Data_Sheet_1_An Integrated World Modeling Theory (IWMT) of Consciousness: Combining Integrated Information and Global Neuronal Workspace Theories With.pdf (46.16 kB)
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Data_Sheet_1_An Integrated World Modeling Theory (IWMT) of Consciousness: Combining Integrated Information and Global Neuronal Workspace Theories With the Free Energy Principle and Active Inference Framework; Toward Solving the Hard Problem and Characterizing Agentic Causation.pdf

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posted on 08.01.2021, 17:09 by Adam Safron

The Free Energy Principle and Active Inference Framework (FEP-AI) begins with the understanding that persisting systems must regulate environmental exchanges and prevent entropic accumulation. In FEP-AI, minds and brains are predictive controllers for autonomous systems, where action-driven perception is realized as probabilistic inference. Integrated Information Theory (IIT) begins with considering the preconditions for a system to intrinsically exist, as well as axioms regarding the nature of consciousness. IIT has produced controversy because of its surprising entailments: quasi-panpsychism; subjectivity without referents or dynamics; and the possibility of fully-intelligent-yet-unconscious brain simulations. Here, I describe how these controversies might be resolved by integrating IIT with FEP-AI, where integrated information only entails consciousness for systems with perspectival reference frames capable of generating models with spatial, temporal, and causal coherence for self and world. Without that connection with external reality, systems could have arbitrarily high amounts of integrated information, but nonetheless would not entail subjective experience. I further describe how an integration of these frameworks may contribute to their evolution as unified systems theories and models of emergent causation. Then, inspired by both Global Neuronal Workspace Theory (GNWT) and the Harmonic Brain Modes framework, I describe how streams of consciousness may emerge as an evolving generation of sensorimotor predictions, with the precise composition of experiences depending on the integration abilities of synchronous complexes as self-organizing harmonic modes (SOHMs). These integrating dynamics may be particularly likely to occur via richly connected subnetworks affording body-centric sources of phenomenal binding and executive control. Along these connectivity backbones, SOHMs are proposed to implement turbo coding via loopy message-passing over predictive (autoencoding) networks, thus generating maximum a posteriori estimates as coherent vectors governing neural evolution, with alpha frequencies generating basic awareness, and cross-frequency phase-coupling within theta frequencies for access consciousness and volitional control. These dynamic cores of integrated information also function as global workspaces, centered on posterior cortices, but capable of being entrained with frontal cortices and interoceptive hierarchies, thus affording agentic causation. Integrated World Modeling Theory (IWMT) represents a synthetic approach to understanding minds that reveals compatibility between leading theories of consciousness, thus enabling inferential synergy.

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