What’s meant by consciousness we need not discuss; it’s beyond all doubt. —
Bernard J. Baars, PhD is a former Senior Fellow in Theoretical Neurobiology at The Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla, CA., and is currently an Affiliated Fellow there. He is best known as the originator of the global workspace theory, a theory of human cognitive architecture and consciousness widely cited in philosophical & scientific sources. He previously served as a professor of psychology at the State University of New York, Stony Brook where he conducted research into the causation of the Freudian slip, and as a faculty member at the Wright Institute.Bernard is interested in human language, and the psychology and brain basis of conscious experience.
He also seeks to understand the ethical implications of consciousness for human and animal welfare as well as the nature of consciousness in animals. His other research interests include: consciousness in the history of psychology, the scientific problem of volition, psychodynamics, conscious aspects of emotion and bioethics.
Dr. Baars is author of the books In the Theater of Consciousness: The Workspace of the Mind, A Cognitive Theory of Consciousness, The Cognitive Revolution in Psychology, & w/Nicole M. Gage – an introductory text for cognitive neuroscience called Cognition, Brain and Consciousness: An Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience. Together with William P. Banks, Bernard has edited the journal Consciousness & Cognition for over 15 years & was founding President of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness and currently on their Editorial Board for the journal Psyche.
Dr. James S. Catterall is Professor of Urban Schooling and Chair of Faculty at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, where he has served on the curriculum and education policy faculty since 1981. He is Director of the Imagination Group, a collaboration group of academics, students, teachers, and art professionals interested in learning through the arts. Dr. Catterall’s research focuses on the roles of the arts in human development, with an emphases on basic roles of imagery in cognition and on arts-related instructional and curriculum policies impacting teaching and learning.
He is nationally known for works related to children at risk, and in recent years for his studies examining the influences of participation in the arts and learning development. Dr. Catterall also served as director of multi-year evaluation of the Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education, a program which pairs artist and teachers for interdisciplinary teaching. Reports of his longitudinal studies and the CAPE research can be found in the Champions of Change volume available on the Arts Education Partnership website.
Author of the book Doing Well and Doing Good by Doing Art: The Effects of Education in the Visual and Performing Arts on the Achievements and Values of Young Adults (Volume 1, Imagination Group/I-Group Books, 2009)Professor Catterall currently heads the Design Team for the new Riverside School for the Arts, a collaboration between the University of California at Riverside, the Riverside Community College, and the County Office of Education. He holds a Ph.D. in education from Stanford University, an M.A. in public policy from the University of Minnesota, and an AB with honors in economics from Princeton University and is founding member of both the Topanga, CA Symphony (cello) and the Topanga Brass (euphonium), both groups established in the early 1980s.
James’ research interests include the arts and human development; Arts and neuroscience / brain structure and function; Evaluation of Arts – Integration Programs: Joining the visual and performance arts with academic subjects; Issues generally related to education policy implementation; Issues related to children at-risk of school failure.
Thomas Zoëga Ramsøy, PhD is Senior Researcher and heading the Decision Neuroscience Research Group, a collaboration between the Copenhagen Business School and the Danish Research Centre for Magnetic Resonance. Ramsøy was originally trained as a clinical neuropsychologist and worked with clinical assessment of neurological bases for disorders of the mind, but with a keen interest in basic questions of consciousness and cognitive science. Since acquiring the skills of neuroimaging through his PhD, his work has focused on different aspects of the neural bases of perception, emotion and consciousness.
During the past years, Ramsøy has embarked on employing these skills and knowledge on the problem of value-based decision making, in the nascent fields of neuroeconomics and decision neuroscience. Through this, he is heading major projects that seek to unravel the basic neural and mental mechanisms that underlie our decisions. The work is multidisciplinary, combining economics, psychology and cognitive neuroscience. This work is done both through studying decisions in healthy subjects, such as the neural bases of framing effects, and the study of decision making in conditions such as problem gambling, impulse control disorders, and polysubstance usage.
Alice S. N. Kim, M.A. is a Ph.D. student at the University of Toronto, where she has served on the Science Curriculum Committee, Admissions Committee, General Committee and the Faculty Council for the Faculty of Arts and Science. She is currently a Panel Member on the University Tribunal Council and the Managing Editor of Science and Consciousness Review – a web resource about the scientific study of consciousness. Alice has also been involved in several youth initiated programs for Habitat for Humanity, and she has served as a founding member on the National Youth Council for Habitat for Humanity Canada.
Alice completed her M.A. in Psychology at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr. Endel Tulving and Dr. Terence W. Picton. She is currently in the process of completing her doctoral studies under the supervision of Dr. Endel Tulving and Dr. Claude Alain. Through her research she investigates memory phenomena in humans, primarily through the use of electrophysiological scalp recordings.
Barbara Oakley, PhD is an Associate Professor of Engineering at Oakland University in Michigan. Her work focuses on the complex relationship between neurocircuitry and social behavior from an evolutionary perspective. Among her varied experiences, she has worked for several years as a Russian translator on Soviet trawlers in the Bering Sea during the height of the Cold War; she met her husband while working as a radio operator at the South Pole station in Antarctica; and she has gone from private to regular Army Captain in the U.S. military. A fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, her forthcoming edited volume Pathological Altruism (Oxford University Press, March, 2011) has received advance praise from E. O. Wilson of Harvard University: “What a wonderful book! This is one of the few books in evolutionary biology I’ve read in the past ten years that taught me something completely new. It demonstrates how medicine, biology, and evolutionary theory can be brought together to illuminate an important part of the human condition.”
Barbara’s other books include Hair of the Dog: Tales from Aboard a Russian Trawler (WSU Press, 1996), Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, Enron Failed, and My Sister Stole My Mother’s Boyfriend (Prometheus Books, 2007), Career Development in Bioengineering and Biotechnology (co-edited, Springer, 2008), and the forthcoming Cold-Blooded Kindness (Prometheus Books, March 2011).
Barbara is interested in how our underlying neurological framework filters our perceptions of reality and our sense of consciousness—her books address this central concept from a variety of perspectives.
Dr. Zoran Josipovic is a Research Associate and an Adjunct Professor at Psychology Department and Center for Neural Science, New York University. (PhD, Cognitive Neuroscience and Asian Philosophy, Union Institute and University; MA, Transpersonal Psychology, John F. Kennedy University; BA, Asian Religions and Psychology, SUNY-Empire State College.)
His main interests are the nature of consciousness and its relation to the brain, global versus local theories of consciousness, and the functioning of anti-correlated neural networks.
Zoran is a long-term practitioner of meditation in the nondual traditions of Dzogchen, Mahamudra and Advaita Vedanta.
Bruce Mangan, PhD received an interdisciplinary PhD in Cognitive Science and Aesthetics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1991. He has taught there since in various capacities, inaugurating the Scientific Approaches to Consciousness course offered jointly by the Psychology and Cognitive Science departments.
Mangan is one of the founding members of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness.
His research investigates the interface mechanisms that weld conscious and non-conscious processes into a single cognitive system. To this end he has developed a phenomenological method (Convergent Phenomenology) expressly designed to integrate first and third person evidence. William James practiced a nascent version of this approach.
Co-Founder / Creative Director
Natalie Geld is a writer, communications specialist and educator, and has spent much of her life fostering educational opportunities for manifesting effective communication skills and actualizing vivid human potential. She co-founded & taught Effective Communication Seminars at The New Teachers Institute, which reached thousands of educators nationally. Her news segments have appeared on worldwide networks such as ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MTV, FOX, E!, and BET.
She’s designed, written, founded, and stimulated funding for educational, literacy and creative writing programs enlivening curriculum for students to develop their mind, writing skills and creative voice which provide ongoing employment for published writers of all genres as well as enrichment and opportunity for under-served youth. Programs include PenUSA’s ‘PEN in the Classroom’, where inner city students accepted poetry and creative writing awards on the same stage as Steven Zaillian and Gore Vidal, and the Bay area’s ‘Strong Point.’ Natalie also developed programs for the Freedom to Write Organization PEN Center West, working alongside Ray Bradbury, George Plimpton, David Ulin, Carolyn See, Roger Simon, Kit Rachlis and others. She is an active Executive Board Member of the teen literacy organization GetLit.org; was nominated as a HellRaiser by Mother Jones Magazine; and is a member of the American Humanist Association. She is researching the integral nature of energy and the relationship of science, consciousness and our health.
Arlene “Abi” Behar Montefiore Abi joined the Center for Consciousness Studies in 2007, as manager of day-to-day operations and as the director of conference, marketing and media for the Toward a Science of Consciousness conferences.
Abi has a BA in International Relations from American University’s School of International Service, Washington, DC.