During the evolution of a MES, new CoRegulators (CR) of higher and higher levels can be formed with emerging objects and links. These CRs, with longer periods, will detect in their landscape objects too complex to be perceived by other CRs, for instance objects in the semantic memory, and they act as associative CRs controlling lower CRs. They can possess the following properties.
A CR will be called a D-intentional CR, or intentional system in the sense of Dennett, if it acts 'as if' it was able to optimize its choice of strategy in its landscape. This is possible if some of its agents (at least two, say + and -) are evaluators which classify already memorized strategies available in the landscape, depending on their result for the CR; for instance, + classifies successful strategies. A comparison between strategies classified by the same evaluator can be done by comparing the weights of the links from the strategies to the evaluator.
If the MES has developed a semantic memory and if the CR can select strategies under the form of concepts, the comparison may also be internalized in the landscape; and we say that the CR is intentional. This property requires the formation of functional loops between the CR and the procedural and semantic memories.
In a MES of neurons modeling a nervous system which has developed a semantic memory, particular intentional CRs can emerge, called conscious CRs, which are able to internalize the semantics and the notion of time.
A conscious CR is characterized (cf. article 1999) by the following capacities:
1. After a fracture, extension of its actual landscape by retrospection to lower levels of the near past (in the neural system, it is made possible by an increase of the attention);
2. Development of an abduction process on this extended landscape to search for the possible causes of the fracture;
3. Complex programming of a selection of strategies covering several steps ahead thanks to the formation of virtual landscapes in which strategies (selected as concepts) can be 'tried' without material cost for the system.
The existence of a conscious CR in a nervous system relies on the existence of functional loops between various areas of the cortex, which form what Edelman calls a 'loop of consciousness'.