Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

TagConsciousness and self-reference

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Neuroscientist: The Mind Is More Than a Machine — or Is It?

Bobby Azarian hopes that self-organization theory can account for consciousness and possibly enable sentient, conscious computers

Cognitive neuroscientist Bobby Azarian, author of The Romance of Reality: How the Universe Organizes Itself to Create Life, Consciousness, and Cosmic Complexity (2022), offers a self-organization theory approach to the reality of the mind: Most neuroscientists believe that consciousness arises when harmonized global activity emerges from the coordinated interactions of billions of neurons. This is because the synchronized firing of brain cells integrates information from multiple processing streams into a unified field of experience. This global activity is made possible by loops in the form of feedback. When feedback is present in a system, it means there is some form of self-reference at work, and in nervous systems, it can be a sign of self-modeling. Feedback loops running from one…