Past and Current Projects

Computational Correlates of Awareness

Neuroscientists attempt to identify the neural correlates of awareness, i.e., the neurobiological structures that are active when individuals are aware of some information. Our focus is on characterizing computational correlates of awareness. We want to answer questions such as: How do conscious brain states influence information processing differently than unconscious brain states? What sort of learning can take place when information does not reach awareness? What are the necessary and sufficient conditions to attain awareness? Our approach to answering these questions depends on a computational framework in which information processing in the brain is characterized by pathways through which information flows, and we explore the conditions under which information can be transmitted from perceptual to response pathways. Our goal is to describe phenomena involving consciousness with no special mechanisms or loci of consciousness, but to show that behavioral aspects of awareness emerge naturally from the information processing framework.


Michael Colagrosso
Tom Borchert

Slides from a talk on this project