A journey into the brain in search of consciousness
Marcello Massimini, Professor of Physiology, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences L. Sacco, University of Milan. Introduced by Samir Suweis, Researcher in Physics, Laboratory of Interdisciplinary Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy and Padua Neuroscience Center, University of Padua.
Normally, we tend to associate an organism’s ability to solve complex problems (intelligence) with the presence of subjective experience (consciousness). The association between intelligence and consciousness may be violated in the natural world, but it risks to become completely unreliable due to the progress made in medicine and artificial intelligence. For instance, intensive care can save severely impaired brains that nevertheless remain conscious, while state-of-the-art neural networks can show performance levels largely exceeding those of a healthy human being. Soon, the landscape will be even more complex, and new concepts and tools will be needed to help us find our way around.