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AIAS Seminar: Morten Overgaard, AIAS Fellow

Consciousness and cognitive access

Info about event


Monday 26 April 2021,  at 14:15 - 15:30


The AIAS Auditorium, if possible. Virtually, if not.

The talk is streamed via Zoom. Join URL: https://aarhusuniversity.zoom.us/j/66332099336 to attend.    

Speaker: Morten Overgaard, AIAS Fellow and Professor


In consciousness research, it is common to distinguish between phenomenal consciousness and access consciousness. Historically, consciousness research has argued that we access more information than that we are phenomenally conscious about - and that this is methodologically crucial when studying neural correlates of consciousness. Recently, a number of scientists have attempted to establish that phenomenal content can be empirically separated from cognitive access and, accordingly, that the mental content that is accessed is not (always) identical to the content that is experienced. One notable position is that of Ned Block who suggests that phenomenal content overflows cognitive access. I will review the evidence and show that existing data, in fact, do not demonstrate overflow. Rather, I will show that access and consciousness are fundamentally linked and that this in itself may reveal important information about what consciousness is.

Short bio

Morten Overgaard is a JCS fellow at AIAS and a professor in cognitive neuroscience at Center for Functionally Integrative Neuroscience. Morten Overgaard has worked to understand how subjective experience - consciousness - relate to physical matter, primarily the brain, since his early twenties. He has published extensively on the topic and developed some of the most widespread methodologies that are today used to compare information about consciousness in an individual with objective data such as behaviour or brain activity. His interests extend to neurorehabilitation and psychiatry as well. Recently, he has developed a theoretical model in the attempt to understand the mind at all levels of descriptions - from molecule to subjective experience - in the same framework.

See Morten Overgaard's project at AIAS

What is an AIAS Seminar?

The AIAS Seminar is a session of seminars held by the AIAS fellow or by other speakers proposed by the fellows. In each seminar, one fellow will present and discuss his/her current research and research project, closing off with a question and discussion session.

All seminars are held in English.