The Limits of Consciousness: A Conversation with Martin Monti

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Open Agenda Publishing, Oct 1, 2020 - Medical

This book is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and Martin Monti, Associate Professor in Psychology and Neurosurgery, Brain Injury Research Centre, UCLA. This extensive conversation examines Martin Monti’s innovative work with patients who are in a vegetative state or minimally conscious state which has led to some surprising results that might well prove to be integral to our development of a deeper understanding of consciousness.

This carefully-edited book includes an introduction, The Collective Unconscious, and questions for discussion at the end of each chapter:

I. Dualism and Science Journalism - Changing hearts and brains

II. Inside The Other - A constant concern

III. The Vegetative State - Evolving understanding

IV. Probing Vegetative States - Some experimental details

V. Beyond Reflex - A thin line

VI. Assessing Consciousness - Unlikely tennis players 

VII. Extracting Information - Two types of controls 

VIII. Quantifying Consciousness- Towards more rigorous models 

IX. Interdisciplinary Interlude - Mathematics, cognitive science and other issues 

X. Language and Thought - The Whorfian Hypothesis and Italian football

XI. Structural Similarities? - Comparing language, mathematics and music

XII. What Makes Us Human - In search of distinction

About Ideas Roadshow Conversations Series: 

This book is part of an expanding series of 100+ Ideas Roadshow conversations, each one presenting a wealth of candid insights from a leading expert in a relaxed and informal setting to give non-specialists a uniquely accessible window into frontline research and scholarship that wouldn't otherwise be encountered through standard lectures and textbooks.


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The Conversation
Dualism and Science Journalism
Inside The Other III The Vegetative State
Probing Vegetative States
Beyond Reflex
Assessing Consciousness
Extracting Information
Quantifying Consciousness
Interdisciplinary Interlude
Language and Thought
Structural Similarities?
What Makes Us Human

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About the author (2020)

Howard Burton, the founder and creator of Ideas Roadshow and Ideas on Film, holds a PhD in theoretical physics and an MA in philosophy. He was the Founding Executive Director of Canada’s Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (PI) from 1999-2007. During his time at PI, he also developed an extensive outreach programme for teachers, students and the general public. His experiences at developing the research and outreach mandates of the institute were described in the book First Principles: Building Perimeter Institute, featuring a foreword by renowned theoretical physicist Roger Penrose.

Ideas Roadshow is an award-winning initiative, recipient of the London Book Fair International Excellence Award in 2018. Howard has hosted and filmed in-depth conversations with more than 100 of the world’s brightest thinkers, including 3 Nobel Laureates, across the arts, sciences, sports and games.

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