Neuroscience of Consciousness
What makes us conscious? What is that thing called ‘consciousness’ and how does it relate to our brains? Fun questions to philosophize about? Sure, but also valid scientific questions at the center of one of the most exciting neuroscientific disciplines today. Welcome to a no-nonsense course on consciousness.
‘Consciousness’ is often described as some mysterious entity that is impossible to really understand. However, the tools of neuroscience have changed the game so much, that some of the supposedly unsolvable problems are now actually being solved. Students will learn that, with neuroscientific tools, one can determine whether or not someone is conscious, deduce from brain activity what they are conscious of, and overall study how a conscious percept is built by the brain.
In this course, we discuss the current state of research on the (cognitive) neuroscience of consciousness. We will take an empirical perspective, which means there is only minimal attention to philosophy of mind, and a strong focus on the actual research, as well as recent theories, of consciousness in the brain.
This course will introduce the methodology of consciousness neuroscience, including different consciousness stimuli and paradigms, as well as the latest neuroimaging and brain stimulation tools. Primary focus will be on studies using healthy human subjects.
Doelstellingen van dit vak
- students are able to explain notions of consciousness, the applications and limitations of latest neuroscientific tools (neuroimaging, brain stimulation) in the context of consciousness research, and recent neuroscientific models as well as paradigms of consciousness research;
- students can specify the role of primary cortices, the role of frontoparietal cortex, the role of neuronal oscillations in the brain, in unconscious versus conscious information processing.
No prerequisites, but at least one previous course about the brain or brain research would be helpful.