consciousness

Are capuchin monkeys spiteful? Might elephants grieve? Do fish fake orgasms? Have we the slightest idea how an octopus thinks? (If it’s a baby, maybe an inkling?) Just some of the topics on the table in the Reading Room at London’s Wellcome...

Westworld is a science fiction series about a theme park in the future which has perfected synthetic humans (‘hosts’) who provide the pleasure and excitement for biological humans (‘guests’). People pay to immerse themselves in the ultimate fantasy game set somewhere in a...

This exhibition promises to examine ‘the universal, yet mysterious, topic of conscious experience’ – and indeed this first instalment of a changing programme does so, and makes for a fascinating visit.

Beginning with a section on Science and Soul, we find fragile early...

This week sees the opening of the second part of a year-long exploration into human consciousness at the Wellcome Collection, on Euston Road in London. ‘States of Mind: Tracing the Edges of Consciousness’ promises to examine ‘the universal, yet mysterious, topic of conscious...

Those film-goers that are enthusiastic about robots should probably buy popcorn in bulk, because we’ll all be making several trips to the cinema this year. We’ve already had Ex_Machina and Big Hero 6. We have Avengers: Age of Ultron and ...

In the first scene of Tom Stoppard’s new play The Hard Problem, the charming but arrogant neuroscientist is arguing with Hilary, a psychology student about evolutionary biology. 'Altruism is always self-interest,' says Spike, 'it just needs a little working out'. In...

There are many Big Ideas that place a heavy emphasis on shifting the responsibility of control away from the conscious individual to our unconscious selves. These include:

I    Thinking hard is bad; Thinking intuitively is good.
I    Unconscious thinking is bad;...

You once said ‘I studied classics at school, psychology as an undergraduate, and only switched to science as a postdoc’ [see tinyurl.com/9pum2]. A slip of the tongue, or is psychology an art?
Psychology is...

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it, and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead...
        Albert Einstein...