[asa] seminar on Neuroscience and Consciousness: Fri. Mar. 28, 3:30

From: Loren Haarsma <lhaarsma@calvin.edu>
Date: Mon Mar 24 2008 - 08:04:48 EDT

For the Grand Rapids, MI, area:

The next Christian Perspectives in Science seminar at Calvin College is

        Friday, March 28, 3:30 PM in Science Building room 110.

Speaker: Eric LaRock, Philosophy Department, Oakland University

   Title: Interactive Cellular Assemblies, Neural Suppression,
              and the Unified Character of Consciousness
   Over the past few decades, research in neuroscience has exploded in the area
of visual consciousness. Our current knowledge of the brain indicates that
visual consciousness of an object's properties involves the activity of neurons
in different areas of the visual cortex. At the same time, there is no known
central processing mechanism, or convergence site in the brain, where
perceptual information about an object's properties could coalesce to form a
unitary object of consciousness. The recognition of this object property
binding (OPB) problem has motivated various theories. For example, Singer
proposes that neuronal synchrony is the mechanism of OPB. Against Singer, I
argue (1) that neuronal synchrony falls short of an adequate account of binding
and (2) that binding is not necessary for consciousness. I then address Luck
and Beach's neural suppression hypothesis, which suggests that neural
suppression is the likely mechanism of OPB. I argue that although neuronal
suppression might play a role in disambiguating the representations of an
object's properties when competition arises in the cortical neural network,
this does not guarantee an account of OPB. In the final section, I develop a
Kantian approach to the unity of consciousness and discuss some of its
metaphysical and methodological implications.

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Received on Mon Mar 24 08:05:40 2008

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