Chatter #233 – Mark Solms – The Hidden Spring: A Journey To The Source Of Consciousness

Consciousness is one of the strangest parts of our universe. It’s a mind-bogglingly complicated and difficult topic to discuss seriously and almost impossible to measure, let alone define. Where on earth does consciousness come from? However, luckily for us Mark Solms amazing new book, The Hidden Spring: A Journey To The Source Of Consciousness, addresses many of these questions. In this fascinating chat I asked Mark about how old consciousness is, what part of the brain is creating consciousness, how we are different from animals if at all, and whether we can create consciousness in machines.

Dr Mark Solms is a South African psychoanalyst and neuropsychologist, who is known for his discovery of the brain mechanisms of dreaming and his use of psychoanalytic methods in contemporary neuroscience. He holds the Chair of Neuropsychology at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital (Departments of Psychology and Neurology) and is the President of the South African Psychoanalytical Association. He is also the Research Chair of the International Psychoanalytical Association (since 2013).

The Hidden Spring: A Journey To The Source Of Consciousness –

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0:00 – Intro
2:10 – Scientific community unwilling to tackle consciousness
8:55 – Is the cortex necessary for consciousness?
22:38 – Memory/Is consciousness 500 million years old
37:00 – Role of language in consciousness
46:00 – Could we theoretically measure consciousness?
53:50 – Is consciousness necessary for complex life to emerge?
1:02:55 – Can AI be conscious?