Friday, July 14, 2023

‘Adversarial’ search for neural basis of consciousness yields first results

Finkel does a summary of the first round of results of an 'adversarial colloboration' funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation in which
...both sides of the consciousness debate agreed on experiments to be conducted by “theory-neutral” labs with no stake in the outcome. It pits integrated information theory (IIT), the sensory network hypothesis that proposes a posterior “hot zone” as the site of consciousness, against the global neuronal workspace theory (GNWT), which likens networks of neurons in the front of the brain to a clipboard where sensory signals, thoughts, and memories combine before being broadcast across the brain.
The results corroborate IIT’s overall claim that posterior cortical areas are sufficient for consciousness, and neither the involvement of [the prefrontal cortex] nor global broadcasting are necessary,”
The article describes how the debate continues, with advocates of the prefrontal view suggesting this first experimental round had limitations, and that further experiments will support the role of the prefrontal cortex.

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