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William Marshall, Jaime Gomez-Ramirez, Giulio Tononi
Integrated information (Φ) is a measure of the cause-effect power of a physical system. This paper investigates the relationship between Φ as defined in Integrated Information Theory and state differentiation ([Formula: see text]), the number of, and difference between potential system states. Here we provide theoretical justification of the relationship between Φ and [Formula: see text], then validate the results using a simulation study. First, we show that a physical system in a state with high Φ necessarily has many elements and specifies many causal relationships...
2016: Frontiers in Psychology
Giulio Tononi, Melanie Boly, Marcello Massimini, Christof Koch
In this Opinion article, we discuss how integrated information theory accounts for several aspects of the relationship between consciousness and the brain. Integrated information theory starts from the essential properties of phenomenal experience, from which it derives the requirements for the physical substrate of consciousness. It argues that the physical substrate of consciousness must be a maximum of intrinsic cause-effect power and provides a means to determine, in principle, the quality and quantity of experience...
July 2016: Nature Reviews. Neuroscience
Kate E Sprecher, Brady A Riedner, Richard F Smith, Giulio Tononi, Richard J Davidson, Ruth M Benca
Sleeping brain activity reflects brain anatomy and physiology. The aim of this study was to use high density (256 channel) electroencephalography (EEG) during sleep to characterize topographic changes in sleep EEG power across normal aging, with high spatial resolution. Sleep was evaluated in 92 healthy adults aged 18-65 years old using full polysomnography and high density EEG. After artifact removal, spectral power density was calculated for standard frequency bands for all channels, averaged across the NREM periods of the first 3 sleep cycles...
2016: PloS One
Jakub Jonkisz
Within theoretical and empirical enquiries, many different meanings associated with consciousness have appeared, leaving the term itself quite vague. This makes formulating an abstract and unifying version of the concept of consciousness - the main aim of this article -into an urgent theoretical imperative. It is argued that consciousness, characterized as dually accessible (cognized from the inside and the outside), hierarchically referential (semantically ordered), bodily determined (embedded in the working structures of an organism or conscious system), and useful in action (pragmatically functional), is a graded rather than an all-or-none phenomenon...
2015: Frontiers in Psychology
Gustavo Deco, Giulio Tononi, Melanie Boly, Morten L Kringelbach
The brain regulates information flow by balancing the segregation and integration of incoming stimuli to facilitate flexible cognition and behaviour. The topological features of brain networks--in particular, network communities and hubs--support this segregation and integration but do not provide information about how external inputs are processed dynamically (that is, over time). Experiments in which the consequences of selective inputs on brain activity are controlled and traced with great precision could provide such information...
July 2015: Nature Reviews. Neuroscience
Melanie Boly, Shuntaro Sasai, Olivia Gosseries, Masafumi Oizumi, Adenauer Casali, Marcello Massimini, Giulio Tononi
A meaningful set of stimuli, such as a sequence of frames from a movie, triggers a set of different experiences. By contrast, a meaningless set of stimuli, such as a sequence of 'TV noise' frames, triggers always the same experience--of seeing 'TV noise'--even though the stimuli themselves are as different from each other as the movie frames. We reasoned that the differentiation of cortical responses underlying the subject's experiences, as measured by Lempel-Ziv complexity (incompressibility) of functional MRI images, should reflect the overall meaningfulness of a set of stimuli for the subject, rather than differences among the stimuli...
2015: PloS One
Giulio Tononi, Christof Koch
The science of consciousness has made great strides by focusing on the behavioural and neuronal correlates of experience. However, while such correlates are important for progress to occur, they are not enough if we are to understand even basic facts, for example, why the cerebral cortex gives rise to consciousness but the cerebellum does not, though it has even more neurons and appears to be just as complicated. Moreover, correlates are of little help in many instances where we would like to know if consciousness is present: patients with a few remaining islands of functioning cortex, preterm infants, non-mammalian species and machines that are rapidly outperforming people at driving, recognizing faces and objects, and answering difficult questions...
May 19, 2015: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Larissa Albantakis, Arend Hintze, Christof Koch, Christoph Adami, Giulio Tononi
Natural selection favors the evolution of brains that can capture fitness-relevant features of the environment's causal structure. We investigated the evolution of small, adaptive logic-gate networks ("animats") in task environments where falling blocks of different sizes have to be caught or avoided in a 'Tetris-like' game. Solving these tasks requires the integration of sensor inputs and memory. Evolved networks were evaluated using measures of information integration, including the number of evolved concepts and the total amount of integrated conceptual information...
December 2014: PLoS Computational Biology
Daniela Dentico, Bing Leung Cheung, Jui-Yang Chang, Jeffrey Guokas, Melanie Boly, Giulio Tononi, Barry Van Veen
The role of bottom-up and top-down connections during visual perception and the formation of mental images was examined by analyzing high-density EEG recordings of brain activity using two state-of-the-art methods for assessing the directionality of cortical signal flow: state-space Granger causality and dynamic causal modeling. We quantified the directionality of signal flow in an occipito-parieto-frontal cortical network during perception of movie clips versus mental replay of the movies and free visual imagery...
October 15, 2014: NeuroImage
Masafumi Oizumi, Larissa Albantakis, Giulio Tononi
This paper presents Integrated Information Theory (IIT) of consciousness 3.0, which incorporates several advances over previous formulations. IIT starts from phenomenological axioms: information says that each experience is specific--it is what it is by how it differs from alternative experiences; integration says that it is unified--irreducible to non-interdependent components; exclusion says that it has unique borders and a particular spatio-temporal grain. These axioms are formalized into postulates that prescribe how physical mechanisms, such as neurons or logic gates, must be configured to generate experience (phenomenology)...
May 2014: PLoS Computational Biology
Erik P Hoel, Larissa Albantakis, Giulio Tononi
Causal interactions within complex systems can be analyzed at multiple spatial and temporal scales. For example, the brain can be analyzed at the level of neurons, neuronal groups, and areas, over tens, hundreds, or thousands of milliseconds. It is widely assumed that, once a micro level is fixed, macro levels are fixed too, a relation called supervenience. It is also assumed that, although macro descriptions may be convenient, only the micro level is causally complete, because it includes every detail, thus leaving no room for causation at the macro level...
December 3, 2013: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Adenauer G Casali, Olivia Gosseries, Mario Rosanova, Mélanie Boly, Simone Sarasso, Karina R Casali, Silvia Casarotto, Marie-Aurélie Bruno, Steven Laureys, Giulio Tononi, Marcello Massimini
One challenging aspect of the clinical assessment of brain-injured, unresponsive patients is the lack of an objective measure of consciousness that is independent of the subject's ability to interact with the external environment. Theoretical considerations suggest that consciousness depends on the brain's ability to support complex activity patterns that are, at once, distributed among interacting cortical areas (integrated) and differentiated in space and time (information-rich). We introduce and test a theory-driven index of the level of consciousness called the perturbational complexity index (PCI)...
August 14, 2013: Science Translational Medicine
Nikhil J Joshi, Giulio Tononi, Christof Koch
What is the relationship between the complexity and the fitness of evolved organisms, whether natural or artificial? It has been asserted, primarily based on empirical data, that the complexity of plants and animals increases as their fitness within a particular environment increases via evolution by natural selection. We simulate the evolution of the brains of simple organisms living in a planar maze that they have to traverse as rapidly as possible. Their connectome evolves over 10,000s of generations. We evaluate their circuit complexity, using four information-theoretical measures, including one that emphasizes the extent to which any network is an irreducible entity...
2013: PLoS Computational Biology
G Tononi
This article presents an updated account of integrated information theory of consciousness (liT) and some of its implications. /IT stems from thought experiments that lead to phenomenological axioms (existence, compositionality, information, integration, exclusion) and corresponding ontological postulates. The information axiom asserts that every experience is spec~fic - it is what it is by differing in its particular way from a large repertoire of alternatives. The integration axiom asserts that each experience is unified- it cannot be reduced to independent components...
December 2012: Archives Italiennes de Biologie
Giovanni Piantoni, Bing Leung P Cheung, Barry D Van Veen, Nico Romeijn, Brady A Riedner, Giulio Tononi, Ysbrand D Van Der Werf, Eus J W Van Someren
The cingulate cortex is regarded as the backbone of structural and functional connectivity of the brain. While its functional connectivity has been intensively studied, little is known about its effective connectivity, its modulation by behavioral states, and its involvement in cognitive performance. Given the previously reported effects on cingulate functional connectivity, we investigated how eye-closure and sleep deprivation changed cingulate effective connectivity, estimated from resting-state high-density electroencephalography (EEG) using a novel method to calculate Granger Causality directly in source space...
October 1, 2013: NeuroImage
Jui-Yang Chang, Andrea Pigorini, Marcello Massimini, Giulio Tononi, Lino Nobili, Barry D Van Veen
A multivariate autoregressive (MVAR) model with exogenous inputs (MVARX) is developed for describing the cortical interactions excited by direct electrical current stimulation of the cortex. Current stimulation is challenging to model because it excites neurons in multiple locations both near and distant to the stimulation site. The approach presented here models these effects using an exogenous input that is passed through a bank of filters, one for each channel. The filtered input and a random input excite a MVAR system describing the interactions between cortical activity at the recording sites...
2012: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
M Massimini, F Ferrarelli, S Sarasso, G Tononi
In a recent series of experiments we recorded the electroencephalogram (EEG) response to a direct cortical stimulation in humans during wakefulness, NREM sleep, REM sleep and anesthesia by means of a combination of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and high-density EEG (hd-EEG). TMS/hd-EEG measurements showed that, while during wakefulness and REM sleep the brain is able to sustain long-range specific patterns of activation, during NREM sleep and Midazolam-induced anesthesia, when consciousness fades, this ability is lot: the thalamocortical system, despite being active and reactive, either breaks down in causally independent modules (producing a local slow wave), or it bursts into an explosive and non-specific response (producing a global EEG slow wave)...
June 2012: Archives Italiennes de Biologie
G Tononi
This article presents an updated account of integrated information theory of consciousness (IIT) and some of its implications. IIT stems from thought experiments that lead to phenomenological axioms and ontological postulates. The information axiom asserts that every experience is one out of many, i.e. specific - it is what it is by differing in its particular way from a large repertoire of alternatives. The integration axiom asserts that each experience is one, i.e. unified - it cannot be reduced to independent components...
June 2012: Archives Italiennes de Biologie
David Balduzzi, Giulio Tononi
Neurons deep in cortex interact with the environment extremely indirectly; the spikes they receive and produce are pre- and post-processed by millions of other neurons. This paper proposes two information-theoretic constraints guiding the production of spikes, that help ensure bursting activity deep in cortex relates meaningfully to events in the environment. First, neurons should emphasize selective responses with bursts. Second, neurons should propagate selective inputs by burst-firing in response to them...
March 2013: Theory in Biosciences, Theorie in Den Biowissenschaften
Andrew Nere, Umberto Olcese, David Balduzzi, Giulio Tononi
In this work we investigate the possibilities offered by a minimal framework of artificial spiking neurons to be deployed in silico. Here we introduce a hierarchical network architecture of spiking neurons which learns to recognize moving objects in a visual environment and determine the correct motor output for each object. These tasks are learned through both supervised and unsupervised spike timing dependent plasticity (STDP). STDP is responsible for the strengthening (or weakening) of synapses in relation to pre- and post-synaptic spike times and has been described as a Hebbian paradigm taking place both in vitro and in vivo...
2012: PloS One
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