According to Tononi, the brain consists of billions of neurons. But these billions of neurons when added together are equal to more than the sum it their parts. That is consciousness to him.
It’s kind of like bread or wine. Bread is so much more than just flour, yeast, and water. Wine is so much more than just squished grapes. And so our brain, though consisting of parts, has something else that is more than just the individual parts. Something that is above and beyond.
He calls this Phi. And to him, Phi represents the degree to which any being remains conscious. This applies to animals as well as humans.
Yet, to me, this is just one form of consciousness. And it could be used as a measure for people in a coma or people on the way to crossing over into death. This is consciousness tied into the physical form of a being. It goes away after the cells die.
Tononi does not address Cosmic Consciousness, which is not tied into the organic brain cells and is not dependent on physical forms. Cosmic Consciousness cannot be measured. And this has always been the problem in the great divide between Science and Spirituality. How can you prove what is unseen in a laboratory? Cosmic Consciousness does not depend on the senses, so how can scientists, who rely on their senses, prove that it exists?