Modeling the Neural Basis of Cognitive Integration and Consciousness

Murray Shanahan and Dustin Connor


This paper presents a number of models whose aim is to establish a computational basis for the hypothesis that conscious information processing in the brain is mediated by a mechanism of global broadcast. A possible role for this putative "global neuronal workspace" in achieving cognitive integration is mooted in the context of modular theories of mind, and an argument is advanced for its likely emergence within the sort of small-world brain network seemingly favoured by evolution. The paper concludes with some speculation on the relationship between life and consciousness as it could be.