What creates consciousness?

1 Answer
Apr 19, 2016

A difficult question that scientists have only begun to explore in the last 15 years or so. Integrated information theory is one leading idea.


Studies of consciousness are still at the infant stage. For many years, scientists could not even consider studying this question for fear of being ridiculed. One thing about consciousness that scientists are sure about is that consciousness needs a well function organic brain to arise. Consciousness can not be dis-embodied from brains, as in ghosts and such nonsense. Consciousness also seems to be an "emergent" property of the complex neuronal system that is a brain - kind of like how water is an emergent property of when water is in a liquid form.

Neuroscientist Christof Koch, chief scientific officer at the Allen Institute for Brain Science, thinks he might know the answer. According to Koch, consciousness arises within any sufficiently complex, information-processing system. All animals, from humans on down to earthworms, are conscious; even the internet could be. That’s just the way the universe works. (called Information Integration Theory) From: http://www.wired.com/2013/11/christof-koch-panpsychism-consciousness/