical integration of dynamic continuity across scale. Computation of dynamic continuity through methodological reductonionism brings about disintegration of cortical activity. This is exactly a neuronal interpretation of McGinn's viewpoint. Consciousness is incomputable due to the methodological consequences of approximations used in computation of dynamic continuity across scale through reductionism. In principle, to integrate across scale, one needs for a dynamic continuity that is capable of capturing the continuous electrical integration of information. This special issue will address such conceptual problems of methodological reductionism in solving the hard problem of consciousness. Its other aim is to provide a paradigm shift in our understanding the nature and function of consciousness. A wide selection of papers from diverse fields like neuropsychology, neurophysics, and neuropsychoanalysis are particularly welcome.

Enquires welcome.

Roman R. Poznanski
Laboratory of Biological Modeling
The Rockefeller University
1230 York Avenue
New York, NY 10065-6399
Office: (212) 327-7646
Journal of Integrative Neuroscience
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