Invited talk "How to scientifically study the functions of consciousness: in search of the right paradigm"

by Dr. Liad Mudrik, School of Psychological Sciences / Sagol School of Neuroscience, Tel Aviv University, Israel

will take place on Friday, July 21, 2017 from 11:00 to 12:00 am in CBBM Building, EG, B1/B2.

Host: Prof. Dr. Rolf Verleger
Department of Neurology
University of Lübeck


Generations of scholars of different disciplines have struggled with the mystery of conscious awareness. How does it come about? And, no less importantly, what does it do? To meet the challenge of scientifically operationalizing this question, different experimental manipulations have been developed. With these methods researchers managed to demonstrate surprisingly high-level forms of unconscious processing, like semantic integration, executive control, emotional judgments, reading and arithmetic operations. Consequently, some have suggested that consciousness may not hold any unique functional role. In this talk, I will present experiments which employ such methods, and point out their implications and limitations. I will then introduce our search for new means to probe unconscious processes, specifically targeting consciousness' role in integration of information and in voluntary control.


Dr. Mudrik started her academic career as student of the interdisciplinary program for outstanding students. She completed two Ph.D. dissertations at Tel Aviv University: her Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience (psychology department) focused on the role of consciousness and attention in processing contextual violations, under the guidance of Prof. Dominique Lamy and Prof. Leon Deouell from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her Ph.D. in philosophy was a descriptive-deconstructive analysis of the mind-body problem in neuroscience under the supervision of Prof. Marcelo Dascal. She then continued to a postdoctoral fellowship at the California Institute of Technology. There, she worked in the lab of Prof. Christof Koch in the division of biology, and in the lab of Prof. Ralph Adolphs in the division of humanities and social sciences. In 2015, she began her appointment as a faculty member in Tel Aviv University’s school of psychological science and the Sagol school of neuroscience.