Материалы

Sergey A. Miroshnikov

Theoretical and computer modelling of the neuropsychological system: from reflex - to consciousness

Materials of the report at the XXVII International Congress of Psychology Stockholm 23-28 July 2000
Saint-Petersburg State University
2000

Мирошников С.А.

Теоретическое и компьютерное моделирование нейропсихологической системы: от рефлекса - к сознанию

Материалы доклада на XXVII Международном Психологическом Конгрессе Стокгольм 23-28 июля 2000
Издательство Санкт-Петербургского университета
2000

The proposed theory of the neuropsychological system (NPS) consists of two parts, which correspond to two stages of theoretical and experimental modelling of NPS. The first part is the system-information approach to the analysis of neural-signal and mental phenomena, which allows to investigate organization of information contents of nervous signals into information-psychological phenomena of higher level of organization. The second part of the research project is the theory of two-level organization of NPS. This theory defines contents and mechanisms of a neural-reflex level, embracing neural base of unconscious and unconscious contents of the psyche, and modular-coordinate level, embracing oscillatory neural-modular base of consciousness and consciousness itself.

© Sergey Miroshnikov, 2000
© Saint-Petersburg State University, 2000

Special abbreviations (explanations are in the text)
CN - coordinate network
BCN - basic CN
DCN - derivative CN
CNC - CN of consciousness
CNK - CN of knowledge


Content

Introduction
Stage 1: System-information approach to the analysis of relations between neural-signal and informational-psychological phenomena
1.1. Information as the general-scientific object
1.2. Neurophysiological mechanisms of informational phenomena
1.3. Neurophysiological mechanisms of informational-psychologycal phenomena
1.4. Possibility of simulation of basic informational-psychological phenomena on simple neuronets
1.5. Realization of the approach in computer models
1.6. Applications and perspective directions of the research
2. Stage 2: Theory of multidirectional coordinate-network organization of knowledge and consciousness
2.1. The unit of the structure - a functional module, neural oscillator
2.2. The unit of organization - informative relation between modules in the uniform coordinate network (CN)
2.3. The basic coordinate network of consciousness (BCNC) - a base of a united subjective picture of the world
2.4. Derivative coordinate networks of consciousness (DCNC)
2.5. Coordinate networks of knowledge (CNK)
2.6. A mechanism of dynamic creation and changes of a conscious picture of the world as systems of subjectively familiar (identified) objects - informational synthesis
2.6.1. Primary projection of sensory information on CNC
2.6.2. Secondary projection of the sensory information on CNK
2.6.3. Return of associatively evoked from CNK information to starting positions of evoking it information on CNC
2.6.4. Recycling of evocation of information from CNK with synthesis of information in CNC
2.6.5. Solution of the task by means of the focus of interaction at multiple cyclic synthesis of information
2.7. Basic mechanisms of information interaction in CNC - self-organized oscillatory projection and interprojection
3. Neuronal-reflex level of organization of the nervous system and psyche
3.1. General definition
3.2. Relations and interactions between neuronal-reflex and modular-coordinate levels of organization of the nervous system and psyche
3.2.1. Command to consciousness: projection of neuronal-reflex drives on CNC
3.2.2. Informing consciousness: a projection of a sensory image on CNC
3.2.3. Command to subconscious: a projection of conscious drive on a neuronal-reflex level
3.2.4. Informing subconscious: a projection of a conscious image on a neuronal-reflex level
3.2.5. Comprehension of drives and images of a neuronal-reflex level
4. Methods of developing and substantiation of the NPS theory
4.1. Theoretical analysis of results of neurophysiological and psychological experiments
4.2. Computer simulation and parallel experiments on examinees - the man and the model
5. Conclusion
6. Supplement. The scheme of interaction of information according to NPS theory

Introduction

In this report we present the two-stage project of theoretical and experimental modelling of neuropsychological functional systems, including the results of the implemented first stage that has independent theoretical and practical value. In this research the attempt is made to integrate the neurophysiological, philosophical, informational and psychological approaches and theories in one research of psyche and consciousness as its higher manifestation. The notion "psyche" is used here as wide notion that denotes all psychological unconscious and conscious phenomena studied by all branches of psychology - from zoopsychology to social psychology of personality and so on.

The first investigation stage was directed on detection of a particular informational-psychological contents of a neuronet of a biological organism (basic contents of both unconscious and conscious mental activity). For these purposes the special theory of information and its forms (levels of organization) - physical (including neural) and mental forms - was designed. This theory is the basis of the corresponding system-information approach to investigation of laws of creation of specific information contents of mental phenomena. This approach is used also for reconstruction of these hypothetical laws in
computer models.

The second investigation stage is based on the theory of centralized multidirectional coordinate-network organization of both carriers and items of information, due to what physical neural information units are formed into person's knowledge and consciousness. This theory defines the laws of dynamic organization and interaction of the mental form of information in specific higher psychophysical structures - multidirectional coordinate networks underlying the whole person's consciousness and knowledge about the world. It is supposed, that organization of informational-psychological contents of a neuronet to a level of consciousness is a transition from incidental whole reflection of separate objects and situations as separate images - to united whole reflection of the world concerning a person himself (that is to subjective reflection of the world in the consciousness).

Stage 1: System-information approach to the analysis of relations between neural-signal and informational-psychological phenomena

The history of science teaches that for the investigation of the essence of the phenomenon, which is elementary to the system of notions of the given area, going out of its limits to higher level of generalization is necessary. Therefore, the approach to the analysis and simulation of the neuropsychological system (which is defined by related neural-signal and cognitive forms of information in composition of two-level neuropsychological phenomena), requires the preliminary analysis of their common informational essence. The interdisciplinary theoretical work is necessary for this purpose, and this requirement causes significant terminological difficulties in realization and description of that work. Here we have tried to ease this terminological problem by dividing a material correspondingly to different areas of science (general notions and theories, neurophysiology, psychology and computer simulation).

1.1. Information as the general-scientific object

The goal of the proposed approach is to reveal the unity of neural-signal and psychological levels of organization of the human being based on their common information contents, which are essentially distinguished only in the level of organization. Most of known approaches to the problem (including analysis of correlations of neural activity with mental phenomena and technical approaches to design functional models of the human being in bionics and cybernetics) are based on one level of human being's organization - either physiological or psychological. One of them is considered as main, and another level is considered only as a minor attribute, without any analysis of their common and different properties in their own specific contents and organizational essences of each level. The quality originality and unity of both levels surveyed in detail in [Vekker, 1964]. However, this approach to information contents of mental appearances is based on cybernetic interpretation of information [Wiener 1948]. So it does not allow to go out of limits of machine-cybernetic interpretation of the human being and to relate the neuronet activity not only with processes of control and also with mental phenomena.

There are some other interpretations of the nature of information [Frick 1959; Goppa 1995 and others], but they also cannot answer many questions, which are important for the analysis of information contents of mentality: What is the basic unit of information (not only by amount, but also by contents); How information is related to carrying informative objects (electric signals, letters and so on) and to reflected in it other object; how units of information can interact and be linked, and so on. It results in the necessity to accept a hypothesis as a starting point, which, first, supposes existence of some contents in information (otherwise it cannot have different forms and, in particular, to be contents of mental phenomena) and second, presumably answers those questions about information. The preparation of such a hypothesis requires to go out of limits of the informational theory because it has to define the elementary essence of information. For this purpose it is necessary to pass to higher level of generalization.

The proposed system-information approach is based on a wider definition of information. This definition takes the idea of information out of the framework of cybernetics and naturally-scientific knowledge - to the general-scientific level. It allows to use the idea of information as the basis for necessary integration of naturally-scientific and humanitarian knowledge about the human being, and first of all - for revealing the uniform informational essence of objective neurophysiological signals and subjective psychological phenomena, with the subsequent analysis of their distinctions as different levels of information processing. For these purposes the idea of information is defined closely (by the level of generalization and contents) to the general category of reflection, which embraces both neural-signal and psychological forms of reflection of the world by the human being (images, drives and so on). The interpretation of information as one common essence of these forms of reflection allows the analysis of their elementary types with transition to deeper level of organization and higher level of generalization. The hypothetical definition of information is designed with usage of general notions "general", "single", "generalization" and general system approach.

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The information unit is defined on the system of general and single objects, united so that:

  1. Each single object is generalized in the general one as its particular variant (particular versions or examples: Ai, Aj, Ak - in A; Bi, Bj, Bk - in B).
  2. All or some of single objects - variants of general objects - are united in pairs by means of identical existential relations on space, time or other area of being (Ai - Bi, Aj - Bj, Ak - Bk). For example, that relation may be coexisting or time-sequential link.
  3. Each of these relations is generalized in the general existential relation-law (A - B) as its single variant. That existential relation-law unite two general objects by their regular mutual correspondence on space, time or other area of being (for example, B "usually after" A). This law generalizes relations between object's single variants and can be absolute, statistical, probability etc.
The main general feature of such objects' organization is that it provides objective possibility of indirect learning (quasi-perceiving) of unobservable single objects through observable ones - on the basis of knowledge of organization of the system as a whole. The existential relation of the general object A with B defines existence area of variants of object B concerning appropriate variants of object A (simultaneously, later, near etc.). For example, if summer always follows spring, spring is the objective signal of the following summer and thus carries the appropriate information about following summer. The single object's property "being generalized" in the general one and relation-law are objective signs of existence of other single object, which is corresponding to the first one. The knowledge about these objective signs allows the person from observation of single variant of object A to make conclusions about appropriate variant of object B (which immediately not watched). Without awareness of the basis of that conclusion (Ai Bi) it is subjectively experienced as immediate vision and intuitive comprehension of the presence of the informational unit in the single variant of object A - about a single variant of object B. For example, having seen that Sun stopped, the man simply "knows", that night will be soon, but he usually does not realize that this knowledge is the conclusion, behind which his other knowledge is hidden (about the general law of change of general objects - times of the day). Without that hidden knowledge the information of stopping of the Sun about approach of night would be unavailable to the man (i.e. man could not use Ai as the clue about Bi).


On this system the following separate objects and their properties can be defined:

  1. Single observable variant Ai has immediately only one property in relation to the general object - "being generalized" in it. Therefore that property objectively serves for the human being as the object's elementary true or false information unit (about some unobservable variant Bi of the other object).
  2. This property defines single object Ai as carrying the unit of information - the informative object.
  3. The general existential relation of one general object to another (for example, A-B: B forever follows A) is the necessary and sufficient condition for existence of information in its single variants. This property of the general object (for example, "forever follows") is a unit of pro-information, or potential information. Unlike the actual information, pro-information (as well as the general object), exists outside concrete time and space, cannot be copied, arise and fail (as well as a concrete physical thing), and can appear in the actual information of single objects having any space-time and other coordinates.
  4. The presence of that property defines the general object as the pro-informative, or the general-informative, object (concerning other general object, with which it is related by general existential relation-law).

If we try to join all immediate and indirect relative defining properties of information in one sentence, it would be the following: the single information of object Ai about Bi is a relative property - "being generalized" of Ai in general object A regularly existentially related to general object B.

Existence of information and pro-information is confirmed by the possibility of creation and deletion of information irrespective of general pro-information (but not on the contrary). It signifies, that every unit of (actual) information is defined by means the appropriate unit of general pro-information, but exists separately. If three diskettes contain the same record of 1 byte - do they all contain 1 or 3 bytes of information? The noncontradictory answer can be given only basing on dividing usual notion of information into two types: These 3 diskettes contain 3 bytes of information, which appropriate to 1 byte of general pro-information. These two kinds of information correspond also to two similarly related kinds of mental reflections. The individual actual image exists only due to relation with some general images in memory and is defined by means of them. Otherwise, each object and all its parts would be not recognized and therefore perceived as purely unknown.

The additional theoretical and practical bases of these definitions of information and its general premises (pro-information) are many correspondences between theoretically implied properties of information and pro-information and, on the other hand, known functional characteristics of what is used to be named true and false "information" by the man (intuitively, without definition).

  • According to the proposed hypothesis, information and pro-information are not the object's internal properties (contained in the object irrespective of its external relations). They are relative (organizational) properties originating at the object only due to creation of external organization (relations to other objects). This characteristic of information appears both in mental reflections, and in physical informative objects, in particular when information is copied without conveyance of any substance. It is achieved by such change of own physical properties of the object - second copy, that it becomes generalized in the same "general-informative" object, as the single object - first copy. This process is just "actualizing" the pro-information of the general object (or set of such objects - when copying complex information) into "second copy". In return process this generalization is destroyed. These processes prove the essence of information "from a contrary side" - by showing, deleting of what a property (namely, relation of generalization) takes away information from an object.
  • Also, it is possible to prove necessity of the generalized relation-low between generalized objects for existence of information in their variants. The dependence of information on generalization and its conditions appears, for example, in gestures. One gesture in different countries can bear different information, depending to what event it usually corresponds to in this country. The "multymeaningful" gesture bears several units of information, which are defined by different generalized relations with the judgement or state of the person in different countries. The truth of each unit of information depends on the usual social environment of the gesticulating person, and the possibility of its identification based on knowledge or on familiar social environment of the observing person.
  • Every single variant (particular version or example) of the general object, including one which really has not reflected variant of the other object, has the same information. Existence of information is defined not by individual relation with the corresponding variant of other object, but by the relation between general objects and relations of generalization in them of their single variants. Due to this the false information can exist, though it does not actually indicate existence of other object.
  • The unit of information is the single property - "being generalized" of an individual object (or its component, property) - in a general object. This unit represents one bit of information. The physical kind and contents of this unit do not have any significance for contents and amount of information. It can be existence or absence of an electrical charge, impulse, oscillation, number 0 or 1, etc.
To prove this hypothetical definition of information (i.e., to prove identity of the object defined by it and the real object intuitively named "information" by man without formal definition), it was examined in an experiment, which shown direct dependence of the report of the examinee about "presence of information" in a stimulus only on his knowledge about the general relation-law and "being generalized" of this stimulus in the appropriate general object.

When planning experimentally check of existence and definition of information we took into account, that the notion "information" was used before both cybernetics and information theory, and its sense was clear and did not cause disagreements. Therefore a report of the man should be the criterion at experimental check of a new formal definition of information, if this definition claims for detection of the sense, which people attributed initially and intuitively to the notion (unlike special meaning necessary for the analysis of control or signaling). It should be the check of existence of information by means of registration of its fulfillment the specific function concerning the man (i.e., creation of his new knowledge according to definition of information). The registration of fulfillment of this function is possible only by the man, because information specifically influences only him, providing cognition of reflected in it object on the basis of men's knowledge about the world and its laws.

That was the basis of the two-stage experiment. At first the experimenter showed a set of cards of the different form. From them he randomly showed cards of either circle or square shapes - presenting first the white face surface, then the back surface. Their back surfaces have different hatching: on squares - square cells, on circles - bars. The second stage began after the examinee could correctly identify hatching of a back surface of a card by seeing only its white face surface. The experimenter showed those and other cards, which were not presented earlier. Shapes of these cards were intermediate between the square and the circle (in a different degree similar to that or other geometrical form) or otherwise distinguished from them. The question for examinees was following: Does the presented white face surface of a card contains any information about its back, surface, and why? No technical or other special definition, but the intuitively clear sense of a word "information", which described in explanatory dictionaries and in descriptive definitions in encyclopedias were offered for orientation when an answering.

To answer the established questions was not difficult for examinees, but they could not answer the more direct question - what part or property of cards was information itself? As the experiment has shown, availability and contents of a property empirically defined by the examinees as information, was completely determined by a degree of a likeness of a stimulus to the generalized geometrical square or circle. When the examinee thought that he saw an example of square or circle, he reported that the presented face surface of the card contained information about its back surface. The real contents of a back surface had not any significance for the answer, and that fact confirms the importance of just "being generalized", instead of the actual relation with a correspondent object, reflected in information. Objectivity of that property confirms that learning and subjective knowledge determine only possibilities of understanding information, and do not determine its existence.

This experiment shows validity of the term "information" for the denotation of the introduced above phenomena ("being generalized") and allows the use of the proposed hypothesis for revealing the neurophysiological and psychological forms of information.

1.2. Neurophysiological mechanisms of informational phenomena

The proposed definition of information allows one to make conclusions about the common mechanism of its existence based on a neuronet. This mechanism is based on the generalization of incoming signals with creation stereotyped pattern of impulses, which, as a rule, appropriates to the reflected general object of the environment. The search of such mechanisms has revealed two series of known subsystems which are in fact realizing generalization of signals:
  • In space (on the set of reflected variants of a general object) - associative projectional zones of the brain. Due to this mechanism the partial and partially distinguished complexes of receptor signals can cause the same stereotyped patterns of impulses in an associative zone of the neuronet which are appropriate to the certain type of reflected objects.
  • In time (on the set of reflected states of a general object) - wide range of mechanisms, from simple inertia of excitement and temporal changes in the neuron to cyclic motion of the signal. The associative zones also take significant part in this process together with circulation of a signal.

1.3. Neurophysiological mechanisms of informational-psychological phenomena

The organization of information units in the new system (psyche) adds to them new psychological properties. Therefore the research of relations between physical world and psyche should go through the analysis of relations between the appropriate forms of information - unorganized or simply organized (as in computer memory) - physical form and specifically organized - psychological form.

 

Therefore the further search of mechanisms of existence of information was prolonged on the basis of definition of its mental form. This definition is derived from the essence of information. It points, that the psychological organization is based on originating of such relations between items of information, which are information about real links between real objects, reflected in those items. It is a transition to a qualitatively new level of reflection - "system-information", where not only system components, but also its organization has informational nature. Therefore mental appearances have a dual nature: due to organization in the new system they appear as units of the internal mental world of the man and simultaneously in the essence they are true or false information about some objects (for example, an image of a perceived or imaginary thing).

According to this definition, besides neurophysiological mechanisms of generalization and of existence of information, also mechanisms of its organization in the mental form should exist. They should shape such relations between mental appearances, which reflect relations between corresponding objects. An example is the mechanism of the dominance, which in fact based on reflection of the relation of a mutual exclusion between incompatible operations. Those exclusions are reflected in mutual inhibitory organization of the neuronal initiators of these operations. These and other relations between objects can be also reflected in temporal connections, which on the psychological level define links between images of objects (association etc.).

1.4. Possibility of simulation of basic informational-psychological phenomena on simple neuronets

The effective investigation of informational-psychological phenomena requires the evolutionary approach permitting to understand reasons of origin and sense of different mechanisms. Addressing now to mentioned above two subsystems of generalization of a signal and creation of information, it is possible to make a conclusion about the possible way of development the subsystem of generalization of objects on space (of objects of the world). It could be developed from elementary receptor generalization of physical parameters of a stimulus to simple convergence of signals on the certain "generalizing" neurons with consequent derivation of them an associative stratum, and further to a complex multilevel associative subsystems of the human brain. At each stage of development the subsystem should ensure generalization of a signal, sufficient for creation the adequate whole system of interaction with vital objects in all their variants. The mechanisms of such kind are successfully simulated, for example, in neuronets recognizing simple visual images.

Concerning the mechanism of generalization of a signal in time it is possible also to formulate a presumable path of development: from the elementary continuity of excitation (including by means of inertia or cyclic self-excitation of neurons) to convergence of excitation from a chain of neurons to special "generalizing" neurons (which have thereof more stability of a state), and further to complex subsystems of circulation and processing of a signal in different specialized areas of the human brain. This development should correspond to dynamic complexity of interaction of an organism with the environment and at each stage should ensure generalization, sufficient for creation of whole system interaction with an object on a sequence of all its individual states.

In particular, at simple organisms (interacting to simple food and other substances) the sufficient generalization could be ensured by simple receptor generalization of physical parameters of a stimulus and by inertia of a receptor or following neuron-detector, or by circulation of a signal between them. Despite simplicity of organization, generalization of a signal means creation of information. And the association of information units about food and its sign is similar to their real link, and furthermore the association of them with drive to movement is the creation of the elementary form of psychological reflection of objects. This form is appropriate to stage of "elementary sensory psyche" by classification of stages of development of the psyche in [Leontiev, 1981].

The analysis of these factors allows one to make a conclusion about a possibility of initial simulation of psychological phenomena on simple neuronets. Complex organization of a substratum of psyche is required only for reflection of the complex environment. So the model for reconstruction of basic types of structures and properties of the neuropsychological system can be based on a simple substratum (neuronet) in combination with a simple model of the environment. It will allow the development of subsystems, mechanisms and functions that appropriate to main types of the psychological phenomena using their simple forms. The main goal is the investigation of main types of informational-psychological phenomena defined by their essential system-informational properties, which are common for all stages of development of the psyche.

1.5. Realization of the approach in computer models

The first step to realization of the proposed approach has become the NPS program (NeuroPsychological System), developed as the simple and visual simulator of a neuronet - base for the psychological upgrading level [Miroshnikov, 1997, 1998, 1999]. This version of NPS enables to observe and change a structure and current state of a model at three levels - mathematical, neurophysiological and general system (behavioral). The first of these levels is a mathematical substitute for a biological substratum of an organism. The following two levels correspond to neurophysiological (neuronet) and behavioral levels of biological organisms.

The model of neuronet is simple and similar to many known analogs. Such neuronet in most of researches is the final of simulation of the biosystem and then is used for research, educational or application purposes (recognition of pictures, medical prognoses etc.). In our research the approximation of a model to the real biosystem was continued for reconstruction of a behavioral level of organization, which is necessary for investigation of the whole "organism" interacting with the "environment". This purpose has required the creation of neuronet's virtual "body" and environment, which included models of various objects, which determine basic types of behavior of biological organisms. In our research models of food, danger, obstacles are made, and an object without biological significance (it can play a signal role). For interaction of "body" with "environment" the model has sensory and motor systems, can "absorb" food and be "damaged" by danger. The connection of these functional systems with "neurons" can be changed by the experimenter for creation models with different set of "receptors" and "effectors". Thus the complete cycle of behavioral interaction with environment (from reception of an object to motor response, and then to reception of its results) was reconstructed.

After that the development of blocks of analysis of a model's informational level, which appropriates to the psychological level of biosystems, has become the main direction of the research. On the base of described above propositions about information and its psychological form we are developed mathematical means (compute algorithms) for revealing neuronet's informational-psychological phenomena. Those mathematical means allow the external observer to reveal those psychological phenomena, which immediately can be observed (feel, perceive, realize) only by the person, as they compose his internal informational-psychological phenomena.

In the NPS all means of revealing informational-psychological contents of a model are realized as four blocks - additions ("plugins") to a usual structure of an artificial neuronet. Each block works on the base of data about activity of a neuronet and outcomes of previous blocks. The operation of first two blocks is based on the analysis of "experience" of a model for all its "life", and following two - on the analysis of a state of a neuronet, body and environment of a model at the present time.
  1. Block of revealing general pro-information belonging to neuronet and stored in its "memory". The operation of this block is based on the analysis of existential relations between real interactions (of the organism and environment) and states of elements and subsystems of a neuronet (in the nearest instants).
  2. Block of revealing the stereotyped bearer of the pro-information - patterns of impulses, which have pro-information about correspondent objects of the environment or operation of a body (reflected in or called by that pattern of impulses). The obtained data are presented to the user as the table of generalized images and drives (defined in psychological terms) which are potentially existing in a model, with indication of an element or subsystem of a neuronet, which immediately realizes storage and actualization of each image or drive.
  3. Block of the analysis of a current state of a neuronet and registration of originating actual patterns of impulses - bearers of information about a reflected or called object. These individual patterns of impulses are considered as actualizing pro-information from memory.
  4. Block of revealing, identification and demonstration to the user all individual units of information, actual for a neuronet in the current time. On the base of available data these information units are defined as individual images and drives, which are truly or falsely reflecting certain objects of the "real world" - environment and body of a model (including its interactions).
Experiments with simple neuronets managing a model of an organism in the artificial environment, allowed us to reveal at the "psychological level" some informational structures interpreted as elementary psychological reflections (of food, danger, etc.) and drives to different operations (turns, movements). Informational-psychological organization of some models already allows to refer them to a stage of "elementary sensory psyche", and the research in the direction of development of this organization of models now proceeds.

Certainly, this approach to the analysis of informational-psychological contents of the neuronet is implemented while only at an elementary level and is still far from detection of complex mental phenomena - such as speech, consciousness, will etc. As we guess, the specificity of these phenomena is determined not only by informational-psychological contents, but also by particular functional organization of this contents. Theoretical and computer simulation of that organization is the general purpose of the next stage of the research project.

1.6. Applications and perspective directions of the research

In the field of artificial neuronets the proposed approach can be useful for the detection of informational-psychological contents of a neuronet and explanation of those phenomena, which are inexplicable through the analysis of separate neurons and their links. In particular, it can be useful for the detection of new "knowledge" and "skills" acquired by a neuronet as a result of training. The adequate language for theirs description is psychological system of notions. The application of this system of notions to a neuronet requires the theory, which would link informational-psychological contents of a neuronet with its physical conditions and experience.

On the current investigation stage the general approach to creation of psychological contents and organization is implemented in the model. The further development of this approach is carried on in a direction of detection and simulation of special mechanisms providing organization of information in particular higher subsystem of psyche - mind, including "knowledge" and "consciousness".

Stage 2: Theory of multidirectional coordinate-network organization of knowledge and consciousness

Main points of the theory correspond to functional structures of the model. They are described in next paragraphs.

2.1. The unit of the structure - a functional module, neural oscillator

Special properties of processing information in the nervous system that is capable of consciousness are based on specific single carriers of the mental form of information. It is the universal functional module that can carry an oscillatory pattern of neural impulses. On that pattern it can carry any item of information, defined accordingly to the explained above system-information approach.

Usage as the carrier of information of not a separate impulse or pattern of impulses, but of oscillation - a wave pattern, generated by the organized group of neurons (module) gives considerable advantages. Those specific advantages can be useful also on preconscious stages of development of the nervous system of biological organisms (e.g., for simple synchronization of neural activity), but become absolutely necessary for transition to new, "conscious" organization of processing of information.

First, the oscillation can simultaneously carry many independently varying separate items of information, just as the electromagnetic field in one point can carry hundreds signals of different radio and TV channels). Second, oscillation can be received by an oscillator simultaneously with other oscillations, and it can ignore or interact there simultaneously with many incoming informative waves (according to their carrier frequencies and oscillation phases). The natural interaction of these waves according to physical laws can be a basis of fast parallel processing of many items of information simultaneously on one oscillator. Third, oscillations can be spread more freely on uniform "field" without interaction with each other, that would be inevitable for widely distributed separate impulses. Usage of one oscillation for package of several items of information allows to include many items of working information and also code of initial "sender" of data. That provides a possibility of return of information or the decision of the task to the source module (after processing in other parts of a brain). That leads to another important advantage of the oscillatory mechanism: it does not have any necessity of physical means (nervous filaments) for strictly directional transmission of a signal and do have huge quantity of "bypaths" for passing of oscillation through a neuronet. It means that oscillatory network functions are independent of corruption of separate paths.

Thus, the oscillatory mechanism provides considerable unlimited latitude of circulation and parallelism of processing of information on one elementary carrier (module-oscillator) in one time unit, in addition to usual parallelism of processing of information in the neuronet.

Theoretically speaking, functions of that module can be fulfilled by many different biological structures - from the system of neurons to one neuron or its part. However, on high enough level of reliability and adequacy, these functions, probably, are accessible only to specialized groups (columns, modules) of neurons [Mountcastle 1978]. Oscillatory functions of information processing immediately can be based on smaller structures of the module and neuron, for example on the system of quanta of substance. That allows hypothetically to represent (and later to simulate) each module as the quantum computer. For the present technological level more possible implementation of modules is similar to units (modules, nuclei) of modular and oscillatory neuronets.

2.2. The unit of organization - informative relation between modules in the uniform coordinate network (CN)

The whole psychological organization of information belonging to separate modules is made by multidirectional coordinate links between modules. These links reflect the real relations between objects (reflected in linked modules), i.e., these links carry information about corresponding real links between objects. Due to this, items of information about objects (based on modules) are linked by items of information about links between these objects (based on links between modules).

These links between modules can be done as immediate signaling or can be mediated by the intermediate module (it may be necessary for reflecting special, complex or really mediated relation). Simplest substantial links reflected in organization of modules, are relations between reflected objects in space (for example, overlapping, closeness), in time (for example, simultaneity, sequence) and also inclusion, exception, intersection etc. Modules are integrated by such links into system and compose one multidirectional coordinate network (CN). Its different "axes" define corresponding relations between objects reflected in modules of this system.

Depending on "fundamentalness" of CN or its part, links between modules can be rigid (as in projection of dermal sensitivity on the somatosensory cortex of a brain) or flexible, installed dynamically at projection on CN some system of interrelated information units.

Information about miscellaneous properties of one object can be projected on one module as miscellaneous components of its whole oscillatory pattern. That information can also be projected on many modules, which links with this module carry information about relation of inclusion (of reflected in them objects - into an object reflected in this module). Such organization gives a possibility of binding qualitatively different information units about one object in one image (based on similar sub-oscillations that carry similar information about an object's location and main properties from different sensory modules).

Thus, CN fulfils functions of the conscious operative memory. Its modules organize items of operative information in coordinate centralized order (against more fragmented unconscious memory that based on neural mechanisms).

2.3. The basic coordinate network of consciousness (BCNC) - a base of a united subjective picture of the world

The presence and operation of the whole mental phenomenon - consciousness - are based on basic CNC (BCNC). Its central area carries a stationary information "I am" - about existence of the person oneself. "I am" from this point of view is the most abstract image of the own being. It is the starting point of CNC to which all images, defining "I" ("my body", "my feelings" etc.), are related. It is the inherent functional center of subjective reflection of the world, and it reflects only one: "I am". Concerning this center on related to it modules all remaining information is placed. So all those initially separate units of information form on CNC united whole consciousness - a subjective picture of the world (considered concerning a person).

Different types of sensory information (tactile, visual, acoustical and other) are projected on appropriate sensory subsystems of BCN. Those subsystems are based on different types of necessary coordinate links between modules (for reflection of different types of relations between perceived stimuli). Centers of these sensory subsystems are proximate sensory derivatives from "I am": I am seeing", "I am hearing" etc. Those derivatives allow a person to realize different isolated situations perceived through different sensory systems - simultaneously but without a dual personality. For example, it is possible to draw, simultaneously listening a musical play or sport commentary through earphones. For integral reflection of objects with properties perceived on different sensory subsystems of BCNC, information about properties of one object can be projected from one subsystem on the object's image in another sensory subsystem. It gives a possibility not simply to see and to hear the piano, but also to see the sounding piano (an acoustical image is projected on a more important visual image of an object).

Centers of motor subsystems are also appropriate derivatives from "I am" - "I am moving", "I am making", "I am speaking" etc. When an image is projected on that motor subsystem, it becomes a "motor image" (of purpose of operation).

Items of information are organized in a united picture of "me in interaction with surroundings" on the base of BCNC during perception - by means of projection of sensory information on the coordinate network. That network can be prepared earlier or just during the projection. It can be:
  • stationary area of CNC with constant coordinate relations between modules;
  • earlier dynamically formed area (according to reflected space and other links between the person and/or objects);
  • dynamically established area (by means of projection of information about objects and their links on "unorganized" modules with creation at once both a coordinate network and its information contents).
Such organization of BCNC gives special properties to this way of reflection of the environments. Those properties give a possibility for solving tasks where it is necessary to take into account very wide context of a situation. It is especially important for those tasks, conditions of which embrace many objects and/or sequences of their states. Most important properties of that organization of information are:
  • integrity of reflection of interrelated objects (and their relations) in space - from a couple of objects to the person oneself, situation and the world as a whole;
  • continuity of a picture of the world and oneself in time (irrespective of changes of a situation and period of absence of consciousness, when one return to the same place or recover consciousness he returns to "familiar" situation or the world and oneself).

This picture of the world and oneself - consciousness - is the qualitatively new whole, which is not only determined by its parts - information units, but also effects on these units under the own laws of integral coordinate reflection of the world.

From this point of view "regaining consciousness" is similar to instantaneous crystallization of information units on a basis of "I am". It is a center of self-organizing crystallization of a picture of the world, from which the network of coordinate links organizing the united system of information units as more or less clear consciousness. These "starting functions" of the central module that starts the mechanism of coordinate self-organizing, can be based on its physiologically predetermined signal-power properties. Probably, the deviations in these properties are a source of psychological deviation - "dual personalities", when self-organizing can be triggered by different modules and through their different links to result in different personality.

2.4. Derivative coordinate networks of consciousness (DCNC)

Presence and operation of conscious reflections of situations and objects, which are separate from the person and surroundings, are based on derivative coordinate networks (DCN). Central modules of these networks carry information about separate imaginary, "I", abstracted from a physical situation of the person ("I was yesterday", "I will be tomorrow", "I would be there", "I am looking at geometrical figures in another space" etc.). On derivative coordinate networks information is projected which is not concerning to a current physical situation (data about the past, plans for the future, ideas about the remote place, abstract geometrical ideas etc.). In these information pictures "I am" is hidden, presented implicitly. Nevertheless, presence of these hidden derivatives from "I am" provides links between every derivative CNC and basic CNC - according to links between their centers - images "I" ("I am here and now" - "I will be tomorrow"). Those basic links define similar parallel links between appropriate items of information (in DCNC and BCNC), which can be projected from reflection of the current situation on an imaginary situation (and vice versa).

2.5. Coordinate networks of knowledge (CNK)

Keeping personal experience in memory is based on a coordinate network of knowledge (CNK), which is corresponding to an associative cortex and organized similarly to the complex of base and derivative CN of consciousness. They contain not actual reflections of concrete objects, but general natural premises for forming actual information on the base of stereotyped signal patterns. Therefore, on the basis of the system-information approach, informational contents of this CNK can be defined as the psychologically organized pro-information. This pro-information can reflect both external objects and their links, and relation of objects with the person, his physiological states, possible operations, needs and purposes. In the latter case CNK contains the pro-information about biological, social and other subjective significance of objects.

Recording of information on CNK (in the form of pro-information) is probably based on a projection of actual contents of a particular subsystem of CNC. That changes stereotype oscillatory patterns of appropriate modules of CNK.

2.6. A mechanism of dynamic creation and changes of a conscious picture of the world as systems of subjectively familiar (identified) objects - informational synthesis

The creation of information units in CNC modules is determined by synthesis of related, but different information, which are sent to the same modules from two sources: on the one hand, from receptors, and on the other hand, from CNK (after associative processing the same information from receptors). The continuity of conscious reflection is ensured by constant cyclic synthesis of information. At the description of stages of this cycle, the system-information approach to the analysis of informational contents of neurophysiological signals was the theoretical base for understanding information contents of various sensory signal patterns and, on the other hand, stereotyped patterns evoked from memory. Thus, the understanding of information and basic mechanisms of its existence in the nervous system, which was developed at the first investigation phase, here are applied in the analysis of more complex forms of organization and processing of information.

2.6.1. Primary projection of sensory information on CNC

Reflection of the real world, which is carried by receptor impulse patterns is projected on CNC by intermediate translator groups of neurons as oscillatory patterns. These oscillations can be various and usually have deviations from "standard" stereotype patterns. Consequently, they do not carry information about objects as variants of known types. Those various oscillations can carry information about objects only as very particular and earlier not known sets of properties.

Such information, probably, becomes indefinite sensory contents of consciousness only on the first instant after unexpected incoming on CNC, and then is suppressed by steadier stream of stereotype patterns from memory (carrying information about typical known objects).

2.6.2. Secondary projection of the sensory information on CNK

Oscillatory patterns, which are primary obtained from receptors, further are projected from CNC on CNK, where associatively evoke most similar to them stereotype patterns from modules, which carry pro-information about typical known objects. What is very important, they also evoke patterns from related modules - with information about other relevant objects and properties. For this purpose oscillatory patterns can simultaneously or sequentially pass through all or some (basic and derivative) CNK, with evocation from memory all relevant information. Optimal parallel passing through all CNK here can be ensured only by oscillatory mechanisms of a wide circulation of a signal.

2.6.3. Return of associatively evoked from CNK information to starting positions of evoking it information on CNC

Evoked from CNK stereotype patterns then are projected on CNC - on starting positions of initial (not stereotype) patterns, which evoked those "patterns with knowledge" from CNK. As a result, the oscillatory interprojection of signals happens in these positions (of initial sensory and evoked from memory ones). That is a general mechanism of coordinated synthesis of information - resulting in creation of conscious reflection of new actually perceived objects as known ones (as new variants of the known general type).

Thus an object is realized not as "anything" unknown, but as "something" more or less definite (desktop, fruit, familiar man etc.). Objective information from receptors becomes the subjective information in consciousness by means of processing it by knowledge and integration with all other information based on main information "I am".

As from CNK to CNC not only isolated information about an actually perceived object goes, but also related information about other relevant objects, its additional characteristics, subjective values etc., they can form in CNC a united image of an object with its expected usual properties, values for the person, sources, expected aftereffects (projected on DCNC of future with appropriate relation to image of the object in BCNC) etc. This subjective identification and ascription of many properties from memory to an actually perceived object can be true or erratic. Different reasons of an error - random or regular, result in different random and regular subjective errors of conscious activity (illusion of perception, social prejudices etc.).

When perceiving a new or difficultly distinctive object, this mechanism results in phased successive comprehension of it as variant of more and more particular type of objects. A conscious image of an object change from "something reflected" (felt, viewed, heard etc.) to particular reflection of object or situation as some new system of known parts and properties (with possible projection and saving it on CNK).

The consciousness (i.e., the informational level of CNC) as the psychological phenomenon is uncovered here as the multidirectionally coordinated network system, which contents and organization is information about contents and organization of the world, the central information of which is about being of the person, and every information unit in which is a result of synthesis of "row" unsteady actually perceived information and constant information associatively evoked from memory (CNK). The level of development of consciousness is defined by size of BCNC (as absolutely necessary central part of consciousness), and also by presence, quantity, diversity, flexibility and size of DCNC (they are necessary for thinking and, probably, originate only at primates as DCNC for planning of one - two stages of task solving).

2.6.4. Recycling of evocation of information from CNK with synthesis of information in CNC

After creation a conscious image of a situation, it can evoke new information from CNK - according to changes in contents of the consciousness. Those changes can have one or two sources:
  • arrival of the new varying sensory information that considerably differs from the previous one, suppresses repeated projection of the past stereotype patterns on the same area of CNS, substitutes this settled stereotype pattern and causing short-term "disunderstanding" of a perceived new object before its identification in the next cycle of informational synthesis;
  • arrival of additional information from CNK, resulting in creation a new larger complex pattern with information about the object and its usual, though invisible, properties (instead of a previously formed pattern with information about an identified object only).

2.6.5. Solution of the task by means of the focus of interaction at multiple cyclic synthesis of information

Both mentioned above sorts of changes in contents of particular area of CNC can be caused by the person oneself, to be exact, by his drive to detection (comprehension) of decision of some task. More difficult tasks require more multiple and wide perception (of conditions of a task and of tools for its solution from different positions) and/or evoke more additional information from CNK (including such tools, as the natural laws, logical rules, theorems, formulas etc.) with its projection on CNC.

Every repeated cycle of perception, evocation, projection and synthesis of information is experienced by the person as "repeated consideration" of the task in view of new data. As a whole, this process, probably, is conscious thinking.

The main area of such persistent synthesis of information, which is related to solution of the task, can be in basic CNC (when considering the visual task with actually perceived external objects and own body) or in derivative CNC (for example, when planning a trip or considering an abstract geometrical task). This area of CNC becomes a temporal "focus of interaction" of information from the BCNC, from various DCNC and in the even greater size - from CNK. In focus of interaction all information (perceived and evoked from memory) related to the task is identified by means of special characteristic of an oscillatory signal and received for interprojection. Modules in the focus of interaction carry out oscillatory synthesis of many requirements and possible ways of solution of the task. The result is the image of optimal decision, which embraces in the united noncontradictory image all what is necessary - the purpose, necessary conditions, accessible resources and ways of theirs usage. That image of the decision (the way to the goal) then can be projected on motor CNC and become the "image of (the goal of) the action". Then it can be translated into impulse code and sent to motor-neurons for physical implementation of the decision.

It is possible to assume, that selective creation of more or less narrow directional stream of informational synthesis in the focus of interaction is experienced by the person as "attention" to the corresponding situation or object. This stream defines latitude of attention and can be widely dispersed or concentrated on one object, with contraction of consciousness due to termination of activity in remaining parts of CNC.

2.7. Basic mechanisms of information interaction in CNC - self-organized oscillatory projection and interprojection

It is supposed in the NPS theory, that mechanisms of transmission, dissemination, associative evocation and processing (synthesis) of information in CNC are physically implemented by a wide circulation of oscillatory patterns through nervous networks and by interaction of oscillations. This mechanism is based on physical laws of circulation and interaction of oscillations based on neural modules as oscillators.

Advantages of the oscillatory mechanism, which were already described above, allow an organism to develop very complex functions, which are characteristic for a human brain. In comparison with transmission of impulses on definite axons to definite neurons, an oscillatory physical (electromagnetic or others) mechanisms of circulation and interaction of signals have much higher speed and latitude of evocation knowledge for classification of perceived objects, and also for problem solving and faster parallel interaction of many units of information on one oscillator. Thus, there is not necessity for rigid physical organization of paths for signaling. Similarly to a radio-receiving set that tuned on particular frequency, the module itself can single out (from common oscillatory field) an appropriate signal, take and use it for information processing. Moreover, it is possible, that regular oscillatory links can direct development of axon and synapse links. That corresponds to observations "of germination" of the destroyed nervous filaments in the necessary direction and can be the mechanism of informational-psychological determination of ontogenetic development of higher departments of the central nervous system. The oscillatory mechanism, probably, is used for transmission and interaction of information units not only at a modular-coordinate level, but also for its interaction with a remaining part of the nervous system.

Due to that the unit itself can define, select and receive the necessary oscillation from a common oscillatory field, there is a possibility of transmission and interprojection of information without the complex directing and controlling mechanism. The natural physical laws of distribution and interactions of oscillations create natural self-regulating mechanisms of spontaneous information synthesis in any system having necessary oscillatory modular-coordinate organization.

At first, it is the mechanism of oscillatory resonance with a rise of energy and stability of oscillation, and with its self-stereotyping when received by the oscillator unit that has similar constant oscillatory characteristic. The initial oscillation thus is magnified and takes the stereotype form of oscillation of the receiving unit. This mechanism provides both identification of an appropriate oscillation, and its stereotyping. Besides, this mechanism can determine reception by motor units of the composite oscillatory signal formed in interaction focus and carrying information about the purpose and a found path of reaching it. The identification of that composite oscillator signal is possible on the basis of its initial part that has stayed in initiator modules of motor area. It is that part, which carries the initial information about the purpose and serves as the tag of larger oscillation, composed in an interaction focus and carrying information about both the purpose and the path of reaching it.

Second, it is the mechanism of associative transmission of oscillatory energy on passive units, bound with the active unit. As a result, they become active and make a new composite oscillatory pattern, defined by the own oscillatory characteristics of initial and other bound units. This mechanism provides associative evocation of relevant oscillations (and relevant information).

Third, it is the mechanism of a natural rise of energy and stability of oscillation, that is noncontradictory composition of several steadily incoming oscillations. It provides synthesis of the information about the decision due to noncontradictory combination of information units about the purpose and all conditions of reaching it.

Thus, the physical laws provide a possibility of self-organizing of mechanisms of informational synthesis, that is necessary for originating of consciousness and thinking. The purposes of operation and general parameters of activity of these mechanisms can be under control of other even simpler basic mechanisms of self-regulation of an organism. Anyway, the control over separate informational streams is not required.

3. Neuronal-reflex level of organization of the nervous system and psyche

3.1. General definition

The selection of a modular-coordinate level of organization of the nervous system and psyche of the organism (as their more complex and highly organized subsystem) allows to define their remaining part as simpler neuronal-reflex level of organization. This type of organization of the nervous system and its corresponding functions are well investigated in neurophysiology and psychophysiology. In nervous system that level of organization embraces such structures as unconditioned and conditioned reflex chains, sensory, associative and motor networks and their functional systems, that control physiological processes and behavior without creation a whole mental picture of the world and a history of life of the person in this world. Informational-psychological contents of the nervous system at this level are a property completely determined by neurophysiological processes and objects of the environment. Informational-psychological phenomena, which are based on these structures, exist without inclusion in a whole picture of the world. They are biological needs, instincts and determined by them and environment separate drives, images, emotions, separate social attitudes and other initially unconscious phenomena. All these phenomena are defined as drives, images, their combinations, and also processes, happening to them, of origin, conversion, interaction and destruction. The influence of these unconscious phenomena on consciousness and mental activity of the person can be hidden, or can be realized, but in the latter case contents of consciousness are not they, but their mental reflections.

3.2. Relations and interactions between neuronal-reflex and modular-coordinate levels of organization of the nervous system and psyche

Two described levels are distinguished and defined by their functions, so their structural division may be relative. The same structure can fulfil functions of both levels of organization, and on the contrary, different structures can fulfil the same function. The existence of structures with combined functions is possible too. Anyway the basic neuronal-reflex organization of nervous system (embracing receptors, effectors and appropriate sensory and motor zones of a brain) is necessary for organization of higher modular-coordinate level and for development of consciousness.

Structures, which carry out unconscious and, on the other hand, conscious processing of information, work not only sequentially, but also simultaneously. That allows an organism in reply to a stimulus, on the one hand, to react by the fast unconscious reflex operation, and on the other hand, to realize and consider a stimulus in a context of a situation, personal experience, plans and so on. That is, information comes in consciousness through neuronal-reflex structures that carry out its unconscious processing. During its next conscious processing the additional direct and return information communication between these structures is possible. That gives the possibility for consciousness even to cancel the prepared or started unconscious reaction.

The differences between systems of information units at these two levels are very essential and result in quality differences between levels. First of all, they have different internal causal relations between physical and informational-psychological contents inside a level. Physical properties of a neuronal-reflex level of the organism, and of surroundings, completely determine informational-psychological contents and activity of this level. In contrast with it, at a modular-coordinate level all information units are united in a qualitatively new whole. This new system - consciousness - operates under the own laws and in a particular degree determines both information and physical processes at this level, and through them - it has influence both on behavior of an organism and on objects of the environment.

According to the NPS theory, these two levels of neuropsychological organization of the person have five main types of interaction. These five types differ by informational-psychological contents of interaction between unconscious and consciousness. The physical basis of first two types of interaction is the transmission of a signal from areas that carry out reflex control - to areas carrying out a conscious regulation. The initial receptor impulse code is transformed to oscillatory code, which is necessary for CNC. Second two types of information interaction are based on return transmission of a signal and conversion of oscillation to an impulse code, which is necessary for control physiological processes (for example, muscle tightening).

3.2.1. Command to consciousness: projection of neuronal-reflex drives on CNC

It is transmission of the purposes of behavior (for example, purposes, biologically determined by an instinct) to a modular-coordinate level for more effective solution of the complex task (that requires to take into account many factors, interdependent objects or long succession of events). The projected single task of a current situation is realized as spontaneous, but conscious drive. The deep neuronal-reflex and common instinctive purposes, underlying that task, can remain unconscious (i.e., not be projected on CNC).

The insertion of single drive into consciousness is carried out by its projection on appropriate executive CNC and by its informational synthesis with reflex drives and images, associatively evoked by it from memory (about typical familiar objects and own possible actions of the person). The modular-coordinate level in this case will be used for coordination of actions, instruments and objects, planning of activity on achievement of instinctively determined purposes (food, safety, social status etc.).

3.2.2. Informing consciousness: a projection of a sensory image on CNC

The projection of a sensory image on particular modules of basic CNC (that reflects own body) makes a sensation such as "I feel warmth". The same projection on modules of derivative CNC or centralized sub-CNC (the center of which is an image of an external object) makes perception such as a "worm object". Usually the second of those projections follows the first. The insertion of the projected image into consciousness - awareness of the reflected object - is carried out by synthesis of a sensory image and associatively evoked images from CNK.

3.2.3. Command to subconscious: a projection of conscious drive on a neuronal-reflex level

Such projection allows to implement conscious drives physically, which can be more or less direct result of solution of the task, earlier "given" to consciousness from a neuronal-reflex level. The sequential projection of complex coordinate organized (in time and space) system of drives allows a person to implement a skill or long complex activity. The multiple projection of a skill on a neuronal-reflex level can create there a corresponding stable automatic reflex habit (which not require conscious control) on the base of new neuronal links.

3.2.4. Informing subconscious: a projection of a conscious image on a neuronal-reflex level

A conscious image can be projected on a neuronal-reflex level immediately doing motor actions, as an image of a possible, probable, required or undesirable result of an action. This is necessary for conscious control over actions, which a neuronal-reflex level fulfils automatically. The image of an "anticipated result" will be used further for evocation of a simple reflex or for more complex activity. For example, that image is necessary for the unconscious mechanism of cyclic feedback. Such projection, and its consequence, can be consciously targeted or not (as at reading a word "lemon" and its mental imagination, that causes salivation).

3.2.5. Comprehension of drives and images of a neuronal-reflex level

This is indirect comprehension of the neuronal-reflex phenomena as external (in relation to consciousness) objects. So initially unconscious instincts, tendencies, social prejudices can be realized. Here we mean hidden general incentive drives instead of their concrete derivative drives, which are projected on consciousness as spontaneous drives. Such comprehension of initially unconscious phenomena is possible only as a result of self-investigation, special analysis by the person of "hidden actual sources" of own actions, behavior and activity of consciousness. The person can successfully and consciously put into practice one's instinctive drives as "spontaneous desires", understanding their instinctive basis only when he will try to realize these depth drives of a neuronal-reflex level. Similarly, the man can unconsciously note and react to images, which he cannot at once realize because their shortness or low intensity does not allow to do the whole cycle of informational synthesis. The man can realize these images only by a special analysis of stimuli and his responses. This targeted awareness is done similarly to awareness of the own body or physiological state: unconscious drives and images are not projected directly on consciousness but are reflected in new conscious images which are results of thinking.

4. Methods of developing and substantiation of the NPS theory

4.1. Theoretical analysis of results of neurophysiological and psychological experiments

For the theory in this area a main method that has direct demonstrative force, probably, is the simulation, because it does not have any natural limitations on experiments with the nervous system of the man and his consciousness. And the main pre-simulation tool of substantiation of theory is the comparison of basic propositions and corollaries from the NPS theory with appropriate experimental data about laws of activity of the nervous system and psyche of biological organisms. From this point of view it is possible to note, that in the NPS theory the attempt is made to give new integral explanation to many for a long time known and recently revealed laws of a neurophysiology and psychology, without which creation of NPS theory would be impossible.
  1. The theory of the modular distributed system formed by many similar mini- and macro-columns strictly linked with each other, is proposed in known works of Edelman and Mountcastle [1978]. Advantages of modular organization of a neuronet are used in artificial modular (nuclear) neuronets.
  2. The presence of coordinate organization of carriers of information in a brain is known even from researches of representation of the tactile information in a cortex of a human brain. This organization later was found in many other areas of a brain. Mountcastle in fact told about coordinate organization of the modular system, when pointed, that in a sensory cortex every macro-column corresponds to a separate area of external space (and all its properties), and in a motor cortex - to separate muscles (and therefore, simplest motor operations).
  3. Informational-psychological functional characteristics of the separate module (or derivative CNC and centralized sub-CNC based on the module) correspond in many respects to known hypotheses about structurally-functional modules of mental activity. For example those are "agents" in Mynsky's theory of "Society of Mind" [Minsky 1985] or "attitudes" in Mead's theory of mind [Mead 1934].
  4. The theory of informational synthesis based on reentering of signals to places of initial projections is designed in works of Edelmen, Ivanitsky and many other authors. This synthesis of information is considered as a basis of higher mental functions, and that proposition is proved by many neurophysiological and neuropsychological experiments.
  5. The theory of informational synthesis and other relevant theses of the NPS theory have parallel propositions in psychological laws, which is based on experiments. They are such as Hume's law (consciousness assigns the known nonrandom causality to any watched random event). The law of classification (every concrete object is considered in consciousness as the member of the certain class). Roch's law - objects, which are identified as members of one class, can belong to this class in a different degree. That meets to a different degree of associative correspondence of a receptor image and image of the typical member of the class in memory. Lange's law of identification - at first an object is realized as something known, at least approximately similar to the perceived object, and then this image is gradually specified with comprehension of it as reflecting known object, more and more similar to the actually perceived object. Many other laws of activity of consciousness quite logically match not the NPS theory but its corollaries (laws of interference, attitude, constancy of conscious perception, law of effect of differential tags etc.) [Allahverdov 1999].
  6. The idea of an interaction focus as the center of informational synthesis for solution of a separate task, is proved by experimental data in many researches [Ivanitsky 1992, Shen 1999]. In these researches it is shown, that when one is thinking there is convergence of oscillatory brain signals to particular areas of a cortex, which are "responsible" for problem solving of an appropriate type. Solution of problems, which require different dimensions of coordinate representation of objects, is linked to an intensive projection of required information on different areas of a cortex: visual information, requiring spatial coordinate organization, converges to temporo-pariental cortex, and abstract-logical information, requiring coordinate organization based on such relations, as inclusion, attribution, causality etc. - to frontal cortex.
  7. Advantages of an oscillatory form of transmission of information are known for a long time. It is widely used in engineering. The theoretical and experimental simulation of neuronets consisting of oscillatory modules, is an intensively explicating direction on the junction of a neurophysiology and engineering. Neurophysiological experiments have shown efficiency and considerable role of an oscillatory form of transmission and processing (including informational synthesis) of information in a human brain. And its efficiency is confirmed in many experiments on oscillatory neuronets, where identification, attention, detection of novelty and other functions are simulated [Borisyuk 1998; Ermentrout, Kopell 1994; Schuster, Wagner 1990].
  8. The presence of considerably distinguishing and relatively isolated levels of mental organization - unconscious and consciousness, is uncovered many years ago and since then it has many confirmations and new data. This division and available data in many respects correspond to division of physical mechanisms, informational-psychological contents and interactions between neuronal-reflex and modular-coordinate levels, which are described in the NPS theory.
  9. The relation between the generalized object and its single variants, and significance of that relation of generalization for knowledge, are known from times of Aristotle. Later, selection of information and reflection as essences of mental appearances was carried out many times in cybernetics and psychology [Wiener 1948; Vekker 1964]. And the system-information approach has allowed to formalize and to use this relation for research of the neuropsychological system.

Thus, the main new idea in the NPS theory is the integration of many known theses and theories from neurophysiology, psychology, philosophy and engineering science - into the whole theory of the neuropsychological system based on the system-information approach to relation between neural-signal and mental forms of information.

4.2. Computer simulation and parallel experiments on examinees - the man and the model

The necessary addition to a substantiation by known experimental data of neurophysiological and neuropsychological researches here is the experimental research on the computer model and the man. It is necessary for check of designed theoretical model and obtaining possible applied results. The experimental research is sectioned into two large stages, first of which is aimed at simulation of simplest bases of neuronal and informational-psychological structures of the organism, and second - at simulation of structures and functions of a modular-coordinate level.

We develop for these purposes experimental software, flexible enough for experimenting and addition on every investigation phase. Now the first stage of simulation is completed (as the program NPS v. 2.1) and the development of "plug-ins" to this program, which are doing functions of a modular-coordinate level, is carried on. The main phases (corresponding to levels of the software architecture) of construction of a model and means of their implementation are described below (A: available in NPS 2.1; B: now developed and perspective means).
  • The construction of a "real" world, in which model's "physical body" exists.
  • The emulation of a physical body, environment and main types of objects defining basic types of behavior (food, danger, obstacle, neutral object, which can gain signal meaning according to its objective links with other objects and according to subjective experience of the model).
  • The self-controlled virtual organism in the Internet environment. The self-controlled robot with a physical body in the real physical environment.
  • Construction of a neuronal-reflex level, that carries out unconscious control over an activity of an organism.
  • Simple emulation of a neurocomputer (artificial neuronet).
  • Neurocomputer block implementing a neuronal-reflex level of a model.
  • Preparation of the interface for direct interaction of the experimenter with informational-psychological contents of the model (observation and experimental effects on its contents).
  • The table of verbal definitions of images and drives in terms that are appropriate to corresponding reflected and caused objects of the environment and actions of model's body. As it is supposed, detected images and drives are material for coordinate synthesis of information and creation of a conscious picture of the world on higher level of organization (which is developed now as the "plug-in" for NPS 2.1).
  • The continuous verbal "self-record" of a model about informational-psychological contents of unconscious and consciousness, without reflection of this process in consciousness of model.
  • Construction of a modular-coordinate level that implements higher mental functions, based on a united picture of the world in consciousness of the person. It is the second long stage of the project.
  • This stage is at the beginning now and its results are limited to theoretical models and algorithms of the necessary software.
  • "Plug-in" to NPS 2.1, which are developed now, is economic emulation of the oscillatory modular network with a possibility of implementation of separate modules or derivative CNC and CNK as the distributed dynamic system on the network of computers (local network / Internet) with possibilities of self-organizing and self-creation of new modules and derivative CN as required. Possible future perspective is the block of the quantum modular-network computer as an addition to a neurocomputer block.
Experiments with models, which behavior was controlled only by a neuronal-reflex level, were conducted as presentation of stimuli to them and overseeing their responses (moving, choice and implementation of one of several ways of obtaining food etc.). On the basis of "neurons" and their groups, information units were detected (and defined as images and drives), which was adequately reflecting surroundings and actions of the model.

For experiments with a modular-coordinate level, the special scheme of experiments is designed. It is based on the uniform complex of stimuli and two types of examinees: computer models and people. The appropriate program complex is developed for implementation of this scheme. It is targeted at, as far as it is possible, providing similar experimental conditions for both types of examinees.

5. Conclusion

The second investigation phase now starts with constructing of algorithms for emulation of all necessary functions on the network of usual personal computers. One of the purposes of this report is the search of partners interested in cooperative working in that direction. The long-term perspective continuation of the research requires solution of many technical problems, related to artificial neuronets, quantum computers and robotics. On the other hand, we believe, that theoretical and practical development of the proposed architectures of models can be useful for development of these technical areas, and for obtaining applied results.

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6. Supplement. The scheme of interaction of information according to NPS theory

(in brackets - references to the text).

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Научный доклад
Сергей Александрович Мирошников
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