Friday, 17 September 2010

Pyramidal intelligence

Consciousness is an intelligence phenomenon. The intelligence is based on three interconnected functions: language, abstract thinking, and self-awareness. Those three are just internal mechanisms which have their own place in neural processing. In this sense consciousness and self-awareness are two distinct concepts, which some confuse. Self-awareness is a placement of self into the internal model of the world, but consciousness is kind of side effect of intelligence. Consciousness is responsible for conscious behaviour and decisions which is pertained only to intelligent entity. Unintelligent robot or animal cannot make conscious decision although it can possess self-awareness.

"Saccade hypothesis" is an important detail when modelling information processing. In this processing predictions are models of the environment. Predictions are hardwired to the higher order motor levels bringing the environment into the loop of the information circle. So "saccades" and behaviour allow to keep the current model activated, inhibiting all potential concurrent models. One noticeable effect of this is when you stare for a while at a wall you can see come patterns or pictures, but once you move your eyes the images disappear.

If the prediction is wired to behaviour, then 'free will' is automatically shifted into prediction area. In other words we chose what to do next by thinking what happens next. That makes sense because we do whatever we think we will be doing. A thought of moving arm moves the arm. But a thought of it is a prediction of the current active model. That is how micromovements manifest suppressed actual movements.

In this view conscious behaviour of people and behaviour of animals are based on the same principle, and the processing of information is exactly the same. This is why our brains have the same structure. The difference is only at the level of abstraction in the model of the environment. A human brain can consume or process more abstract models (even the models created by itself) due to sufficient cortical capacity.