Export file:


  • RIS(for EndNote,Reference Manager,ProCite)
  • BibTex
  • Text


  • Citation Only
  • Citation and Abstract

“The Hard Problem of Consciousness”. Theoretical solution of its main questions

Department of Theory of Knowledge, Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

Topical Section: Conscious versus Unconscious Volition and Control

The problem of explaining the connection between the phenomena of subjective reality and brain processes is usually called the “Hard problem of consciousness”. The solution of its main theoretical issues is of great importance for the development of modern neuroscience, especially for such direction as neurocryptology (“Brain-Reading”). From the standpoint of the information approach it is proposed to address these issues, namely: 1) the nature of the connection with brain processes of the phenomena of subjective reality (mental state), 2) their causal ability to control bodily functions; 3) the compatibility of freedom of will with the determinism of brain processes and also 4) the frequently asked question: why is information about the acting agent not just represented, but experienced in the form of subjective reality. The connection between the phenomenon of subjective reality and the corresponding brain process is the relationship between information and its carrier; specific features of this relationship are analyzed. Mental causation is a kind of information causality that differs from ordinary physical causation because information is invariant with respect to the physical properties of its carrier, can be coded in different ways. The author identifies and describes those analytical parameters that must be taken into account in the problems of constructing a model of the code neurodynamic structure of the phenomena of subjective reality. A hypothesis is advanced on the emergence of the very quality of subjective reality in the course of biological evolution. On this basis, the methodological aspects of the problem of deciphering brain neurodynamic code of the phenomena of subjective reality and the prospects of neuroscience studies of consciousness are discussed.
  Article Metrics

Keywords information; consciousness; brain; subjective reality; free will; neuroscience; cod; decoding brain neurodynamic codes

Citation: David I. Dubrovsky. “The Hard Problem of Consciousness”. Theoretical solution of its main questions. AIMS Neuroscience, 2019, 6(2): 85-103. doi: 10.3934/Neuroscience.2019.2.85


  • 1.Chalmers DJ (1997) The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory, New York: Oxford University Press.
  • 2.Searle JR (1992) The Rediscovery of the Mind, Cambridge: MIT Press.
  • 3.Vasilev VV (2009) Hard Problem of Consciousness, M.: Progress-Tradition. (In Russian)
  • 4.Dubrovsky DI (1971) Psychological phenomena and the brain: Philosophical analysis of the problem in connection with some topical issues of neurophysiology, psychology and cybernetics. M.: Nauka. (In Russian)
  • 5.Dubrovsky DI (1980) Information. Consciousness. Brain, M.: Higher School. (In Russian)
  • 6.Dubrovsky DI (2007) Consciousness. Brain. Artificial Intelligence, Moscow: Strategy-Center. (In Russian)
  • 7.Dubrovsky DI (2015) The problem "Consciousness and the brain": a theoretical solution, Canon+, M. (In Russian)
  • 8.Miyawaki Y, Uchida H, Yamashita O, et al. (2008) Visual image reconstruction from human brain activity using a combination of multiscale local image decoders. Neuron 60: 915–929.    
  • 9.Nishimoto S, Vu AT, Naselaris T, еt al. (2011) Reconstructing neuron visual experience from brain activity evoked by natural movies. Curr Biol 21: 1641–1646.    
  • 10.Damacio A (2012) Self comes to Mind. Constructing the Conscious Mind, London: Vintage Books.
  • 11.Edelman GM, Tononi GA (2000) Universe of Consciousness: How Matter Becomes Imagination, New York: Basic Books.
  • 12.Matyushkin DP (2007) On the possible neurophysiological foundations of the nature of the inner "I" of the man. Hum Physiol 33: 1–10. (In Russian)    
  • 13.Dubrovsky DI (2017) The problem of free will and modern neuroscience. J High Nerv/Act 67: 739–754.
  • 14.Dubrovsky DI (2007) What for subjective reality or "Why information processes do not go in the dark?" (Response to D. Chalmers), Vopr Filos, 3: 73–84. (In Russian)
  • 15.Rizzolatti G, Sinigalia C (2008) Mirror in the Brain: How Our Minds Share Action Emotion and Experience, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • 16.Ivanitsky AM (2009) The problem of consciousness and the physiology of the brain. In: The problem of consciousness in philosophy and science. Ed Dubrovsky M. Canon+, 383–394. (In Russian)
  • 17.Sergin V (1999) Self-identification and sensori-motor rehearsal as key mechanism of consciousness. Int J Comp Anticip Syst 4: 81–99.


Reader Comments

your name: *   your email: *  

© 2019 the Author(s), licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

Download full text in PDF

Export Citation

Copyright © AIMS Press All Rights Reserved