The Functional School of Consciousness Studies, is based on the currently out of vogue Functional School of psychology. However it does not fail to steal information from the newer and more freely researched Cognitive School of Psychology. The concept is that psychology will define functions of the brain, and the computer will be used to simulate these functions, which are often necessary for robotics anyway, and thus, at some point when the functional model gets close enough to the functinoality of the brain, it is thought that the simulations will become consciousness.
This is an extension of the Computational Theory of Mind, that was pioneered by Turing, who suggested a rather minimal test called the Turing Test, Some Chat Robot designers already claim that their chat-bots pass the Turing Test. Because of the loose definition of what type of experts to use for the test, they can make this claim. One of the characteristics of the Computational Theory of Mind is that it assumed that the computation needed to model the mind would be based on "Truth Preserving Functions". Some philosophers have disputed this contention, and there are functions of the mind that are very difficult to implement using logic, or "Truth Preserving Functions".
One of the current leaders in the Functional School of Consciousness studies, is Bernard J. Baars who is the main proponent of the Global Workspace Theory as described in A Cognitive Theory of Consciousness
--Graeme E. Smith 02:59, 27 January 2009 (UTC)