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In everyday situations it is difficult to understand whether information is reaching awareness. The question becomes even more complicated when considering disorders of consciousness. This evening we will investigate the thin line which divides what makes us aware to what makes us unaware of our environment.
Distraction and deception on the fringe of awareness
Professor Howard Bowman (Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience in Psychology at University of Birmingham and professor of Cognition & Logic in Computing at University of Kent)
How can we monitor the world subconsciously for that which is salient to us? Howard will demonstrate this with stimuli which are presented so rapidly that only a few can be consciously perceived, but nonetheless those that are perceived are those that are salient. Additionally, perception of salient stimuli generates a distinctive electrical brain response. Howard will describe how combining rapid stimulus presentation and detection of the brain’s electrical signals enables us to understand the limits of perception. Can we detect when people are deceiving?
Consciousness: a problem for everyone, not just philosophers
Are you conscious? Am I? How do you know? We may be tempted to think of these as questions that only a philosopher should worry about. However, every day throughout the world, life and death decisions are made that depend on our understanding of what consciousness is, who has it, and who does not. In this talk, Damian will discuss the modern methods of Psychology and Neuroscience that have allowed us to begin to answer these questions, and will demonstrate the profound implications for the medical care of individuals after severe brain injuries. What exactly is consciousness?