I briefly explain the main thesis of my documentary-in-working, Consciousness 3D. The claims are heavily researched, but they do not reflect a current scientific consensus.
Consciousness appears to be a command-and-control unit, an 'I', a central decider and intelligence. But science is pointing in a very different direction from that intuition.
What we know as 'conscious awareness' is actually a brand new memory, a 3D+ movie of experience that is generated by the hippocampus, from reports sent to it, from around the brain. This movie includes a spatiotemporal 3D sense of the world, and it includes the sense of an 'I' within that world. The I-within-the-world is a necessary component of memory, to provide context of how I felt and responded to an event. This information will be useful later, when encountering a similar situation.
The hippocampal world is represented with all my biases built in, with my aesthetics and my assumptions. And 'I' am represented with all my biases built in: my beliefs about me and the world, my shame or pride in my body, my relationship to pain, my identity as hero or victim of my life story...
The hippocampus is the 'mind's eye', and is responsible for encoding memory, and playing it back. It is also the simulator of experiences that have not happened, like daydreams, future planning, social rehearsal and spatial manipulation. It serves as the holodeck of the brain, being orchestrated by the default mode network (DMN), particularly the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. The DMN is the imagination network, the simulator network, that is responsible for daydreaming and previsualizing. It uses other structures of the hippocampal complex (i.e. the parahippocampal gyrus, perirhinal area and entorhinal cortex) as the information-structuring computers, which prepare the scene to be constructed into an experience in the hippocampus proper.
Even dreams happen at the hippocampus, during the consolidation of memories. During REM sleep, the neocortical sensory and motor cortices activate, to allow for mental rehearsal of semantic and procedural learning, and pruning of unnecessary connections. The hippocampus also activates during REM, to provide the sequence and timing information for the rehearsal in the neocortex. The near-random information from the neocortex arrives at the hippocampus, as usual, which automatically stitches together an experience out of it, even though that experience makes no sense.
t is telling, that our experience of the current moment is generated in the same simulator as the one which creates imagination and dreams, because our memories are often built with a good deal of fudging built-in. This is part of why eye-witness testimony is notoriously fallible.
Thank you for taking the time to see the video. If you are interested in more information on the Hippocampal Simulation Theory, please contact me through a personal message, and I can send you either our poster presentation and/or our paper (which has a good deal more neuroscience in it).
Note: many background images in this video are borrowed from youtube and other media, and are property of their creators. They are included for explanation purposes only, and will not be part of any commercial work.