Last week consciousness enthusiasts from around the world convened the seventh biennial interdisciplinary conference, “Toward a Science of Consciousness 2006” at the University of Arizona, Tucson.
Since 1994, director Stuart Hameroff has brought together scholars from diverse fields such as: philosophy, neuroscience, psychology, cognitive science, computer science, physics, biology, anthropology, contemplative traditions, the arts, medicine, all for the purpose of sharing and disseminating new research on the mystery of human consciousness.
But how close have participants gotten to a “Science of Consciousness?” According to event organizers “[w]e do not yet understand consciousness, but it is fair to say that, at the very least, we understand the problem far better.” What is known is that this conference has continuously showcased the most recent and best work being done in contemporary consciousness studies.
This year’s plenary keynote speakers were Giulio Tononi (progenitor of the “information of integration theory” of consciousness) and Temple Grandin. Grandin is the author of several best-selling books on the mind and has been featured on many television programs. She has been described as “the most accomplished autistic person in the world,” but is perhaps most well known for her work with the humane animal husbandry.
Participants also included: Douglas Hofstadter, Paul Davies, and John Searle. Buddhist scholar John Dunne presented findings, along with Antoine Lutz, on EEG studies done with Tibetan monk meditators. Robert Van Gulick was also a presenter, and B. Alan Wallace led a workshop with Dr. Clifford Saron entitled “Toward a Science of Contemplative Practice.”
For more information on the DVD, a complete listing of all participants, event details from this conference and year’s past, go to the website of the Center for Consciousness Studies.ༀ
• Click here to read a manuscript of "Meditation and the Neuroscience of Consciousness," a forthcoming book chapter by John Dunne, Antoine Lutz, & Richard Davidson.
• Read abstracts from the conference.
• Check out the event website.