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I understand that evolution incorporated arbitrary qualia into the default network to inform consciousness (the largest cranial global processing information subnetwork) about properties and qualities of the body in spacetime. However, how does the feeling in my toe know to appear near my toe when nerves there are stimulated? Is this an illusion, and there is extraneous processing that matches the visual stimulus of me looking at my toe and the tactile stimuli of someone touching it to make those qualia feel related, even localized in the same area in space?

What if my somatosensory cortex was moved to my stomach (say all dendrites and axons were chopped off and were replaced with wireless hubs that signaled to the newly transplanted somatosensory cortex in my stomach). I would presumably experience no change in consciousness, which indicated localization of qualia is not achieved by the spatial embedding of the neurons, but by their graph-theoretic interconnection.

If I swapped the information processing (in some information-theoretic sense, say graph-dynamics) associated to the smell of strawberry (it's much more complicated than that but just go with it for a second) with the brain's processing of thermal information from afferent skin sensors, would I appear to feel the smell of strawberry all over my body when it's cold and the feel of cold in my nose when I smelled strawberry? I am excluding affect swap here so the qualia of strawberry smell now feels unpleasant like cold and the qualia of cold feels pleasant like strawberry smell.

Now what if in mad science I permuted the thermal sensors all over my body? Say my foot and hand neurons got swapped (say through a nanobot intercepting wireless relay). Would my hand feel cold when my foot is immersed in ice and vice versa? This would indicate these qualia are processed in consciousness in the brain rather than at the afferent sensor sites.

For bonus credit: How does this relate to phantom limb syndrome? Are there other observed processing defects that lead to faulty localization? E.g. Out of body experiences, certain particularly nasty mental disorders like dementia, rewiring of somatosensory map due to stroke, that engineering dean who wanted his arm chopped off (I forgot the name but I heard this from V.S. Ramachandran)

Second bonus credit: I've read "butterflies" in your stomach are serotonin releases in the enteric nervous system. Doesn't consciousness have to be informed of this release for you to feel it? If not, how do disconnected information graphs allow you the cohesive ability to feel in love?

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There's quite a few "big" questions here. I'd recommend breaking them up into separate questions, even though they may be related by a common theme. –  Chuck Sherrington Dec 29 '12 at 20:59
cant say you exactly where because this topic is out of my current reading scope - nevertheless i will quote from stanford ep from first segment of the related article about qualia which is related at least to the location in philosophy: > The status of qualia is hotly debated in philosophy largely because it is central to a proper understanding of the nature of consciousness. Qualia are at the very heart of the mind-body problem. –  thegrunt Dec 30 '12 at 15:27
There are leading scientists like V.S. Ramachandran stating that understanding consciousness might be possible independently from other phenomenons like qualia edge.org/conversation/self-awareness-the-last-frontier. Also many experimental neuroscientist don't care too much about current "theories" (sorry but it is not more than a guessing game currently in this branch) in philosophy of mind... –  Hauser Jan 5 '13 at 19:46
edge.org/conversation/self-awareness-the-last-frontier Probably the best essay I read on this topic –  Hauser Jan 5 '13 at 19:46
I would challenge some of your presumptions. Brain locality is important for processes like "volume transmission" in which a region of the brain experiences changes. You're limiting your thinking to "synaptic transmission" which is, in my opinion, a very limited view. Furthermore, the system self organizes, based on the length of axons so that timing is appropriate. If you suddenly lengthen the axon, you're going to get a delay in the post-synaptic signal that could mess with parallel signal processing in all kinds of ways. –  Keegan Keplinger Jan 6 '13 at 8:05

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