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Maybe consciousness evolved in ancient times?

Updated: May 29, 2022

Studying the "Study of Consciousness" (Stanislas Duanne) can further deepen your understanding of coaching theory.

I am studying to add a unique flavour to "unconscious rewriting".


This series of blog posts are my study notes. This time, the theme that follows the unconscious and conscious

I will write a "sign of consciousness".


 

I mentioned it in the previous article.


The workspace features provide valuable information for widespread access and deliver it to various systems in the brain.

In principle, there should be no obstacles to reproducing these features with abiotic hardware such as computers.


But so far, the brain's functions have not been realized so easily to be reproduced by a computer.


At present, we are still in the research stage on how to reproduce the brain's functions on a computer.


Computer software is generally organized in a tightly modular, functionally subdivided fashion.


Each routine receives specific input information, processes it according to strict rules, and produces well-defined output information.


If you take only specific word processing software, it can hold fragments of information, such as a piece of string, in a local form for a while.


However, the computer has a comprehensive meaning of that information and cannot determine whether it should be exposed to other programs.


A given task is performed flawlessly, but no matter how mighty the processing power is, what is known within one module cannot be shared.


They share information through rudimentary mechanisms such as the clipboard between computer programs.

Moreover, at that time, a human being, an intelligent being, is required.



Unlike computers, the brain's cortex seems to solve this problem by having a series of modularized processors and a flexible pathway selection system.


Many parts of the cortex are specialized in a particular process.

For example, a part comprises neurons that specialize in facial recognition and respond only when the face is reflected on the retina.

Also, the parietal lobe, and areas of the motor cortex, specialize in functions related to specific movements and the parts of the body that perform them.

Furthermore, the parts that govern abstract functions encode knowledge about numbers, animals, objects, verbs, and so on.


Given that workspace theory is correct, consciousness may have evolved to alleviate this modularity problem.


Thanks to the Global Neuronal Network, modularized brain processors can share information.

This "wide-area sharing of information" is the true nature of the subjective experience as a conscious state.


The superiority of such a mechanism in the process of evolution is evident.

Modularity is helpful because it requires unique adjustments to the cortex for each knowledge domain.


For example, neural circuits for spatial recognition must perform different functions than neural circuits that recognize landscapes and memorize past events. However, decisions are often based on multiple sources of knowledge.




If an elephant wanders the savanna alone in search of water, the survival of this elephant depends on finding a water spot nearby.





The decision to move to a distant place out of sight

  • Ability to efficiently utilise available information such as spatial maps of the mind

  • Visual cognitive ability to distinguish landmarks and routes

  • Ability to remember the successful and unsuccessful discovery of water in the past.



Consciousness may have evolved in ancient times to flexibly utilise all sources of knowledge that meet the needs of the present situation.

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