Readers are introduced to the concept of the Hard Problem of Consciousness and related concepts followed by a critical discourse of different theories of consciousness. Next, the author identifies the fundamental flaw of the Integrated Information Theory (IIT) and proposes an alternative that avoids the cryptic intelligent design and panpsychism of the IIT. This author also demonstrates how something can be created out of nothing without resorting to quantum theory, while pointing out neurobiological alternatives to the bottom-up approach of quantum theories of consciousness.
The book then delves into the philosophy of qualia in different physiological knowledge networks (spatial, temporal and olfactory, cortical signals, for example) to explain an action-based model consistent with the generational principles of Predictive Coding, which maps prediction and predictive-error signals for perceptual representations supporting integrated goal-directed behaviors. Conscious experiences are considered the outcome of abstractions realized out of map overlays and provided by sustained oscillatory activity.
The key feature of this blueprint is that it offers a perspective of the Hard Problem of Consciousness from the point of view of the subject; the experience of 'being the subject' is predicted to be the realization of inference inversely mapped out of hidden causes of global integrated actions. The author explains the consistencies of his blueprint with ideas of the Global Neuronal Workspace and the Adaptive Resonance Theory of consciousness as well as with the empirical evidence supporting the Integrated Information Theory.
A Blueprint for the Hard Problem of Consciousness offers a unique perspective to readers interested in the scientific philosophy and cognitive neuroscience theory in relation to models of the theory of consciousness.
About the Author: Paulo Jacomo Negro
Dr. Paulo J. Negro received his MD and PhD from the University of São Paulo, Brazil. He completed his fellowship in clinical neuroendocrinology research at the Intramural Research Program-NIMH, National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. His interests included the interface between medical and psychiatric problems, including research in osteoporosis and depression, the effect of hormones on the brain and formal psychopathology. He was one of the first researchers to test the sociocognitive theory of dissociation in religious experiences. He is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences and an Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Howard University, Washington DC. Dr. Negro is the Chief Medical Officer of the Kolmac Outpatient Recovery Centers, and an expert in addictions.
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