Saturday, October 23, 2010

[TSC] Brain, Mind and Reality - May 2-8, 2011 - Stockholm University - Sweden

Toward a Science of Consciousness is an interdisciplinary conference emphasizing broad and rigorous approaches to the study of conscious awareness. Topical areas include neuroscience, philosophy, psychology, biology, quantum physics, meditation and altered states, machine consciousness, culture and experiential phenomenology. Held annually since 1994, the conference is organized by the Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona, and alternates yearly between Tucson, Arizona and various locations around the world. Toward a Science of Consciousness 2011 will be held at Stockholm University, Aula Magna Hall, Stockholm, Sweden, May 2-8, 2011.

Sessions, Themes and Speakers
Dates and Times TBA
1. Brain fields and consciousness: Evidence suggests brain-generated electromagnetic fields provide feedback on brain neuronal activities, bolstering long-standing electromagnetic field theories of consciousness.

David McCormick, Yale, Brain electric field feedback
Johnjoe McFadden, Surrey, Electromagnetic field theory of consciousness
Sue Pockett, Auckland, E-M field theory of consciousness
2. Consciousness in the universe: Is consciousness an epiphenomenal happenstance of this one particular universe among multitudes, as proposed in M-theory by Hawking and Mlodinow? Or are consciousness and intelligence intrinsic to the fabric of reality?
Deepak Chopra, Chopra Foundation, Vedic approaches to consciousness and reality
Leonard Mlodinow, CalTech, Grand Design (with Stephen Hawking)
Paola Zizzi, Padua, Consciousness in the early universe.

3. Transcranial therapy of mental states:
New therapeutic modalities based on brain stimulation aimed at conscious mental disorders include transcranial electric and magnetic fields and ultrasound vibrations. Mechanisms and utility in relation to consciousness and memory will be discussed.

Allan Snyder, Sydney, Transcranial electric fields for memory enhancement
W. Jamie Tyler, Arizona State, Transcranial ultrasound for mental disorders
Eric Wassermann, NIH, Transcranial magnetic stimulation for depression
4. Time, precognition and consciousness: The famous Libet experiments and parapsychology have long suggested backward time referral of subjective conscious experience of hundreds of milliseconds in the brain. Now such effects are unexpectedly seen in mainstream neuroscience. Can they be explained through quantum physics?

Dick Bierman, Amsterdam, Pre-sentiment
Moran Cerf, NYU/UCLA, Pre-cognition in human brain neurons?
Sara Gonzalez Andino, Geneva, Backward time referral in monkey amygdala

5. Anesthesia and consciousness: Anesthetic gases selectively erase consciousness and block high frequency gamma synchrony EEG while sparing non-conscious brain functions, acting by weak quantum forces in a distributed array of post-synaptic proteins

Nicholas Franks, Imperial College London, Anesthetic sites of action
Stuart Hameroff, Arizona, Hydrophobic quantum pockets in dendritic proteins
Anthony Hudetz, MC Wisconsin, Anesthetics and gamma synchrony

6. Quantum biology: The role of quantum physics in consciousness has been discounted by the assumption that the biological brain is too warm and wet. But quantum coherence, entanglement and ballistic conductance have now been recognized in warm photosynthesis, DNA and microtubules.

Anirban Bandyopadhyay, Tsukuba, Ballistic conductance and quantum bits in microtubules
Jack Tuszynski, Alberta, Microtubule information processing capabilities

7. Neuronal activities and consciousness: Large scale coherence potentials, neuronal ignitions and avalanches correlate with consciousness. How is coherence mediated? What roles do dendritic synchrony, axonal firings, macroscopic fields, complexity and intraneuronal processes play in consciousness? Will mapping brain connections help explain consciousness?

Germund Hesslow, Lund, Complex spike timing
Rafi Malach, Weizmann Institute, Neuronal ignitions
Dietmar Plenz, NIH, Neuronal avalanches, coherence and criticality

8. Consciousness, reality and the universe: Does the conscious observer collapse the wave function? Is consciousness an emergent property of complex computation, or irreducible and intrinsically related to spacetime geometry? How did the universe arise from nothingness? What is entanglement?

Menas Kafatos, Chapman University, The holographic universe
Tarja Kallio-Tamminen, Helsinki, Quantum physics and Eastern philosophy
Paavo Pylkkanen, Helsinki, Bohm and the quantum universe

9. End-of-life brain activity: Recent clinical studies report a surge of coherent, high frequency EEG at the time of human death, when neuronal metabolic supplies are depleted. Historically, nearly all civilizations have reported so-called near death experiences with remarkably consistent phenomenology. Have brain monitors captured the correlate of near death experiences?

Lakhmir Chawla, George Washington, End-of-life brain activity
Peter Fenwick, London, End-of-life conscious experience
Pim von Lommel, Arnhem, Near death experiences
10. The varieties of religious experience: Since William James, meaning, values, intentionality, feelings and imagery related to religious experience have been part of consciousness studies. Modern imaging reveals brain regions active during religious experience, and sacramental plants are used to promote spiritual states 
Mario Beauregard, Montreal, Neuroscience of transcendent experience
Padrinho Paulo Roberto, Rio de Janeiro, Sacramental plants of Amazonia and religious experience

In addition to Keynote and Plenary talks, the conference will feature Pre-Conference Workshops, Concurrent Talks, Poster Sessions, Art/Tech Demos, Social Events and Side Trips in the Stockholm tradition.

Special Pre-Conference Workshop  -   full day 
Monday May 2, 2011 - registration - TBA
Deepak Chopra, Vedic approaches to consciousness

Additional half day
Pre-Conference Workshops - TBA

All Abstracts must be submitted via the online system.
Accepted abstracts will be included in the conference program book
and posted online.
Schedule of Deadlines: 
November 15      Pre-conference workshop proposals due
December 15     Abstracts due
December 15     Registration Open     
January     5        Decisions     
February 15       Final edits    
Pre-Conference Workshop Proposals:
Proposals (500 words or less) should be sent to:
no later than October  25 (notifications by November 15)
Workshops will be held in 4 hour sessions on Sunday May 1 and Monday May 2
Sponsors (partial list)
Perfjell Wellness Center
Center for Consciousness Studies, University of Arizona
Mind Event SA
Chopra Foundation
Agora for Biosystems

Organizing Committee (partial list)

Stuart Hameroff, University of Arizona, co-chair
Christer Perfjell, Perfjell Wellness Center, Mind Event SA, co-chair
Paavo Pylkkanen, University of Helsinki
Deepak Chopra, Chopra Center
Gustav Bernroider, University of Salzburg
Hans Liljenstrom,  Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Agora for Biosystems
Adrian Parker, University of Gothenburg
Annekatrine Puhle, University of Gothenburg
Etzel Cardena, Lund University
Alexander Moreira-Almeida  MD, PhD  (Brazil)
Nildson Alvares-Muniz, Uniceub- Centro Universitário de Brasília

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