We think of the cortex in terms of anatomical regions, but the cortex works as a whole. Static, gross anatomical divisions are superseded by the dynamical connectome of cortex.
This holistic viewpoint is detailed in the recent paper in the Journal Frontiers in Psychology: Consciousness Research, titled "Global Workspace Theory & Prefrontal Cortex: Recent Developments" (Baars, Geld & Kozma, 2021), which we discuss in this episode.
A wide range of experimental and theoretical studies in the field of consciousness emphasize the complex and rapid interactivity of numerous regions and connectivities in the cerebral cortex. That dynamical view of the cortex should give us pause about proposing dichotomies that may not be in evidence. This paper aims to clarify some empirical questions that have been raised, and review evidence that the prefrontal and posterior regions of the brain support dynamic global workspace functions, in agreement with several other authors.
Our special guest for Episode 23 is Dr. Robert Kozma, professor and director of the Center for Large-Scale Integrated Optimization and Networks (CLION) at the FedEx Institute of Technology, and professor of Mathematics in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Memphis. Ilian Daskalov, our student interviewer, joins us to explore this recent paper on GWT and Prefrontal Cortex.
To follow along with this discussion, here is the link to the source paper: Baars, B. J., Geld, N., & Kozma, R. (2021). Global Workspace Theory (GWT) and Prefrontal Cortex: Recent Developments. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 5163. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.749868
- 0:00 – Intro
- 4:04 – Divisions between PfC and other neuronal regions tend to be misleading.
- 5:57 – Global Workspace Theory: An Overview
- 10:23 – The Role of Metaphors in Science
- 15:37 – Consciousness is the Dynamic Core of the Brain.
- 21:44 – Unifying Principles of the Global Workspace “Family” of Theories
- 30:59 – What is “Binding” and “Broadcasting” in the Brain?
- 34:39 – What did Raccah et al. (2021) Get Wrong about GWT?
- 43:22 – What is Neuropercolation Theory?
- 58:12 – Conscious and Unconscious Metacognition
- 01:07:07 – The Dynamical Connectome of Cortex
- 01:12:01 – Functional Rich Clubs (FRICs) by Deco et al. (2021): Part of GW “Family”
- 01:17:30 – Final Thoughts
Links & Publications
— Website and Social Media —
Episode Summary: https://bernardbaars.com/episode-23
— Robert Kozma, Ph.D. —
University of Memphis: https://www.memphis.edu/msci/people/rkozma.php
Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=Nddbg2gAAAAJ&hl=en
PubMed Publications: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=Kozma%2C%20Robert
Neuropercolation Theory (PDF): https://escholarship.org/content/qt2qn4778j/qt2qn4778j.pdf
Link to paper by Deco et al. (2021): https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-020-01003-6
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