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Aware of being aware neural circuits

  1. Aug 1, 2016 #1
    What is the latest technology update on making circuits aware of being aware.. this is to enable understanding of how our neutral circuits are aware of being aware.. what is the most accepted theory about this? Is it Re-entrant loops in the brain?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 1, 2016 #2

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

    I think the word you want is self-aware, or maybe consciousness. And as you worded your question, I don't believe single neurons can be self-aware. You sound like a programmer/CS person trying to learn neurobiology.

    And - I have no idea even how to search for this in scientific literature. Can you give us a starting point? - a science-based article would be a wonderful start. Like the article that got you thinking about this.
  4. Aug 2, 2016 #3

    I need further tests and proof of it. The following is an excerpt from the article above:

    "It has been proposed that phenomenal experience itself is entailed by appropriate reentrant intracortical activity (Edelman, 1993, 2004; Edelman and Tononi, 1999). Evidence suggests that synchronous exchanges of signals among neuronal groups in dispersed cortical areas correlate with, and bind together, the multiple but distinguishable features of unified, conscious scenes. Moreover, activity dependent alterations in neuronal or synaptic properties over time can give rise to temporally alternating percepts in response to constant sensory input, e.g., binocular rivalry or ambiguous figures (Doesburg et al., 2009; Edelman et al., 2011; Buzsáki and Wang, 2012). Reentry may thus be critical for transformation of sensory neural activity into a stable, consciously reportable percept."
  5. Aug 2, 2016 #4

    jim mcnamara

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    @DiracPool sometimes answers threads in this area. I do not have much expertise except to say it seems to me that the reentrant concept appears to be used used in the Computer Science sense.
  6. Aug 2, 2016 #5


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    Tononi has been working on a theory of consciousness for a while, as have many other authors. But notice all the language is very circumstantial and wishful "may be, could, etc". We have no idea, really, how awareness arises. We, of course, know that a sensor system can detect things and a computer can respond to it. Is that being aware? I guess it depends on how you define it. For instance, there was this:


    but this is essentially a processing (i.e. "easy" problem) and it seems to me like your'e asking more about the "hard" problem that includes the experience of being aware. I don't know that it's very genuine for journalists and researcher to refer to the above result as "self awareness" It simply passed the "King's Wisemen" induction test:


    And the reality is, we really don't have a good idea of how awareness arises in the first place. We have a lot of theories coming out of a handful of camps who each champion their camps underlying cause, but none of them are accepted (and most of them don't even dare to use too assertive of language as you saw in your article).
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