20 September 2006

BM-Science starts its participation in a Consortium for the Study of Consciousness. A multidisciplinary network will apply a number of methods in the study of consciousness, including philosophical argumentation, behavioral measurements, anesthesia, PET, TMS, and EEG measures in an attempt to reveal the neural basis of consciousness.

An overall of 16 experiments will be run in this project. The results are expected to reveal the neural mechanisms of consciousness in unprecedented ways, constituting empirical tests of current neural theories and models of consciousness. The studies applying anesthetic agents may furthermore lead to practical applications involving objective physiological indices of anesthetic depth and new findings concerning the mechanisms inducing unconsciousness during anesthesia. At the philosophical level, the results can be seen as testing the viability of biological naturalism in the neuroscientific study of consciousness. The philosophical implications will be evaluated separately in theoretical/philosophical papers and the project will arrange a neurophilosophical symposium to encourage interaction between neuroscience and philosophy in Finland, and to promote the open discussion of the philosophical problems shared by neuroscientists.