CFP: ASSC4 "The Unity of Consciousness: Binding, Integration &

From: Patrick Wilken (
Date: Thu Jan 13 2000 - 17:46:41 MST

Precedence: bulk



                       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. Meanwhile philosophers have analyzed just what the unity
of consciousness comes to, and whether we have reason to believe that it

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

- the role of synchronous oscillations in binding and integration
- other neurophysiological mechanisms for integration of information
- computational models of binding, integration, and unity
- neuropsychological disorders with dissociation of experience
- the role of attention and learning in unification of experience
- dissociations between perceptual systems
- implicit vs. explicit aspects of knowledge and learning
- dissociations between perception, thought, and action
- the relationship between information integration and unified experience
- analysis of the concept of unity
- unification of consciousness and self across time
- the existence or nonexistence of unified consciousness

Confirmed plenary speakers include: Rodney Cotterill, Zoltan Dienes,
Andreas Engel, Glyn Humphreys, Susan Hurley, Pierre Perruchet, Randy
O'Reilly, Sydney Shoemaker, Catherine Tallon-Baudry, Giulio Tononi,
Anne Treisman, Francisco Varela, 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


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:

     -- The latest methods and implications of various brain scanning
        techniques (e.g. fMRI, EEG, SQUID, ERP)
     -- Blindsight, neglect, or other neuropsychological syndromes
     -- Neural network or other theoretical models of processing in areas
        related to conscious activity
     -- Differences and similarities between conscious and unconscious
     -- Current models of the visual system
     -- Consciousness and metacognition
     -- Criteria for the ascription of consciousness
     -- Philosophical issues concerning unity
     -- Phenomenological methods for investigating
     -- Please suggest other sample topics, or modify the above!!

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.
Worskhop registration fee 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

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:

- Name
- Institutional affiliation
- Postal address
- Email address
- Telephone and fax numbers

In addition paper and poster proposals should include the following

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:
    a. Spoken presentation
    b. Poster presentation

8. An indication of your willingness to switch presentation format if
    your proposal cannot be included in the programme as per your stated


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
     Universite 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

Separate registration is required for workshops.

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

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

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