Welcome to the new version of CaltechAUTHORS. Login is currently restricted to library staff. If you notice any issues, please email coda@library.caltech.edu
Published September 19, 2017 | Published
Journal Article Open

Conscious Perception as Integrated Information Patterns in Human Electrocorticography


A significant problem in neuroscience concerns the distinction between neural processing that is correlated with conscious percepts from processing that is not. Here, we tested if a hierarchical structure of causal interactions between neuronal populations correlates with conscious perception. We derived the hierarchical causal structure as a pattern of integrated information, inspired by the integrated information theory (IIT) of consciousness. We computed integrated information patterns from intracranial electrocorticography (ECoG) from six human neurosurgical patients with electrodes implanted over lateral and ventral cortices. During recording, subjects viewed continuous flash suppression (CFS) and backward masking (BM) stimuli intended to dissociate conscious percept from stimulus, and unmasked suprathreshold stimuli. Object-sensitive areas revealed correspondence between conscious percepts and integrated information patterns. We quantified this correspondence using unsupervised classification methods that revealed clustering of visual experiences with integrated information, but not with broader information measures including mutual information and entropy. Our findings point to a significant role of locally integrated information for understanding the neural substrate of conscious object perception.

Additional Information

© 2017 Haun et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium provided that the original work is properly attributed. Received March 9, 2017; accepted July 28, 2017; First published September 19, 2017. The authors declare no competing financial interests. Author contributions: A.M.H., N.T., C.K.K., H.K., M.A.H., and R.A. designed research; H.K., H.O., M.A.H., C.K.K., N.T., and M.O. performed research; M.A.H., N.T., H.K., H.O., and M.O. analyzed data; A.M.H. and N.T. wrote the paper. This work was supported by an Endeavor Fellowship from the Australian Department of Education (A.M.H.), National Institutes of Health Grants R01 DC004290 and UL1RR024979 (to C.K., H.K., H.O., and M.A.H.), and the Australian Research Council Future Fellowship FT120100619 and the Discovery Project DP130100194 (to N.T.). We thank all subjects for their participation in the study, the medical team at University of Iowa Hospital for their assistance, Haiming Chen for his technical assistance, Jochem van Kempen and Fabiano Baroni for their parallel analyses of percept/stimulus decoding in the same dataset, and Jeroen van Boxtel and Matt Davidson for comments on this manuscript.

Attached Files

Published - ENEURO.0085-17.2017.full.pdf


Files (6.5 MB)
Name Size Download all
6.5 MB Preview Download

Additional details

August 21, 2023
October 17, 2023