The Westend Lectures on Brain and Cognition with Catherine Tallon-Baudry: Subjective Experience and the Brain–Viscera Dialogue
Subjectivity refers to the most fundamental feature of consciousness: when I see a landscape, or when I feel happy, or when I choose red wine, I experience something, this experience is intrinsically mine, and I experience it from a unique and integrated point of view. How is subjectivity implemented in the brain? Consciousness research has so far focused mostly on information processing and high-level cognition, leaving subjectivity unaccounted for. I propose that subjectivity is rooted in the neural monitoring of visceral organs. The hypothesis relies on two vital organs that continuously generate their own rhythmic electrical activity, the stomach and the heart, and therefore continuously send information up to the neocortex. Visceral inputs are usually not perceived consciously as such, but we find that the brain processes viscueral inputs and integrated with them with sensory information from the environment, or with internally generated cognitive content, to generate conscious experience.
The online application for this event is Zoom Webinar. You can join the lecture by using this link.