For today, we read Chapters 1-3 of Tononi's "Phi: A Voyage from the brain to the soul."
We started with a brief overview of what we discussed last week. These were:
Zeki, Unity, the Binding Problem
We discussed the nature of the binding problem and decided it would be best to read the Zeki piece in more detail for next week. Here are the main ideas we discussed that we'd like to get clearer on:
Tononi Reading Discussion
The book was unexpectedly artistic for some of us, who would like a more concrete discussion of the science to really make the issues more tractable. One concern that was raised was a failure to adequately distinguish between concepts of consciousness, in particular, the distinction between consciousness and the contents of consciousness. It was discussed that this may be a concern for IIT as a whole, too - not just a product of the flowery prose of the book. We also do not all have a background in IIT, so are hoping that the rest of the book will help us get clearer on it - but we think the best way to do so will be to supplement our readings with articles.
We discussed some of the basic axioms of IIT (found on scholarpedia):
Plan for next week:
For next week, we will read the Zeki piece on the disunity of consciousness, Chapters 4-6 of the Tononi book, and also will be reading something on the notion of information in IIT (TBA) - we'd like to compare Shannon and Gibson's notions of information, to see which (if any) is a better concept for the kind of "information" Tononi means to refer to in IIT.