Coupling the State and Contents of Consciousness

In case it was missed, this paper proposes an interesting role for layer L5.
I am not qualified to judge the quality of the research but if valid, it looks like something that would be relevant to understanding the functioning of the neocortex. I am attracted to ideas like this that neatly tie together different pieces of a puzzle.


I’m curious about Numenta’s take on this as well.
Particularly the following passage (bolded emphasis mine):

“According to the present view, if the processing does not involve L5p cells or the apical-dendritic modulation of these cells remains insufficient, this processing will not reach the NSP thalamus and will not be conscious. In other words, we make the strong prediction that cortical processing in itself, when not integrated with the NSP thalamic nuclei via L5p neurons, is not conscious. In particular, feedforward cortical processing, where information is mainly flowing within the cortical superficial layers bypassing thalamocortical neurons, is non-conscious.”

Numenta is focused on intelligence (not consciousness per se), but it would be interesting to hear their take on this.

How do these predictions mesh with Numenta’s neocortical theory?

I am reminded of the boy that took the drum apart to see what makes the noise.

In this case, I think that there is a much larger system that is at play in this just focuses on one of the necessary parts.
See this paper for a fuller picture:

In my view I see large parts of the cortex and subcortical structures working together to create the experienced consciousness. Stop any part and the whole thing goes away.

1 Like

Could this article I posted, perhaps, shed any light on this question regarding consciousness independence of the Thalamus? At least to some extent?