April 5, 2019 April 6, 2019

For millennia, humans have sought to answer a seemingly unsolvable problem: What is the relationship between our conscious, subjective experience—what we see, hear, smell, taste, and think—and the physical world that surrounds us? Is the reality of the physical world constructed through our subjective experience, or does the physical world we perceive have an independent, objective reality? To date, no scientific theory has succeeded in unifying consciousness (i.e., conscious experiences) and what we take to be the physical world.


The Mystery of Our Mathematical Universe
Wednesday, October 10, 2018 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM Sold Out
Webcast Podcast

Why is it that fundamental laws discovered through pure mathematics have been able to describe our physical world with such precision? Given that the universe is comprised of mathematical properties, some have posited that mathematics is the language of the universe, whose laws reveal what a hidden order in the natural world. Physicist S. James Gates, Jr. and science writer Margaret Wertheim explore the uncanny ability of mathematics to reveal the laws of nature. Learn More


Human Cognition and the AI Revolution
Thursday, December 6, 2018 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM Sold Out
Webcast Podcast

Discovering the true nature of reality may ultimately hinge on grasping the nature and essence of human understanding. What are the fundamental elements or building blocks of human cognition? And how will the rise of superintelligent machines challenge our ideas about cognition, reality, and the limits of human understanding? Logician/mathematician Roger Antonsen and computer science pioneer Barbara J. Grosz join forces to shed light on these questions and to analyze what lies ahead on the horizon of AI. Learn More


Reality Is Not As It Seems
Thursday, February 7, 2019 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM Sold Out
Webcast Podcast

The prevalent view in cognitive science is that we construct our perception of reality in real time. But could we be misinterpreting our perceptual experiences? Does what we perceive with our brain and senses reflect the true nature of reality? Might evolution have shaped our perceptions to guide adaptive behavior, without enabling us to see reality as it is? Cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman and neurologist Suzanne O’Sullivan analyze the implications of these questions for our understanding of human consciousness. Learn More

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Past Conferences
Unlocking the Unconscious: Exploring the Undiscovered Self

Unlocking the Unconscious:
Exploring the Undiscovered Self

Annals of the NYAS, Vol. 1406

Bringing together leading scientists and scholars to probe the realm of the unconscious mind through a mix of disciplinary approaches, including neuroscience, cognitive psychology and psychotherapy.


What is the relationship between conscious awareness and the unconscious mind? Psychologist and psychoanalyst Efrat Ginot, psychiatrist George Makari and cognitive neuroscientist Heather Berlin join forces to shed light on the latest insights into the fascinating and still emerging science of the unconscious.


Where do our dreams originate from, and what do they tell us? Psychologists and sleep specialists Deirdre Leigh Barrett, Kelly Bulkeley, Rubin Naiman examine dreams from a variety of perspectives, including how they might be interpreted and even directed in some cases.


Writer Siri Hustvedt, psychologist Sonu Shamdasani, and neuropsychologist Mark Solms tackle everything from the varieties of noetic experience and the role of intuition to the phenomenon of peak experience and Jung’s concept of the “collective unconscious.”