Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
27 views
27 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018
France in Fine Fettle
Sports
44 views
44 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
44 views
44 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
77 views
77 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018
Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats
News
11 views
11 views

Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats

Jessica Hubbard - September 20, 2018
196 Views

What is consciousness? An interview with Anil Seth

 

The University of Sussex is currently one of only four universities in the UK that offers an undergraduate program in Cognitive Science. As well as this, Sussex hosts the ‘Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science,’ founded in 2012, which explores pathways into clinical intervention and diagnosis based on consciousness research.
The problem of conscious thought is commonly discussed in subjects such as Philosophy, Artificial Intelligence, Psychology, Linguistics and Anthropology. The interdisciplinary subject of cognitive science gradually developed from the work completed in these different subjects.
Cognitive Science investigates how biological matter produces the complex phenomena of consciousness. In a list of 125 contemporary questions science has yet to answer conclusively, Science magazine published an essay entitled “What is the biological basis of consciousness”, calling the problem the second most compelling mystery in science today, second only to the creation of the universe.
So how much ground has Sussex’s own Sackler Centre made into the study of consciousness? I talked to co-director Anil Seth to find out.
The Sackler Centre, like the research performed there, lies on a crossroads between different university departments. Nestled between the schools of Informatics, Psychology and Medicine, Seth and his colleagues are aptly placed to conductively run an interdisciplinary school. Seth describes the work he performs as co-director as making sure that department experts work smoothly and coherently together, “it’s always difficult to get different disciplines to work together, but when they do the results are stunning.”
Seth received his bachelor’s degree in Natural Sciences at Cambridge University before coming to Sussex where he completed a master’s and later a PhD in Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence. He’s lectured at universities all over the world, including San Diego and Amsterdam, yet is clearly excited about his present work, “the work being done here is almost unique” he says with pride. Sussex is home to state of the art equipment, such as EEG and fMRI scanners which are pivotal in the work neuroscientists do on conscious states.
The research into consciousness at the Sackler Centre is focused on having a clinical application, “we’re trying to improve the understanding that goes into psychiatric medicine, not all of which is currently understood.” When I asked Seth to talk me through some of the research, which the Sackler Centre is currently undergoing, he jumped up and ushered me to a computer to show me his cutting edge research into using virtual reality to synthesize body parts. In this experiment the participant’s hand is digitally scanned and recorded.
Once they put on a pair of glasses they are presented a projection of a hand that looks and acts exactly like their own. This research is hoped to be instrumental in understanding what causes Phantom Limb Syndrome, a sensation that an amputated limb is still attached, which many amputees experience.
The future for the Sackler Centre and Cognitive Science as a whole looks bright. Seth’s work is just one project in an EU-wide attempt to understand consciousness through virtual reality. The directors of the Sackler Centre are very optimistic that their interdisciplinary research team at Sussex will have wide reaching consequences for the way we think about consciousness. So that one day we may be able to conclusively answer the overarching question, what is consciousness?

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam
Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
27 views
27 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018
France in Fine Fettle
Sports
44 views
44 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
44 views
44 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
77 views
77 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018
Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats
News
11 views
11 views

Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats

Jessica Hubbard - September 20, 2018

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
27 views
Arts
27 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018

Starting university comes with both exciting but potentially daunting changes, with both moving away from home and studying at degree level posing to be two new challenges.…

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist
Film & Theatre
37 views
Film & Theatre
37 views

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist

Anonymous - September 18, 2018

One key film in the development of anyone who grew up in the early 2000s was The Incredibles (2004). It’s comedy, vibrancy, and general sense of fun…

France in Fine Fettle
Sports
44 views
Sports
44 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Prior to the start of the quadrennial tournament this summer, football fans across the world grew sceptical over Russia’s credentials and ability to host the most prestigious…

Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
44 views
Arts
44 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Boredom is impossible when you throw yourself into everything this weird and wonderful city has to offer. The specific and unique cultural wonders of Brighton are indeed…

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
77 views
Arts
77 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018

During this year’s Pride Festival, Brighton had the honour of welcoming international pop star and voice of the early 2000s, Britney Spears, to the main stage. Undoubtedly,…

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
1138 views1
Campus News
1138 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats
News
11 views
News
11 views

Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats

Jessica Hubbard - September 20, 2018

The University of Sussex Students' Union (USSU) has apologised after 'sexist' beermats were found in 'Dig in' Boxes in Freshers' Welcome Bags. The beermats were provided by…

Sussex Lecturer Accused of Making Transphobic Comments Ahead of Brighton Trans Pride 2018
News
79 views1
News
79 views1

Sussex Lecturer Accused of Making Transphobic Comments Ahead of Brighton Trans Pride 2018

Jessica Hubbard - September 15, 2018

Kathleen Stock, a philosophy Lecturer at Sussex, was accused of making transphobic comments in July 2018. This followed various interviews and blog posts by Stock. Stock told…

Welcome 2018 Freshers!
Campus News
83 views
Campus News
83 views

Welcome 2018 Freshers!

Billie-Jean Johnson - September 15, 2018

Ah, Freshers. You’ve no idea the amazing year you have ahead of you! As you read this now, you’ve probably met your flatmates and maybe even met…

A conversation with Kathleen Stock on Transgender Identity
Opinion
76 views
Opinion
76 views

A conversation with Kathleen Stock on Transgender Identity

Jessica Hubbard - September 15, 2018

Kathleen Stock, a philosophy lecturer at Sussex University, met with controversy after criticising the government’s reform of the Gender Recognition Act (2004). The amendment would ‘de-medicalise’ the…

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series
Arts
395 views
Arts
395 views

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - June 17, 2018

Pictured: Zac Black At Proud Cabaret audiences were spellbound as if at night at the circus, yet this was not like Angela Carter’s magical realist novel; Verve…

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review
Arts
396 views
Arts
396 views

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review

Florence Dutton - June 11, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Last Monday at 8pm at Brighton’s The Old Market, I sat myself down in my theatre seat eagerly awaiting…

Fleabag preview
Arts
373 views
Arts
373 views

Fleabag preview

Florence Dutton - June 2, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Following the mass success of the Bafta award-winning BBC Series, DryWrite and Soho Theatre are about to hit the…

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome
Arts
433 views
Arts
433 views

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome

Georgia Grace - June 1, 2018

Having completed my final semester of university with modules on punk history and queer arts, it was fitting that I rounded off my end-of-assessment celebrations by attending…

Arts
449 views

The Tempest review

Georgia Grace - May 30, 2018

As the sun begins to set over Hove Green, tinnies of Red Stripe are cracked open, tartan blankets are strewn, and families tuck into their picnic hampers.…

A Glass Half Empty review
Arts
390 views
Arts
390 views

A Glass Half Empty review

Georgia Grace - May 27, 2018

For those of us coming to the end of another year of university study, the prospect of careers, marriages and babies may seem a long way off.…

DollyWould at The Old Market review
Arts
365 views
Arts
365 views

DollyWould at The Old Market review

Alex Hutson - May 27, 2018

Sh!t Theatre’s DollyWould is a hilarious, thoughtful and experimental performance piece. The award winning show has the Sh!t Theatre duo integrating comedy, storytelling, personal experience and music.…

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex
Campus News
556 views
Campus News
556 views

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex

Billie-Jean Johnson - May 26, 2018

The Sussex branch of the University and College Union (UCU) has launched a petition calling for Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell to end the 'hostile environment' at Sussex. The…

Arts
314 views

Shakespeare in the sun – The Tempest preview

Georgia Grace - May 24, 2018

In a world of dystopian King Lears and female Hamlets, Shakespeare’s classics are constantly being reimagined for the modern day. There’s something oddly refreshing then about the…

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
919 views
Arts
919 views

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 23, 2018

What a phenomenal contrast these two films present when watched side-by-side. In essence, together they are capable of tracing inner and outer metamorphoses of their subjects. The…

Dollywould at The Old Market preview
Arts
375 views
Arts
375 views

Dollywould at The Old Market preview

Alex Hutson - May 22, 2018

From the 22nd May - 25th May 2018 DollyWould will be showing at The Old Market. An exciting new show, presented by Sh!t Theatre, who won the…