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

Figure 22

A complex can have ports-in and ports-out from and to the external environment, but its qualia are solipsistic: Self-generated, self-referential, and holistic.

(A) A recurrent segment/dot system consisting of 10 elements (8 linear threshold units, and 2 XOR logic gates) that are linked by excitatory and inhibitory connections (black +1, red −1). and C are the ports-in of the complex. They receive external inputs of strength 0, 1, or 2. Elements F and J are the ports-out of the complex. They output to the external elements O1 and O2. The current state of the system corresponds to a sustained input with value 2-2-0. From an extrinsic perspective, the different layers of the complex can be interpreted as feature detectors having increasingly invariant selectivities (e.g. D indicates “two contiguous left elements”, F “invariant segment”, and J “invariant dot”). (B) Since the segment/dot system is highly interconnected with specialized mechanisms, all first order concepts and many higher order concepts exist. (C) Both, elementary mechanisms that are “on” (1) and those that are “off” (0) constitute concepts. Note that the cause repertoire of is the mirror image of the cause repertoire of (highlighted in blue). (C,D,E) From the intrinsic perspective, the function of a mechanism is given by its cause-effect repertoire. The purview of a concept can only contain elements within the complex. The concepts that constitute the MICS generated by the complex are self-generated (specified exclusively by elements belonging to the complex); self-referential (specified exclusively over elements belonging to the complex); and holistic (their meaning is constructed in the context of the other concepts in the MICS).

Figure 22