Scientific Understanding of Consciousness
Consciousness as an Emergent Property of Thalamocortical Activity

Embryonic Development of Neural Network

· Structural protein layout is determined by genetics in the early embryo.

· Axons of the earliest “pioneer” neurons follow the structure.

· Axons of later neurons follow the pathways of earlier pioneer neurons.

· Axon growth cones arrive in the proper termination space, but individual synaptic connections are only approximate. There results an approximate 3:1 excess of synapses in the newly-formed neural network.

· There is not sufficient information in the human genome to precisely determine the synaptic connections in the neural network.

· Neural activity refines the neural network synaptic connections.  Synapses are maintained on a “use it or lose it” basis.