SPRING 2013 - INTERDISCIPLINARY APPROACHES TO CONSCIOUSNESS
Thursday May 9th, 5:00 PM - Barwise Conf Rm 100, Cordura Hall, CSLI
Laura Wittman, DLCL & Department of French & Italian, Stanford
"Consciousness and the Visionary Mind in Near-Death Experiences."
Abstract: The association of near-death with "the tunnel and the light" and visions of the afterlife has become so canonical that at least one literary character laments "being cheated" because she has to turn back before achieving a the visionary state. But in real life and in fiction, near-death visions are not as predictable as this canonical view leads us to believe. This talk discusses instances of "resistance to vision," that is, cases where people actively contest the visionary mind, and especially its cultural priming, at times during the near-death experience itself. Two central questions are: (1) who or what "resists vision" in this instance? can we still speak of a singular consciousness here?, and (2) what are the purposes of such resistance, and what kind of truth or authenticity is sought here?
Friday May 17th, 5 PM - Barwise Conf Rm 100, Cordura Hall, CSLI
Frank Jackson, Philosophy, Australian National University and Princeton University
"The Knowledge Argument for Representationalists."
Abstract: I will talk about what the many philosophers of mind who classify themselves as physicalists sympathetic to representationalist accounts of perceptual experiences have to say in response to the knowledge argument.
Thursday March 14, 5:00 PM, - Barwise Conf Rm 100, Cordura Hall, CSLI
Pawan Sinha, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT - [Photos]
"Learning to See Late in Life."
Abstract: The hope inherent in pursuing basic research is that sometime in the future the work will prove beneficial to society. This fruition can often take many years. However, in some instances, even the conduct of basic research can yield tangible societal benefits. I shall describe an effort that perhaps fits in this category. Named 'Project Prakash', this initiative provides sight to blind children on the one hand and helps address questions regarding brain plasticity and learning on the other. Through a combination of behavioral and brain-imaging studies, the effort has provided evidence of visual learning late in childhood and has illuminated some of the processes that might underlie such learning.
Tuesday February 5, 5:00 PM, - Barwise Conf Rm 100, Cordura Hall, CSLI
David Chalmers, Philosophy, Australian National University and NYU - [Photos]
"Panpsychism and Panprotopsychism."
Thursday January 17th, 5 PM - Barwise Conf Rm 100, Cordura Hall, CSLI
Steven Schlozman, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital - [Photo]
"Is it OK to shoot that Zombie if it isn't Consciously Human? Is it OK to shoot that Zombie if it isn't Humanly Conscious? And How Can
I tell the Difference?"
Abstract: In this presentation, we will discuss the construct of the cinema zombie as means by which we can address fundamental issues of how we view what is permissable among humans, among conscious humans, and ultimately among things that we consider living or not living. The cinema zombie presents an ideal substrate for these thorny ethical issues, and, given new developments in neuroscience, we can use what we scientifically understand about the experiences of self and other to desconstruct the rules and natural history that appear to govern the modern trope.
Friday, December 7th, 12 NOON - Barwise Conf Rm 100, Cordura Hall, CSLI
Ned Block, Philosophy, New York University
"Conscious, Unconscious, Preconscious." - [Block Paper 1, Block Paper 2] - [Flyer]
Wednesday Nov 28, 5:00 PM - Levinthal Hall, Stanford Humanities Center
Harriet Murav, Slavic Languages & Literature, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
"Consciousness as Hesitation: Henri Bergson and David Bergelson."
Wednesday Nov 14, 5:00 PM - The Board Room, Stanford Humanities Center
Robert Harrison, DLCL, Stanford - [Photo]
"The Albino Gorilla." - [Flyer]
Monday April 23rd, 4:00 PM - The Board Room, Stanford Humanities Center
Brian Wandell, Psychology, Stanford
"How Wavelength Becomes Color: An Introduction to Color Science."
Monday April 30th, 4:30 PM - Levinthal Hall, Stanford Humanities Center
David Hilbert, Philosophy, University of Illinois at Chicago
"Constancy, Content and Inference."
Steven Palmer, Psychology and CogSci, UC Berkeley
"Human Color Preferences: An Ecological Approach."
Wednesday May 2nd, 12 NOON - Barwise Conf Rm 100, CSLI
Hank Greely, Stanford Law School
"Neural Implants: Legal and Ethical Issues."
Monday, May 14th, 4:30 PM - Barwise Conf Rm 100, CSLI
Josef Parvizi, Neurology, Stanford
"Studying Human Conscious Perception By Electrical Stimulation of the Brain."
Friday March 16th, 12 Noon - Barwise Conf Rm 100, CSLI
Mark Johnston, Philosophy, Princeton
"Why Qualia are not Mental."
Friday Jan 27th, 12 Noon - Barwise Conf Rm 100, CSLI
David Papineau, Philosophy, King's College London - [Photos]
"Kripke, the Hard Problem, and Intuitive Dualism."
Abstract: Many philosophers take the final section of Naming and Necessity to be arguing that the mere conceivability of mind-body separation leaves materialism with an intractably 'hard problem'. I shall show that this could not possibly have been Kripke's intention. However there is a different reading of his argument which helps us to see how the so-called hard problem stems from the intuitive incredibility of physicalism.
Friday Jan 20th, 4:30 PM - Barwise Conf Rm 100, CSLI
John Searle, Philosophy, UC Berkeley - [Photos]
"Problems and Successes in Giving a Neurobiological Explanation of Consciousness."
Donovan Wishon, Philosophy, Stanford
"Russellian Acquaintance and the Phenomenal Concepts Strategy."
Friday Jan 13th, 4:30 PM - Barwise Conf Rm 100, CSLI
Paul Churchland, Philosophy, UC San Diego
"Chimerical Colors: Some Phenomenological Predictions from Cognitive Neuroscience."
Abstract: The Hurvich-Jameson (H-J) opponent-process network offers a familiar account of the empirical structure of the phenomenological Color Space for humans, an account with a number of predictive and explanatory virtues. Its successes here form the bulk of the existing reasons for suggesting a strict identity between our various color sensations on the one hand, and our various coding vectors across the color-opponent neurons in our primary visual pathways on the other. But antireductionists standardly complain that the systematic parallels discovered by the H-J network are just mere empirical 'correspondences', constructed post facto, with no predictive or explanatory purchase on the intrinsic qualitative characters of conscious sensations proper. My talk will dispute that complaint, by illustrating that the H-J model yields a rich variety of novel and unappreciated predictions, and some novel and unappreciated explanations, concerning the subjective qualitative characters of a considerable variety of color sensations possible for human experience, including color sensations that normal people have almost certainly never had before, color sensations whose accurate descriptions in ordinary language appear semantically ill-formed or even self-contradictory. Specifically, these 'impossible' color sensations are activation-vectors (across our opponent-process neurons) that lie inside the space of neuronally possible activation vectors, but outside the central and familiar 'color spindle' that confines the familiar range of sensations for the possible colors of external objects. These extra-spindle chimerical-color-sensations correspond to no color that you will ever see objectively displayed on a physical object. But the H-J model both predicts their existence and explains their decidedly anomalous qualitative characters in some detail. It also suggests how to produce these sensations by a simple procedure to be described in the later stages of the talk. The relevant color plates will allow you to savor these weird sensations for yourself, the better to evaluate the neural explanations sustained by the H-J model.
Thursday Oct 6th, 4:30 PM - Barwise Conf Rm 100, CSLI
SHC Geballe Workshop on Pain Experience:
Patricia Churchland, Philosophy, UC San Diego
"Research on Consciousness: the Anterior Insula, Small-world Organization, and Rhythms."
Sean Mackey, Neurology, Stanford
"The Strain in Pain Lies Mainly in the Brain: Lessons Learned from Neuroimaging."
Wednesday Oct 12th, 12 Noon - Barwise Conf Rm 100, CSLI
Michel Bitbol, CNRS, Paris
"A Neurophenomenological Approach to Consciousness"
Thursday Oct 27th, 4:30 PM - Barwise Conf Rm 100, CSLI
SHC Geballe Workshop on Pain Experience:
Michael Tye, Philosophy, U Texas at Austin - [Photo]
"The Painfulness of Pain"
Howard Fields, Neurology, UCSF
"What is Pain and What is it For?"
Friday Oct 28th, 12 Noon - Barwise Conf Rm 100, CSLI
Michael Tye, U Texas at Austin
"Of Corporations, China-Body Systems, and Silicon Chips: The Importance of History to Phenomenology."
SPRING 2011: BRAIN AND MIND FORUM
Monday May 23rd, 12 Noon - Barwise Conf Rm 100, CSLI
Patrick Suppes, Philosophy, Stanford University
"What physical mechanisms of computation does the brain use?"
Thursday May 26th, 4:30 PM - Barwise Conf Rm 100, CSLI
Owen Flanagan, Philosophy, Duke University
"Consciousness and the Self"
WINTER 2011: BRAIN AND MIND FORUM
Thursday Feb 17th, 12 Noon - Barwise Conf Rm 100, CSLI
Mohan Matthen, Philosophy, University of Toronto
"Sensory Exploration and Empirical Certainty"
Thursday Feb 24th, 12 Noon - Barwise Conf Rm 100, CSLI
Anna Franklin, Psychology, University of Surrey
"Color Categories in Language and Thought"
Abstract: Although the color spectrum is physically continuous, color categories are present in both language (i.e., color terms) and thought (e.g., categorical perception of color). In this talk, I will outline a series of developmental studies that investigate the origin of colour categories. I will present converging behavioural and electrophysiological evidence that infants respond categorically to color. I will also present evidence that color categories are lateralized to the right hemisphere of the infant brain, and appear to switch to the left hemisphere when color terms are learnt. The findings will be related to fundamental issues in the cognitive sciences such as: i) how and when categories form; ii) the relationship between categories in language and thought; and iii) how categories are expressed in the brain.
Thursday March 3rd, 12 Noon - Barwise Conf Rm 100, CSLI
Jeff Hawkins, Numenta Corporation
"Recent advances in Modeling Neocortex"
Abstract: Coaxing computers to perform acts of perception, language, and robotics has been difficult. Our belief is that to solve many problems of machine intelligence we first need to understand the principles by which the brain works and then build machines that work on those principles. To this end, Numenta has developed models of the neocortex and is applying them to practical problems.
The neocortex is structured as a hierarchy of memory regions with each region implementing nearly identical learning algorithms. We model this hierarchy and posit that each region in the hierarchy learns common sequences of patterns in its input. Sequence memory forms the basis of inference, prediction, novelty detection, and motor behavior.
Numenta has experimented with different approaches to sequence learning, or more precisely, learning the variable order transition statistics of distributed patterns. A year ago we started development of a new sequence learning method that is deeply aligned with cortical anatomy. The new cortical learning algorithms address many difficult theoretical challenges. They appear to be a leap forward in understanding what layers of neurons are doing in neocortex.
In this talk I will give an overview of our overall neocortical theory and then present the new cortical learning algorithms.
Bernard Baars, Ph.D., The Neurosciences Institute, San Diego, CA
"Consciousness is Biological"
Tuesday Nov 16th, 12 Noon - 1:30pm, Barwise Conf Room 100
A neurodynamic view of Global Workspace Theory suggests new predictions about perceptual consciousness, episodic memory, and the medial temporal lobe.
Karl Deisseroth, Stanford Bioengineering & Psychiatry
"Optogenetics: new developments, new applications"
Monday May 17th, 4:45-6:15pm, Nora Suppes Conf Room 103
Perception and Consciousness Reading Group
For details contact CEC
Albert Newen, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
"The person-model theory of understanding other minds"
Thursday April 9th, 11:30-1:30pm, Cordura 100
Jeffrey Barrett, UC Irvine
"Quantum mechanics, Wigner, and the temptation of dualism"
Tuesday April 21st, 12:15-2pm, Cordura 100
Neil Van Leeuwen, Tufts University
"Four dimensions of cognitive attitude space"
Thursday May 7th, 12:00-2pm, Cordura 100
John Campbell, UC Berkeley
"Attention, space and consciousness"
Thursday May 21st, 12:00-2pm, Cordura 100
Fred Dretske, Duke University
"What we see: The texture of conscious experience"
November 16th, 2:15-3:45pm, Cordura 100