< Back to Article

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

Figure 21

Functionally equivalent conscious and unconscious systems.

(A) A strongly integrated system gives rise to a complex in every network state. In the depicted state (yellow: 1, white: 0), elements form a complex with ΦMax = 0.76 and 17 concepts. (B) Given many more elements and connections, it is possible to construct a feed-forward network implementing the same input-output function as the strongly integrated system in (A) for a certain number of time steps (here at least 4). This is done by unfolding the elements over time, keeping the memory of their past state in a feed-forward chain. The transition from the first layer to the second hidden layer in the feed-forward system is assumed to be faster than in the integrated system () to compensate for the additional layers (). Despite the functional equivalence, the feed-forward system is unconscious, a “zombie” without phenomenological experience, since its elements do not form a complex.

Figure 21