Anil Seth’s research draws together psychology, philosophy, computer science and AI, physics, mathematics, psychiatry and neurology to determine the biological basis of conscious experience.
His research is guided by two ideas: that consciousness science is best pursued by attempting to account for properties of subjective experience in terms of neural mechanisms; and that basic experiences of conscious selfhood depend on close connections between brain and body. Seth’s lab develops and tests novel mathematical measures of information flow and neuronal complexity that serve as quantitative markers of conscious level, and investigates how conscious perception depends on the neural mechanisms that underly ‘predictive processing’ in the Bayesian brain. The lab also explores how prediction of bodily signals underlies basic experiences of selfhood, using novel combinations of virtual reality and psychophysiology. These insights are translated into new approaches to understanding disturbances of conscious experience in psychiatric disorders, from first-episode psychosis to Tourette syndrome.
- President, British Science Association (psychology section), 2017
- Engagement Fellow, Wellcome Trust, 2016-present
- Steering group member, Human Mind Project, 2015-present
- Editor-in- Chief, Neuroscience of Consciousness, Oxford University Press, 2014-present
- Seth, A.K. (2013). Interoceptive inference, emotion, and the embodied self. Cognitive Sciences , 17(11), 656–63.
- Seth, A.K., & Friston, K.J. (2016). Active interoceptive inference and the emotional brain. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 371(1708), pii: 20160007.
- Seth, A.K. (2014). 30-Second Brain. London: Icon Books.
- Seth, A.K., Barrett, A.B., & Barnett, L.C. (2015). Granger causality analysis in neuroscience and neuroimaging. Journal of Neuroscience, 35(8), 3293–3297.
- Seth, A.K. (2014). A predictive processing theory of sensorimotor contingencies: Explaining the puzzle of perceptual presence and its absence in synaesthesia. Cognitive Neuroscience, 5(2), 97–118.
CIFAR is a registered charitable organization supported by the governments of Canada, Alberta and Quebec, as well as foundations, individuals, corporations and Canadian and international partner organizations.