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Next Frontiers in Consciousness Research workshop

A workshop on Next Frontiers in Consciousness Research, co-funded by NSF’s Cognitive Neuroscience Program, was held in Bethesda, MD from June 26 to 18, 2023. In-person attendance was by invitation only, but sessions were live streamed.

The objective of this workshop was to bring together experts from different disciplines relevant to consciousness research in order to synthesize the current state of knowledge about the neural mechanisms of consciousness (defined as conscious awareness), discuss theoretical and empirical approaches, define the most exciting avenues to advance the field, and develop a roadmap for future discoveries in the science of consciousness.

In conjunction with the workshop, Dr. Sharif Kronemer at NIH developed a mini-course on consciousness for Howard undergraduates. Twenty Howard students participated in four pre-workshop class sessions, joined by Dr. Dominique Pritchett of Howard University, and Dr. Jonathan Fritz of NSF. The students attended the Next Frontiers in Consciousness Research workshop, and concluded the mini-course with a post-workshop discussion and final paper. The aim of the mini-course was to introduce the students to neuroscience and consciousness research and encourage them to pursue further study in the field.

“I hope for these students, the course and workshop will be a spark for the continued pursuit of consciousness,” said Dr. Kronemer. “The topic of consciousness is universally compelling - the people who study it should represent that ubiquity.”

"I loved this seminar because it introduced me to all of the fascinating complexities of consciousness which I never knew existed," said Howard student Talia Coryat. "As a recent graduate of the psychology department at Howard University, we briefly touched upon consciousness in different class discussions, but we never did a deep dive into the topic so I learned a lot over the past five weeks."