Mind and Matter Talks 2022

Mind and Matter Talks invites renowned scholars with fresh insights into the themes of information, intelligence, and consciousness to share their research in conversation with UH researchers. All talks take place online, on Fridays from 14:00 to 15:30. Check back for details on how to attend in September!

  • 30 September Nienke van Atteveldt: The use of portable EEG to enhance adolescents’ sense of control and growth mindset
  • 14 October Yukie Nagai: Robots as Mirrors of Human Mind
  • 21 October Anil Seth: Being You – A New Science of Consciousness
  • 4 November Fernando E. Rosas: On the emergence of human cognition and consciousness: opportunities and challenges
  • 18 November Laura Batterink: Learning language without trying: Probing the brain's ability to extract linguistic patterns outside of awareness
  • 2 December Philip Goff and Keith Frankish: All of Nothing: Why illusionism and panpsychism may be the only options on consciousness

More information about the talks and the speakers below.

The use of portable EEG to enhance adolescents’ sense of control and growth mindset

Recently, efforts have been made to increase the ecological validity of neuroscience research by conducting research in authentic educational contexts with the use of portable Electroencephalography (EEG). In this talk, I will discuss how portable EEG can be integrated in lessons to teach children about the brain and their own influence on their learning processes. I will present results of an intervention for young adolescents in which EEG-based neurofeedback was integrated within a growth mindset intervention, to increase their sense of agency and related motivation profiles including mindset.

Hosted by Benjamin Cowley

Bio

Nienke graduated from Utrecht University in 2000 (MSc in biomedical sciences) and received her PhD (cum laude) in cognitive neuroscience from Maastricht University in 2006. After her PhD she spent a couple of years in New York (Columbia University, Child-Psychiatry) to investigate how the brain adapts its processing to the current context and behavioral goal.  Her interest in how neuroscience interacts with society has also been growing since that time, and particularly, that challenge of how we can optimize the educational value of developmental cognitive neuroscience research. In 2014, she moved to the Vrije Universiteit (VU) where she currently works as full professor and leads the Lab of Learning. She is currently Vice-President of the International Mind, Brain and Education Society (IMBES), and co-chair of the UNESCO MGIEP International Scientific Evidence-based Education (ISEE) Assessment.

Robots as Mirrors of Human Mind

Hosted by Riikka Möttönen

Bio

Yukie Nagai is a Project Professor at the International Research Center for Neurointelligence, the University of Tokyo. She received her Ph.D. in Engineering from Osaka University in 2004 and worked at the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Bielefeld University, and then Osaka University. Since 2019, she leads Cognitive Developmental Robotics Lab at the University of Tokyo. Her research interests include cognitive developmental robotics, computational neuroscience, and assistive technologies for developmental disorders. She has been investigating underlying neural mechanisms for social cognitive development by means of computational approaches. She was elected to “30 women in robotics you need to know about” in 2019 and “World’s 50 Most Renowned Women in Robotics” in 2020.

Being You – A New Science of Consciousness

Consciousness is, for each of us, all there is. Without consciousness there is no world, no self: there is nothing at all. But we know surprisingly little about the material and biological basis of this most central feature of our lives. How do rich multisensory experiences, the senses of self and body, and volition, agency, and ‘will’ emerge from the joint activity of billions of neurons locked inside a bony skull? Once the province of philosophy and theology, understanding consciousness has re-emerged as a major scientific challenge for this century. In this talk I will give a fresh perspective on this new science of consciousness, drawing from my new book Being You. We will see that the brain is a kind of prediction machine, that experiences of the world – and of the self – are forms of ‘controlled hallucination’, and that consciousness is deeply rooted in our nature as living creatures, embodied and embedded in our environments.

Hosted by Valtteri Arstila

Bio

Anil Seth is Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at the University of Sussex, where he is also Co-Director of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science. He is also Co-Director of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) Program on Brain, Mind, and Consciousness, and Editor-in-Chief of Neuroscience of Consciousness (Oxford University Press). 

Website: www.anilseth.com
Twitter: @anilkseth

On the emergence of human cognition and consciousness: opportunities and challenges

Hosted by Luigi Acerbi

Bio

Fernando Rosas received the B.A. degree in music composition and philosophy (Minor), the B.Sc. degree in mathematics, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in engineering sciences from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. He worked as Postdoctoral Research Assistant with the Departement Elektrotechniek (ESAT) of KU Leuven, as Postdoctoral Fellow with the Graduate Institute of Communication Engineering of the National Taiwan University, and as Marie Curie Research Fellow with the Department of Mathematics and the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Imperial College London. He is now a postdoctoral researcher with the Department of Brain Sciences and the Data Science Institute at Imperial College London, and an incoming Lecturer with the Department of Informatics at the University of Sussex. His research is focused on leveraging tools and frameworks from complexity science to advance our understanding of high brain functions.

Learning language without trying: Probing the brain's ability to extract linguistic patterns outside of awareness

Hosted by Anu-Katriina Pesonen and Riikka Möttönen

Bio

Dr. Laura Batterink is an Assistant Professor in Psychology and a member of the Brain and Mind Institute at Western University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Oregon and completed postdoctoral training at Northwestern University. Her research focuses on understanding how implicit and explicit memory contribute to language acquisition and related learning mechanisms. She is also interested in examining how sleep-dependent memory consolidation processes contribute to different aspects of language and learning. Her research leverages EEG, event-related potentials (ERPs), polysomnography, and other neuroimaging methods. An underlying motivation of this work is to characterize how key aspects of language differ in terms of their processing and acquisition throughout the lifespan, with a view towards understanding difficulties characteristic of second-language acquisition.

All of Nothing: Why illusionism and panpsychism may be the only options on consciousness

Hosted by Alexander Carruth

Bio: Philip Goff

Philip Goff is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Durham University. Goff’s main research focus is consciousness, but he is interested in many questions about the nature of reality. He argues for panpsychism, the view that consciousness is a fundamental and ubiquitous feature of the physical world. Goff has authored an academic book with Oxford University Press – Consciousness and Fundamental Reality – and a book aimed at a general audience – Galileo's Error: Foundations for a New Science of Consciousness. He is currently working on a book exploring the middle ground between God and atheism. Goff has published 45 academic articles as well as writing extensively for newspapers and magazines, including Scientific American, The Guardian, Aeon and the Times Literary Supplement. The interview with Goff by Pulitzer Prize winning author Gareth Cook was one of the most viewed of the most viewed articles in Scientific American of 2020.

Twitter: @Philip_Goff

Bio: Keith Frankish

Keith Frankish is Honorary Professor in the Philosophy Department at the University of Sheffield, UK, Visiting Research Fellow at The Open University, UK, and Adjunct Professor with the Brain and Mind Programme
in Neurosciences at the University of Crete, Greece. He is well known for defending an illusionist view of consciousness, and he has also written extensively on the nature and function of conscious thought.
Keith has authored two books, published numerous articles and book chapters, edited or co-edited five academic volumes, and is editor of CUP's Elements in Philosophy of Mind series. He has also written about
philosophy of mind and other topics for a range of magazines, including Aeon, The Economist, New Humanist, Philosophy Now, Psyche, The Philosophers’ Magazine, Times Higher Education, and The Times Literary
Supplement.

Website: www.keithfrankish.com
Twitter: @keithfrankish