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Frith @IMC

Talks by Uta and Chris Frith, UCL

2019.08.20 | Anne-Mette Pedersen

Date Tue 01 Oct
Time 11:00 13:00
Location IMC Meeting Room, Jens Chr. Skous Vej 4, Building 1483-312

Some new thoughts about consciousness

Talk by Chris Frith , Wellcome Trus Centre for Neuroimaging, UCL

Consciousness has evolved and is a feature of all animals with sufficiently complex nervous systems. From the 1st person view point, we are conscious when we are having subjective experiences. Studies in this framework depend upon report and are largely restricted to humans. From the 3rd person perspective, we believe that agents are conscious when they engage in deliberate, intentional actions rather than automatic behaviour. Signs of such action can be found in most animals and are not restricted to humans. I suggest that automatic, non-conscious, behaviour depends on model-free association learning, while intentional behaviour requires model-based learning. These models of the state of the world are associated with a form of consciousness sometimes called sentience. There is a higher form of consciousness, meta-consciousness, which is highly developed in humans. This involves second-order models of the state of the modeler. This is self-consciousness.  

Slow Science - yes, but how to do it?   

Talk by Uta Frith, The UCL Centre for the History of Medicine, UCL

There are many reasons to reject the current publish or perish culture. It is bad for science since there is the temptation to cut corners, and bad for scientists, since the current pressure on output quantity has an effect on researchers’ mental well being. But how can we achieve a healthier way to do science? I will propose a number of measures that might be taken. Institutions and funders will have a major role to play and might be willing to set up pilot studies so that we can do “less, but better”.