ASSC26 Consciousness Conference 2023

Conference Website <> Cached Program <> <> Notes on Consciousness

25 Years of Consciousness

A free public event, featuring Heather Berlin (MC), Ned Block, Melanie Boly, David Chalmers, Stanislas Dehaene, Daniel Dennett, Christof Koch, Lucia Melloni, Liad Mudrik, Per Snaprud, and others, with musical entertainment by Joe LeDoux and the Amygdaloids and by Baba Brinkman. The event will include a look back at the science of consciousness since the first ASSC conference in 1997, the resolution of a 25-year bet about the neural correlates of consciousness from 1998, and the presentation of new results from adversarial collaborations to test theories of consciousness.

Press coverage:
2 Leading Theories of Consciousness Square Off

An adversarial collaboration to critically evaluate theories of consciousness

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Tutorial: Analyzing Brain-Body Interaction

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Amygdala - Detects affective salient information:
Arousal (intensity, alertness") - (Wang et al., 2017; Lin et al., 2020)
Positive and negative valence - (Costafreda et al., 2008; Janak & Tye, 2015)
Physical patterns/shapes (sharp objects, Bar & Neta, 2007, roughness in sounds, Analet a. 2019.
Emotional stimuli after associative learning (LeDoux, 2000; Armony & Dolan, 2002; Janak & Tye, 2015)
Novelty - Weenichel al, 2010)
Ambiguity/uncertainty Man eta, 2017)
Perceived judgement of emotion Mangeld. 20
-Relevance (Sander 203, reward Ousdalet al, 2012 Janet
- Social cues (faces, voices, eyes; Ruishauser et al., 2005)
- Emotional facial expressions - (Fried et al., 1997; Morris, 1998, Vuilleurier & Pourtois, 2007)
- Predators - (ensies, Dish et al, 202)
- Complex emotional sceneries (Sabalinelli et al, 2011)
- Emotional voices Parseno e al. 2015)
- MusiC (se Valeurier & Trodt 2015)
- Pleasant or unpleasant odors (Pain & Pause, 2015) Or tastes Warg etaL. 2019)

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Richness Debate

Michael cohen - perception is sparse
Ned block - cognition is sparse
Liad Mudrik - can we tell? + Controlled Hallucination.

The richness debate it is intuitively obvious to the most casual observer. That perception is sparse and cognition is rich. This is due to the mental models we have in our heads that drive the predictive processing used to determine perception. Perception itself is sparse in that we can only update the very center of our visual field.

A question about looking at eye and fovea was brushed aside “we care about what is happening in the brain. “

Several questions

Best sessions

25 years - the bet. GNWT v. IIT, blurb
Richness Debate
Keynote - May-Britt Moser "The Hippocampal Formation and Space, Time and Memory"
Joe LeDoux Keynote

Imagery and Mind Wandering
Mathematical consciousness science for the working consciousness.
Affective impact on perception
Action, Decision, Volition

Conscious Turing Machine

The CTM is a seven-tuple, < STM, LTM, Up Tree, Down Tree, Links, Input, Output >

Tutorial: Communicating consciousness science to funders and general public

Friday 10:30 Neural Correlates of Conscious Vision OR - Action, Decision, Volition

Symposium: Mathematical Spaces for Conscious Experiences

Friday 5 Imagery and Mind Wandering


Symposium: Affective impact on perception Sat 2 Perception & Attention OR. Time perception

Posters Emilia Flo et al. - What drives intersubject correlation during passive

Lucia Melloni et al. - Putting theories to test: an overview of the Cogitate Consortium - an open science adversarial collaboration testing GNW and IIT

Panagiota Theodoni - A neural network model for the distributed nature of conscious content

At the conference dinner, I approached Joseph LeDoux, and asked him if the frontal Pole uses predictive coding to talk to the neighboring brain regions, and he said yes

Mathematical consciousness science for the working consciousness.

May-Britt Moser - The Hippocampal Formation and Space, Time and Memory

The hippocampus of the mammalian cortex is involved in episodic memory (memory for events) and spatial navigation. This brain structure is linked to the rest of the cortex through the entorhinal cortex.

In this lecture, I will give some background on what neurons in the entorhinal cortex respond to in animals exploring an environment.

The entorhinal cortex contains neurons that map self-motion, self-location, and objects, and time (duration of an episode). In order to understand how such functions are generated we recorded large populations of cells either with Neuropixels probes or portable miniature 2-photon microscopes (MINI2P). With these methods, we were able to record neural activity from many hundreds to thousands of cells. We used dimensionality reduction methods and topological data analysis to demonstrate how activity of populations of entorhinal grid cells moves across a low dimensional manifold with the shape of a torus, in agreement with predictions of continuous attractor networks for grid cells. Using dimensionality reduction methods, we also show that activity in the lateral entorhinal cortex drifts along non-periodic trajectories with time, enabling each time point of an event to be represented with a unique population signature.

These findings suggest that entorhinal cortex provides the hippocampus with information about location in a navigational setting ready to be associated with experiences in order to form episodic memories.

Dr. Antje Peters (University Muenster), Maximilian Bruchmann (University Muenster),Torge Dellert (University Muenster), Robert Moeck (University Muenster), Insa Schlossmacher, Thomas Straube

Neural correlates of consciousness (NCCs) are defined as neural activity that is sufficient to generate conscious experience and correlates with stimulus awareness. Measuring NCC without confounds by task-relevance or report needs certain types of experimental designs. One approach is the use of “inattention paradigms”, in which some participants remain unaware of task-irrelevant stimuli due to attentional distraction. Inattention paradigms have been shown to reveal NCC without post-perceptual confounds in the auditory and visual modality. Such studies show strongly reduced NCC in non-sensory regions as compared to studies with task-related confounds., , The present functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study investigated NCC in the somatosensory modality using an inattentional numbness paradigm. Participants (n = 44) received weak electrical stimulation near the detection threshold while performing a demanding visual task. Half of the participants were informed that the somatosensory stimuli would be present during the experiment. In contrast, the other half were not informed about the stimuli. About a quarter of participants of each group did not consciously perceive the stimuli during the visual task according to unexpected ratings after the experiment. The comparison of brain responses to the weak electrical stimuli between aware and unaware subjects