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The Consciousness Lie

Joel Pearson
Chaired by Rob Brooks
Sun 5 April 3:30pm Lower Town Hall
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Sun 5 April 3:30pm Lower Town Hall
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What if we have tricked ourselves into believing we make our own decisions, rather than our subconscious urges driving our lives?

Consciousness is fundamental to the way we think of our existence as human beings. It’s one of the fundamental ways we explain who we are and how we are different from other lifeforms. But what if consciousness is a lie, one that we’ve created and come to believe because we don’t want to believe the alternative? In fact, much of our behaviour is based on subconscious drives, urges, and decisions, and our brain tells stories to cover them up and create the illusion of rational and conscious logic. How much control do we actually have? Joel Pearson explores how often and why your mind lies to you – and what you can do about it.

If we increasingly see belief in free will as a delusion, what will happen to all those institutions that are based on it?
The Atlantic

Joel Pearson

Joel Pearson is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of New South Wales [UNSW], a National Health and Medical Research Council fellow and founder of UNSW Future Minds Lab, MindX, Agile Science and Future Minds podcast.

Pearson is an internationally recognised leader in human consciousness research and applied cognitive neuroscience currently developing new methods to measure dimensions of the human experience previously thought to be immeasurable including creativity, imagination, memory, entrepreneurship, intuition and decision–making.

He works with a diverse range of clients including Macquarie Group, Lendlease, Pixar, Google Creative Labs, Lexus, Inventium, The &Partnership, UNSW and the NSW Department of Education.