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Consciousness and the Brain: Comparing and Testing Neuroscientific Theories of Consciousness

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Event Series Event Series: Theories of Consciousness

February 11 @ 6:00 pm 8:00 pm CET

Poster for the Pari Center's Theories of Consciousness series

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Consciousness and the Brain: Comparing and Testing Neuroscientific Theories of Consciousness

With Liad Mudrik

Sunday February 11, 2024
9:00am PST | 12:00pm EST | 5:00pm GMT  |  6:00pm CET

2-hour session

The session is live and you will be sent the RECORDING.

For centuries, consciousness was considered to be outside the reach of scientific investigation. Yet in recent decades, more and more studies have tried to probe the neural correlates of conscious experience, and several neuronally-inspired theories for consciousness have emerged. In this talk, I will focus on four leading theories of consciousness: Global Neuronal Workspace (GNW), integrated Information Theory (IIT), Recurrent Processing Theory (RPT) and Higher Order Theory (HOT). I will first shortly present the guiding principles of these theories, and compare them. Then, I will provide a bird’s-eye view of the field, using the results of a large-scale quantitative and analytic review we conducted, examining all studies that either empirically tested these theories or interpreted their findings with respect to at least one of them. I will then describe the first results of the Cogitate consortium – an adversarial collaboration aimed at testing GNW and IIT.

Prof. Liad Mudrik is a researcher at the school of psychological sciences and Sagol school of neuroscience at Tel Aviv University. Her research focuses on conscious experience, its neural mechanisms and functions. Mudrik completed two Ph.D. dissertations at Tel Aviv University, in cognitive psychology and in philosophy. She then continued to a postdoctoral fellowship at the California Institute of Technology, in Christof Koch’s lab. In 2019, she was selected as a member of the young Israeli academy of sciences. She is also one of the leaders of the Cogitate consortium, an international adversarial collaboration aimed at arbitrating between theories of consciousness, and a Tenenbaum fellow of the CIFAR Brain, Mind and Consciousness program.