Toward a Science of Consciousness Conference 2009: Announcement and Call for Papers

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(Original posted on 15 Nov. 2008)
Investigating Inner Experience
Brain, Mind, Technology

Hong Kong, China, June 11-14, 2009

Long a meeting place for Eastern and Western ideas and the media capital of Asia, Hong Kong, China hosts the 15th in a series of Toward a Science of Consciousness conferences held yearly since 1994. The conferences are known for broad, interdisciplinary and multi-faceted approaches to the age-old question of how the brain produces consciousness awareness

Subjective inner experience has long been approached through introspection, mysticism, and meditative contemplation, and revealed through art, mythology and ritual. In the past half century, science has found computation among neurons to explain brain functions, and promoted the possibility of conscious machines. Now, various media technologies attempt to communicate, simulate and re-create inner experience. In a spirit of synergy, the conference is organized along three entwined themes.

BRAIN: Does consciousness require axonal firing explosions, dendritic synchrony, global assemblies, recurrent loops, mobile agents or finer-scale activities inside neurons? What do mechanisms of mind-altering drugs tell us about consciousness? What can brain imaging and electrical recording tell us about conscious and unconscious processing?

MIND: How can subjective experience be studied objectively? Are Western analytical and Eastern contemplative methods complementary? Do ordinary states of consciousness differ in measurable brain activity from altered and meditative states? What essential features of inner experience can be best reported and artistically portrayed?

TECHNOLOGY: How can technology best interface with consciousness? Can consciousness exist in technology? Can the science of consciousness help media technology become more attuned to human subjective experience? Can functional brain organization be useful in technology design?

A Plenary Program, Pre-Conference Workshops, social events and side trips will be announced. The conference precedes the IEEE Conference on Cognitive Informatics in Hong Kong (June 15-17), and is affiliated with other events in June, 2009 which are part of an Asia Consciousness Festival -

Submissions of original papers related to the three themes are invited from philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, cognitive science, phenomenology, media, technology, games, computer science, and other related fields.

Abstract submission will be open until February 1, 2009. For registration, abstract submission and further information see

Abstract Submissions:

Submissions demonstrating media, technology and art attempting to simulate consciousness are invited for a special session. Prizes will be awarded for the best demos.

Abstract submitters will be notified regarding abstract assignment within two weeks of submission.

Sponsored by
Hong Kong Polytechnic University, MERECL

and the Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona

Conference Organizers
Gino Yu, Hong Kong Polytechnic University
David Chalmers, Australian National University
Stuart Hameroff, The University of Arizona

Program Committee
Roy Ascott - University of Plymouth
David Chalmers - Australian National University
Richard Davidson - University of Wisconsin
Majid Fotuhi - Johns Hopkins University
Baroness Susan Greenfield - Oxford University
Stuart Hameroff - University of Arizona
Allen Houng - National Yang Ming University, Taiwan
Shier Ju - Sun Yat-sen University
Hakwan Lau - Columbia University
Olga Louchakova - Institute of Transpersonal Psychology
Jefferey Martin - California Institute of Integral Studies
Ryojei Nakatsu - National University of Singapore
Dean Radin - Institute of Noetic Sciences
Sraddhalu Ranade - Sri Aurobindo Ashram
Matthias Rauterberg - TU Eindhoven
Thomas Ray - University of Oklahoma
Pamela Rugledge - Media Psychology Research Center
Marilyn Schlitz - Institute of Noetic Sciences
Dan Siegel - Mindsight Institute
Jeff Warren - Author
Charles Whitehead - University of Westminster, London
Gino Yu - Hong Kong Polytechnic University

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