Contemplative Neuroscience and Neurophenomenology Lab

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Perspectives on Consciousness

May 15-16, 2019

About the Workshop

This workshop is a new attempt to address the question of consciousness from a variety of perspectives, thereby allowing broader vistas into the study of this intriguing phenomenon.

The gathering brings together neuroscientists, philosophers, neuro-phenomenologists, historians, psychologists and scholars of Eastern contemplative traditions, with the hope

that the different approaches will enrich each other and encourage a deeper understanding of consciousness. While we each stand to learn from each other and thus advance our own research, we also expect that new insights will be obtained from the very intersection of perspectives.

The workshop aims to make room for diverse approaches to consciousness, with special interest in the relation between analyses that approach it from within and ones that address it from without. As part of this interest, we also assume that encountering ourselves as conscious agents may allow us to pursue our inquiry with greater sensitivity and precision.

Thus, we integrate short reflective pauses and contemplative moments of meditation into the schedule of the workshop, including one longer session that will be guided by a Tibetan Buddhist monk. We also intend to devote attention to the question of whether meditation can offer privileged access to basic or multiple forms of consciousness, thereby paving new pathways for scientific investigation.

Our effort is to make real advances in our ability to generate a meaningful discussion of consciousness – What it consciousness about? What is significant about it? How does it

relate to the brain? How does it relate to the Self (if there is such an entity, however it may be defined)? Are there different states of consciousness and how may these be analyzed through scientific investigation? What questions should science ask about consciousness, and which tools can it use in order to deepen and expand its analysis? Does consciousness ultimately deserve the intense consideration it seems to call for? Our conviction is that in order to move forward with these questions, and in order to generate new insights, we all need each other – the philosopher needs the scholar of Buddhism who needs the brain scientist who needs the expert in meditation, and vice versa.

This workshop is planned as an opening to a larger project, which aims to develop integrative and novel approaches to consciousness. We strive to reach a more formidable scientific ground that will allow us to responsibly address this crucial issue, which stands at the heart of the human quest for knowledge.

Watch All Videos from this Conference

David McMahan - 150519

Liad Mudrik - 150519

Eviatar Shulman - 150519

Yochai Ataria - 150519

Aviva Berkovich-Ohana - 150519

Yair Dor-Ziderman - 150519

Mathis Trautwein - 150519

Ohad Nave - 150519

Itzhak Fried - 150519

Rafael Malach - 150519

Paññānando Bhikkhu - 150519

Moshe Bar - 150519

A meditative artistic experience - 150519

Geshe Dorji Damdrul - 16052019

David Rudrauf - 16052019

Roy Salomon - 16052019

Aviva Berkovich-Ohana - 16052019

George Dreyfus - 16052019

Ulrich Ott - 16052019

Stefan Schmidt - 16052019

Srinivasan Narayanan - 16052019

Ariel Furstenberg - 16052019