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What are the origins and mechanisms of consciousness?

Brain, Mind & Consciousness

Overview

The quality of our consciousness is what sets us apart from other species, and seems to be one of the defining traits of being human. Yet the nature of consciousness remains a mystery. The Brain, Mind & Consciousness program grapples with the fundamental underpinnings of consciousness, and relates the findings to biology on the one hand and to philosophical questions on the other.

Technological advances in medical imaging make it possible to see the brain in action. The new technology for the first time gives an opportunity to scholars from fields as different as genetics, cognitive neuroscience, artificial intelligence, and philosophy of mind to come together and work to understand consciousness. By creating the opportunity for deep collaborations, the CIFAR program will allow fellows to solve one of the most profound questions about human nature.

The Brain, Mind & Consciousness program is developing a framework to help fellows from across disciplines understand how our brains give rise to consciousness and our unique perspective on the world around us.

Founded in: 2014


Members: 20


Supporters:
Azrieli Foundation, Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life, The Henry White Kinnear Foundation, Richard M. Ivey, Michael and Sonja Koerner, The Lawrence and Judith Tanenbaum Family Foundation


Partners:
Brain Canada Foundation through the Canada Brain Research Fund, Western University


Disciplines:
Neuroscience, including cognitive neuroscience; biological and cognitive psychology; computer science, including artificial intelligence; genetics; anthropology; philosophy, including ethics; law 


Contact: Kate Geddie

Fellows & Advisors

Program Directors

Melvyn Goodale
Adrian Owen
Program Co-Director & Koerner Fellow

Adrian Owen is best known for his work assessing consciousness of patients in vegetative states, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) technology to observe their brain activity.

Adrian Owen
Anil Seth
Program Co-Director

Anil Seth’s research draws together psychology, philosophy, computer science and AI, physics, mathematics, psychiatry and neurology to determine the biological basis of conscious experience.

Fellows

Tim Bayne

Tim Bayne

  • Fellow
  • Brain, Mind & Consciousness
  • Monash University
  • Australia
Axel Cleeremans

Axel Cleeremans

  • Fellow
  • Brain, Mind & Consciousness
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Belgium
Melvyn Goodale

Melvyn Goodale

  • Ivey Fellow
  • Western University
  • Canada
Atsushi lriki

Atsushi Iriki

  • Fellow
  • Brain, Mind & Consciousness
  • RIKEN Brain Science Institute
  • Japan
Sheena Josselyn

Sheena A. Josselyn

  • Fellow
  • Brain, Mind & Consciousness
  • Hospital for Sick Children
  • Canada
Robert Kentridge

Robert Kentridge

  • Fellow
  • Brain, Mind & Consciousness
  • University of Durham
  • United Kingdom
Bio Outline

Sid Kouider

  • Fellow
  • Brain, Mind & Consciousness
  • École normale supérieure
  • France
Rafael Malach

Rafael Malach

  • Tanenbaum Fellow
  • Brain, Mind & Consciousness
  • Weizmann Institute of Science
  • Israel
Marcello Massimini

Marcello Massimini

  • Fellow
  • Brain, Mind & Consciousness
  • University of Milan
  • Italy
BMC_JasonMattingley

Jason B. Mattingley

  • Fellow
  • Brain, Mind & Consciousness
  • University of Queensland
  • Australia
BMC_AniruddhPatel

Aniruddh Patel

  • Fellow
  • Brain, Mind & Consciousness
  • Tufts University
  • United States
BMC_IsabellePeretz

Isabelle Peretz

  • Associate Fellow
  • Brain, Mind & Consciousness
  • Université de Montréal
  • Canada
BMC_LisaSaksida

Lisa M. Saksida

  • Fellow
  • Brain, Mind & Consciousness
  • Western University
  • Canada
BMC_CatherineTallonBaudry

Catherine Tallon-Baudry

  • Fellow
  • Brain, Mind & Consciousness
  • École normale supérieure
  • France
BMC_LaurelTrainor

Laurel Trainor

  • Fellow
  • Brain, Mind & Consciousness
  • McMaster University
  • Canada
BMC_NicholasTurk-Browne

Nicholas Turk-Browne

  • Fellow
  • Brain, Mind & Consciousness
  • Yale University
  • United States
Sandra Waxman

Sandra Waxman

  • Associate Fellow
  • Brain, Mind & Consciousness
  • Northwestern University
  • United States
BMC_RobertZatorre

Robert Zatorre

  • Fellow
  • Brain, Mind & Consciousness
  • McGill University
  • Canada

Advisors

Bio Outline

Stanislas Dehaene

  • Advisor
  • Brain, Mind & Consciousness
  • Collège de France
  • France
Bio Outline

Daniel Dennett

  • Advisor
  • Brain, Mind & Consciousness
  • Tufts University
  • United States
Nancy Kanwisher

Nancy Kanwisher

  • Advisor
  • Brain, Mind & Consciousness
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • United States
BMC_DavidMenon

David K. Menon

  • Advisor
  • Brain, Mind & Consciousness
  • Cambridge University
  • United Kingdom
Sherry picture Nov 2017 copy

David Sherry

  • Advisor
  • Brain, Mind & Consciousness
  • Advanced Facility for Avian Research
  • Western University
  • Canada
Janet Werker

Janet Werker

  • Advisory Committee Chair
  • Brain, Mind & Consciousness
  • University of British Columbia
  • Canada

CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars

BMC_CraigChapman

Craig Chapman

  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2016-2018
  • Brain, Mind & Consciousness
  • University of Alberta
  • Canada
BMC_AlonaFyshe

Alona Fyshe

  • CIFAR Fellow, Learning in Machines & Brains / Boursière, Apprentissage automatique, apprentissage biologiques
    Canada CIFAR AI Chair / Chaire en IA CIFAR-Canada
    CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar, 2016 - 2018 / Chercheuses mondiale CIFAR-Azrieli 2016-2018
  • University of Alberta
  • Canada
BMC_KatherineMcAuliffe

Katherine McAuliffe

  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2017-2019
  • Brain, Mind & Consciousness
  • Boston College
  • United States
Megan Peters-BW

Megan Peters

  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2019-2021
  • Brain, Mind & Consciousness
  • University of California Irvine
  • United States
Joshua Shepherd-BW

Joshua Shepherd

  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2019-2021
  • Brain, Mind & Consciousness
  • University of Barcelona
  • Carleton University
  • Canada
Lucina Q. Uddin

Lucina Q. Uddin

  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2018-2020
  • Brain, Mind & Consciousness
  • University of Miami
  • United States
Filip Van Opstal-BW

Filip Van Opstal

  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2019-2021
  • Brain, Mind & Consciousness
  • University of Amsterdam
  • The Netherlands
Yaniv Ziv

Yaniv Ziv

  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2018-2020
  • Brain, Mind & Consciousness
  • Weizmann Institute of Science
  • Israel

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