The Thinking Ape: The Enigma of Human Consciousness

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The Thinking Ape: The Enigma of Human Consciousness

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By

Presented by the Nour Foundation, Wisconsin Public Radio's nationally-syndicated program To the Best of Our Knowledge, and the New York Academy of Sciences

 

Video of the full event is available on the Nour Foundation website.

What is the origin and nature of consciousness? If consciousness is common to humans and animals alike, what are the defining traits of human consciousness? Nobel laureate psychologist Daniel Kahneman, philosopher David Chalmers, expert in primate cognition Laurie Santos, and physician-scientist Nicholas Schiff will discuss what it means to be "conscious" and examine the human capacities displayed in cognitive, aesthetic, and ethical behaviors, with a focus on the place and function of the mind within nature.

Featuring

David Chalmers, PhD

Australian National University and New York University

Daniel Kahneman, PhD, Prof. Em.

Princeton University

Laurie Santos, PhD

Yale University

Nicholas D. Schiff, MD

Weill Cornell Medical College

Moderator

Steve Paulson

Executive Producer, Wisconsin Public Radio's nationally-syndicated program To the Best of Our Knowledge.

*Reception to follow event

Registration Pricing

Member$0
Student/Postdoc Member$0
Nonmember$15
Nonmember (Student / Postdoc / Resident / Fellow)$10

 

Presented by

  • NYAS
  • Nour Foundation
  • To the Best of Our Knowledge

Media Sponsor


This event is part of The Emerging Science of Consciousness Series

Moderated by Steve Paulson, Executive Producer of Wisconsin Public Radio's To the Best of Our Knowledge, this four-part lecture series brings together leading experts from various fields to discuss how the latest research is challenging our understanding of the very nature and function of consciousness in our daily lives.

To learn more about each lecture and to purchase tickets, click on the links below.

• The Thinking Ape: The Enigma of Human Consciousness, October 10, 2012 — Sold Out
The Mystery of Memory: In Search of the Past, November 14, 2012 — Sold Out
Music & the Mind: The Magical Power of Sound, December 12, 2012 — Sold Out
Becoming Conscious: The Science of Mindfulness, February 6, 2013 — Sold Out

Speakers

Panelists

David Chalmers, PhD

Australian National University and New York University

David Chalmers is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Centre for Consciousness at the Australian National University and also Professor of Philosophy at New York University. He is best known for his work on consciousness, especially for his formulation of the "hard problem" of consciousness and his arguments against materialism. His 1996 book "The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory" was successful with both popular and academic audiences. Chalmers has been a leader in the interdisciplinary science of consciousness, organizing some of the most important conferences in the field. He also works on issues about language, metaphysics, and artificial intelligence. His article "The Matrix as Metaphysics" can be found on the official The Matrix website. His new book "Constructing the World," which attempts to build a model of the world from a few primitive concepts, is being published in fall 2012.

Daniel Kahneman, PhD, Prof. Em.

Princeton University

Daniel Kahneman is a Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs Emeritus at the Woodrow Wilson School, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology Emeritus at Princeton University, and a fellow of the Center for Rationality at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Dr. Kahneman received his bachelors degree from Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1954. In 1958 he attended the University of California, Berkeley and earned a PhD in Psychology in 1961. In collaboration with fellow cognitive psychologist Amos Tversky, Kahneman established a cognitive basis for common human errors and biases in judgment and economic decision making and developed prospect theory. He has been the recipient of many awards, among them the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award of the American Psychological Association (1982) and the Grawemeyer Prize (2002), both jointly with Amos Tversky, the Warren Medal of the Society of Experimental Psychologists (1995), the Hilgard Award for Career Contributions to General Psychology (1995), and the Lifetime Contribution Award of the American Psychological Association (2007).

In 2002 Dr. Kahneman was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his pioneering work integrating insights from psychological research into economic science. He is the author of the 2011 best-selling book, Thinking, Fast and Slow.

Laurie Santos, PhD

Yale University

Laurie Santos is Associate Professor of Psychology at Yale University and the director of The Comparative Cognition Laboratory. She received her BA in Psychology and Biology and her PhD in Psychology from Harvard University. Her research explores the evolutionary origins of human cognition by studying the cognitive capacities of non-human primates. She has investigated a number of topics in comparative cognition, including primates understanding of other minds and the origins of irrational decision-making. Laurie's research has been featured in The New York Times, The Economist, and The New Yorker. She is the recipient of Harvard University's George W. Goethals Award for Teaching Excellence, Yale University's Arthur Greer Memorial Prize for Outstanding Junior Faculty, and the Stanton Prize from the Society for Philosophy and Psychology for outstanding contributions to interdisciplinary research. She was recently voted one of Popular Science Magazine's Brilliant 10 Young Minds.

Nicholas D. Schiff, MD

Weill Cornell Medical College

Nicholas D. Schiff is a physician-scientist with broad interests in the area of neurological disorders of consciousness. His research bridges basic neuroscience and clinical investigative studies of the pathophysiology of impaired consciousness, the neurophysiological mechanisms of arousal regulation, and the effects of deep brain electrical stimulation techniques on forebrain integration. He is Director of the Laboratory of Cognitive Neuromodulation where he conducts research examining neurophysiological mechanisms of arousal and forebrain integration as well as clinical studies of the pathophysiology of impaired consciousness.

A diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Dr. Schiff is a graduate of Stanford University (BA with Distinction and Departmental Honors, 1987) and the Cornell University Medical College (MD with Honors in Research, 1992). He completed his residency in Neurology at the New York Hospital where he trained with Drs. Fred Plum and Jerome Posner and developed his subspecialty interests in the field of impaired consciousness. Dr. Schiff is a co-author of the 4th Edition of Dr. Plum and Posner's classic textbook "The Diagnosis of Stupor and Coma." Dr. Schiff is an elected member of the American Neurological Association. His long-range goals are to develop neuromodulation strategies and improved diagnostics for the rational therapy of chronic cognitive disabilities resulting from brain injuries.

Moderator

Steve Paulson

Executive Producer, Wisconsin Public Radio's nationally-syndicated program To the Best of Our Knowledge.

Steve Paulson is the executive producer and an interviewer with To the Best of Our Knowledge, the Peabody Award-winning radio program produced at Wisconsin Public Radio and syndicated nationally by Public Radio International. Paulson has written for Salon, Slate, Huffington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Independent and other publications. His radio reports have also been broadcast on NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered. His recent book, "Atoms and Eden: Conversations on Religion and Science," was published by Oxford University Press.

Sponsors


Presented by


  • Nour Foundation
  • To the Best of Our Knowledge
  • NYAS

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