Podcast #44 | Anil Seth: Consciousness, Perception, Hallucinations, Selfhood, Psychedelics & "Being You"
Nick talks to neuroscientist Dr. Anil Seth about consciousness, perception, hallucination, selfhood, psychedelic, and Anil's book, "Being You: The New Science of Consciousness."
Nick talks with Dr. Anil Seth, a neuroscientist and professor of cognitive & computational neuroscience at the University of Sussex. The conversation is all about the neuroscience of consciousness, which is the subject of his Dr. Seth's book, “Being You: A New Science of Consciousness.“
They touch on everything from what consciousness actually is, whether or not neuroscientists can measure different levels of consciousness in the brain, what characterizes psychedelic experiences and non-ordinary states of consciousness in terms of the brain, and the nature of perception. In particular, they discuss ideas related to the notion that our conscious perceptions are a kind of inference, or guess, our brain’s are making about the world, as well as the idea that all of our conscious perceptions are "controlled hallucinations."
They also discuss the difference between exteroception, perceiving things outside the body (like objects), and interoception, perceiving things within the body, and how this relates to emotion. Lastly, Nick gets Anil’s take on whether consciousness is adaptive, in an evolutionary sense, and his take on whether it’s likely that the subjective effects of psychedelics are an important component of their therapeutic effects for neuropsychiatric disorders.
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ABOUT Nick Jikomes:
Nick is a neuroscientist and podcast host. He is currently Director of Science & Innovation at Leafly, a technology startup in the legal cannabis industry. He received a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Harvard University and a B.S. in Genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.