Aug 30 2016

Dreams and the Outside World

When I was 13, I once dreamt that a beautiful woman was sensuously stroking the palm of my hand, as a family of fridges hummed in the background. In reality, a huge, buzzing wasp had landed on my right hand. It idly walked around for a bit, and then stung me. After the shock had …

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Apr 14 2016

The Dream of a Silicon Mind

Computer Consciousness? Last month I gave a public talk at the Salon Club in London about computer consciousness, as part of a lively evening of talks exploring on the ways that artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly encroaching on our lives. One key question that served as a foundation for the evening’s discussion was the main …

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Jul 10 2015

Treadmill Desk: A Testimonial

Introduction I work from home a lot and about 20 months ago I converted my home office to one where I could stand or walk as I worked at the computer. For both health and productivity, it’s the best ergonomic decision I’ve made by quite a margin. And in this post I’d like to share …

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Jan 15 2013

Zombies and Consciousness

This is just a short post to flag up a really fascinating, and I’m sure highly entertaining, event happening in the UK at the end of January and beginning of February. The London Science Museum is hosting a small festival about those intriguing, terrifying, yet strangely popular cultural icons, the zombies. But it being the …

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Sep 04 2012

Official book launch today

My book, THE RAVENOUS BRAIN, officially comes out today (in the US at least – 13th Sep in the UK/Europe in hardback, but the Kindle edition is available everywhere now, I think). While I’m writing, I thought I’d take the opportunity to update you on some of the events surrounding the launch. The book has …

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Aug 01 2012

What Jonah Lehrer reveals about popular science writing

Jonah Lehrer is one of the hottest science writers around. But this week, in a dramatic fall from grace, he resigned from his staff position at the New Yorker, and his publisher has removed his latest book, Imagine, from sale. The catalyst for these dramatic events is the fact that he fabricated quotes from Bob …

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Jul 20 2012

The borders surrounding our conscious world (Notes from a Consciousness Conference Pt 3)

  Go to the nearest window and stare for a moment at an object outside – maybe a car if one is nearby. Now that you’re back, it’s an easy task to recall the color of the car, isn’t it? But how much of the surrounding objects were you aware of? We all feel that …

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Jul 17 2012

Notes from a consciousness conference – Part 2: The neural symphony of consciousness fading

This is the second part of my report on the recent consciousness science conference (ASSC) in Brighton, UK.  After the first day, where I attended workshops on the science of hypnosis and magic, the four day conference began in earnest. Fascinating piecemeal new details about consciousness were revealed at regular intervals throughout the conference.  For …

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Jul 12 2012

Notes from a consciousness conference – Part 1: Hypnosis & Magic

Over the previous week I attended the annual conference for the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness (ASSC), which last year was based at the exotic location of Kyoto in Japan, but this time was hosted by my own department in Brighton, in the UK. Academic conferences are an intense week that I always …

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Apr 27 2012

Introduction to Consciousness

Consciousness is not magic! This is my first blog on the study of consciousness, as part of a series of posts planned. I feel very lucky, both to work as a research scientist at the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, and to have been given the chance to publish a book on consciousness for a …

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