Consciousness

Consciousness is a hot issue within both philosophical and scientific discussions. Empirical research achieved impressive results in recent years, e.g. in the identification of the so-called neural correlates of consciousness, which are a set of neuronal structures and functions correlating with conscious phenomena. Yet a fundamental gap between scientific, third-person descriptions of consciousness and first-person reports and experiences still exists.

We are engaged in trying to develop a new conceptual framework to bridge the gap between neuroscientific and personal concepts of consciousness. As a first result, a new model of consciousness, the Intrinsic Consciousness Theory (ICT), has been suggested.

Aims

Working within the framework of the European Human Brain Project, the project aims at:

  • Exploring most recent empirical findings about conscious phenomena
  • Developing a theoretical interpretation of relevant empirical data
  • Developing and refining the Intrinsic Consciousness Theory (ICT), with particular focus on its conceptual and ethical implications
  • Analysing the impact of ICT on the assessment and care of people with compromised consciousness, e.g. patients with disorders of consciousness

PUBLICATIONS

Evers K, Sigman, M. Possibilities and limits of mind-reading: a neurophilosophical perspective. Consci. Cogn. 2013;22, 887–897. 

Farisco M, Laureys S, Evers K, Externalization of Consciousness. Scientific Possibilities and Clinical Implications, in: Geyer M, Ellenbroek B, Marsden C (eds), Current Topics in Behavioural Neurosciences, 2014, doi: 10.1007/7854_2014_338

Farisco M, Evers, K. Neurotechnology and direct brain communication. New  insights and responsibilities concerning speechless but communicative subjects. New York: Routledge; 2016.

Evers K. Neurotechnological assessment of consciousness disorders: five ethical imperatives. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience. 2016;18(2).

Evers K, Giordano J. The Utility- and Use– of Neurotechnology to Recover Consciousness: Technical and Neuroethical Considerations in Approaching the “Hard Question” of Neuroscience. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 21 November 2017.

Farisco M, Laureys, S., Evers, K. The intrinsic activity of the brain and its relation to levels and disorders of consciousness. Mind and Matter. In Press

Contact and more information

Collaborators