By Bernard J. Baars
Conscious experience is one of the most difficult and thorny problems in psychological science. Its study has been neglected for many years, either because it was thought to be too difficult, or because the relevant evidence was thought to be poor. Bernard Baars suggests a way to specify empirical constraints on a theory of consciousness by contrasting well-established conscious phenomena – such as stimulus representations known to be attended, perceptual, and informative – with closely comparable unconscious ones – such as stimulus representations known to be preperceptual, unattended, or habituated. Adducing data to show that consciousness is associated with a kind of global workplace in the nervous system, and that several brain structures are known to behave in accordance with his theory, Baars helps to clarify many difficult problems.
Paperback: 528 pages
Publisher: Back Bay Books (October 20, 1992)
Editorial Reviews (from Amazon.com)
Consciousness is notoriously difficult to explain. On one hand, there are facts about conscious experience–the way clarinets sound, the way lemonade tastes–that we know subjectively, from the inside. On the other hand, such facts are not readily accommodated in the objective world described by science. How, after all, could the reediness of clarinets or the tartness of lemonade be predicted in advance? Central to Daniel C. Dennett’s attempt to resolve this dilemma is the “heterophenomenological” method, which treats reports of introspection nontraditionally–not as evidence to be used in explaining consciousness, but as data to be explained. Using this method, Dennett argues against the myth of the Cartesian theater–the idea that consciousness can be precisely located in space or in time. To replace the Cartesian theater, he introduces his own multiple drafts model of consciousness, in which the mind is a bubbling congeries of unsupervised parallel processing. Finally, Dennett tackles the conventional philosophical questions about consciousness, taking issue not only with the traditional answers but also with the traditional methodology by which they were reached.
Dennett’s writing, while always serious, is never solemn; who would have thought that combining philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience could be such fun? Not every reader will be convinced that Dennett has succeeded in explaining consciousness; many will feel that his account fails to capture essential features of conscious experience. But none will want to deny that the attempt was well worth making. –Glenn Branch
Autor Owen Holland
Can a machine really have feelings? Well, even a humble thermostat knows when it gets too hot — and can do something about it. But can a machine think? Does it have a personality? How would you know? In this collection of essays we hear from an international array of computer and brain scientists who are actively working from both the machine and human ends of things to bridge the gap between the mind and the machine.
Autor Igor Aleksander
Imperial College Press
“Machine intelligence is one of the most vital subjects for the future, perhaps the most important of all. No one is better at explaining it than Igor Aleksander, one of the leaders in the field”. Sir Clive Sinclair”Here is the philosophy of a creative engineer. Igor Aleksander is a pioneer looking for keys to consciousness in intelligent machines he designs and builds. He shares his discoveries and hopes for future developments in this interesting, highly readable book”. — Richard L Gregory Emeritus Professor of Neuropsychology University of BristolImpossible Minds: My Neurons, My Consciousness has been written to satisfy the curiosity each and every one of us has about our own consciousness. It takes the view that the neurons in our heads are the source of consciousness and attempts to explain how this happens. Although it talks of neural networks, it explains what they are and what they do, in such a way that anyone may understand.This book is also a story. A story of a land where people think that they are automata without much in the way of consciousness, a story of cormorants and cliffs by the sea, a story of what it might be like to be a conscious machine…
By Bernard J. Baars
Oxford University Press
Using entertaining examples of the mind in action, an eminent psychologist explores current scientific theories of the mind and shows how consciousness works like a stage in which thoughts and perceptions are examined by an inner audience. UP.
Rodney Cotterill’s CyberChild
As far as I know there is no official website of this project. CyberChild project is based on a simulation of the brain and body of a very young infant. The main objective of the project is findind the neural correlated of consciousness through computer simulation. The architecture of the simulated Child’s brain is a simplified neural system.
For more information see:
CyberChild A Simulation Test-Bed for Consciousness Studies.
Author: Cotterill R.
Journal of Consciousness Studies. Volume 10, Numbers 4-5, 2003.
Lucy the Robot
The aim of this research is to try and establish a single neural architecture that is capable of doing all the things the brain’s cerebral cortex can do – hearing, seeing, thinking, feeling and moving. This ambitious project is currently closed down due to the lack of funds.
The project is related to machine consciousness as one of the main interest of the researchers are mental imagery and imagination: “how is it that the neurons in our brains can build virtual worlds inside our head, and how do these enable us to act intelligently?”
The Cognition and Affect Project
Exploring architectures for intelligent agents:
(whether natural or artificial)
The CogAff project is a broad research effort on the principles for designing and explaining architectures for whole intelligent agents. This highly multi-disciplinary project take multiple approached from different scientific fields. One of the goals is understanding consciousness.
Visit the website for a detailed overview:
The Cognition and Affect Project Homepage
Ricardo Sanz is professor in systems engineering and automatic control and researcher in the field of autonomous systems. Some interesting research works on Artificial Intelligence and the relation between control and consciousness can be found in his website: