Approaches to Consciousness Part I

Approaches to Consciousness Part I


Consciousness can be studied from many positions within both science and philosophy. This explored research on consciousness in the brain, theoretical models of consciousness in cognitive science, as well as neurophenomenological investigations and Buddhist views on consciousness. Christof Koch introduced a brain-focused approach to consciousness, and outlined the differences between states of consciousness (awake, deep sleep, coma), what we know about the neural basis of consciousness in human and non-human animals, and how these are studied in the laboratory and the clinic. Rajesh Kasturirangan discussed a theoretical cognitive model of consciousness by introducing the “self as organizer” presupposition as a bridging framework between the various Indian philosophical traditions and the mind-brain sciences. Michel Bitbol discussed consciousness from a phenomenological standpoint, challenging the view that conscious experience derives from a material basis.

  • Dialogue 26
    27 sessions
  • January 20, 2013
    Drepung Monastery, Mundgod, India
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Christof Koch

Christof Koch, PhD, was born in the American Midwest, and grew up in Holland, Germany, Canada, and Morocco. He studied physics and philosophy at the University of Tübingen in Germany and was awarded his PhD in Biophysics in 1982. After 4 years at MIT, he joined the California Institute of Technology, in Pasadena, California, where he is the Lois and Victor Troendle Professor of Cognitive and Behavioral Biology. In 2011, he became the Chief Scientific Officer at the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle, Washington, where he leads Project MindScope, a ten year, large-scale, high through-put effort to understand the visual system of the mouse. His laboratory studies the biophysics of nerve cells, and the neuronal and computational basis of visual perception, attention, and consciousness and machine vision. He has authored more than three hundred and fifty scientific papers and journal articles, eight patents and five books. Together with his long-time collaborator, Francis Crick, Christof pioneered the scientific study of consciousness. His latest book, Consciousness – Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist deals with the philosophical, religious, scientific, technological and personal questions relating to his research into the physical basis of consciousness.