UTCS Colloquium: Willard L. Miranker/Yale University Consciousness as an Adaptive Phenomenon TAY 3.128 Thursday May 8 2008 11:00 a.m

Contact Name: 
Jenna Whitney
Date: 
May 8, 2008 11:00am - 12:00pm

There is a signup schedule for this event (UT EID required).

Type of Talk: UTCS Colloquium

Speaker/Affiliation: Willard L.

Miranker/Yale University

Date/Time: Thursday May 8 2008 11:00 a.

m.

Location: TAY 3.128

Host: James C. Browne

Talk Ti

tle: Consciousness as an Adaptive Phenomenon

Talk Abstract:
View

ing Darwin''s paradigm of evolution as an information
processing schema
motivates its application to the study of
cognition in ways depending

on a memory type (random
access or associative) in play. Each memory t

ype has a
basic unit or actor the effectiveness of which is graded
differently: genes via replication and synapses via strength-
ening. F

or clarity the exposition is given in the context of
two examples each

of which can be viewed as an instance
of a virtual species in a percept

ual sense. The first example
notes that cognitive development in bact

erial colonies can be
modeled as the employment of a genetic algorithm

with a
memory actor of the first type a virtual gene. The second

example models cognitive development in neuronal assemblies
employing

a novel form of a virtual evolutionary protocol with a
memory actor of

the second type the synapse. Applications
employing dualist construct

s are then made that characterize
an awareness primitive in the bacteri

al case and a consciousness
primitive in the neuronal case. A measurab

le analytic expression
called a token is derived and specified as a phy

sical correspondent
for each dualist construct. Tokens support develop

ment of higher
order applications which characterize such features of

consciousness
as the location of sensory inputs such as pain visual im

agery etc.
Tokens also inform the specification of experiments that c

an validate
the approach.