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Consciousness & Reality Colloquium (Bioelectricity: The Body's Cognitive Glue)

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Event Details:

Many theories of consciousness postulate specific features of the nervous system that enable it to support minds. These features also exist in other types of biological cells, which are a kind of agential material, that harness bioelectricity: a biophysical modality that evolution was using as cognitive glue from the time of bacterial biofilms. Leveraging molecular tools, to read and write the bioelectric prepattern information in non-neural tissues, we have understood how cells merge into networks, resulting in a kind of intelligence to solve novel problems, form memories, and make decisions. These tools also enabled us to synthesize a novel life form: biobot. The lecture will conclude with implications for consciousness and a hope for ethical synthbiosis with highly diverse beings of novel composition and provenance.
When: Thursday, April 18, 2024, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PT
About the Speaker:
Michael Levin is a Professor of Biology and Biomedical Engineering, Tufts University and the Director of the Allen Discovery Center, Tufts University

About the event:
This lecture will be accessible to an interdisciplinary audience. Caltech, Stanford, MIT and IMICS members from all divisions are welcome to join. Select questions from the Q&A window will be answered after the lecture.

About the series:
The Consciousness & Reality colloquium series promotes interdisciplinary investigations on mind, cognition, consciousness, and the nature of reality.

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