As far as theories of consciousness go, we are in the Nature has Phenomenal Properties camp
and in the parallel camp on the hard problem
. This theory predicts that the explanatory gap is not a 'hard problem' and that the 'explanatory gap' is the same as asking someone to explain why mass equals force times acceleration. We don't know why there is this relationship, or why matter and forces behave this way, we just know that they do.
Force equals mass times acceleration has to do with the cause and effect behavioral properties of nature. Phenomenal properties are of a completely different qualitative nature.
This theory predicts there will be some neural correlate that, in addition to having the cause and effect properties traditional observation can see it will also have particular phenomenal properties. Whatever it is that has the neural correlate of phenomenal red we experience, we certainly shouldn't expect it to reflect 700nm (red) light. All we can detect of such, through cause and effect observation, is abstract representations or behavioral nature of these properties. Though any causally downstream representations in any traditional perception process can behave in a way that abstractly represents their referent, these abstract representations are not fundamentally, and especially not phenomenally like their referent. Abstract representations are by design independent from what they are represented with, and must be mapped back to the original to experience or know, phenomenally, what they are like and how they compare to all the other phenomenal properties we experience.
As an example, when we see a strawberry in our right field of vision, there is something in the left hemisphere of our brain that has this red phenomenal property that is our conscious knowledge of such. And if at the same time, there is a green leaf in our left field of vision, there is something in our right hemisphere that is this green knowledge representing the leaf.
This theory also predicts that in some way, likely utilizing something in the corpus callosum connecting the two hemispheres, our brain unifies or binds these two red and green phenomenal properties in the different hemispheres of our brain into one conscious world of experience where we can know, phenomenally what these two properties are like at the same time, and how they are different.
How this phenomenal unification occurs over the apparently discretely firing neurons of the corpus callosum is still a bit of a problem, but the solution to this problem is within what Chalmers considers to be the 'easy' problems of consciousness. There are myriads of candidate theories that are possible ways nature could successfully unify things. Everything from Higher-dimensional Theories extending out into the branes of quantum strings
to Steven Lehars' ideas of Standing Waves and Harmonic Resonance in The Brain
. So, this theory predicts that this explanatory gap will turn out to be not such a 'hard problem' after all. (at least, no harder than knowing why force equals mass times acceleration which we obviously still don't know anything about while still able to dance in the heavens.)
This theory predicts that however the corpus callosum achieves this unification, we will eventually be able to do similar things artificially to merge conscious worlds of separate brains and unified conscious worlds of awareness. We like to refer to this as effing the ineffable
, as in 'oh THAT is what salt tastes like for you'.
As far as behavioral causal properties go, we don't usually ask why things have the causes and effects they do, we just know that they do. In order to fly and navigate the heavens, we don't need to know why force equals mass times acceleration, we just need to know that it does. Similarly, we won't need to have a reason as to why the corpus callosum is able to eff the ineffable, we just need to reproduce what it does in order to do the same. This theory predicts that we will achieve this and that this is how we will finally make the subjective objective, reproducible, sharable. and thereby scientific, without needing to know the whys.
Many nuts and bolts neural researchers don't realize how to look for or eff phenomenal properties. Most of them think the phenomenal is something beyond our senses, or worse, that it is nothing at all worth scientifically considering. This is a big part of the reason this field of study is getting so little funding compared to other sciences. Looking in the right place, in the right way, is of critical importance to our funding and finding it. We believe once this effing information is successfully communicated to more of the nuts and bolts neural researchers and science funders, someone will quickly finally achieve the first discovery and recognition of this and start reliably mapping out specific neural correlates to phenomenal properties such as red and green. This will eventually lead to effing of the ineffable, which will ultimately be considered the greatest and most world changing scientific achievement of all time.
We will finally, objectively, know the answers to many of the most troubling philosophical, religious, epistemological and scientific questions of all time. From then on, humanity will quickly become something different entirely as we start to eff just how much of nature has much more than just behavioral causal properties.
We're looking forward to finding out what sunsets are really phenomenally like, as compared to the phenomenal properties our still spiritually isolated brains abstractly represent them with.