Introduction to this blog

Consciousness can be generated by the process of computation! This is the claim of neuroscientists and computer scientists. However, the Vedic literature provides a clear idea that conscious by its nature is not a matter and hence it cannot be generated by any kind of complex computation that is due to matter. This blog is to explore the science of consciousness from Vedic perspective.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Experiment for distiction between brain, computer, and consciousness

In the research of machine and consciousness the problem is classified into four classes. Although the clarity on mind and consciousness among the scientific community is divergent the distinction between machine and consciousness is classified in following views. There are four extremes of the classification[1]: 

1) Consciousness is completely distinct from the matter and it can not be simulated either by any computational method.

2) Consciousness is the emergent property of neurons however it can not be simulated by computer program.

3) Consciousness is the emergent property of neurons and it can be simulated by computer program. 

4) Consciousness is nothing but the  computer program and any AI system can have consciousness.

Idea of Consciousness Mapping: 

The class-1 states that consciousness is distinct from the matter and it does not have any thing that constitute matter in it. Hence the class-1 suggest that to explain and study the consciousness we need a different science which considers non-material phenomena. This class is generally believed by spiritualists.

The other three classes of understanding needs counter proof as the case for class-1. The class-2 needs a very rigorous study of brain in order to observe the origin of consciousness in brain. Here in class-2 case the problem needs to be solved is: "origin of consciousness in brain". As the advancement in brain research now has already mapped the brain region with corresponding functionality it is therefor now a need for advance research in origin problem. When I see something, when I touch something, or when I hear something, smell something, and taste something whats bring the feeling of happiness or bitterness or redness kind of feel. This problem will probably lead us to confirm the class-2 statement. 

Here we would like to present an idea, we call it as consciousness mapping, to confirm the class-3 and class-4 claims. What if we build a system to simulate entirely the function of brain or selected region of the brain. The system must preserve all the properties of brain that are essential for a set of function of interest that the system is going to simulate. For example we already have a supercomputer that could defeat a human chess player, so could this be extended to include the function of feelings that the human chess player undergoes either during the chess game or at the end of game. This kind of experimental work is similar to the set-up that is conducted by Prof Steve Furber et al at Manchester University [2]. The additional thing that is needed to be observe is the dynamic mapping of functionality between the brain and the brain-simulator. At a given current state of the brain whether the next subsequent states are identical or if they are different then how to measure that different. In the case of identical the conclusion could be: 1) to look for more functionality till the full covering of brain, 2) some functionality of consciousness are computational in nature. In the case of non-identical conclusion would be: 1) the consciousness is non-computational and brain is just an hardware to communicate the consciousness with nature.


Research needs to be done if the problem has to be resolved scientifically. The research for sure will reveal lot may unknown phenomena of brain and computation. We will be pursuing this research in the light of spiritual understanding of the consciousness. In further post we will elaborate the technical detail for experimental set-up and depth understanding of the problem.


[1] Roger Penrose, Emperor's New Mind

Jaynarayan, Bangalore, India

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