Deconstructing and Reconstructing Consciousness: an Interdisciplinary Approach to a Perennial Puzzle

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[RG # 159]  Deconstructing and Reconstructing Consciousness: an Interdisciplinary Approach to a Perennial Puzzle

September 1, 2019 - January 31, 2020

Organizers:

Leon Y. Deouell (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem),
Daphna Shohamy (Columbia University, New York)

Consciousness is one of the most fascinating and least understood parts of human nature, and arguably, of nature at large. There is nothing we know more intimately than our conscious experiences – where we love and admire, hate and despise, plan ahead, reflect back, and decide. Yet, we know very little about how these subjective experiences come about; we know very little about the mechanics of what may be the most precious aspect of our mental life: conscious experience.

Understanding consciousness is crucial for modern theories of human cognition.  Without understanding consciousness’ antecedents, functions, and consequences, we cannot understand homo sapiens. Understanding consciousness is also crucial if we want to improve theories of functions that might seem to be especially human such as planning, holding long-term goals, empathizing, and acting according to moral beliefs.

The research group will address consciousness from interdisciplinary perspectives, including social sciences (psychology, cognitive and decision sciences), life sciences (neuroscience), and the humanities (philosophy). It brings together a diverse and extraordinary group of scientists, junior and senior, female and male, from European, American, and Israeli institutions.

 

Members

Leon Y. Deouell

Leon Y Deouell

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The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
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Leon Deouell is Professor in Brain Research at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He researches the interface between conscious and non-conscious perception, roles of attention and spatial representation in conscious awareness.The focus of the Human Cognitive Neuroscience Lab at the Department of Psychology at the Hebrew University is on the interface between automatic, non-conscious stages of information processing in the brain and conscious perception and action. 

2019-2020 Organizer: Deconstructing and Reconstructing Consciousness: an Interdisciplinary Approach to a Perennial Puzzle

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Ran Hassin

Ran Hassin

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The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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Professor Ran Hassin is currently a member of the Psychology Department The Hebrew University and the Center for the Study of Rationality, and the editor of Oxford University Press’s Social Cognition and Social Neuroscience book series. He is interested in understanding the capabilities of unconscious processes, and in using this knowledge, gain insights into the functions of consciousness. 

2019-2020 Fellow: Deconstructing and Reconstructing Consciousness: an Interdisciplinary Approach to a Perennial Puzzle

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Rafi Malach

Rafael Malach

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Weizmann Institute of Science

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Rafael Malach is a Professor of Brain Research, at the Department of Neurobiology, Weizmann Institute of Science. His research focuses on relating neuronal activity and sensory perception in the human brain. The overall aim is to build an experimentally constrained neuronal theory of human perceptual awareness.

2019-2020 Fellow: Deconstructing and Reconstructing Consciousness: an Interdisciplinary Approach to a Perennial Puzzle

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Lucia-Melloni

Lucia Melloni

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Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics

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Lucia Melloni is a Professor at the Department of Neuroscience at Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics. She is also Professor at the Department of Neurology at NYU. Her studies investigate how the brain learns to segment continuous speech into relevant units, and where this takes place, by using statistical learning paradigms and intracranial recordings. 

2019-2020 Fellow: Deconstructing and Reconstructing Consciousness: an Interdisciplinary Approach to a Perennial Puzzle

Read more about Professor Melloni here

 

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Michael-Shadlen

Michael Shadlen

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Columbia University

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Michael Shadlen is a Professor of Neuroscience at Columbia University, and a principal investigator at Columbia’s Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute. He investigates the neural mechanisms that guide decision making, thus offering a window into fascinating aspects of higher brain function, such as reasoning, planning and strategizing. 

2019-2020 Fellow: Deconstructing and Reconstructing Consciousness: an Interdisciplinary Approach to a Perennial Puzzle

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Daphna Shohamy

Daphna Shohamy

FELLOW
Columbia University

Daphna Shohamy is an associate professor in the Psychology department at Columbia University. Her area of interest is the cognitive neuroscience of learning, memory and decision making. She adopts an integrative approach that draws broadly on neuroscience to make predictions about cognition. Predictions are tested in behavioral and neuroimaging studies in healthy individuals, and in patients with isolated damage to specific brain systems. 

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