CFP: ASSC4 "The Unity of Consciousness: Binding, Integration and Dissociation"

Patrick Wilken (
Mon, 8 Nov 1999 14:12:12 +1100

For those of you Europe in June next year might enjoy attending a conference I am involved in organising:



                      THE UNITY OF CONSCIOUSNESS:

                     Universite Libre de Bruxelles
             JUNE 29th - JULY 2nd, 2000: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM

The fourth meeting of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness will be held from June 29th to July 2nd, 2000, at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles (Brussels, Belgium) on the theme of "The Unity of Consciousness".

Consciousness has many elements, from sensory experiences such as vision, audition, and bodily sensation, to nonsensory aspects such as volition, emotion, memory, and thought. The apparent unity of these elements is striking: all are presented to us as experiences of a single subject, and all seem to be contained within a unified field of experience. But this apparent unity raises many questions. How do diverse systems in the brain co-operate to produce a unified experience? Are there conditions under which this unity breaks down? And is conscious experience really unified at all?

In recent years, these questions have been addressed by researchers in many fields. Neurophysiologists and computational modelers have investigated the mechanisms by which binding and integration of disparate information may take place in the brain, producing a unified experience. Neuropsychological research has documented a large variety of dissociation disorders in which damage to specific brain regions leads to dissociated experiences, suggesting the apparent disintegration of a unified subject. Cognitive psychologists have investigated the role of attention and learning in the integration of information, and have examined conditions under which perception and action, or subjective experience and behavior, can become dissociated. Some cognitive modelers have suggested that unity is a mere illusion, while others have emphasized the role of a central unifying system in integrating sensory and motor experience. And philosophers have analyzed just what the unity of consciousness comes to, and whether we have reason to believe that it exists.

The fourth ASSC conference will bring together researchers from numerous disciplines to discuss these issues. Topics that will be addressed include:

Confirmed plenary speakers include: Rodney Cotterill, Zoltan Dienes, Andreas Engel, Glyn Humphreys, Susan Hurley, Pierre Perruchet, Randy O'Reilly, Sidney Shoemaker, Catherine Tallon-Baudry, Giulio Tononi, Anne Treisman, Andrew Young, and Semir Zeki.


While the central theme of ASSC4 is "The unity of consciousness", and plenary sessions will deal largely with this theme, speakers in concurrent sessions are invited to talk on any topic relevant to the scientific study of consciousness. Submissions that include physiological, psychological, philosophical, and computational perspectives are all welcome.

Submissions for both posters and talks will be accepted. Any person may present only one submission, but may be co-author on several. Oral presentations will be limited to 20 minutes, to be followed by a 10-minute discussion period.

Plenary lectures, symposia, concurrent sessions, and poster sessions will all be held on the Solbosch campus of the Universite Libre de Bruxelles.


This notice is also intended as a call for workshop presenters. One of the aims of this meeting is to allow researchers to gain a background in areas that they may know little about. Towards that end a number of workshops are planned. Is there a topic you or perhaps someone in your laboratory might want to present? Some participants in the conference would be very interested in learning about technical matters such as fMRI or other important brain imaging techniques. Others might enjoy a seminar on a philosophical topic. If you have recently published a book or major article on some topic you might want to lead a discussion on it. As with papers the focus of all workshops should naturally fit within the overall theme of the conference. A non-exclusive list of possible topics might include:

Workshops will be held in parallel sessions on the morning and afternoon of June 29th. Each workshop is intended to last approximately three hours. The sizes of workshops will vary between a minimum of 10 to a maximum of around 25 people. Workshops that do not achieve the minimum enrollment of 10 people will not be offered. Workshop presenters will receive a minimum honorarium of 20000 BEF. The cost of attending workshops will be 2000 BEF.

To submit workshop proposals or to suggest further topics, please write to Patrick Wilken at <>.



All submissions must include the following information in the order listed below:

  1. Title.
  2. Name, affiliation, and ASSC membership status of each co-author.
  3. An abstract of up to 200 words for paper and poster submissions and of up to 500 words for workshop proposals.
  4. Complete contact information for the author with whom the scientific programme committee will interact with about the submission:

In addition paper and poster proposals should include the following information:

5. One or two keywords describing the domain of your contribution

6. An indication of which co-author will present the paper/poster/workshop

at the meeting.

7. An indication of whether the proposal is submitted as a:

  1. Spoken presentation
  2. Poster presentation
  3. An indication of your willingness to switch presentation format if your proposal cannot be included in the programme as per your stated preference.


  1. Please send your proposal to Patrick Wilken <>.


To submit your proposal(s) for inclusion in the programme, please do one of the following (listed in order of preference):

  1. Send electronic mail to <>, with the words "ASSC4 ABSTRACT SUBMISSION" followed by the last name of the presenting co-author in the Subject: field of your message
  2. Fill out the electronic submission form available on this page:
  3. Fax your proposal to this number: +322 650 33 39. Make sure the cover page includes the address indicated below.
  4. Send a hardcopy of your proposal to:

c/o Axel Cleeremans
Cognitive Science Research Unit
Université Libre de Bruxelles
50 ave. F.-D. Roosevelt CP 122
B-1050 Brussels


Deadline for early registration: April 30th, 2000.

Registration fees:      Early       Late
Non-members             6000 BEF    8000 BEF
ASSC members            5000 BEF    7000 BEF
Students                2500 BEF    3000 BEF
Student ASSC members 2000 BEF 2500 BEF

Note: All fees should be paid in Belgian Francs.

Membership registration must be received by May 15th, 2000 to ensure discount.

To register, please follow the instructions available from the conference website:

Address all enquiries about registration to <>


Please check the conference website for further information about the meeting, including information about paper and poster submissions; registration and submission forms; information about travel to Brussels and accomodations; and information about the scientific programme of the meeting:

Tune in frequently -- the site will be constantly updated to reflect the latest information. To enquire about any aspect of the conference, please write to the local organizer at <>.

To find out more about the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness, and to apply for membership, please consult:

The ASSC publishes two scientific journals about which further information is available from the following websites:

Consciousness & Cognition:


Axel Cleeremans

on behalf of the Scientific Programme Committee: David Chalmers
Axel Cleeremans
Christof Koch
Philip Merikle
Antti Revonsuo
Patrick Wilken

Patrick Wilken
Editor:        PSYCHE: An International Journal of Research on Consciousness
Board Member:      The Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness