Pre-Conference Workshop

Monday, April 21, 2014

2:00 pm - 6:00 pm


New Discoveries in Consciousness Science

Bernard J. Baars


...a survey of new developments regarding consciousness and coma, brain stimulation, cognitive enhancers, sleep, emotion, oscillations, brain ‘hubs’ and global workspace theory



Bernard J. Baars, Ph.D. is Affiliated Fellow in Theoretical Neurobiology at the Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla, CA.
Dr. Baars is a cognitive scientist specializing in conscious and unconscious brain functions, voluntary control, and concepts of self. These common sense ideas have long been difficult to study in the biobehavioral sciences, but have returned to the forefront in recent decades. He is best known for his book, A Cognitive Theory of Consciousness (1988) in which he develops an integrative theory called Global Workspace Theory (GWT) as a model for conscious and unconscious processes in the human brain.
GWT continues to be developed, in collaboration with Professor. Stan Franklin of the University of Memphis, Professor Murray Shanahan of Imperial College, London, and scientists working in the Neural Darwinism tradition of Gerald A. Edelman at the Neurosciences Institute. A number of neuroscientists are advancing the theory from their own perspectives, notably Professor Stan Dehaene and his research group in Paris. A popular account of GWT appeared in 1997, called In the Theater of Consciousness: the Workspace of the Mind, from Oxford University Press. He has also edited a college textbook, together with Nicole M. Gage, called Cognition, Brain, and Consciousness: Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience. (Elsevier/Academic Press, 2007). Bernie authored The Cognitive Revolution in Psychology, edited Experimental Slips and Human Error: Exploring the Architecture of Volition (Cognition and Language: A Series in Psycholinguistics), and coedited Essential Sources in the Scientific Study of Consciousness.
Dr. Baars cofounded the journal Consciousness & Cognition together with William P. Banks, published by Academic Press/Elsevier,

He is also a founder and editor of the web bulletin Science and Consciousness Review, along with Thomas Ramsoy and others and was the first president of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness.
Dr. Baars developed teaching materials for a web-based course through the University of Arizona Center for Consciousness Studies

which he taught for many years.

His papers include An architectural model of conscious and unconscious brain functions: Global Workspace Theory and IDA, How conscious experience and working memory interact, The conscious access hypothesis: origins and recent evidence, Applying Global Workspace Theory to the Frame Problem, Brain, conscious experience and the observing self, and Global Workspace Theory: A Rigorous Scientific Theory of Consciousness.