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Consciousness: Explored and Explained

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Consciousness is a terrible curse. Or so says a character in screenwriter/director Charlie Kaufman’s Being John Malkovich. Part theater of the absurd and part neuroscience fiction, the Oscar-winning filmmaker’s work captures the splintering between what we perceive and what we feel as our brains grapple with multiple layers of reality. Neuroscientist Giulio Tononi, one of the world’s leading sleep researchers, casts new light on the science of the mind, probing where and how consciousness is generated in the brain. Watch this spellbinding conversation between Kaufman, Tononi, and moderator Alan Alda as they explore and explain the art, science, and mystery of consciousness.

Recorded June 2010; Posted March 2011

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