Generalized inattentional blindness from a global workspace perspective
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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We apply Baars' Global Workspace model of consciousness to inattentional blindness, using the groupoid network method of Stewart et al. to explore modular structures defined by information measures associated with cognitive process. Internal cross-talk breaks the fundamental groupoid symmetry, and, if sufficiently strong, creates, in a highly punctuated manner, a linked, shifting, giant component which instantiates the global workspace of consciousness. Embedding, exterior, information sources act as an external field which breaks the groupoid symmetry in a somewhat different manner, definng the slowly-acting contexts of Baars' theory and providing topological constraints on the manifestations of consciousness. This analysis significantly extends recent mathematical treatments of the global workspace, and identifies a shifting, topologically-determined syntactical and grammatical 'bottleneck' as a tunable rate distortion manifold which constrains what sensory or other signals can be brought to conscious attention, typically in a punctuated manner. Sensations outside the limits of that filter's syntactic 'bandpass' have lower probability of detection, regardless of their structure, accounting for generalized forms of inattentional blindness
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