McGovern Institute of Brain Research, Dept of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT.
Title: “Using models of human consciousness as a foundation for studying animal consciousness.”
Abstract: Recent empirical results have converged on a model of human consciousness in which the hallmark of conscious processing is the synchronized, large-scale, synchronized activation of the parietal-prefrontal networks. Numerous findings from both behavioral psychophysics and functional neuroimaging have indicated that the persistent activation of this particular network neatly distinguishes between conscious and unconscious processing. In this talk, I will review the main results in support of this model, with specific emphasis on the paradigms used to manipulate whether or not a particular stimulus reaches conscious awareness. In addition, I will discuss how the methods and framework established in the study of human consciousness can be used as a foundation for studying animal consciousness and can serve as a road-map for future empirical work.
Bio: Michael Cohen is a Postdoctoral fellow at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT and is working with Nancy Kanwisher. Before starting at MIT, he received his PhD in the Department of Psychology under Ken Nakayama and George Alvarez. His research focuses on how the functional architecture of the visual system determines the contents of visual awareness