The NIAS Consciousness Studies Programme is an interdisciplinary programme of the National Institute of Advanced Studies situated in the campus of Indian Institute of Science, in Bangalore, India. The Programme brings in philosophy, cognitive sciences, animal studies, psychology, creativity studies, physics and the neurosciences in its research mandate. The NIAS Programme on Consciousness Studies began at NIAS in 1992. There is a need to look at human experiences and consciousness as a whole, and in the interdisciplinary context of the humanities, biological, cognitive and the physical sciences. The Consciousness Studies Programme at NIAS, while adopting a larger framework, is disciplinarily grounded in humanities, neurophysics, behavioural and cognitive sciences, neurosciences and neuropsychiatry.
In a period of 22 years, four international conferences, three national conferences, and several landmark discussion meetings have been organised by NIAS and these have been attended by experts in the field from different countries and from within India, and the proceedings have been published. Some of our collaborators and speakers at the conferences include Charles Townes, Jane Goodall, Roger Penrose, Stuart Hameroff et al.
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Why Consciousness Studies?
It is the subject for cutting egde interdisciplinary research in the 21st century with questions concerning life in general and human mind and cognition in particular. Because of developments in the areas of neurosciences, neuropsychology, neurophilosophy, relevant areas of physics and cosmology over the past 20 years, this field has become an active area of research in various countries. There have been more than a hundred books published on the related topics in recent years.
Today, consciousness studies have implications in varied planes of human interactions questioning our fundamental assumptions about origins of life, nature of subjective experiences, and human wellbeing. Along side is the pertinent enquiry into the presence and nature of consciousness in non-human species.
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