Artificial Consciousness/Neural Correlates

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Neural Correlates

There is a move in Neuropsychology to associate cognitive functions with mechanisms in the neurons of the brain. These neural mechanisms are called Neural Correlates because they represent locations where Neuroscience and Psychology can be correlated. In other words a definition in psychology can be associated with a neural mechanism. Ideally we want to build up theories that can be checked and correlated with other theories, Physics is the ultimate expression of this, where the theory of the atom, correlates with the theory of the elements in the periodic table, which correlate with the components of molecules, which make up everything physical.

Much of Cognitive Psychology still does not have Neural Correlates, so we are not sure that there is always a connection between what psychology says the brain does, and what the neurons in the brain actually do. However over time we have built up models of neural systems that we think have some relationship to neural function. These models explain how the neural mechanisms can achieve the psychological functions, when there is reason to question the assumptions about the nature of the psychological functions. Sometimes we find models that result in a paradigm shift, and our whole set of concepts about psychology are skewed as a result.

The following Models are transitory expressions of the current thought on how the brain works according to the current understanding. As we do more science these models might shift and new principles might emerge that change the way we look at neural correlates.