Artificial Consciousness/Neural Correlates/Functional Models/Personality
Every sufficiently complex machine or organism begins to exhibit quirks and mannerisms that are unique to that individual. In fact it is one reason why Turing's Test is so easy to defeat, that people tend to anthropomorphise anything complex enough to have these quirks and mannerisms. They say it has a specific personality. One reason people are supposed to be able to tell the difference between machines and people is the supposed lack of personality in robots. However, in fact one of the problems that scientists that want to do turning tests have, is that people read personality into anything that is complex enough to be quirky. So as long as the robot is quirky, it is ascribed a personality. How often have you heard someone complain about a particularly buggy program, saying something like "My computer hates me"? It is important to note that while the computer can't hate because it doesn't experience emotion, people often do have a love-hate relationship with their computers else why is there cultural evidence such as comical pictures of Ducks with sledgehammers ready to attack their PC?
Humans are definitely quirky and individualistic enough to be ascribed a personality, and originally everyone was thought to be unique. However beginning with Jung's description of human Types, it began to be possible to classify people within a range of behavior, according to some specific parameters. Of course today, with e-harmonies 29 dimensions of compatibility we have a much more sophisticated view of personality types than Jung did, but we still do not quite understand what these measurements mean within the mind.
What for instance is the difference between aptitudes and Personality Dimensions, and how do they interact? The difference might be simply the difference between tactical and strategic approaches to the same problem. Aptitudes are the tactical mechanisms by which the brain approaches the environment. While Personality seems more like the tendency to use one type of strategy over another. Some models of personality almost seem to map out to a tendency to use one lobe of the brain more than another. They can be seen as balances between the lobes of the brain. Obviously there are not 29 dimensions of balance between lobes of the brain, but there are 4 or five lobes, each with a left and right hemisphere. Further there are 4 commissures that join the two halves of the brain and might be the location at which communication between the two sides of the brain is achieved.
There is of course discussion between the types and traits communities, as to whether people tend to favor one side of the brain at one of these commissures and thus are types, or whether there is simply a distribution of different levels of connection between the two sides of the brain, and thus that different people express different traits depending on where they fall within the distribution. Evidence is trending towards the trait side of the equation because the statistical variation is a bell curve on each dimension.
But where is favoring of one side of the brain over the other determined? Evidence seems to indicate that once someone has grown to a certain age their personality is set, and they after that tend to always present the same personality aspect to the world. But a small percentage of people have something called a personality disorder, that results in them presenting abherrent or pathalogically determined personalities that are not socially acceptable or are socially damaging. Others seem to have multiple personalities that compete for the same brain.
Evidence from Lesion studies note that personality changes are associated with the Orbito-frontal Cortex, a part of the Prefrontal Cortex that sits right over the eyes. People who have had damage in this area tend to change personalities and lose the ability to regulate their actions so as to gain the most from them. The role of the PFC in regulation of Top-Down attention, seems to suggest that in fact personality is associated with regulation of attention, and may well have a strategic importance to the processing of the brain. Personality disorders such as Avoidant Personality Disorder and Dissassociate Personality Disorder have been traced back to developmental steps associated with Attachment between the child and its mother in the first 2 years of life. Other personality disorders may have similar developmental elements, or may be based on hormonal levels at certain other set-points in life.
One idea of the role of the Orbito-Frontal area of the PFC is that it contains a model of the self, in which all these set points are defined. Failure to adequately define a particular set point, affects the regulation of that particular dimension of control over the organism, reducing the ability of the organism to adapt to its environment by eliminating the standard for adaptation needed to meet a particular need of the organism. This model is then used to determine which actions the organism will consider, and to recognize actions that the organism has done in the past, and reject actions that are counter to its model of itself. The concept that the brain uses a model or self-image to attach agency to actions, is an important aspect to consciousness