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Front Neurorobot. 2014 Jun 3;8:18. doi: 10.3389/fnbot.2014.00018. eCollection 2014.

Predictable internal brain dynamics in EEG and its relation to conscious states.

Author information

  • 1Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Texas A&M University College Station, TX, USA.
  • 2Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Kettering University Flint, MI, USA.

Abstract

Consciousness is a complex and multi-faceted phenomenon defying scientific explanation. Part of the reason why this is the case is due to its subjective nature. In our previous computational experiments, to avoid such a subjective trap, we took a strategy to investigate objective necessary conditions of consciousness. Our basic hypothesis was that predictive internal dynamics serves as such a condition. This is in line with theories of consciousness that treat retention (memory), protention (anticipation), and primary impression as the tripartite temporal structure of consciousness. To test our hypothesis, we analyzed publicly available sleep and awake electroencephalogram (EEG) data. Our results show that EEG signals from awake or rapid eye movement (REM) sleep states have more predictable dynamics compared to those from slow-wave sleep (SWS). Since awakeness and REM sleep are associated with conscious states and SWS with unconscious or less consciousness states, these results support our hypothesis. The results suggest an intricate relationship among prediction, consciousness, and time, with potential applications to time perception and neurorobotics.

KEYWORDS:

EEG; consciousness; neuroevolution; predictable dynamics; sleep

PMID:
24917813
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC4043151
Free PMC Article
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