What are the computational correlates of consciousness?

James A. Reggia, Garrett Katz, Di Wei Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Cognitive phenomenology refers to the idea that our subjective experiences include deliberative thought processes and high-level cognition. The recent ascendance of cognitive phenomenology in philosophy has important implications for biologically-inspired cognitive architectures and the role that these models can play in understanding the fundamental nature of consciousness. To the extent that cognitive phenomenology occurs, it provides a new route to a deeper understanding of consciousness via neurocomputational studies of cognition. This route involves identifying computational correlates of consciousness in neurocomputational models of high-level cognitive functions that are associated with subjective mental states. Here we develop this idea and compile a summary of potential neurocomputational correlates of consciousness that have been proposed/recognized during the last several years based on biologically-inspired cognitive architectures. We conclude that the identification and study of computational correlates of consciousness will lead to a better understanding of phenomenal consciousness, a framework for creating a conscious machine, and a better understanding of the mind-brain problem in general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-113
Number of pages13
JournalBiologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Artificial consciousness
  • Cognitive phenomenology
  • Computational explanatory gap
  • Machine consciousness
  • Phenomenal consciousness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Artificial Intelligence


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