Brain, Mind & Consciousness
What are the origins and mechanisms of consciousness?
The quality of our consciousness is what sets us apart from other species, and seems to be one of the defining traits of being human. Yet the nature of consciousness remains a mystery. The Brain, Mind & Consciousness program grapples with the fundamental underpinnings of consciousness, and relates the findings to biology on the one hand and to philosophical questions on the other.
Technological advances in medical imaging make it possible to see the brain in action. The new technology for the first time gives an opportunity to scholars from fields as different as genetics, cognitive neuroscience, artificial intelligence, and philosophy of mind to come together and work to understand consciousness. By creating the opportunity for deep collaborations, the CIFAR program will allow fellows to solve one of the most profound questions about human nature.
The Brain, Mind & Consciousness program is developing a framework to help fellows from across disciplines understand how our brains give rise to consciousness and our unique perspective on the world around us.
Path to Societal Impact
We invite experts in industry, civil society, healthcare and government to join fellows in our Brain, Mind & Consciousness program for in-depth, cross-sectoral conversations that drive change and innovation.
Leaders in extended reality (XR, including virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality) and CIFAR fellows in the Brain, Mind & Consciousness program are developing more immersive XR experiences, while deepening the understanding of how our minds perceive reality.
Areas of focus:
- Understanding what makes an experience immersive
- Developing immersive extended realities
- Using XR as a tool to study the brain and body
Do you want to shape the future of brain science and XR technology development?
Contact: Amy Cook, Senior Director, Knowledge Mobilization
Brain Canada Foundation through the Canada Brain Research Fund, Anonymous
The Azrieli Foundation, Canada Life, Michael and Sonja Koerner, The Lawrence and Judith Tanenbaum Family Foundation
Neuroscience, including cognitive neuroscience
Biological and cognitive psychology
Computer science, including artificial intelligence
Philosophy, including ethics
CIFAR Neuroscience of Consciousness Winter School
The CIFAR Neuroscience of Consciousness (CNC) Winter School takes place January 19-21, 2022. The school is hosted by CIFAR in partnership with the Templeton World Charity Foundation.
CIFAR CNC Winter School is a unique, three-day event where tomorrow’s neuroscience leaders work closely with world-class researchers studying the neuroscience of consciousness. Hosted by members of CIFAR’s Brain, Mind & Consciousness program, this year’s event is held virtually.
Fellows & Advisors
CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars
Brain, mind & consciousness
Neuroscience in XR: Driving Immersive Reality
Frontier research in neuroscience and cognitive science presents an immense potential for tackling c...Jul 2, 2020
CIFAR completes review of four research programs
Three CIFAR research programs will be renewed and one program will be closed in 2020/21Mar 26, 2020
Finding islands in the uncharted waters of consciousness
Can consciousness persist in brains that are totally cut off from the outside world?Mar 26, 2020
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.