DOI: 10.14704/nq.2016.14.2.935

A Three-Layered Model for Consciousness States

Arushi Kak, Abhinav Gautam, Subhash Kak

Abstract


This paper presents a general three-level framework to represent different states of consciousness. Although awareness, by itself, is an all-or-nothing phenomenon, the state of consciousness depends on the degree to which preconscious and memory states are accessible to awareness. The relative ability to recruit these states and integrate distributed neural activity has a corresponding effect on the state of attention which can, therefore, be measured on a spectrum. Research in anesthesiology showing an uncoupling of perception from sensory inputs supports the idea of the disembodied consciousness state. We propose a three-level hierarchical model to explain these findings. The higher level nodes in this model are non-physical and they leave their trace in the non-local binding of activity across regions that are far apart. The activity across the brain can be quantified using an entropy-based metric and the non-physical nodes corresponding to consciousness states may be governed by quantum dynamics.

Keywords


consciousness states; neural correlates of consciousness; hierarchical processing; perception sensation decoupling; quantum neural processing

Full Text:

Full Text PDF

References


Anderson MC and Green C. Suppressing unwanted memories by executive control. Nature 2001; 410: 363-369.

Anna JM, Scholes GD and van Grondelle R. A little coherence in photosynthetic light harvesting. BioScience 2013; 64: 14-25.

Bressler, S.L. Large-scale cortical networks and cognition. Brain Research Reviews 1995; 20: 288-304.

Brown EN, Lydic R and Schiff ND. General anesthesia, sleep, and coma. N Engl J Med 2010; 363(27): 2638–2650.

Crick F and Koch C. What is the function of the claustrum? Phil Trans Royal Soc B 2005; 360: 1271-1279.

Dehaene S, Changeux JP, Naccache L, Sackur J and Sergent C. Conscious, preconscious, and subliminal processing: a testable taxonomy. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 2006; 10: 204-211.

Euston DR, Gruber AJ and McNaughton BL. The role of medial prefrontal cortex in memory and decision making. Neuron 2012; 76: 1057-1070.

Gautam A and Kak S. Symbols, meaning, and origins of mind. Biosemiotics 2013; 6: 301-309.

Gilbert CD and Sigman M. Brain states: top-down influences in sensory processing. Neuron 2007; 54: 677-696.

James W. The Principles of Psychology. Henry Holt, New York, 1890 (Reprinted Bristol: Thoemmes Press, 1999).

Kak S. The three languages of the brain: quantum, reorganizational, and associative. In Learning as Self-Organization, K. Pribram and J. King (editors). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ, 185-219, 1996.

Kak S. Hidden order and the origin of complex structures. In Origin(s) of Design in Nature. L. Swan, R. Gordon and J. Seckbach, (editors). Springer, Dordrecht, 643-652, 2012.

Kak S. Biological memories and agents as quantum collectives. NeuroQuantology 2013; 11: 391-398

Kak S. From the no-signaling theorem to veiled non-locality. NeuroQuantology 2014; 12: 12-20.

Lambert N, Chen YN, Cheng YC, Li CM, Chen GY and Nori F. Quantum biology. Nature Physics 2013; 9: 10–18.

Lamme VA. Why visual attention and awareness are different. Trends Cogn Sci 2003; 7: 12–18.

Landauer R. Irreversibility and heat generation in the computing process. IBM Journal of Research and Development 1961; 5 (3): 183–191.

Laureys S. The neural correlate of (un)awareness: lessons from the vegetative state. Trends Cogn Sci 2005; 9: 556–559

Llinas RR, Ribary U, Jeanmonod D, Kronberg E and Mitra PP. Thalamocortical dysrhythmia: A neurological and neuropsychiatric syndrome characterized by magnetoencephalography. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1999; 96(26): 15222–15227.

Marois R and Ivanoff J. Capacity limits of information processing in the brain. Trends Cogn Sci 2005; 9: 296–305.

Matsuzawa T. Evolution of the brain and social behavior in chimpanzees. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 2013; 23: 443–449.

Pandit JJ. Acceptably aware during general anaesthesia: 'dysanaesthesia'--the uncoupling of perception from sensory inputs. Conscious Cogn 2014; 27: 194-212.

Park HJ and Friston K. Structural and functional brain networks: from connections to cognition. Science 2013; 342: 1238411.

Paus T. Functional anatomy of arousal and attention systems in the human brain. Prog Brain Res 2000; 126: 65–77.

Pelli, D.G. Uncertainty explains many aspects of visual contrast, detection and discrimination. J Opt Soc Am 1985; 2: 1508-32.

Qiu C, Shivacharan RS, Zhang M and Durand DM. Can Neural Activity Propagate by Endogenous Electrical Field? Journal of Neuroscience 2015; 35(48): 15800

Rosanova M, Gosseries O, Casarotto S, Boly M, Casali AG, Bruno MA, Mariotti M, Boveroux P, Tononi G, Laureys S and Massimini M.Recovery of cortical effective connectivity and recovery of consciousness in vegetative patients. Brain 2012; 135: 1308-1320.

Tononi G and Koch C. Consciousness: Here, there and everywhere? Phil Trans R Soc B 2015; 370: 20140167.

Vago DR and Silbersweig DA. Self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-transcendence (S-ART): a framework for understanding the neurobiological mechanisms of mindfulness. Front Hum Neurosci 2012; 6: 296.

van den Heuvel MP and Sporns O. Network hubs in the human brain. Trends Cogn Sci 2013; 17: 683-696.

Zeki S. et al. A direct demonstration of functional specialization in human visual cortex. The Journal of Neuroscience 1991; 11: 641-649.

Zeki S. The disunity of consciousness. Trends Cogn Sci 2003; 7: 214–218.


Supporting Agencies

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.



| NeuroScience + QuantumPhysics> NeuroQuantology :: Copyright 2001-2017