Public talk by Anil Seth on 26 April 2024: Consciousness in humans and in other things

Mind and Matter is thrilled to announce that Professor Anil Seth (University of Sussex) will visit the University of Helsinki at the end of April and give a public talk on “Consciousness in humans and in other things”. The event is free and open to all.

Time: 26 April at 16.00–18.00 EEST 

Place: University of Helsinki, Main building (Fabianinkatu 33, 2nd floor), Auditorium, and Unitube


The nature of consciousness remains one of the greatest puzzles in science and philosophy. How do subjective experiences arise from brains and bodies? What is the ‘self’? I will shed light on these questions through the idea of the brain as an embodied ‘prediction machine’. In this view, conscious experiences of the world around us, and of being a ‘self’ within that world, emerge as forms of perceptual predictions. These predictions do not reveal the world (or body) as it is, but in ways useful for staying alive – suggesting a deep connection between consciousness and life. I’ll explore implications of this view for technology, especially AI, and for society, in terms of ‘perceptual diversity’. 

Anil Seth is Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience and Director of the Sussex Centre for Consciousness Science at the University of Sussex, Co-Director of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research Program on Brain, Mind and Consciousness, a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Investigator, and Editor-in-Chief of the academic journal Neuroscience of Consciousness (Oxford University Press).  

With more than two decades of research and outreach experience, Anil Seth’s mission is to advance the science of consciousness and to use its insights for the benefit of society, technology and medicine. He is also a renowned public speaker, best-selling author, and sought-after collaborator. His main-stage TED talk Your Brain Hallucinates Your Conscious Reality has been viewed over fourteen million times and is one of their most popular science talks. 

Anil Seth’s newest book – Being You: A New Science of Consciousness (Faber/Dutton, 2021) presents a unique theory of consciousness and self. It was an instant Sunday Times Top 10 Bestseller and was a 2021 Book of the Year for The GuardianThe EconomistThe New StatesmanBloomberg Business, and a 2021 Science Book of the Year for The Guardian and The Financial Times. It has already been translated into 6 languages with 7 more coming. The Finnish translation Sinuna oleminen: Tietoisuuden uusi tiede (translated by Kimmo Pietiläinen) was published by Terra Cognita in 2022.  

In 2023 Seth won the Royal Society Michael Faraday Prize, awarded annually to the scientist or engineer whose expertise in communicating scientific ideas in lay terms is exemplary. Prospect Magazine listed him as one of 25 top global thinkers for 2024.  

Welcome all!