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Open AccessFeature PaperHypothesis

Consciousness as an Emergent Phenomenon: A Tale of Different Levels of Description

1
Integrative Neuroscience and Cognition Centre (INCC UMR8002), University of Paris and CNRS, 75270 Paris, France
2
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Padova, 35131 Padova, Italy
3
Department of Science and Technology, Universidad Autónoma de Entre Ríos, Paraná 3100, Argentina
4
Instituto de Matemática Aplicada del Litoral (IMAL-CONICET-UNL), Santa Fe 3000, Argentina
5
The Ronin Institute, Montclair, NJ 07043, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Entropy 2020, 22(9), 921; https://doi.org/10.3390/e22090921
Received: 14 June 2020 / Revised: 15 August 2020 / Accepted: 19 August 2020 / Published: 22 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolution and Thermodynamics)
One of the biggest queries in cognitive sciences is the emergence of consciousness from matter. Modern neurobiological theories of consciousness propose that conscious experience is the result of interactions between large-scale neuronal networks in the brain, traditionally described within the realm of classical physics. Here, we propose a generalized connectionist framework in which the emergence of “conscious networks” is not exclusive of large brain areas, but can be identified in subcellular networks exhibiting nontrivial quantum phenomena. The essential feature of such networks is the existence of strong correlations in the system (classical or quantum coherence) and the presence of an optimal point at which the system’s complexity and energy dissipation are maximized, whereas free-energy is minimized. This is expressed either by maximization of the information content in large scale functional networks or by achieving optimal efficiency through the quantum Goldilock effect. View Full-Text
Keywords: neural synchronization; consciousness; quantum biology; brain dynamics; brain connectivity neural synchronization; consciousness; quantum biology; brain dynamics; brain connectivity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Guevara, R.; Mateos, D.M.; Pérez Velázquez, J.L. Consciousness as an Emergent Phenomenon: A Tale of Different Levels of Description. Entropy 2020, 22, 921.

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