Medical illustration showing human brain, for “What is Consciousness” StarTalk All-Stars episode. Credit: kirstypargeter/iStock.
Medical illustration showing human brain, for “What is Consciousness” StarTalk All-Stars episode. Credit: kirstypargeter/iStock.

“What Is Consciousness?” with Heather Berlin

Credit: kirstypargeter/iStock.
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About This Episode

What is consciousness? Can you scientifically study something so subjectively based? Why is it still mysterious? To investigate these questions and more, neuroscientist and first time StarTalk All-Stars host Dr. Heather Berlin is joined by comic co-host Chuck Nice and David Chalmers, philosopher and Co-Director of the Center for Mind, Brain, and Consciousness, to discuss consciousness and the mysteries of the human brain. You’ll learn about the “easy” and “hard” problems of studying consciousness, the difficulty in bridging the gap between subjective explanation and scientific clarification, and why better understanding the mechanisms of the brain will help bridge that gap. Discover some of the overarching theories suggested to explain consciousness: the integrated information theory, panpsychism, and more. You’ll hear why interest and acceptance of scientifically studying consciousness gained traction in the 1990s. Investigate whether there is a difference between consciousness and sentience. Explore free will and readiness potential, self-control, impulsivity and the idea that reality might be a hallucination upon which we all agree. You’ll also hear about hive mind and group dynamics. Examine Dissociative Identity Disorder and the impact of brain damage on personality change. All that, plus, DMT and psychedelic experiences, pain vs. pleasure, the subconscious, and much, much more!

In This Episode

  • Host

    Heather Berlin

    Heather Berlin
    All-Stars host, Neuroscientist, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at The Icahn School Of Medicine at Mount Sinai, NY
  • Co-Host

    Chuck Nice

    Chuck Nice
    Comedian
  • Guest

    David Chalmers

    David Chalmers
    Philosopher, professor of Philosophy and Neural Science at NYU and Co-Director of the Center for Mind, Brain, and Consciousness

Music in This Episode

Episode Topics

Music in This Episode