[T]he current mainstream doctrine of biological naturalism has coalesced neuroscientifically around the family of "global workspace" theories. Despite differences of detail and interpretation, all of these theories have in common the view that the essential substrate for conscious experience - the neuroelectric activities that make it possible and that constitute or directly reflect the necessary and sufficient conditions for its occurrence - consist of synchronous or at least coherent high-frequency (gamma-band, roughly 30-70 Hz) EEG oscillations linking widely separated, computationally specialized, regions of the brain. An enormous amount of empirical evidence supports the existence of these mind-brain correlations under normal conditions of mental life, and we do not dispute this evidence. The conventional theoretical interpretation of this correlation, however - that the observed neuroelectric activity itself generates or constitutes the conscious experience - must be incorrect, because in both general anesthesia and cardiac arrest, the specific neuroelectric conditions that are held to be necessary and sufficient for conscious experience are abolished - and yet vivid, even heightened, awareness, thinking, and memory formation can still occur.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
More from "Irreducible Mind"