WHAT LINKS CONSCIOUS EXPERIENCE OF PAIN, joy, color, and smell to bioelectrical activity in the brain? How can anything physical give rise to nonphysical, subjective, conscious states? Neuroscientist Christof Koch has devoted much of his career to bridging the seemingly unbridgeable gap between the physics of the brain and phenomenal experience. Koch recounts not only the birth of the modern science of consciousness but also the subterranean motivation for his quest—his instinctual (if “romantic”) belief that life is meaningful. Koch describes his own groundbreaking work with Francis Crick in the 1990s and 2000s and the gradual emergence of consciousness (once considered a “fringy” subject) as a legitimate topic for scientific investigation. Koch gives us stories from the front lines of modern research into the neurobiology of consciousness as well as his own reflections on a variety of topics, including the distinction between attention and awareness, the unconscious, how neurons respond to Homer Simpson, the physics and biology of free will, dogs, sentient machines, and Der Ring des Nibelungen.
This lecture will include an author book signing.
About Dr. Christof Koch:
Christof Koch is an American neuroscientist working on the neural basis of consciousness. He is the Lois and Victor Troendle Professor of Cognitive and Behavioral Biology at California Institute of Technology, where he has been since 1986. In early 2011, he also became the Chief Scientific Officer of the Allen Institute for Brain Science, leading their high through-put, large scale cortical coding project.
He received a PhD in nonlinear information processing from the Max Planck Institute in Tübingen, Germany in 1982. He then worked for four years at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT. In 1986, he joined the newly started Computation and Neural Systems PhD program at Caltech.
This lecture series is sponsored by Dr. Michael Shermer's Skeptics Society. http://www.skeptic.com/upcoming-lectures/
To subscribe to free eSkeptic: http://www.skeptic.com/lectures/how_to_attend.html
First come, first served at the door. Limited seating at 375.
$10 for nonmembers
$8 for Skeptics Society members and the JPL/CalTech community.
Your admission fee is a donation that pays for lecture expenses.
Baxter Hall. THIS LECTURE MAY SELL OUT! Stand in line by 1pm at the LATEST to ensure yourself a seat. This is a No-Host event.
Location and Parking Map:
Baxter Hall at CalTech in Pasadena. Free parking on weekends:
Early Dinner Together:
We will be joining the the Skeptics Society in their standing tradition of dinner together after the event, so those of us who wish to take early dinner can meet Outside to the left side of the entry doors.
We have a wonderful group of interesting, nice people; so our social gatherings after these events are always so much fun... come join us!
Dinner is traditionally at Burger Continental. Click on this link for their menu:
535 South Lake Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91101
A very nice extensive menu... their salad bar for $5.99 is outstanding!.. so delicious and a nice variety. Enjoy the meal and the wonderful company, everyone!