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You only Life Twice: Imagination in Consciousness Pentti O. A. Haikonen Presentor: Nathalie Kowalski

Imagination • • • •

Forming /manipulation of mental representations Connected to perception Creates perceived affordance Creates mental representations, brings them to awareness • Basis for the picture of the world (not so much perception) • Creativity • Possible/impossible

Imagination & Perception • Sensory information invokes related information by means of imagination - e.g. what’s behind my back; what’s the reason for a persons’ action that I observe • Objects are not recognized but remind us of something - e.g. something it might be or that it would us allow to do with it

Perception • Perception is an active process – exploration, anticipation, imagination: seeks/interprets info according to needs of the cognitive system • Entities of the world suggest possibility for action: Concept of “affordance” (Gibson, 1966) created by imagination

Memory • After event occurs only memories are left • Even original percepts were laced with imagination Picture of the world based on imagination • Recall/imagined representations originate from inside • Recall memories: imperfectly reconstructed records of past contents of consciousness, including products of imagination

Mental/Inner Representations • Evoked by sensory info or inner causes only! • Created/brought into awareness by imagination • Percepts and inner representations can be used as tokens: - e.g. children's toys • self-image and self-consciousness: - e.g. imagine oneself in action

”A conscious machine shall have internal states that depict entities that are not present and moreover, shall have means to control imaginational state sequences to plan actions.” (Haikonen)

Enabling Functions of Imagination Evocation of mental representations of 1) Positions – what, where 2) Change, motion 3) Relation – relative size, relative motion 4) Mental modification 5) Attention, introspection 6) Decision making – choosing between competing imagined scenarios

Enabling Functions of Imagination Two kinds of representation • With fine structure – e.g. distributed representation • Without fine structure – e.g. “grandmother” signal, every entity represented by one dedicated signal fine structures allow modification of imagined entities might be constructed of arrays of “grandmother” signals (collection of elementary features)

Alphabets • “Grandmother” signals can be used as “Set of alphabets” for the representation of the world • Each represented entity is a combination of “alphabets” e.g. auditory perception based on analysis of frequency auditory “alphabet” would consist of frequency domain entities perceived would consist of temporal sequence of these “alphabets” “alphabets” of imagination are the same as the ones of perception  FEEDBACK LOOP SYSTEM

Feedback architecture Economically minimized design – reuse of sensory perception circuits for the perceptions if imagination Associative broadcast inputs

Broadcast signal

Feature signal

feedback neuron


threshold Associative neuron group

Feedback signal

Attention • actual system consisting of large number of the loops laid in parallel way • Primed sensory signals have higher intensity and more easily pass the threshold e.g. “color of tomato” activates color loop, broadcasted at higher level: attention is brought to right answer

Decision Making • Situation evokes imagined response • Imagination must be combined with emotional value system Attention/Selection mechanism

Artificial emotional value system • Values grounded to sensation, which are hardwired to system reactions, also controlling attention

Generation of thoughts • Listener and speaker are the same person • No “conscious speaker” • Subconscious process that generates thoughts present thought evokes candidate thoughts in subconscious the winner takes it all = conscious thought

To sum up “You only live twice, once for your inner life and once for the external reality. Imagination is the key to consciousness and inner life. Conscious machines should have an inner life and dreams, too.� (Haikonen)

Thank You


Imagination in Consciousnes - Haikonen