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From the Phenomenology to the Mechanisms of Consciousness: Integrated Information Theory 3.0

Figure 18

Quale generated by an inactive system.

Neural activity is not necessary to generate experience, nor does it need to be “broadcasted” globally. Although all the elements in the system are off (0), the system still forms a complex and specifies a MICS. Moreover, an element can contribute to experience as long as it affects the shape of the MICS, without the need to “broadcast” its activity globally to affect every other element. This is because information is not in the message that is broadcasted by an element, but it is the shape of the MICS that is specified by a complex.

Figure 18