Skip to content

The Problem of Consciousness


Event Status

Bookings for this digital event can be made now.

What do we mean when we talk about consciousness? For a long time, many scientists steered clear of the study of consciousness, deeming it impossible to observe and subjective by definition.

But that’s changing, thanks to imaginative interdisciplinary research and to new neuroimaging tools that allow scientists to monitor neural activity connected to changing states of consciousness. 

In this panel discussion hosted by Hilary Harper, our experts will bring us up to date on current neuroscientific understandings of consciousness. They’ll also discuss the major gaps in our knowledge, the latest medical, psychological and philosophical developments, and the limitations of scientific methods and language in this field.

How do we describe and measure states of consciousness across the human life span; in embryos and in adults with brain trauma or late-stage dementia? Is it even possible to solve the puzzle of human experience and sentience? Roll up your sleeves as we give it a crack with the best in the business – piece by piece.

Presented in partnership with Melbourne-Monash Consciousness Research.


Olivia Carter
Olivia Carter

Olivia Carter is a Professor at the University of Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences. She heads the Perception and Pharmacology Lab, where her research focuses on understanding how the brain’s natural chemicals control complex behaviours, thoughts and perceptions. Olivia has a strong i... Read more

Jakob Hohwy

Professor Jakob Hohwy is Director of the newly established Monash Centre for Consciousness & Contemplative Studies. He conducts interdisciplinary research on consciousness science. He is Deputy editor of the journal Neuroscience of Consciousness and author of The Predictive Mind. Jakob leads the... Read more

Hilary Harper

Hilary Harper has a degree in English Literature and Cultural Studies, a Graduate Diploma in Professional Writing and Editing, and 30 years’ experience in radio. She’s been at the ABC since 2005. She’s covered everything from news and current affairs to traffic reporting, arts, health, gardeni... Read more

Stay up to date with our upcoming events and special announcements by subscribing to The Wheeler Centre's mailing list.

Privacy Policy

The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.