Integrated information theory: from consciousness to its physical substrate

Giulio Tononi, Melanie Boly, Marcello Massimini, Christof Koch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this Opinion article, we discuss how integrated information theory accounts for several aspects of the relationship between consciousness and the brain. Integrated information theory starts from the essential properties of phenomenal experience, from which it derives the requirements for the physical substrate of consciousness. It argues that the physical substrate of consciousness must be a maximum of intrinsic cause–effect power and provides a means to determine, in principle, the quality and quantity of experience. The theory leads to some counterintuitive predictions and can be used to develop new tools for assessing consciousness in non-communicative patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Reviews Neuroscience
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - May 26 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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