Harley Hotchkiss Memorial Lecture | Guest Speaker: Dr. Giulio Tononi

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Talk Title: Consciousness: From Theory to Practice

Abstract: What is consciousness, and what is its neural substrate in the brain? Why are certain parts of the brain important for consciousness, but not others that have even more brain cells and are just as complicated? Why does consciousness fade with dreamless sleep even though the brain remains active? Does consciousness always fade when patients become unresponsive after brain damage, during generalized seizures, during general anesthesia, or even in deep sleep? And are newborns, animals, and intelligent computers conscious? Integrated information theory (IIT) is an attempt to answer these and other questions in a principled manner. IIT starts not from the brain, but from consciousness itself - the world of experience – and derives from it what it takes for a system to be conscious. The results of this exploration can account for many empirical findings, lead to counterintuitive predictions, and has motivated the development of promising new tests for the practical assessment of consciousness in non-communicative subjects. 

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Behroo Mirzaagha | b.mirzaagha@uleth.ca

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