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Who do you think you are? Philosophy, neuroscience and the nature of consciousness

Consciousness remains one of the biggest mysteries of the human brain. Our perception of what exists as well as our thoughts, feelings, imaginings and dreams has attempted to be understood by philosophers through conceptual analysis and thought experiments. Neuroscientists have sought to describe it as a biological process of neuronal activity captured by measurable tests of brain activity. Increasingly, philosophers and neuroscientists are joining forces, but consensus is elusive. Do we experience consciousness only while we are awake? Do other animals experience consciousness? Does it fade after brain damage? Are intelligent computers conscious? Is consciousness a process? What is it for? We have invited a neuroscientist and philosopher to share their research and perspectives on consciousness and to provide some guidance on these questions.
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Artificial Neural Network

Towards an Electronic Prescription? The 2019 Graeme Clark Oration

Bioelectronics is the concept of interfacing directly with the body's own nervous system to monitor physiological signals and, as needed, modulate the electrical activity within the nervous system to alleviate symptoms of diseases. The first generation of bioelectronic systems are now treating a number of disorders, with perhaps the most familiar being cardiac pacemakers that aim to maintain a healthy heart rhythm. Pacing systems are deployed in hundreds of thousands of patients today, and reinforce the potential for bioelectronic medicine to restore health. Expanding bioelectronics to neurological disorders like epilepsy, chronic pain and dementia is an exciting but challenging opportunity. Despite the clinical success in treating symptoms of diseases like Parkinson's, existing bioelectronic systems have several attributes that currently limit their adoption. For example, currently a skilled neurosurgeon is required to place the implant, and the device's output is relatively inflexible in contrast to the rapidly changing and reactive activity of the nervous system. Resolving these issues requires the complementary pursuit of technological innovation and scientific discovery.
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Why You’re Not Dead Yet

Neuroscientist Dave Farmer gives a comedic, educational talk about the arse end of the brain (aka the brainstem) filtered through Jackson Voorhaar’s non-educational comedy mind to help disseminate the information to the layidiot. Thanks for not laughing at disseminate. Why You’re Not Dead…

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