UA to Host Biennial Conference on Consciousness

March 30, 2006
What: 
Toward a Science of Consciousness
When: 
April 4-8
Where: 
Tucson Convention Center 260 S. Church Avenue

The Center for Consciousness Studies at The University of Arizona is hosting the seventh biennial conference, Toward a Science of Consciousness, April 4-8 at the Tucson Convention Center. Referred to as the "Tucson conferences," these events have served as the focal point for much of the new research in consciousness.

Dr. Stuart Hameroff, an anesthesiologist at the UA College of Medicine, laid the ground work for the conference and much of the discipline itself, starting with the first conference in 1994. Since then, consciousness studies has come to incorporate a wide range of academic fields: philosophy, psychology, cognitive science, computer science, physics, biology, anthropology, medicine and the arts and more.

What makes this such a fertile area for science and why it has sparked such intense interest is that while first-person accounts of consciousness abound, independent, third-person observations and analyses are far more difficult. Many researchers consider the study of human consciousness one of the last great frontiers of science.

Several UA faculty and student researchers, including Hameroff, will present papers at the conference. A list of abstracts and their authors is on the conference Web site, http://consciousness.arizona.edu.

Several highlights include a keynote address by Dr. Giulio Tononi of the University of Wisconsin's Center for Sleep and Consciousness on Wednesday, April 5. Temple Grandin, a faculty member at Colorado State University and an authority on animal behavior whose insights into animal minds is guided by her own well-documented challenges with autism, also will speak during the conference. And Antoine Lutz and John Dunne will discuss the findings of their EEG exams of Tibetan monks, who showed the highest amplitude gamma synchrony ever reported.

The conference also will feature sessions on topics such as mainstream philosophy, brain imaging techniques and quantum theories of consciousness.

For more information, contact John Ziemann, conference coordinator, at 520-722-1731 or e-mail jrziemann@cox.net.

More details about the conference, including a list of abstracts by presenters, is online at http://consciousness.arizona.edu.