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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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The quale depends on the mechanism and the state.(AB): The same system (an AND-gate and twoXOR-gates) in two different states generatestwo different qualia, two different experiences. (BC): Two systemsin the same state, but with different mechanisms, generate differentqualia.
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pcbi-1000462-g007: The quale depends on the mechanism and the state.(AB): The same system (an AND-gate and twoXOR-gates) in two different states generatestwo different qualia, two different experiences. (BC): Two systemsin the same state, but with different mechanisms, generate differentqualia.

Mentions: When the same system (mechanism) is in a different state (firing pattern), itwill typically generate a different quale or shape, even for the same valueof Φ. Figure7AB show the same system (a simple AND/XOR system) in two differentstates (x1 = 001,100). Since theconnections are engaged in different ways when the system is in twodifferent states, the interactions within the systems are qualitativelydifferent. As shown in Fig.6, systems sharing the same actual repertoire as a whole may alsogenerate different qualia since their submechanisms generate informationdifferently.


Qualia: the geometry of integrated information.

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

The quale depends on the mechanism and the state.(AB): The same system (an AND-gate and twoXOR-gates) in two different states generatestwo different qualia, two different experiences. (BC): Two systemsin the same state, but with different mechanisms, generate differentqualia.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pcbi-1000462-g007: The quale depends on the mechanism and the state.(AB): The same system (an AND-gate and twoXOR-gates) in two different states generatestwo different qualia, two different experiences. (BC): Two systemsin the same state, but with different mechanisms, generate differentqualia.
Mentions: When the same system (mechanism) is in a different state (firing pattern), itwill typically generate a different quale or shape, even for the same valueof Φ. Figure7AB show the same system (a simple AND/XOR system) in two differentstates (x1 = 001,100). Since theconnections are engaged in different ways when the system is in twodifferent states, the interactions within the systems are qualitativelydifferent. As shown in Fig.6, systems sharing the same actual repertoire as a whole may alsogenerate different qualia since their submechanisms generate informationdifferently.

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