Upcoming Seminar

Latest Seminar

Riccardo Manzotti

IULM, Milan, Italy

20/04/22 @ 3:00pm

The hypothesis of the mind-object identity as a solution to the hard problem of consciousness

Until now, neurosciences have not provided any explanation as to how and why neural activity generates conscious experience (only correlations). It is fair to say that consciousness has never been observed directly. Moreover, phenomenal experience is not compatible with the causal closure of the physical world. Therefore, how to overcome this impasse without slipping into explanations that run afoul ontological parsimony (Occam)?

An interesting alternative approach consists in setting aside the unproven premises that scholars have so far assumed and to consider a different physical candidate for consciousness – i.e. the external world. This hypothesis, dubbed the mind-object identity, is extremely parsimonious, is consistent with the neuroscientific data, solves the problem of mental causation, and in fact cancels the hard problem. The identity between consciousness and physical objects – rather than between consciousness and neural activity – requires two revisit two fundamental aspects of the physical world: the relative nature of physical properties and the spatiotemporal extension of events. Fortunately, such aspects are both widely supported by contemporary physics and phenomenologically consistent.

The mind-object identity is discussed and compared with a number of empirical cases offered by neuroscience: from hallucinations to dreams, from illusions to memory.

Davide Crepaldi

International School for advanced Studies (SISSA), Italy

25/11/21 @ 4:00pm

Meaning and awareness

Upon hearing a word, we recollect, both implicitly or explictly, a big load of very diverse information -- a chair might reactivate childhood memories of granny's home, trigger brain circuits for patterned vision, prime the associated word ''table'' and spur the proprioceptive information connected with the sitting position. How does this information compose into a nicely coherent whole? What aspects remain under the surface of our awareness and what information requires instead conscious access to get activated? We will address this question through computational evidence and experimental data across different populations (e.g., sighted vs. blind). These findings point to a theory of (word) meaning where multiple sources of information co-exist (contra both purely embodied and purely symbolic approaches) and possibly characterise neural processing with different spatio-temporal profiles.

Visiting Professors

Susan Bookheimer


Clinical neuropsychologist with a broad interest in the study of human cognition in relation to brain structure, function, and pathology. Her experimental expertise includes structural and functional MRI and intraoperative electrocortical stimulation mapping, as well as classical neuropsychological approaches.


Van Horn

University of Virginia

Author, researcher, lecturer on the human brain, its structure and function, and the role of information technology in sharing data for use in understanding fundamental neurological processes in health and disease.



King's College London

In 2004 he joined the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King's College London. His research Interests: Integration of machine learning and neuroimaging to develop diagnostic and prognostic models of psychosis; Development and validation of novel clinical tools for improving detection and treatment of psychosis; Use of smartphone technologies to investigate the impact of the built and social environment on mental health in real time (see urbanmind.info).



Università degli Studi di Milano

Professor of Philosophy of Science at University of Milan since 2001. Before that he studied at the Husserl-Archives of Leuven (1992-1993), at the Ecole Normale Superiéure of Paris (1994), and at the University of Genova (1995-1999), where he obtained my PhD in Philosophy of Science. Fields of research: Cognitive neuroscience and philosophy of mind. He is currently working on the role of motor processes and representations in joint action.

Past Visiting Professors

Russ Poldrack

Stanford University

Professor of Psychology and director of the Stanford Center for Reproducible Neuroscience. His research uses brain imaging to understand how we learn and make decisions and how we exert self-control. Some projects he developed are Cognitive Atlas and OpenfMRI.

Leah Krubitzer

University of California, Davis

American neuroscientist, Professor of Psychology and head of the Laboratory of Evolutionary Neurobiology. Her research interests center on how complex brains in mammals (e.g., humans) evolve from simpler forms.

Past Seminars

Pieter Roelfsma

Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience

James Haxby

Dartmouth College

Jody Culham

Western University

Hans Op de Beeck

KU Leuven

Michael Hanke

Forschungszentrum Jülich

Maria Ida Gobbini

Dartmouth College

Takao Hensch

Harvard University

Michela Fagiolini

Boston Children's Hospital

Robert Riener

ETH Zürich

Thomas Andrillon

Monash University


October 21-23, 2018

MidTerm Conference - May 21-23, 2018

Summer School “AFNI and SUMA Bootcamp” – June 3-7, 2019

H2020 EU-project SoftPro
Review meeting – May 22-24, 2019