It seems undeniable to me if I specify the physical configuration (of the brain), then there is a mapping to our subjective experience. Are there any clever arguments on the kind of mapping there is like surjective, bijective, etc?

2 Answers 2


Mathematically, a map is a triple formed by the domain, the range and the rule.

Unfortunately models from neuroscience are still far away from formalizing the relation between subjective experience and mental processes in the brain as a map in the above mathematical sense. We do not even know what are domain and range.

But Tononi et al. are working on such an attempt in the context of their Integrated Information Theory (IIT), see IIT 4.0.

  • +1 re: IIT. They are making impressive progress here :)
    – Annika
    Commented Jul 8 at 21:36

If you hear a song, you have the subjective experience of it. Do you really believe that by specifying the physical configuration of the radio that is transmitting the song, you will ever get a mapping to the subjective experience of hearing it? Because to my view, to specify the physical configuration of the brain will only result to the mapping of the radio signals to how these are represented in the brain; but the subjective experience is of a different level.

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