The Center for Consciousness Center, Tucson, Arizona together with Dr. Bernard J. Baars offers a new semester in Consciousness Science.

Introduction to Consciousness Science Dr. Bernard J. Baars
Saturdays 2:00-4:00 pm Pacific, (Sept 25-Nov 28, 2010) 10 weeks

A college level introduction to modern scientific findings about consciousness, volition, and self. Brain imaging now makes it possible to see the living brain during both conscious and unconscious processes. How does that change our understanding of the long traditions of meditation and other consciousness-changing practices? How does it change our scientific and philosophical debates? Could these new insights change our own way of experiencing our own consciousness? How might it affect the “I-Thou” perspective, in which one conscious being encounters another one? In our Introduction to Consciousness Science we will embrace all three classical paths: The experiential, the intersubjective, and the scientific one. In weekly Experiential Labs we will explore our own experiences of dreams, intuitions, emotional highs and lows, the fleeting present, the vast body of conscious “fringe” knowledge, and even unconscious psychological conflicts. We will also look at the second person perspective, what it means for “I” to encounter “Thou.” Finally, we will look at exceptional states in depth. We will not settle the question “what is consciousness?” — but we will see why it is so intriguing today.

Readings: Baars, B.J. (1997) In the Theater of Consciousness: The Workspace of the Mind. (Oxford University Press).

G.M. Edelman and G. Tononi (2000) A Universe of Consciousness: How Matter Becomes Imagination. (Basic Books)

Advanced Seminar in Consciousness Science: The Experience of Music Dr. Bernard J. Baars
Sundays 2:00-4:00 pm Pacific, (Sept 25-Nov 28, 2010) 10 weeks

This is a seminar using music to explore consciousness, volition and self — three keys to the mind-brain sciences. This seminar is especially useful for people with course work in psychology, biology, bioengineering and medicine, but we are obviously pleased to include musicians and others with primary interests in the arts, the humanities or in spiritual practices. We will emphasize our own experiences of music and the arts as a rich source of information.

An iTunes iMix will be available with great performances to enjoy and think about. (On iTunes see “Conscious Brain I” under iMixes). We will ask you to share your own favorites as well.

The Seminar covers brain imaging, behavioral studies, experiential demonstrations, and any other sources of reliable reports about conscious experiences. Theories of consciousness will also be discussed. We will use a web conferencing platform for the presentations and discussion. Come prepared to have a wonderful time, but also to do some background reading about the mind and brain. This is one of the few advanced academic seminars on consciousness as a scientific topic that is currently available, and we will tackle frontier questions with no holds barred.

The Seminar will use Baars & Gage’s (2010) Cognition, Brain & Consciousness: An Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience. (Elsevier, Inc., Academic Press, 2nd edition). Additional materials will be provided.

FORMAT: A weekly 2-hour Web Conference via GoToWebinar or a similar teaching platform, and using additional materials, including slideshows, scientific movies, audio lectures and podcasts, and YouTube lectures. Online discussion groups are available, using chat-based or Skype-based meetings.

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