The 5th Annual Conference of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consiousness

The Contents of Consciousness: Perception, Attention and Phenomenology (ASSC 5)

May 27-30, 2001
Durham, North Carolina, USA, Duke University

Consciousness has rich and diverse contents, from sensory experiences such as vision, audition, and bodily sensations such as pain, to non-sensory aspects such as volition, emotion, memory, and thought. All of these conscious states can be seen as part of the contents of consciousness.  Furthermore, most conscious states can be seen as having representational contents of their own, in the sense that they are about something: objects and states of affairs in the world, or states of our own body.  The contents of these states are all presented to us, in William James's powerful metaphor, as part of a "stream of consciousness".

The contents of consciousness raise many important questions: Just how rich is the content present in conscious experience?  Do the contents of attention exhaust the contents of consciousness, or is there consciousness outside attention?  What is the neural basis of the representation of conscious content?  How does consciousness of our own body differ from consciousness of the external world?  What methods are available to monitor the contents of consciousness in an experimental context?  What is the relationship between consciousness and representation?  All of these questions have been actively discussed in recent years by neuroscientists, psychologists, philosophers, and other researchers.


This conference wouldn't be possible without the generous support of Duke University's

Office of the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies

Center for Cognitive Neuroscience website

Brain Imaging and Analysis Center

Department of Neurobiology website

Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences website

Department of Philosophy website

The Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Science and Cultural Theory website

and of

Janssen Corporation

Eli Lilly and Company

if you would be interested in helping to fund this conference please email Frederic Bouchard at

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