Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience Anil Seth looks at the neuroscience of consciousness and how our biology gives rise to the unique experience of being you.
Right now, billions of neurons in your brain are working together to generate a conscious experience — and not just any conscious experience, your experience of the world around you and of yourself within it. How does this happen? According to neuroscientist Anil Seth, we’re all hallucinating all the time; when we agree about our hallucinations, we call it “reality.”
Join Seth for a delightfully disorienting talk that may leave you questioning the very nature of your existence.
Anil Seth is Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at the University of Sussex, where he is also Co-Director of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science. He is Editor-in-Chief of Neuroscience of Consciousness and is on the steering group and advisory board of the Human Mind Project.
He has written popular science books, including 30 Second Brain, and contributes to a variety of media including the New Scientist, The Guardian, and the BBC.
Many within this field are being forced to admit that, in some way we don’t completely understand yet, the universe and our experience of the physical material world could in fact be mental constructions, or at the very least, that consciousness plays a fundamental role in their creation.
R.C. Henry, a professor of physics and astronomy at Johns Hopkins University, wrote in a 2005 publication for the journal Nature:
“According to [pioneering physicist] Sir James Jeans: “the stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality; the Universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter… we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter.” . . . The Universe is immaterial — mental and spiritual. Live, and enjoy.”
Do the Brain and Body Give Rise to Consciousness?
The hypothesis that the brain creates consciousness dominates the mainstream materialistic world of science, despite the wealth of evidence showing that the brain (and our entire physical reality, for that matter) could be a product of consciousness.
Below is a great quote to illustrate what is meant by “material” science, taken from the Manifesto for a Post-Materialist Science:
“The modern scientific worldview is predominantly predicated on assumptions that are closely associated with classical physics. Materialism—the idea that matter is the only reality—is one of these assumptions. A related assumption is reductionism, the notion that complex things can be understood by reducing them to the interactions of their parts, or to simpler or more fundamental things such as tiny material particles.”
Below is a video from University of Arizona professor Dr. Gary Schwartz discussing whether consciousness is the product of the brain or a receiver of it. It’s a brief overview of a subject that is full of peer-reviewed scientific research few people have the time to go through. It would actually be almost impossible to go through all of it.
“Some materialistically inclined scientists and philosophers refuse to acknowledge these phenomena because they are not consistent with their exclusive conception of the world. Rejection of post-materialist investigation of nature or refusal to publish strong science findings supporting a post-materialist framework are antithetical to the true spirit of scientific inquiry, which is that empirical data must always be adequately dealt with. Data which do not fit favoured theories and beliefs cannot be dismissed a priori. Such dismissal is the realm of ideology, not science.”
Is Consciousness More than the Brain? | Interview with Dr. Gary Schwartz
Source: Collective Evolution