The sixth conference of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness

Consciousness and language: Reportability and representation in humans and animals

BARCELONA,May 31st-June 3rd 2002

Hosted by the University of Barcelona and the Science Museum of "La Caixa" Foundation, Barcelona

The sixth conference of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness will bring together researchers from numerous disciplines to discuss this issues in an intensive series of workshops, plenary lectures, symposia, paper presentations and poster contributions extending over four days between May 31st and June 3rd, 2002. The meeting will take place in Barcelona, Spain, at the Science Museum of "La Caixa" Foundation.

Consciousness and language are related in many ways. We report our conscious experiences using language, and these verbal reports are perhaps the central tool for scientifically investigating human consciousness. We consciously experience linguistic stimuli such as words and sentences, and also process them unconsciously. A subject's language arguably helps to structure his or her conscious experience, not least by shaping the subject's conceptual system. Some theorists have argued that language is essential to consciousness, and that infants and animals without consciousness lack consciousness altogether.

This conference will explore the many connections between consciousness and language, from the perspectives of philosophy, neuroscience, psychology, linguistics, cognitive ethology, and artificial intelligence. Key questions include:

  • What is the relationship between consciousness and verbal report?
  • What is the role of verbal reports in the science of consciousness?
  • What are the characteristics of conscious and unconscious processing of language?
  • What are the neural correlates of conscious & unconscious processing of linguistic stimuli?
  • What role do language and concepts play in structuring conscious experience?
  • What is the neural basis of conceptual and nonconceptual aspects of consciousness?
  • What role did language play in the evolution of consciousness?
  • Is language necessary for consciousness?
  • What sort of consciousness, if any, is present in infants and non-human animals?

Plenary speakers include Jose Bermúdez, Ned Block, Anthony Jack, Ray Jackendoff, Daniel Povinelli, Jonathan Schooler, Luc Steels, Petra Stoerig, Pio Tudela, Larry Weiskrantz, & Philip Zelazo.

ASSC6 is sponsored by:


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