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The Whispering Mind: The Enduring Conundrum of Consciousness

Thursday, May 30, 2013
9:00 pm - 10:30 pm

It’s an old question: what is consciousness? Today, sophisticated brain imaging technologies, clinical studies, as well as the newfound ability to listen to the whisper of even an individual nerve cell, are bringing scientists closer than ever to the neurobiological basis of consciousness. Join some of the world’s leading researchers who are primed to determine if Homo sapiens are the only conscious species, if consciousness lives only within our brain or also outside of it, and ultimately, the fundamental biochemical processes underlying the life of the mind.

This program is part of the Big Ideas Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.


Terry MoranABC News Anchor

Terry Moran is a co-anchor of ABC News’ Nightline and covers the Supreme Court for the network from his base in Washington, DC. At Nightline Moran has led the program’s distinguished coverage of many of the major news stories over the past several years.

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Nicholas SchiffNeurologist

Nicholas Schiff studied history and philosophy of science at Stanford University before training as a physician at Cornell University Medical College. Following a detour into further training in applied mathematics, he completed a residency in neurology and post-doctoral training in quantitative systems neurophysiology.

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Mélanie BolyNeurologist

Melanie Boly is a neurologist and postdoctoral research fellow at the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research and at University of Wisconsin-Madison. She conducts research investigating the neural correlates of decreased consciousness during vegetative state, anesthesia, and sleep using functional neuroimaging techniques.

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Christof KochNeuroscientist

Born in the American Midwest, Christof Koch grew up in Holland, Germany, Canada, and Morocco. He studied Physics and Philosophy and was awarded his Ph.D. in Biophysics. In 1987, Koch joined the California Institute of Technology as a Professor in Biology and Engineering.

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Colin McGinnPhilosopher

Colin McGinn is a professor and Cooper Fellow at University of Miami. In 2006, he joined the UM philosophy department, having taught previously at University of London, University of Oxford, and Rutgers University.

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