Sentience: Action Potentials—Neurotransmitters and the Theory of Consciousnessby@step
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Sentience: Action Potentials—Neurotransmitters and the Theory of Consciousness

by stephenApril 25th, 2024
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The article delves into the source of consciousness, comparing brain functions and mental processes in generating subjectivity and human experiences. It also discusses how AI lacks emotions and feelings but shares similarities in memory functions with Long Language Models (LLMs).
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Sentience recently made news with The New York Declaration on Animal Consciousness, where consciousness was described as subjective experience. The declaration used observations of similarities of several organisms with human consciousness to make the case.

However, the question remains, where is consciousness generated, the brain or the mind?

The mind can be described as the part of the cranium directly involved in every information function ascribed to the brain. This means the electrical and chemical signals of neurons. Though often labeled as how neurons communicate, they are postulated to be beyond communication, but the basis of functions.

A reason is that they structure and specify information—emotions, feelings, modulations, and memory. They are not passed—like their information contents are made within a neuron and one neuron is passing the information to another. Signals move with neurons as the medium, not that neurons are using signals to communicate, conceptually.

Simply, signals are the architecture of information. Though neurons have roles in making them, as ions and molecules, what they do, together in interactions, for information makes them distinct and exceeds mere communication of one neuron to the next—to the actual basis of information—conceptually.

The human mind is postulated to be the collection of all the electrical and chemical signals, with their interactions and features, in set. Sets indicate the group of signals obtained in clusters of neurons. Though, some sets may exist away from those.

Electrical signals are driven by action potentials. Chemical signals are dominated by neurotransmitters.

It is theorized that experience or any function arises when electrical signals in sets strike at chemical signals. This makes the electrical signals provide what they bear and access what the chemical signals hold, before relaying again with it.

Electrical signals are ions. Chemical signals are molecules. Ions and molecules interact to form a new state that becomes the basis of experience with the external world and regulation of internal senses, conceptually.

Respective chemical signals provide rations that become the configuration for functions. Between their sources, there are spaces that become how they get qualified. Or, how features develop to act on functions. This is where subjectivity, intent, attention and awareness arise from.

Functions can be learned, but features are different from functions. For subjective experience to be active, there has to be attention or awareness. Intent may also determine the extent of subjectivity.

Subjectivity is included in consciousness—but not central to it. Experiences in the brain are obtained from the actions of ions and molecules. Features are organized by molecules, but can be relayed by ions.

AI does not have emotions, feelings or modulation, but it has memory. These features that act on human memory can be used to measure similarities to those of LLMs.