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What Is the Neural Correlate of Consciousness?

June 20, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm CEST

25,00€ – 160,00€


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What Is the Neural Correlate of Consciousness?

Valerie Gray Hardcastle


Sunday June 20

9:00 PDT | 12:00 EDT | 17:00 BST  |  18:00 CEST

2-hour session

If you are unable to attend the live session, the recording will be available.

At first glance, it seems that explaining what the “neural correlate of consciousness” (NCC) is should be straightforward: it is whatever that happens in our brains when we have a conscious experience that is lacking when we are not having a conscious experience. But this simple answer is misleading. It turns out that there might not be an NCC – even if we believe that consciousness is part of the material world and can be explained scientifically.

This presentation will discuss some of the complexities in understanding what exactly a conscious experience is, as different groups (philosophers and physicians, for example) describe it very differently. We will then look at the multitude of suggestions for the NCC and try to draw some conclusions about what the NCC could be based on these ideas. We will also explore the reasons some scholars believe that trying to identify the NCC is a fool’s errand and whether these reasons make sense from a scientific point of view.  Finally, we will examine the “embodied cognition” movement can shed some light on these issues.

Seeking the NCC presents a very simple vision for how to investigate and understand consciousness: isolate the thing inside the brain that is correlated with experience and you will have identified what consciousness is. I shall suggest that whatever story ends up being told about consciousness is going to be much more complicated.  We shall engage in a group discussion of whether seeking the neural correlates for consciousness is a productive approach for understanding our phenomenal experiences and what the outcomes of this search might bring.

Valerie Gray Hardcastle recently joined Northern Kentucky University as the St. Elizabeth Healthcare Executive Director of the Institute for Health Innovation and the Vice President for Health Innovation. An internationally recognized scholar, Hardcastle is also the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Consciousness Studies and the author of five books and over 200 essays. She studies the nature and structure of interdisciplinary theories in cognitive science and has focused primarily on developing a philosophical framework for understanding conscious phenomena responsive to neuroscientific and psychological data.  Most recently, she is investigating how the nature of addiction can shed light on what it means to be human. Hardcastle received an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in cognitive science and philosophy from the University of California, San Diego; a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Houston; and a bachelor’s degree with a double major in philosophy and political science from the University of California, Berkeley.


All sessions – Full Price €160, Member’s Discount €144: All 8 live sessions or recording if you miss a session.

4/8 sessions – Full Price €90, Member’s Discount €81: Choose any 4 live sessions or recording if you miss the event. After you have purchased this option, you will receive a form by email to choose the events you wish to attend.

One session – Full Price €25, Member’s Discount €22.50: By purchasing one session, you will have access to any one session and recording. Tickets for individual sessions are available on the event page for that session.

Solidarity All Sessions – €80: All 8 live sessions or recording if you miss a session. Please feel free to use this solidarity rate if you are under financial stress. The membership discount does not apply to this package.

Solidarity  4/8 Sessions – €45: Choose any 4 live sessions, or recording if you miss a session. After you have purchased this option, you will receive a form by email to choose the events you wish to attend. Please feel free to use this solidarity rate if you are under financial stress. The membership discount does not apply to this package.

General Information 

All sessions will last for approximately 2 hours, and will be held over zoom.us. The session structure may vary from speaker to speaker, but in general participants will have the opportunity to ask questions of the presenter and in some cases there will be breakaway discussion groups.

Each session will be hosted by a member of the Pari Center Team, to ensure that the call is running smoothly and assist anyone experiencing technical problems.

During the presentations, we ask participants to turn off their microphone to ensure better quality audio. For this reason, the host may mute a participant’s audio. This is not to silence a participant’s voice, but to ensure an overall good audio quality. If a participant would like to ask a question or make a contribution to the discussion, they can use the ‘raise your hand’ tool in the chat, and then are welcome to turn on their microphone.

We invite all participants to turn on their video camera, as we believe that seeing everyone creates an inclusive educational environment. However, if any participant is uncomfortable, they are free to turn off the camera.

All sessions will be recorded. The recordings will not include the possible breakout-room discussions, but only the speaker’s presentation, follow-up discussions and Q&A. If a participant does not feel comfortable being recorded, we invite that participant to turn off their video and audio throughout the session. These recordings are available to anyone who has purchased a ticket for an attended session, or for a session they have paid for but were unable to attend.

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June 20, 2021
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm CEST
25,00€ – 160,00€