CERN Colloquium

The Science of Consciousness

by Dr Christof Koch (Chief Scientific Officer, Allen Institute for Brain Science, Seattle)

500/1-001 - Main Auditorium (CERN)

500/1-001 - Main Auditorium


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We not only act in the world but we consciously perceive it. The interactions of myriad of neuronal and sub-neuronal processes that are responsible for visual behaviors also give rise to the daily movie screened for our benefit in the privacy of our own skull. I will discuss the empirical progress that has been achieved over the past several decades in characterizing the behavioral and the neuronal correlates of consciousness in human and non-human animals and in dissociating selective visual attention from visual consciousness. I will introduce Tononi’s integrated Information Theory (IIT) that explains in a principled manner which physical systems are capable of conscious, subjective experience. The theory explains many empirical facts about consciousness and its pathologies in humans. It can also be extrapolated to more difficult cases, such as fetuses, mice, or bees. The theory predicts that many, seemingly complex, systems are not conscious, in particular digital computers running software, even if these were to faithfully simulate the neuronal networks making up the human brain.
Video in CDS
Organized by

Wolfgang LERCHE PH/TH .......................................Tea and coffee will be served at 16h00

There is a live webcast for this event