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Consciousness generates agent action

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 March 2022

Jonathan Delafield-Butt
Laboratory for Innovation in Autism, University of Strathclyde, GlasgowG1 1QE,
Colwyn Trevarthen
School of Psychology, Philosophy, and Language Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Dugald Stewart Building, EdinburghEH8 9AD, UK.


Consciousness directs the actions of the agent for its own purposive gains. It re-organises a stimulus-response linear causality to deliver generative, creative agent action that evaluates the subsequent experience prospectively. This inversion of causality affords special properties of control that are not accounted for in integrated information theory (IIT), which is predicated on a linear, deterministic cause-effect model. IIT remains an incomplete, abstract, and disembodied theory without explanation of the psychobiology of consciousness that serves the vital agency the organism.

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Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press

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