A Blueprint for the Hard Problem of Consciousness

A Blueprint for the Hard Problem of Consciousness

A Blueprint for the Hard Problem of Consciousness addresses the fundamental mechanism that allows physical events to transcend into subjective experiences, termed the Hard Problem of Consciousness. ...
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Cortical Signals of Consciousness

Pp. 89-93 (5)

Paulo J. Negro

Abstract

Late extracellular signals underscore some of the neural signatures of consciousness, which seem to depend on long-range feedback processing. The Visual Awareness Negativity and P300, which denote a variation in awareness, correlate with consciousness and originate from late signals. Mid- and long-distance information sharing provides long-range cortical communication, and also represents a neural correlate of consciousness in humans. In granular sensory cortices, superficial and deep pyramidal cells respectively process feedforward and feedback information, apparently as parallel streams. There is evidence identifying Layer-5 neurons as the main cortical column integrators of information. Layer-5 pyramidal neurons might function as coincidence detectors by signaling feedforward and feedback interactions with a high-frequency spike burst triggered by calcium influx. These spike bursts may give origin to the late extracellular signals observed at superficial cortical layers. The high-bursting model of coincidence detection fits the concept of realization of information: ‘expectation.information’expectation.information can be re-expressed as ‘feedback.feedforward’feedback.feedforward.

Keywords:

Beta Oscillation, Calcium-Spike, Cerebral Cortex, Coincidence Detector, EEG Integration and Differentiation, Feedforward and Feedback Streams, ‘feedback.feedforward’feedback.feedforward, Gamma Oscillation, High- Bursting Model, Information Sharing, Local Field Potential, Long-Range Connections, Layer 1 Inhibition, Layer 5, Neural Correlates of Consciousness, Predictive-Error Suppression, Pyramidal Cells, P300, Superficial and Deep Cortical Layers, Signals of Consciousness, Visual Awareness Negativity.

Affiliation:

Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences.