Ruhr-University Bochum / Columbia University
Dreamless sleep experience is a candidate for minimal phenomenal experience, or the simplest form in which a state can be phenomenally conscious.
[This paper] develops the concept of “minimal phenomenal experience” (MPE) as a candidate for the simplest form of consciousness.
It may not be possible to isolate the simplest form of conscious experience in terms of one unique minimum of dimensionality for the relevant state-space (or an individual state displaying the minimal set of characteristic features), and for a given system multiple low-dimensional states may actually be possible or even co-exist. For example, in a 1,000,000-dimensional state space there might be five different kinds of three-dimensional states, each of them exhibiting a unique phenomenal character.