Search FQXi

If you are aware of an interesting new academic paper (that has been published in a peer-reviewed journal or has appeared on the arXiv), a conference talk (at an official professional scientific meeting), an external blog post (by a professional scientist) or a news item (in the mainstream news media), which you think might make an interesting topic for an FQXi blog post, then please contact us at with a link to the original source and a sentence about why you think that the work is worthy of discussion. Please note that we receive many such suggestions and while we endeavour to respond to them, we may not be able to reply to all suggestions.

Please also note that we do not accept unsolicited posts and we cannot review, or open new threads for, unsolicited articles or papers. Requests to review or post such materials will not be answered. If you have your own novel physics theory or model, which you would like to post for further discussion among then FQXi community, then please add them directly to the "Alternative Models of Reality" thread, or to the "Alternative Models of Cosmology" thread. Thank you.

Forum Home
Terms of Use

Order posts by:
 chronological order
 most recent first

Posts by the blogger are highlighted in orange; posts by FQXi Members are highlighted in blue.

By using the FQXi Forum, you acknowledge reading and agree to abide by the Terms of Use

 RSS feed | RSS help

Jonathan Mason: on 7/3/20 at 10:15am UTC, wrote Abstract: We seek to model the human cortex with 1B to 10B neurones...


Steve Dufourny: "In your theory wich is an assumption .....and in my theory wich is also an..." in Towards the unification...

Jonathan Dickau: "In my theory... Early universe evolution happens under the octonions and..." in Towards the unification...

John Cox: ""where work is the coherent component of energy radiated by the qubit." ..." in The energetic cost of...

Lorraine Ford: "When are physicists going to stop lying? They CLAIM they believe in..." in Understanding...

click titles to read articles

Time to Think
Philosopher Jenann Ismael invokes the thermodynamic arrow of time to explain how human intelligence emerged through culture.

Lockdown Lab Life
Grounded physicists are exploring the use of online and virtual-reality conferencing, and AI-controlled experiments, to maintain social distancing. Post-pandemic, these positive innovations could make science more accessible and environmentally-friendly.

Is Causality Fundamental?
Untangling how the human perception of cause-and-effect might arise from quantum physics, may help us understand the limits and the potential of AI.

Building Agency in the Biology Lab
Physicists are using optogenetics techniques to make a rudimentary agent, from cellular components, which can convert measurements into actions using light.

Think Quantum to Build Better AI
Investigating how quantum memory storage could aid machine learning and how quantum interactions with the environment may have played a role in evolution.

January 27, 2021

CATEGORY: Blog [back]
TOPIC: Large scale simulations of information processing within the human cortex: what “inner life” occurs? by Peter Grindrod [refresh]
Bookmark and Share
Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Blogger Jonathan William Mason wrote on Jul. 3, 2020 @ 10:15 GMT
Abstract: We seek to model the human cortex with 1B to 10B neurones arranged in a directed and highly modular network (a network of networks); with the tightly coupled modules (each containing 10,000 neurones or so) representing the cortical “columns”. Each neurone has an excitable and refectory dynamic and the neurone-to-neurone connections incur individual time delays. Thus the whole is a massive set of modular delay-differential equations (expensive to solve on a binary computer, but easily implemented within 1.5kg of neural wet-ware). Our early work has shown why evolution has resulted in such a design to ensure optimal use of the limited space and energy available. Indeed we can show that if the time delays were all integers rather than reals then much of the potential behaviour (dynamical degrees of freedom) would be lost.

Simulating a 1B neurone directed graph produces its own big data challenge. We focus on the inner life of these complex dynamical system, and show that the dynamical responses to external stimuli result in distinct, latent (internal), dynamic “states" or modes. These inner subjective and private states govern the immediate dynamical responses to further incoming stimuli. Hence they are candidates for internal “feelings”. So, what is it like to be a human? A human brain must also possess such inertial dynamical states, and a human brain can experience being within them: they are natural and necessary byproducts of the system's architecture and dynamics, and they suggest that the "hard problem of consciousness” is mainly explicable, and can be anticipated, in terms of network science and dynamical systems theory.

The numerical simulation at such large scales requires a special computing platform, such as SpiNNaker (at the University of Manchester). We will set out the methodology to be deployed in (i) defining such complex systems; (ii) in simulating the spiking behaviour being passed around when such a system is subject to various stimuli; and (iii) the post processing -reverse engineering -of the whole system performance, to demonstrate that internal states/modes exist. We cannot reverse engineer a real human brain at the neurone-to-neurone level, but we can do so for such ambitious simulations.

Keywords: #Models of consciousness #human cortex simulations #Inner feelings, modes #SpiNNaker

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

This forum thread is open to the public.

Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Please enter your e-mail address:
Note: Joining the FQXi mailing list does not give you a login account or constitute membership in the organization.