The directness and vivid quality of conscious experience belies the complexity of the underlying neural mechanisms, which remain incompletely understood. Recent work has focused on identifying the brain structures and patterns of neural activity within the primate visual system that are correlated with the specific content of visual awareness, the NCC. Functional imaging in humans and electrophysiology in awake monkeys indicate that there are important differences between striate and extrastriate visual cortex in how well neural activity correlates with awareness. Moreover, in addition to these ventral areas of visual cortex, dorsal prefrontal and parietal areas and the superior colliculus in the brainstem contribute to vision, which can be also studied in brain-like software or hardware constructs. This academy will approach, by combining psychophysics, neurobiology and cognitive philosophy, the high-level processes in the brain connecting attention to awareness and to conscious visual experience.
Dr. Christof Koch, Caltech, Pasadena, USA
Dr. Klaus Hepp, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, Zürich
Constanze Hofstötter, Institut für Neuroinformatik, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, Zürich
Teilnehmer: Studierende aller Fachrichtungen
Literatur: Eric R. Kandel et al. ‘Principles of Neural Systems’, McGraw-Hill Education, 2000, and Christof Koch’s forthcoming ‘The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach’.
Participants are expected to present a research paper in their own field of competence and to bring good shoes and light equipment for mountaineering.