Sussex Centre for Consciousness Science

Research Groups

What is consciousness science?

Consciousness is at once the most familiar and most mysterious aspect of our existence. Conscious experiences define our lives, but the subjective, private, and qualitative nature of these experiences seems to resist scientific inquiry.

In 1990, Francis Crick and Christof Koch had this to say: "It is remarkable that most of the work in both cognitive science and the neurosciences makes no reference to consciousness (or "awareness")".  Times have changed and the last 25 years has seen a flourishing of research on consciousness.  Alongside philosophical discussions, a new science of consciousness has taken shape which integrates experimental and theoretical work across many fields including neuroscience, psychology, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, computer science, neurology, and psychiatry. Developing a naturalized account of the rich experiential tapestry of consciousness is now recognized as a major objective for twenty-first century science.

Further reading