Thursday, February 13, 2014

Foundations of Mind: Cognition & Consciousness Conference March 6 – 7 , 2014 Berkeley

Foundations of Mind: Cognition & Consciousness

The world’s top scholars and neuroscientists discuss cutting-edge issues related to cognition and consciousness

Sproul Room, International house, 2299 Piedmont Ave , Berkeley
March 6 – 7 ,  2014

Preliminary schedule

 Registration details for "Foundations of mind"  are at

It also includes details of *Free* on-line courses in  consciousness
studies and cognitive science for suitably qualified applicants

Early bird rate for conference lasts until Feb 15 2014

We already have offers to publish the
proceedings both from a peer-reviewed journal and an academic book

Confirmed plenary speakers/panelists include:-

Stuart Kauffman (U Vermont)
Terry Deacon (UC Berkeley)
Henry Stapp (LBNL, UC Berkeley)
Ed Vul (UCSD)
Jacob Needleman (SFSU)
Jerome Feldman (ICSI, UC Berkeley)
Kathryn Blackmun Laskey (George Mason)
Robert Campbell (Clemson U)
Mike Cole (UCSD)
José Acacio de Barros (SFSU/Stanford)
Mike Cole ( UCSD)
Ellen Thompson (FIU)
Sean O Nuallain (UoI)
Fr. Robert Spitzer (Magis institute)
Tony Bell (UC Berkeley)
Len Talmy (U Buffalo)

Conference chair; Sean O Nuallain (UoI)
Inquiries/ further suggestions for panellists to

Thursday 6 March; schedule for “cognition” day
8-30 am registration
9am  Jacob Needleman and Robert Spitzer will give 30-minute keynotes,
followed by a discussion

It is now accepted that the Abrahamic religions, focused as they are
on community solidarity based on the sacred and with it the
supernatural, are inappropriate for environmental preservation even
without their licensing of exploitation of the earth. Yet spiritual
expressions based on emphasizing the unity of subject and object, self
and environment, fail to give an adequate account of acts of mind that
stress this difference. The ideal would be a spiritual system wherein
both the extraordinarily unlikely nature of life and earth as well as
the moral imperative to protect it would emerge as consequences from
its ontology and metaphysics. Does  such a system exist or can it be

10-45 tea/coffee

Panel 1  for Mar 6
In general, each panelist will speak for 15 minutes; then the panel
as a whole will discuss the issues for 30 minutes before opening
matters up to the audience

11 am - 1pm Panel 1 Linearity, psychologism, and voodoo correlations

Speakers/panelists; Ed Vul (UCSD - session chair), James Blackmun,Tony Bell (UC Berkeley) Sean O Nuallain (UoI), Robert Campbell (respondent - Clemson)

Gottlieb Frege famously excoriated the attempt to reduce
logico-mathematical reasoning to a description of the psychological
processes underpinning it as " psychologism". But, the response goes,
these logico-mathematical entities are indeed processed in the brain,
so surely it is neither quixotic nor formally incorrect to seek an
appropriate psychological explanation for them. One such candidate
explanation is a faculty psychology based on assignment of these
faculties to the cerebral locations that fmri has been celebrated for

Neo-Fregeans might have two responses. In the first place, the fmri
results perhaps evince premature closure in their statistical
analysis. Secondly, fmri's localizations are scalar entities in a
cerebral system clearly capable of operating with vectors and even
higher-order tensors .In fact, neo-Fregeans might argue, fmri
implicitly makes extraordinary claims about the nature of scientific
explanation, claims that are hard to justify.

Where does all this leave us?

Lunch Break
Panel 2  for Mar 6
2-3-45pm Cognitive science and neuroscience

Speakers/panelists; Jerome Feldman  (ICSI, Berkeley), Robert Campbell
(Clemson - chair), Ed Vul. (Respondent) Mike Cole ( UCSD), Terry Deacon (UC Berkeley)

Science is a reductionist enterprise - we look for explanations of
phenomena at more basic levels. This does not entail "eliminative
reduction" where only the lowest level has explanatory power. Theory,
modelling, and experiment at multiple levels is important and these
should be consistent. For Cognitive Science, the ancient formulation
of knowledge as truth may be a serious barrier to understanding the
mapping of thought to neurobiology and beyond.

 3-45 tea/coffee

Symbols, thought and attention

Chair: Len Talmy
Moderator ; Ellen Thompson

Panel Olga Shurygina, Vittorio Tantucci

Two burgeoning trends in 21st century cognitive science appear at
first sight to pull in opposite directions. One is the re-emergence of
Whorfian linguistic determinism; another is the insistence that
bilingualism can retard the development of prion diseases like
Alzheimer's. One might assume that the same holds for music and other
symbolic systems. Yet a commonality is arguably to be found in the
concept of attention; can it be the case that operating between two
linguistic codes forces improved cerebral function simply because of
the monitoring necessary? If so, surely it is appropriate to survey
immigrants using languages like English which seem at first sight the
same on both sides of the Atlantic?

4-30 "Embedded I to C in Spanish-Influenced English: An Experimental
View " Ellen Thompson

5 pm  "The inner life of a joyful human being"
Olga Shurygina

  5-30 "Immediate and extended intersubjectification:
A cognitive usage-based study of the presuppositional
construction [you don't want X]" Vittorio Tantucci

6pm Keynote; Stanley Klein

6-30 pm Poster session with wine and cheese. Each poster presenter gets 5
minutes to address the plenary session before an hour of informal
conversation at a reception based around the posters

Posters are
"Nonviolent Movements As Applied Consciousness"

Jack DuVall

. "Quantum Hamiltonian MCMC: A Hypothesis  for the Mind/Brain Connection"
Kathryn Blackmond Laskey

"A grace of sense: Poetry and the architecture of consciousness" Matt Langione

."On the Relativity of Program Implementation" James Blackmun
Can Conscious Intention Bring About Meaningful Coincidence? Sky Nelson

by John E.  LaMuth

7-30pm Concert of celtic jazz to celebrate women's day; free for
conference attendees

Friday Mar 7, 2014, Sproul Room.  2nd floor, International house, UC Berkeley

Friday's schedule; consciousness, neuroscience and quantum mechanics

Keynote speakers Henry Stapp (LBNL), Tony Bell (UC Berkeley). Stuart Kauffman

9-15am  Stuart Kauffman: Answering Descartes; beyond Turing
Respondent and session chair; Terrence Deacon

10-15 "Figure-ground perception and early visual cortical processing"
Karl Zipser

10-45 am break

11am "Is the Universe a Vast, Consciousness-created Virtual Reality

11-30 2 "Evidence of Macroscopic Quantum Behavior andConscious Reality
Selection in a Holographic Multiverse "
Cynthia Sue Larson

noon Break

1pm Keynote; Tony Bell
1-30 "The emergence of information in mesoscopic measures of brain activity"
Gautam Agarwal, Antal Berenyi, Ian Stevenson, Kenji Mizuseki, Gyorgy
Buzsaki, Friedrich Sommer

2 pm  Panel - Quantum mind and its critics

Discussants: Henry Stapp, José Acacio de Barros (session chair),
Stanley Klein   Carlos Montemayor and others

The Quantum mind  hypothesis essentially states that quantum effects
are causative in will and cognitions, leading to an assertion of free
will. It is no longer in doubt that there is a deep mystery associated
with information, the mind, and reality, a mystery that results in
paradoxical findings with observer status in quantum mechanics. It may
be the case that our current concept of information is too
coarse-grained; it may also be the case that conscious will is
actually causative in the cosmos. Recently, the standard objections to
Quantum mind on the basis of decoherence in biological systems have
been refuted by discoveries that photosynthesis involves  quantum
superposition.  Likewise, cognition shows effects readily explicable
by quantum formalisms.  However, these effects may also be looked at
in terms of neural systems as harmonic oscillators; or is this
objection even relevant?

3-45pm Break

4-00 pm Complexity Biology-based Information Structures can explain Subjectivity,
Objective Reduction of Wave Packets, and Non-Computability
by Alex Hankey

 4-30pm 1.     "Mind/Body/Spirit Complex in Quantum Mechanics"
Author: Justin Riddle

5 Mapping The Whole in EveryOne
(An Essay on: Non-existence as the engine and axis of existence)
by  Sperry Andrews

5-30 pm "Science and Subjectivity:A Fresh Look at Phenomenology and
Deconstruction Enabling Meaning in Cognitive Studies"
 Keith Whittingslow

Final discussion and close