Colloquium: Explaining consciousness in terms of information - Lecture by Professor Pylkkänen

Conscious experience has become the focus of intensive interdisciplinary study over the past few decades. By now, there are a number of candidate theories of consciousness, many of which make use of notions of information in their attempted explanations of consciousness. This talk provides first a brief overview of consciousness studies and then considers how consciousness can be understood in the light of two approaches that make an appeal to information: David Bohm’s “active information” approach, and Giulio Tononi’s mathematical “integrated information” theory of consciousness.


Bohm, D. and Hiley, B. J. (1987) An Ontological Basis for Quantum Theory: I. Non-relativistic Particle Systems. Phys. Rep. 144 (6): 323-348.

Hiley, B.J. and Pylkkänen, P. (2005) Can mind affect matter via active information? Mind and Matter, 32, 7-26.

Oizumi, M., L. Albantakis and G. Tononi (2014). "From the phenomenology to the mechanisms of consciousness: integrated information theory 3.0." PLoS Comput Biol 10 (5): e1003588.

Pylkkänen, P. (2016), Can Bohmian quantum information help us to understand consciousness?, in Atmanspacher, H., Filk, T. and Pothos, E. eds., Quantum Interaction 2015: 9th International Conference, QI 2015, selected papers.

Heidelberg: Springer, forthcoming.

Tononi, G. and Koch, C (2014) Consciousness: Here, There but not Everywhere. arXiv:1405.7089v1 [q-bio.NC]

Further information:

Paavo Pylkkänen

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