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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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Isomorphisms between qualia.(A): The simplest possible system: a sensor and a detector, where thedetector copies the prior state of the sensor. The quale generatedby the system when the detector is ON is a single q-arrow witheffective information of 1 bit. The q-arrow specifies the sensor wasON in the previous time step. (B) When the detector is OFF, thesystem generates a different quale, where the q-arrow points in adifferent direction – towards a different actualrepertoire – specifying that the detector was OFF.Effective information is again 1 bit. (C): A reflection of Q-spacegenerated by relabeling the outputs of n1 (flipping 0 and1) induces an isomorphism between the two qualia. (DE): The qualiagenerated by a silent AND-gate and a firingOR-gate respectively. The two qualia areisomorphic, which can be seen by flipping the roles of 0 and 1.
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pcbi-1000462-g008: Isomorphisms between qualia.(A): The simplest possible system: a sensor and a detector, where thedetector copies the prior state of the sensor. The quale generatedby the system when the detector is ON is a single q-arrow witheffective information of 1 bit. The q-arrow specifies the sensor wasON in the previous time step. (B) When the detector is OFF, thesystem generates a different quale, where the q-arrow points in adifferent direction – towards a different actualrepertoire – specifying that the detector was OFF.Effective information is again 1 bit. (C): A reflection of Q-spacegenerated by relabeling the outputs of n1 (flipping 0 and1) induces an isomorphism between the two qualia. (DE): The qualiagenerated by a silent AND-gate and a firingOR-gate respectively. The two qualia areisomorphic, which can be seen by flipping the roles of 0 and 1.

Mentions: By the same token, it is possible that two different systems generate thesame quale. As an example, consider again the photodiode, whose mechanismdetermines that if the current in the sensor exceed a threshold, thedetector turns on. Informationally, the photodiode implements a COPY system,where the detector copies the state of the sensor. This simple causalinteraction is all there is, and when the photodiode turns on it merelyspecifies an actual repertoire where states(x1 = 00,01,10,11) have,respectively, probability (0,0,½,½) (Fig. 8A). This corresponds in Q to asingle q-arrow, one bit long, going from the potential, maximum entropyrepertoire (¼,¼,¼,¼) to(0,0,½,½). Now imagine the light sensor is substituted bya temperature sensor with the same threshold and dynamic range - we have athermistor rather than a photodiode, and assume that the detector is off(low temperature, Fig.8B). While the physical device has changed, and its state isdifferent, according to the IIT the experience, minimal as it is, has to bethe same, since the informational relationship that is generated by the twodevices is identical.


Qualia: the geometry of integrated information.

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

Isomorphisms between qualia.(A): The simplest possible system: a sensor and a detector, where thedetector copies the prior state of the sensor. The quale generatedby the system when the detector is ON is a single q-arrow witheffective information of 1 bit. The q-arrow specifies the sensor wasON in the previous time step. (B) When the detector is OFF, thesystem generates a different quale, where the q-arrow points in adifferent direction – towards a different actualrepertoire – specifying that the detector was OFF.Effective information is again 1 bit. (C): A reflection of Q-spacegenerated by relabeling the outputs of n1 (flipping 0 and1) induces an isomorphism between the two qualia. (DE): The qualiagenerated by a silent AND-gate and a firingOR-gate respectively. The two qualia areisomorphic, which can be seen by flipping the roles of 0 and 1.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pcbi-1000462-g008: Isomorphisms between qualia.(A): The simplest possible system: a sensor and a detector, where thedetector copies the prior state of the sensor. The quale generatedby the system when the detector is ON is a single q-arrow witheffective information of 1 bit. The q-arrow specifies the sensor wasON in the previous time step. (B) When the detector is OFF, thesystem generates a different quale, where the q-arrow points in adifferent direction – towards a different actualrepertoire – specifying that the detector was OFF.Effective information is again 1 bit. (C): A reflection of Q-spacegenerated by relabeling the outputs of n1 (flipping 0 and1) induces an isomorphism between the two qualia. (DE): The qualiagenerated by a silent AND-gate and a firingOR-gate respectively. The two qualia areisomorphic, which can be seen by flipping the roles of 0 and 1.
Mentions: By the same token, it is possible that two different systems generate thesame quale. As an example, consider again the photodiode, whose mechanismdetermines that if the current in the sensor exceed a threshold, thedetector turns on. Informationally, the photodiode implements a COPY system,where the detector copies the state of the sensor. This simple causalinteraction is all there is, and when the photodiode turns on it merelyspecifies an actual repertoire where states(x1 = 00,01,10,11) have,respectively, probability (0,0,½,½) (Fig. 8A). This corresponds in Q to asingle q-arrow, one bit long, going from the potential, maximum entropyrepertoire (¼,¼,¼,¼) to(0,0,½,½). Now imagine the light sensor is substituted bya temperature sensor with the same threshold and dynamic range - we have athermistor rather than a photodiode, and assume that the detector is off(low temperature, Fig.8B). While the physical device has changed, and its state isdifferent, according to the IIT the experience, minimal as it is, has to bethe same, since the informational relationship that is generated by the twodevices is identical.

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