April 25-30, 2016 - Tucson


Pre-Conference Workshop

Tuesday, April 26, 9 am-1 pm



Hot Topics in Cognitive Neuroscience of Consciousness




In this workshop we will go through what can be considered the mainstream issues in the cognitive neuroscience of consciousness.

Specifically we will review empirical findings with respect to several key questions featured prominently in recent debates. 

These topics include:

1) Does conscious perception critically depend on the prefrontal cortex? 

2) Is attention necessary for consciousness? 

3) Is conscious phenomenology sparse or rich? 

4) What are the essential functions of consciousness? 


We will evaluate these contested questions from the perspectives of two dominant theories: - the global workspace theory  - the local recurrency theory

These two theories give opposing answers to these questions.

Consideration will be given to alternatives such as the higher-order theory which may be able to resolve such conflicts. 

Overall, the goal of the workshop is to give an introductory and yet comprehensive review of a literature that is quickly making inroads into mainstream, well-funded, areas of neuroscience.




Hakwan Lau was born & raised in Hong Kong. After finishing his undergraduate studies in cognitive science & philosophy, he won a Rhodes scholarship and went to Oxford for his doctorate in experimental psychology and neuroscience. He has previously worked in London at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, and in New York at Columbia University. He is currently an associate professor at UCLA, where he runs a lab using a variety of methods including fMRI biofeedback & Bayesian computational modeling.


Early Workshop Fees:

TSC General Registrants                $60 half day

TSC Student Registrants                $40 half day

General Public - Workshop only  $125 half day

General Public - Student - Workshop only $75 half day