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World-renowned neuroscientist visits UTSA on May 5 to discuss the quest for consciousness

(April 29, 2009) -- Until half a century ago, scientists were pursuing the mystery of life. Then Watson and Crick discovered the structure of DNA. Today's neuroscientists are engaged in a similar pursuit for knowledge as they work to unravel the material basis of consciousness.

How does the unmistakable smell of rain-soaked dogs or the awful throbbing of tooth pain emerge from networks of neurons and their associated functions? Celebrated Caltech neuroscientist Christof Koch will address the fundamental mystery of neuroscience in a free distinguished public lecture sponsored by UTSA's Neurosciences Institute.

The Neurosciences Institute's 2009 Distinguished Public Lecture will be held on Tuesday, May 5, 2009 at 6 p.m. on UTSA's Main Campus in the University Center Retama Room (Room 2.02.02) and includes a public reception for Koch starting at 5:30 p.m.

At the May 5 lecture, addressing how the brain generates conscious experience, Koch will:

  • Summarize what is known to date about the neurobiology of consciousness
  • Argue that attention is distinct from consciousness
  • Discuss the limits to our knowledge
  • Describe ongoing experiments using visual illusions to manipulate the relationship between physical stimuli and their associated conscious percepts
  • Impart a promising information-theoretical approach to consciousness that is grounded in circuit complexity


Contact: Christi Fish
University of Texas at San Antonio

Page: 1

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