To understand the relationship between conscious mental states and brain activity, we must make progress in three distinct areas. To be conscious is to be awake (rather than in a dreamless sleep, or unconscious) and so we must understand the neural mechanisms associated with changes in level of consciousness. But when we are awake, our conscious states are individuated by their content, which has a particular subjective feel. We therefore need to understand the neural underpinnings of conscious content, and how such representations in the brain are distinguished from merely unconscious processing. And finally humans (and possibly some other animals) are self-aware and able to make introspective judgments about their perception and action. Understanding the neural correlates of such metacognitive ability is also required.


  • Conscious mental states
  • Brain Activity
  • Level of consciousness

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Consciousness Conference Speakers