Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary study of the mind. This field tries to find the root cause of consciousness. A representation is something in the physical world that can stand for something in the mental world. A computation is the actions that are applied to that mental representation, are the basis for thinking about them. Aspects of representation: realized through information-processing system like a person or a computer, they have content and stand for something else known as a referent, they are grounded through experience. Representations are intentional which means that they are "about something".
The mind and body problem is the occurrence in cognitive science that tries to understand the connection between the objective activity of the brain and the subjective nature of experience. The problem expresses the seemingly incompatibility between the physical properties of the brain and the mental qualities of the mind: The brain is material and physical and can be studied objectively; The mind consist of feelings and thought and is subjective so it cannot be studied objectively.This is an important subject in cognitive science on the nature of consciousness.
Consciousness and neuroscience
Consciousness is the emergent property of neural activity. Cortico-thalamic circuit is recurrently passing information between the cortex and the thalamus (Churchland, 2002). The neural Correlates of consciousness (NCC) explains this.
The Tri-level hypothesis
-The computational level specifies the problem.
-The algorithmic level specifies the way the problem is solved.
-The implementation level specifies the medium or physical substrate in which the problem solving procedure is executed.
Classical view of representation
-Symbols are used to represent things.
-Computation involves the manipulation of those symbols.
-Symbols are changed based on a set of rules or the syntax which is different from the meaning or semantics.
-knowledge is represented locally, in one particular place.
-processing is serial.
(classical view of representations believe that rep. do not change.)
The connection view of representation
-Representations are non-symbolic.
-They are not local, but distributed throughout the system.
-Computations occurs in parallel.
-The mind and body are of the same thing either completely mental or completely physical.
Aristotle was a proponent of the monism view he believed that the mind and body were physical and aspects of the mind corresponded to the different physical states that the brain assumed.
Monism is currently the supported scientific view of the consciousness problem.
Multiple realizations is the fact that subjective things like pain is different for each person, which raises a serious problem in trying to study consciousness scientifically.
-Body and mind are separate entities, the body is physical and the mind is mental.
Plato thought the body resided in a material world, extended and perishable, and the mind resided in a world of forms, in-material, non-extended and eternal.
-The mind controlled the brain and the body through the pineal gland.
Descartes was a proponent of the classical dualism belief.
-Mind and body are of different substances, body made of atoms.
-the mind and body are of the stuff but different properties. Ex. A golf ball and a tennis ball are both balls but have different properties such as texture, shape and size.
-The mind is the result of certain processes or functions. This gives rise to mind no matter what physical substrate they are embedded in.
-Cannot account for the subjective qualities of the mind.
Multiple drafts Theory
Dennett argues that we are simultaneously processing info in multiple streams. Consciousness is not in one place.
Consciousness and Artificial intelligence
There are two theories on consciousness and Artificial intelligence the strong AI view says that "yes a computer can become conscious", and the weak AI view says "no, a computer cannot become conscious. Does a computer experience qualia.
Qualia is the specific stat such as seeing red, the personal experience of seeing red. Ex. we can program a computer to see red but does it experience qualia. The fact that it may be slightly different is complicating to scientific study of consciousness.
The easy problem of consciousness is what activity underlines different forms of experience which can be solved by the use of a fMRI. The hard problem of consciousness is explaining subjective experience. The explanatory gap is the difference between these two problems.