Is it sufficient to define consciousness as the ability to multi task in order to achieve multiple mutually beneficial effects?
More specifically the ability to respond virtually instantaneously to several afferent inputs in a coordinated way to the achieve a gain both in immediate and medium terms (though not always in the long term – which may be why we often consider ourselves to be to some extent deterministically driven over longer periods of time)
So it is effectively becomes awareness as opposed to a linear/binary response that feels too mechanistic and less representative of us.
If transmission is electrical in all directions rather than along a nerve axon,e.g. by transduction of arterial pulsatility into a net outward current ,would that dramatically increase capacity to respond to things “instinctively”.
Isn’t instinct counter to the idea of consciousness or is it a necessary facilitator for freeing up consciousness to performing more cognitively reflective tasks.
Maybe there are already enough cross connections for further networking to be an unnecessary complication…but consciousness is complicated and there is no point avoiding that fact.
Right through to the CSF pulsations in the spinal subarachnoid space there is a medium for transduction of messages through more than just simple axoplasmic flow.
Maybe consciousness is defined as the point at which the predominant direction of current flow becomes uncertain,i.e. it is all happening at once.
So it is practically independent of time
And it encompasses thoughts that are based on the means that the entity has at its disposal which is therefore proportional to the ratio of afferents to mass.
Not unlike the 2D being that can only therefore think in 2D
If you are a tree you can only think tree thoughts….
Being less constrained by position frees the brain to cope with more possibilities…but it is a potential that is maybe there in all coordinated networks and is only constrained by your physical constraints.
A couch potato rapidly becomes vegetative but he has the capacity to break that cycle and reignite his potential as long as the impediments (e.g. obesity,arthritis,social isolation) to breaking the cycle can be avoided.
As long as the cape is not too tight even Madonna can still strike the pose