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Proceedings Paper

Consciousness from neurons and waves
Author(s): E. Roy John
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Paper Abstract

This paper presents a theory of consciousness based on the following evidence: [1] Complex stimuli are decomposed by the exogenous system into attributes transmitted to synapses of pyramidal neurons in lower cortical layers, encoding fragments of sensations as nonrandom synchronization that increases local voltages; [2] Endogenous readouts from representational systems encoding memories in a mesolimbic system are transmitted to synapses of the pyramidal neurons in upper layers; [3] Excitability of pyramidal neurons receiving convergent exogenous and endogenous inputs is enhanced, converting fragments of sensations to fragments of perception and creating high voltage islands of non-random synchrony; [4] Local Field Potential (LFP) oscillations are homeostatically regulated, imposing dynamically maintained local voltage thresholds that define a “Ground State”; [5] Deviations from these most probable levels constitute local perturbations of entropy; [6] Modulation of cortex by LFPs, facilitating coherent cortico-thalamic (C-T) volleys of cells with suprathreshold excitability, binds dispersed fragments of local perturbations of entropy; [7] The thalamic cells from which convergence arose respond to these volleys by coherent T-C-T-C reverberations; [8] Sustained reverberation establishes a resonating electromagnetic field of information, the vehicle sustaining unified perception; [9] The resonating field of information constitutes Global Negative and generates the content of consciousness; [10] Invariant reversible LFP changes occur upon loss of consciousness and persistent shifts accompany many clinical disorders.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 May 2004
PDF: 17 pages
Proc. SPIE 5467, Fluctuations and Noise in Biological, Biophysical, and Biomedical Systems II, (25 May 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.548815
Show Author Affiliations
E. Roy John, New York Univ. (United States)
Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5467:
Fluctuations and Noise in Biological, Biophysical, and Biomedical Systems II
Derek Abbott; Sergey M. Bezrukov; Andras Der; Angel Sanchez, Editor(s)

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