Greek letter Phi (symbol for integrated information) Prof. Giulio Tononi Giulio Tononi to study complex systems within the framework of integrated information. This title is printed in full color throughout. From one of the most original and influential neuroscientists at work today, here is an exploration of. This chapter from PHI: A Voyage from the Brain to the Soul, by Giulio Tononi ( Pantheon, ) describes Tononi’s theory of consciousness as a.

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Phi: A Voyage from the Brain to the Soul by Giulio Tononi

Please enable JavaScript on your browser to best view this site. First, consciousness is informative. Every waking moment of your life provides a nearly infinite reservoir of possible experiences, each one different from the next. Second, consciousness is integrated: According to this theory, a more conscious brain is both more informative it has a deeper reservoir of experiences and stimuli and more integrated its perception of these experiences is more unified than a less conscious one.


Compare the brain to New York City: Inin one of several experiments demonstrating this effect, Tononi pulsed the brains of 10 fully conscious subjects with his electromagnetic gun—the equivalent of, say, injecting a flood of new cars into SoHo.

The traffic the electromagnetic waves rippled across Manhattan the brain: Tononi then put the same subjects under anesthesia. fiulio

Giulio Tononi – Wikipedia

But the pulse had a giullio different effect: This time, the traffic jam was confined to SoHo. Tononi is to his neuroscientist peers as the 18th-century philosopher Immanuel Kant was to his empiricist counterpart David Hume. Kant, however, believed that the mind is more than an accumulation of experiences of the physical world.

The amount of integrated information in the brain—the quantity of consciousness—is what Tononi calls phi. Many well-known philosophers and neuroscientists, however, remain pyi. And even Tononi admits that, in scientific-research time, his theory is still in its infancy.

What Tononi has made progress on is neither the easy nor the hard problem: He is currently developing a machine that has the potential to end anesthesia awareness once and for all.


Unlike the BIS monitor, it would also be relevant outside the operating room. Whereas the BIS is rooted in data specific to surgery, Tononi has developed a comprehensive theory of consciousness that could, with appropriate technological tweaks, be applied in any number of medical, scientific, or social settings. The more integrated the information—that is, the more conscious the brain—the brighter the qualiascope would glow.

If he woke up mid-operation, you might see a flicker. But if you turned your gaze away from the operating room, you would gain an astonishing perspective on the universe.

These stars would be every living consciousness. The big things, like the sun, would be nothing compared to what we have. Read the full article at The Atlantic.

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