Understanding consciousness – a scientific quest for the 21st century

Auditorium in CaixaForum, Barcelona, Spain

June 21, 2018 – June 22, 2018

International HBP Conference

How does our subjective experience emerge from the brain? How does consciousness relate to the physical world? These age-old, deep questions are now at last being addressed directly and broadly by neuroscience and will become crucial in the decades to come.

The spectrum of consciousness-related conundrums is rapidly expanding: we are saving islands of human brain from devastating injuries, growing cerebral organoids in a vat, and building intelligent machines that perform faster and better than any healthy subject, just to mention a few.

Where does consciousness arise? Where is the boundary between insentient matter and a spark of subjectivity? Society needs to be scientifically and culturally prepared to face these emerging questions.

To do so, an approach with the broadest scope is needed: diverse theoretical frameworks, brain anatomy, physiology, and chemistry across scales and species, detailed and large-scale computer simulations, deep learning, neuromorphic computing, robotics, clinical neurology, anaesthesiology, psychology, behavioural, computational, and philosophical analysis must interact and blend on a single infrastructure.

These ingredients are naturally present in the Human Brain Project, and this workshop, stirred by world-leading scholars in the field, is where they come together for the first time.

Registration form

Dedicated conference website: http://hbp-ic.com/


Day 1  (Thursday, June 21)



09.00:  Welcome /Intro

Johan Storm (Chair):  Intro/overview: consciousness & HBP


Fundamental aspects, including theories of consciousness  

Moderators: Johan Storm & Kathinka Evers

09.20 Kathinka Evers

09.50: Ned Block  

10.20: David Chalmers

10.50: Coffee break (20 min)

11.10:  Larissa Albantakis

11.40: Jean-Pierre Changeux  (HBP)

12.10-13.00: Discussion   (50 min)

13.00: Lunch & posters (1 hour)    




14.00-14.40: Marcello Massimini:  Integrated consciousness research in HBP.


Neurobiological mechanisms and correlates of consciousness

Moderators: Marcello Massimini & Mavi Sanchez-Vives

15.00: Cyriel  Pennartz

15.30: Catherine Tallon-Baudry  

16.00: Wolf Singer        

16.30: Coffee break + exhibit/demo (30 min)

17:00: Nao Tsuchiya    

17.30: Rodolfo Llinas    

18.00-18.50: Discussion  (50 min)

18.50 – 19.50: flash talks by young HBP researchers (5*10 minutes)


20.30: Buffet-dinner





Day 2  (Friday, June 22)



Models, simulations, and emulation of consciousness

Moderators: Cyriel Pennartz & Alain Destexhe

09.00: Alain Destexhe

09.25: Gustavo Deco

09.50: Karl Friston

10.20: Coffee break (20 min)

10.40: Sean Hill  

11.10: Fabrice Wendling

11.40-12.30: Discussion  (50 min)

12.30-13.00: Flash talks by young researchers (3*10 )

13.00-14.00: Lunch & posters

                         + exhibit/demo + ROBOT presentations by Tony Prescott/Martin Pearson




Clinical, ethical, and societal implications of consciousness research 

Moderators: Steven Laureys & Olivia Gosseries

14.00: Olivia Gosseries

14.30: Niko Schiff      

15.00: Emery Brown  

15.30: Coffee break + exhibit/demo (20 min)

15.50: Melanie Wilke   

16.20: Olaf Blanke  

16.50-17.40: Discussion (50 min)

17.40 – 18.40: Roundtable discussion (1 hour)

18.40-19.10: Press conference (30 min)

19.30–20.15: Public lecture HBP member