59 minutes | Mar 17, 2022

Antonio Damasio || Inside Consciousness

Today we welcome Dr. Antonio Damasio. He is an internationally recognized neuroscientist whose extensive research has shaped the understanding of neural systems and consciousness. With over a hundred journal articles and book chapters, he has earned many prestigious awards throughout his career. Currently, he serves as University Professor, the David Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Philosophy, and director of the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California. His books Descartes’ Error, Looking for Spinoza, Self Comes to Mind, The Strange Order of Things, and Feeling & Knowing, have been published in translation and are taught in universities throughout the world.

In this episode, I talk to Antonio Damasio about consciousness. People often think that the mind and consciousness are the same thing, but Dr. Damasio disputes this notion. He argues that it’s the complex relationship of both our brains and bodies that makes sentient thought possible. Homeostatic feelings like hunger and pain developed before emotions; and along with it came consciousness. We also touch on the topics of perception, mental illness, evolution, panpsychism, AI and machine learning. 

Website: dornsife.usc.edu/bc

Twitter: @damasiousc



02:17 Time-locked multiregional retroactivation

11:32 The difference between the mind, intelligence, and consciousness

18:37 Panpsychism is an escape

22:50 AIs can replicate minds but not consciousness 

25:42 Feeling gave way to consciousness

30:59 The purpose of emotions

33:25 The evolution of feelings and emotions

38:28 The interoceptive nervous system

44:23 Does mental illness disrupt consciousness?

49:51 Creativity as a bottom-up process

54:38 Consciousness can hinder creativity

58:09 Scott’s interest in panpsychism

59:18 Can we ever make feeling machines?

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