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Qualia: the geometry of integrated information.

Balduzzi D, Tononi G - PLoS Comput. Biol. (2009)

Bottom Line: Both active and inactive elements specify a quale, but elements that are inactivated do not.In principle, different aspects of experience may be classified as different shapes in Q, and the similarity between experiences reduces to similarities between shapes.Finally, specific qualities, such as the "redness" of red, while generated by a local mechanism, cannot be reduced to it, but require considering the entire quale.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA.

ABSTRACT
According to the integrated information theory, the quantity of consciousness is the amount of integrated information generated by a complex of elements, and the quality of experience is specified by the informational relationships it generates. This paper outlines a framework for characterizing the informational relationships generated by such systems. Qualia space (Q) is a space having an axis for each possible state (activity pattern) of a complex. Within Q, each submechanism specifies a point corresponding to a repertoire of system states. Arrows between repertoires in Q define informational relationships. Together, these arrows specify a quale -- a shape that completely and univocally characterizes the quality of a conscious experience. Phi -- the height of this shape -- is the quantity of consciousness associated with the experience. Entanglement measures how irreducible informational relationships are to their component relationships, specifying concepts and modes. Several corollaries follow from these premises. The quale is determined by both the mechanism and state of the system. Thus, two different systems having identical activity patterns may generate different qualia. Conversely, the same quale may be generated by two systems that differ in both activity and connectivity. Both active and inactive elements specify a quale, but elements that are inactivated do not. Also, the activation of an element affects experience by changing the shape of the quale. The subdivision of experience into modalities and submodalities corresponds to subshapes in Q. In principle, different aspects of experience may be classified as different shapes in Q, and the similarity between experiences reduces to similarities between shapes. Finally, specific qualities, such as the "redness" of red, while generated by a local mechanism, cannot be reduced to it, but require considering the entire quale. Ultimately, the present framework may offer a principled way for translating qualitative properties of experience into mathematics.

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Modes.A mode is a maximally densely tangled q-arrow at the top of the quale.                            (A): A system containing an AND and                            COPY gate. (B): The quale generated by                            X. Connections c13 and c23 are                            tangled at the top of the quale with                            γ = .25 bits. (C): The system                            as a whole is not tangled: entanglement between connection                            c32 and connections {c13,c23} is zero.                            Thus, the up-set ↑¬{c13,c23} is a                            mode: it is not contained in a larger up-set with higher γ. (D)                            Cartoon of a hierarchy of modes in a complex quale.
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pcbi-1000462-g005: Modes.A mode is a maximally densely tangled q-arrow at the top of the quale. (A): A system containing an AND and COPY gate. (B): The quale generated by X. Connections c13 and c23 are tangled at the top of the quale with γ = .25 bits. (C): The system as a whole is not tangled: entanglement between connection c32 and connections {c13,c23} is zero. Thus, the up-set ↑¬{c13,c23} is a mode: it is not contained in a larger up-set with higher γ. (D) Cartoon of a hierarchy of modes in a complex quale.

Mentions: Fig. 5A shows a system containing an AND and COPY gate. The AND-gate tangles two of the connections in the quale, forming the pink shape in panel B: the concept {not both}. Similarly, the COPY-gate generates the concept {not this}. The system as a whole does not generate a single concept, but rather two distinct concepts. This can be seen in panel C where the system as a whole is depicted as a parallelogram, the {not this} and {not both} concepts are orthogonal to one another and do not interact. Since the concept {not both} is not contained in a larger, more densely tangled concept, it forms a mode.


Qualia: the geometry of integrated information.

Balduzzi D, Tononi G - PLoS Comput. Biol. (2009)

Modes.A mode is a maximally densely tangled q-arrow at the top of the quale.                            (A): A system containing an AND and                            COPY gate. (B): The quale generated by                            X. Connections c13 and c23 are                            tangled at the top of the quale with                            γ = .25 bits. (C): The system                            as a whole is not tangled: entanglement between connection                            c32 and connections {c13,c23} is zero.                            Thus, the up-set ↑¬{c13,c23} is a                            mode: it is not contained in a larger up-set with higher γ. (D)                            Cartoon of a hierarchy of modes in a complex quale.
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2713405&req=5

pcbi-1000462-g005: Modes.A mode is a maximally densely tangled q-arrow at the top of the quale. (A): A system containing an AND and COPY gate. (B): The quale generated by X. Connections c13 and c23 are tangled at the top of the quale with γ = .25 bits. (C): The system as a whole is not tangled: entanglement between connection c32 and connections {c13,c23} is zero. Thus, the up-set ↑¬{c13,c23} is a mode: it is not contained in a larger up-set with higher γ. (D) Cartoon of a hierarchy of modes in a complex quale.
Mentions: Fig. 5A shows a system containing an AND and COPY gate. The AND-gate tangles two of the connections in the quale, forming the pink shape in panel B: the concept {not both}. Similarly, the COPY-gate generates the concept {not this}. The system as a whole does not generate a single concept, but rather two distinct concepts. This can be seen in panel C where the system as a whole is depicted as a parallelogram, the {not this} and {not both} concepts are orthogonal to one another and do not interact. Since the concept {not both} is not contained in a larger, more densely tangled concept, it forms a mode.

Bottom Line: Both active and inactive elements specify a quale, but elements that are inactivated do not.In principle, different aspects of experience may be classified as different shapes in Q, and the similarity between experiences reduces to similarities between shapes.Finally, specific qualities, such as the "redness" of red, while generated by a local mechanism, cannot be reduced to it, but require considering the entire quale.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA.

ABSTRACT
According to the integrated information theory, the quantity of consciousness is the amount of integrated information generated by a complex of elements, and the quality of experience is specified by the informational relationships it generates. This paper outlines a framework for characterizing the informational relationships generated by such systems. Qualia space (Q) is a space having an axis for each possible state (activity pattern) of a complex. Within Q, each submechanism specifies a point corresponding to a repertoire of system states. Arrows between repertoires in Q define informational relationships. Together, these arrows specify a quale -- a shape that completely and univocally characterizes the quality of a conscious experience. Phi -- the height of this shape -- is the quantity of consciousness associated with the experience. Entanglement measures how irreducible informational relationships are to their component relationships, specifying concepts and modes. Several corollaries follow from these premises. The quale is determined by both the mechanism and state of the system. Thus, two different systems having identical activity patterns may generate different qualia. Conversely, the same quale may be generated by two systems that differ in both activity and connectivity. Both active and inactive elements specify a quale, but elements that are inactivated do not. Also, the activation of an element affects experience by changing the shape of the quale. The subdivision of experience into modalities and submodalities corresponds to subshapes in Q. In principle, different aspects of experience may be classified as different shapes in Q, and the similarity between experiences reduces to similarities between shapes. Finally, specific qualities, such as the "redness" of red, while generated by a local mechanism, cannot be reduced to it, but require considering the entire quale. Ultimately, the present framework may offer a principled way for translating qualitative properties of experience into mathematics.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus