A Spiking Neuron Model of Cortical Broadcast and Competition

Murray Shanahan


This paper presents a computer model of cortical broadcast and competition based on spiking neurons and inspired by the hypothesis of a global neuronal workspace underlying conscious information processing in the human brain. In the model, the hypothesised workspace is realised by a collection of recurrently inter-connected regions capable of sustaining and disseminating a reverberating spatial pattern of activation. At the same time, the workspace remains susceptible to new patterns arriving from outlying cortical populations. Competition among these cortical populations for influence on the workspace is effected by a combination of mutual inhibition and top-down amplification.