Melanie Wilke, Ph.D. and Melanie Boly, M.D., Ph.D., are neuroscientists and friends.
What do babies know? Read more here.
Alison Gopnik, Ph.D., who is quoted in the article, will be the Distinguished Speakers Series lecturer for Mind Science Foundation on September 24, 2013.
For Immediate Release
MIND SCIENCE FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH AWARDS
Scientists seek the source of consciousness
SAN ANTONIO – January 31, 2013 – Robert R. Cocke, Ph.D., and John G. “Sandy” McNab, co-chairs of the Mind Science Foundation, recently announced the 2012 recipients of the Tom Slick Research Awards in Consciousness:
Consciousness after coma? (Steven Laureys, M.D., Ph.D.)
After a severe brain injury and coma, this is the big question: is she or he conscious ? Knowing the answer to that question can help health care providers improve patients’ care and quality of life.
If the answer is "no" the next question is: will consciousness one day recover? If the answer is "yes" then scientists like Laureys want to know what that consciousness is like. Is there any perception of pain or emotions? New imaging technologies now allow physicians to tackle these challenging questions. (Watch Laureys talk about coma).
Meditation, spiritual fulfillment and well-being (Olga Louchakova, Ph.D.)
We know meditation “feels good”; this project will shed light on the science behind the creation of brain activity that leads to a sense of spiritual fulfillment and well-being.
Using an innovative neurophenomenological approach, which was developed in the Sofia University Neurophenomenology lab, researchers examine the connections between the experience of satisfaction in meditation, non-dual consciousness and human encephalogram.
Do cascading “Neuronal Avalanches “ produce consciousness? (John Beggs, Ph.D.)
John Beggs believes he has an answer to a question that has puzzled philosophers and scientists for millennia: What makes a brain conscious?
A prominent theory, put forward by scientist Giulio Tononi, says that one signature of consciousness would occur when networks of neurons have just the right mix of order and randomness. Such a state would allow many different groups of ordered neurons, perhaps each representing an idea, to interact with each other fluidly. To recognize such a state, it would be necessary to record electrical activity from hundreds of neurons simultaneously. John Beggs’ lab is equipped to do just that and will examine this idea in small slices of brain tissue. He has hypothesized that neuronal avalanches, a type of cascade of activity that he co-discovered, would occur in states that Tononi has suspected are conscious. This research could potentially lead to new ways to identify conscious states in intact brains.
Founded in 1958 by the late Tom Slick, a legendary oilman and explorer, MSF is a 501.c.3 operating foundation, based in San Antonio, Texas, with a mission to support research, scientific conferences, and educational programs on mind, brain, and consciousness. In the 1980s, the foundation established its Distinguished Speakers Series and the Imagineer Awards under the leadership of past executive director (and current president) Catherine Nixon Cooke. In the past, the foundation has supported research on the effects of psychological processes on health and disease (“mind-made” health) and on the effects of television violence on children. In 2005, the foundation expanded its scientific focus and established the Tom Slick Research Awards in Consciousness. During the last ten years, the scientific work supported by the Mind Science Foundation has been recognized in major scientific journals, as well as Newsweek, US News and World Report, and most recently Time Magazine (November 28, 2011 issue).
For more information, visit MSF’s website at www.mindscience.org.
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