The Life & Mind Seminar Network

Seminar: A model of conscious presence based on interoceptive predictive coding

Posted in Seminars by Tom Froese on January 4, 2012

The next Life and Mind seminar in Tokyo will take place at 5:30pm this Friday. We are happy to have Keisuke Suzuki return to the Ikegami Lab to talk to us about his recent work.

A model of conscious presence based on interoceptive predictive coding

Keisuke Suzuki
Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science

Feeling of presence is refereed to the subjective sense of reality of the world, and of the self within the world. Evidences of virtual reality and of psychiatric disorder of presence called depersonalization disorder (DPD) indicate that presence is a characteristic of conscious experience itself, and not an instance of conscious experience. Despite the importance of presence in consciousness study, theoretical models of the neural mechanisms for presence are still absent. In this talk, I will describe a theoretical model of the conscious presence based on predictive coding to interoceptive states, that is, physiological conditions of the body. The model proposes that presence is the result of successful suppression by topdown predictions of informative interoceptive signals evoked (directly) by autonomic control signals and (indirectly) by bodily responses to afferent sensory signals. The model is motivated from i) role of insular cortex in DPD patients, ii) the importance of insular cortex in controlling interoceptive signals, and in generating subjective feeling state, iii) the subjective sense of ‘agency’ is modeled in terms of predicting the sensory consequences of own actions. The model can offer a new perspective for a mechanical account of a phenomenological property of consciousness. Finally, I will discuss possible experiments to verify the proposed model.

All welcome!

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