Integrated consciousness: A framework for making sense of the world around and within us



Consciousness is a curious and complex phenomenon. There are many ideas about what consciousness means and how it comes about, but I came across a compelling and relatively simple argument when I attended TEDFest this year – where the TED2017 conference was livestreamed for TEDx conference organisers from around the world, all convened in New York.

In this show I speak with Dr Anil Seth from the Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at the University of Sussex in the UK. He is also Co-Director at the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science. We talk about how the brain tries to make sense of the world outside, but also integrates information coming from inside the body to help us perceive the world and our place in relation to it. We talk about the origin of emotions, mindfulness, mental illness and possible applications for the framework he proposes. 

Here is the link to the paper we talk about in this week’s show – the full paper is available here:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364661313002118

Here are the Highlights for some context:

A new view of emotion as active inference on the causes of interoceptive signals.

Extension of appraisal emotion theories to a contemporary inferential framework.

A unified predictive model of emotion and experience of body ownership.

Interpretation of neuropsychiatric conditions as disordered interoceptive inference.

How predictive integration of interoceptive and exteroceptive signals affects self.

I hope you enjoyed this fortnight’s show. We will remain on a fortnightly schedule until at least October 2017, but I still hope you’ll enjoy the interviews we will regularly be publishing here

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