Quarterly of Applied Mathematics

Quarterly of Applied Mathematics

Online ISSN 1552-4485; Print ISSN 0033-569X



Modeling consciousness as an adaptive phenomenon

Author: Willard L. Miranker
Journal: Quart. Appl. Math. 69 (2011), 291-308
MSC (2010): Primary 92-XX
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1090/S0033-569X-2011-01220-3
Published electronically: March 9, 2011
MathSciNet review: 2814528
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Abstract | References | Similar Articles | Additional Information

Abstract: We start at the level of a bacterium where an observer feature associated with foraging measurements motivates introduction of a notion of awareness (a proto-consciousness) as a primitive, a dualist construct. The relative simplicity of Darwinian concepts at the level of a bacterial colony then leads to development of an analytic theory of perceptual consciousness that includes colonial notions of qualia. Results of simulations that verify the colonial principles developed are given. We extend this approach, first to a neuron and then to a neuronal assembly, each extension accompanied by a derived consciousness construct. For each construct (dualist or derived), a mathematical model in the form of a measurable quantity called a token is developed. The pairs, token and construct, permit the design of experiments that would validate the theory. Applications of the theory are developed, each based upon the analytic model (the tokens) and each explaining a familiar aspect of human consciousness in mathematical terminology.

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Additional Information

Willard L. Miranker
Affiliation: Department of Computer Science, Yale University

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1090/S0033-569X-2011-01220-3
Keywords: Bacterial colony, consciousness, Darwinism, dualist construct, neuronal assembly
Received by editor(s): September 7, 2009
Published electronically: March 9, 2011
Article copyright: © Copyright 2011 Brown University
The copyright for this article reverts to public domain 28 years after publication.

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