Thanks all for your replies, I can definitely see from a different angle now. From Anil's youtube video, there was a comment from a neurologist finding's which was what resonated & seemed like there was a part of consciousness being formed through the process of evolution, have a read of this and let me know if this coincides with MBT:
"Consciousness is the processes of recognition and extrapolation. Here’s how evolution did it.
In the beginning there was life that could exist but could neither sense nor react. Energy could be gathered. New individuals could be produced. But, this was all rather automatic. (The details of what happened during this stage are not fully known - i.e. origin of life - but that is another story.)
Okay, so, life first exists. Next, it needs to sense. In the most primitive forms this means sensing changes in environment that would have impact on core homeostatic mechanisms: reducing or enhancing certain chemical situations in order to adapt to the momentary external situations.
Then, along came reaction at levels greater than simple shifting of biochemical states. This is where we start to get into such things as movement or adaptation of whole systems to different needs. For example, moving toward or away from stimuli, or shifting systems toward feeding, reproduction, or other. This is the stage of simple reaction.
Then, reaction became more refined. For example, organisms needed to determine how to move - direction or extent. This was primitive reaction calibration.
Then, along comes primitive memory. That is, better than just reacting is the ability to recall the results of reacting in order to better select future action. This requires some form of retention of prior experience. This is the basic level of memory. It required the segregation of specific neurons that could act to retain the results of past actions and then use this to calibrate future actions. We still do this today in some forms of primitive memory such as “muscle memory”, as used in sports. We learn how to refine movement to make it the right kind and degree. We don’t consciously remember precisely how we do this (e.g. which specific muscles act in which specific order and degree) because the memory of these details is retained in primitive parts of the brain that we don’t normally contact in consciousness. But, we do still have these functions.
Through all of these early evolutionary stages organisms were still just reacting. “A” lead to “B” - in some relatively simple way.
However, evolution continued. Armed with primitive mechanisms of memory, organisms could begin to select from among memorized outcomes. Essentially this is the primitive form of “choice” - selecting a reaction appropriate to some broader perspective of the circumstances (e.g. from constellations of sensations). All of this is still about reaction, but with increasing sophistication.
Next, with the introduction of choice could soon come some primitive forms of planning. This is not just reaction; but, rather reaction informed by some kind of intended outcome. This requires neurons that are devoted to the task of connecting memory to anticipation to future action. So, we are moving to brain that does not have direct function in reaction.
By this stage we are coming to primitive consciousness. With the introduction of primitive planning we can begin to move past reaction. Organisms with planning can begin to “think about” what to do. That is, a set of neurons begins to be set aside that have the functions of selection, anticipation, and even extrapolation.
As the functions of memory access, selection, anticipation, extrapolation become more sophisticated they move into complex functions such as evaluation and judgement. These then form the basis for development of complex motivations such as goals, values, expectations and beliefs. All of this level is not aimed specifically at reaction. It is aimed at determining how to “think about” situations, possible actions, or complex ideas such as “perspective”. This whole level of neuronal action that serves these functions - beyond reaction - are the realm of consciousness.
At this evolutionary stage the brain is now armed with three populations of neurons: 1) those with primary intent to create manage body state (breathing, circulation, digestion, temperature regulation and so forth), 2) those with primary intent to orchestrate reaction to external circumstance (e.g. motion, defense, etc), and 3) those with primary intent to extrapolate information. The first group we now think of a regulating “vegatative” processes. These may remain active even during a coma. The second group oversee reaction and some levels of this are automatic, either marginally conscious or “unconscious”. The third neuronal group processes “thinking”. Neuronal conversations between first two groups and the third group is what we call awareness (e.g. being “aware of your surroundings”). Correlation of information from the first two groups to prior memory is largely “recognition”. Abstracted processing of information (by the third group) that is separate from actual stimulus processing is what we call imagination.
So, where in the brain is “consciousness”. Anil Seth’s talk gives some perspective. Yet, depending upon which specific function of consciousness we select we might get different answers to the question. Overall, consciousness is broadly located in the parts of the brain more recent developments in evolution (that is, the “neocortex”). Further, some portions of consciousness are more centralized to the front of the brain, where the “executive” functions are more-or-less located.
Are other creatures then “conscious”? Yes, of course. Only our anthropocentrism and hubris would lead us to believe that consciousness is ours alone. However, our vast libraries of information and stories stand as testimony that we do have more neurons specialized to work with extrapolations beyond reaction - that is, more neurons specialized in the production of consciousness. We have more, but we are not alone in this capability.
As you can see, consciousness is not mysterious. It is simply a stage in the evolution of information processing - a stage that emphasizes extrapolation rather than reaction. Thus, we now have the capability to watch videos, such as this one, and “think about” the information.
Here is another piece: sleep is the stage of integrating and consolidating information. When we are “thinking about” information we are awake and conscious. (If we are fully absorbed in such function then we may be seen as “daydreaming”.) When we sleep we are integrating and consolidating information. If we are in coma then neither of these is happening (as far as we know). (Yet, in coma we may still show some very primitive forms of reaction.)
Last, in a normal brain, information is somehow “tagged” as being derived from actual stimuli (experience) versus being the product of “thinking” (imagination). Thus, the normal individual can basically separate what is “real” from what is imagined. However, this tagging function can break down. In some pathological situations (e.g. psychosis) the mechanisms don’t work well and the individual cannot tell whether the information was real or imagined. In some other situations, such as drug use, the barriers between real and imagined are disturbed temporarily. This whole area of real/imagined boundary processing is a fascinating area - not fully understood. It is likely that there are specific neurons that are involved in this tagging process, and that their function can be subverted in various ways. "