The criticism of consciousness theory as “pseudoscience” has caused controversy.

Researchers criticize theories that they claim receive excessive attention yet aren’t well supported by science.
A statement published online last week and signed by 124 academics has outraged the field of consciousness study. It presents the case that the integrative information theory (IIT), a well-known theory that explains what causes someone or something to be conscious, should be classified as pseudoscience. The letter has caused some scholars to argue over the designation and others to worry that it would deepen divisiveness in a discipline that has previously struggled with credibility concerns since it was published on September 15 in the public repository PsyArXiv.

Anil Seth, a neurologist and the director of the Center for Conscious Research at University of Sussex in the UK’s south of Brighton, says he disagree with the labeling of IIT as pseudoscience and adds, “I think it’s provocative to refer to IIT as pseudoscience.” According to Christof Koch, a senior researcher at the Allen Center for Neuroscience Science in Seattle, WA, but a supporter of the theory, “IIT is a principle, of course, and as such may be empirically incorrect.” However, he claims that it is quite transparent about its presumptions, such as the idea that consciousness has a physical foundation and can be quantified logically.
There are numerous theories that aim to comprehend the brain underpinnings of consciousness as well as every aspect of humans or non-human experience, encompassing what they feel, see, and hear.

IIT, along with the global neural workflow theories (GNW), higher-order thought theory, and recurrent neural network theory, has frequently been referred to as one of the central theories. It contends that systems with greater interconnections or integration possess higher levels of awareness and that consciousness arises from the way knowledge is processed inside a “system” (such as network of neuron or computer circuits).
a heightened discomfort
Among the authors of the letter, Hakwan Lau, a neuroscientist who works at the Riken Center over Brain Science at Wako, Japan, claims that certain scholars in the awareness field are uneasy with the what they perceive as a disagreement between IIT’s scientific merit and the significant amount of coverage it receives from the mainstream press because of how it is promoted.

After it made news in June, the notion was met with further hostility. The findings of a ‘adversarial’ research that matched IIT against GNW were covered by media sites, including Nature. The experiments1, involving brain scans, did not definitively support or refute either theory, but Lau and the rest of the authors decided to write their letter because some experts thought it was improper to showcase IIT as an established theory of consciousness.

Why then is IIT considered pseudoscience? Although Lau acknowledges that the letter is ambiguous in its description of pseudoscience, a “commonsensical definition” would be “something that isn’t very academically supported, pretends as if it had previously been very substantially established.” He believes that IIT meets the criteria in this regard.

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