QVA: A Massively Parallel Model for Vision

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Abstract

The quantized visual awareness (QVA) model proposes that visual experience arises through the integration of quanta of awareness (qualia). Qualia are produced by the activation of cortical microcircuits known as microcolumns and it is the unique topologies of these microcolumns that results in distinct, specific, and reproducible qualia. The ocular dominance columns (ODCs) of the striate cortex contain between 50 and 80 microcolumns and serve as organizing centers for qualia produced by these microcircuits for specific points of the visual field. Recurrent signaling to V1 by the higher centers (e.g., V3, V4, V5) initiates a change in the spiking frequency of specific microcolumns within ODCs such that they achieve or fall out of temporal synchrony. In so doing, these higher centers are orchestrating the inclusion or removal of individual qualia associated with these circuits into or out of a phenomenal conscious experience and thereby shaping the overall experience. McFadden and others have postulated that consciousness resides within the electromagnetic field (EMF) generated by the brain. The QVA model extends this idea by describing the means by which visual information can be encoded within the brain’s EMF and roots this information in the specific structure of the visual cortex. Active microcolumns yield qualia EMFs that incorporate themselves into the larger EMF produced by the brain through temporal synchronization. This model is massively parallel because millions of microcolumns can add their respective qualia independently of each other and this allows for rapid changes in visual experience due to the short half-life of each quale EMF.

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