Bernard J Baars

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    The Neurosciences Institute, San Diego, California

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    Featured Author: Bernard J Baars

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    Bernard Baars (b. in Amsterdam, the Netherlands in 1946) graduated in Psychology in 1970 and obtained his PhD in Cognitive Psychology in 1977 at University of California, Los Angeles. Amongst several postdoctoral positions, he served as the Alfred P. Sloan Cognitive Science Scholar at UCSD with Don Norman and George Mandler. He was then appointed a Visiting Scientist with the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Program in Conscious and Unconscious Mental Processes at UCSF with Mardi J Horowitz in the 1980s. He went on to hold academic appointments at SUNY Stony Brook and the Wright Institute in Berkeley. Finally, he spent two years as the Senior Fellow in Theoretical Neurobiology at the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego, where he collaborated with Gerald Edelman and Giulio Tononi.

    Dr. Baars is renowned for his important work on the psychology and brain basis of conscious experience. He is well known for his Global Workspace theory which proposes a simple cognitive architecture that can explain qualitatively a large set of matched pairs of conscious and unconscious processes. The author of five books, including A Cognitive Theory of Consciousness (1988) and In the Theater of Consciousness: the Workspace of the Mind (1997), Dr. Baars has championed the cause of elevating the study of consciousness as a mainstream scientific discipline.

    He was the Founding President of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness (1994-96) and the first scientific journal in the field, Consciousness & Cognition: An International Journal. He also wrote two editions of a new introductory textbook on cognitive neuroscience, Cognition, Brain & Consciousness: An Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience (2010) that places consciousness and volition as the central questions in the mind-brain sciences.

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