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Libet's Time Anomalies: A New Look at the Data and Interpretations

CONSCIOUSNESS AND SCIENCE Discussion Group
February 18, 2000
Sponsored by the Bhaktivedanta Institute*

Speaker: Benjamin Libet, UCSF, Department of Physiology

Abstract: How do our experimentally based findings affect views of how subjective experience and brain events are interrelated? Does discovery of subjective referral of sensations backwards in time imply backward causation? Are subjective referrals, in space or time, mental phenomena with no neural mediators? Does unconscious initiation of voluntary acts exclude conscious free will? I shall address these and related issues.

Speaker: Stanley Klein, UC Berkeley, Vision Science and Bioengineering

Abstract: My presentation will have four parts: 1. Review the objective and subjective elements of Libet’s “backwards referral” experiments. 2. A new way of plotting Libet’s data using psychometric functions will be presented. 3. Four explanations of Libet’s data will be discussed. a) exotic explanations such as proposed by Penrose b) delayed perception explanations c) false memory explanations d) “it’s no big deal” explanations (based on psychometric functions). 4. The bigger picture of explaining qualia will be entertained.

Moderator: Henry Stapp, Theoretical Physics, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory

Friday, February 18, 2000
Room 300, Health Sciences West, University of California, San Francisco *
7:30 pm – 10:00 pm Lecture and Discussion

Registration: If you are attending for the first time, please pre-register by calling K. P. Rajan, Ph.D. at (510) 841-7618, or Jean Burns, Ph.D., at (510) 481-7507 (e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).

Directions: The closest parking is the UCSF public garage at 500 Parnassus Avenue ($2.25/hr). You may be able to find some free street parking within a few blocks of the campus. We post directions to reach Health Sciences West building in the lobby of the Medical Sciences building (513 Parnassus), across the street from the UCSF garage.

* The Bhaktivedanta Institute and UCSF are not affiliated. The use of meeting rooms at the University of California, San Francisco, by non-profit organizations does not imply that the University endorses this organization or the material being presented.

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