I'm excited and just a little bit terrified to be giving a Royal Institution Friday Discourse, on Friday May 27th. I'll be talking about 'consciousness, the underlying neuroscience'. There are some rather strange formalities to this occasion, which dates back to 1825. The RI website tells us: "the speaker and host walk through the doors as the clock bell rings at exactly 8pm; the speaker starts the talk with no introduction or hellos, and should finish at 9pm as the clock bell rings again; the speaker is locked in a room 10 minutes before the talk begins to prevent them running away (legend has it that once a speaker escaped just before the discourse)."
The blurb for my talk: "Consciousness is, for each of us, the presence of a world. But how do rich multisensory experiences, the senses of self and body, and volition emerge from the joint activity of billions of neurons? Once the province just of philosophy and theology, the neuroscience of consciousness has emerged as a one of the great scientific challenges for this century. Join Anil Seth for an insight into the state-of-the-art research in the new science of consciousness. Distinguishing between conscious level, conscious content and conscious self, he will describe how new experiments are shedding light on the underlying neural mechanisms in normal life as well as in neurological and psychiatric conditions."
The event will be filmed and made available on RI Channel sometime in the future. Tickets seem to still be available!