Why our brain caves random noise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review


Or, as adults, driving through a rocky gorge and been struck by the apparent outline of, say, Queen Victoria's unique profile, or around the evening embers of a dying campfire seen the apparent rise and fall of castles or buildings? If, by an appropriate arrangement of lenses and mirrors linked electronically to your eye movements, you stabilise any image on the retina from the normal slight jiggling caused by the eye's usual physiological or essential tremor, you don't get a sharper image. Conversely, detune a TV screen to produce "snow", visual "white noise", tiny dots continuously and randomly appearing, disappearing, changing over the entire screen. In the latter instance we typically see rapid, small-amplitude and seemingly random activity, probably reflecting many simultaneously active regions, circuits or subprocessors. [...]the more predictable, large-amplitude, regular and organised the EEG pattern, the less likely that the individual is awake or conscious; the more rapid and apparently disorganised and seemingly random the pattern, the more likely that the person is maximally engaged cognitively. The greater the structural and functional interconnectivity in any complex information-processing system like our brains, and possibly like future artificial intelligence systems, the more likely it is that the neural or AI system will be conscious, to be considered conscious, or potentially able to achieve a level of conscious awareness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-16
Number of pages3
JournalAustralasian Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018

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