This might get a bit sketchy without pictures and supporting papers so please bear with me.
Maybe this idea will help and maybe it will make things totally confused: A lightning ball!
Imagine each arc as the activation of a single area/map with the thalamus as the controlling element that projects the basic alpha drive to unify each maps activity.
Now: At the same time add in a pattern of local loops that are joining map-to-map in the hierarchy to the hub of each of the cortical lobes. Each arc in the picture is a bi-direction data connection between maps that have been training each other in interpreting patterns since we started this gig. You put in a pattern and a matching/transformed pattern is influenced on the other end. The patterns are learned online.
The individual sensory streams that feed each primary sensory area feed into this hierarchy at the “bottom” and the “top” of each hierarchy is the hub of each lobe. in-between is these banks of transformative maps that have experienced every single thing you have ever perceived; learned a lot of it in a single shot. The activations and connections form the higher-dimensional representation that is the interpretation of the perceived and the remembered world.
This point is where the “global workspace” theory has the most significance. If you are not familiar with it I highly recommend it.
One of the areas closely associated with the hubs is the entorhinal cortex & hippocampus. This is the spatial sub-processor that relates “things to each other” in a 2D sheet. I am still thinking about how that turns into episodic memory but that is not important to this explanation.
As you may have read in my prior posts, I see the WHAT and WHERE streams terminating in the temporal lobe which is also directly connected to the highest levels of the various hubs. This is where your episodic memory is formed and is your “finished” perception of what is happening. This is what is fed to the inner-lizard as input to its simple deliberations.
These high-level connections all speak the lingua-franca of hex-grid coding (as they have all their lives) so the various representations are compatible with each other and the spatial sub-processor.
The spatial sub-processor has a rather limited capacity to represent things (current thinking is somewhere between 4 and 11 items) so this has to be switched as your focus of attention changes. Bidirectional connections feeds back to the activation chains to pull the related maps into line as a cooperative relaxation process.
An interesting feature of this system is that the items in the spatial sub-processor can have just part of the set changed which looks to the rest of the cortex as if you have switched to a related topic or level of an item in your mental focus.
Your inner lizard handles pulling on these hierarchy chains to switch attention but this is invisible to the cortex as there must be a cortical activation for it to be perceived in the temporal lobe - what the lizard does is all behind (well - below really) the scenes as far as the cortex is concerned. The lizard pulls on this through unfolding plans projected in nascent form to the forebrain.
I was going to do a post like the HTM - Hex-grids post on this material but this concept is so far from where everyone is here that I did not know if it was worth the effort; those posts take a huge effort. I am instead working on a program that will let me build up this system as a working model.