Brain scientists can watch neurons fire and communicate. They can map how brain regions light up during sensation, decision-making, and speech. What they can’t explain is how all this activity gives rise to consciousness.
The Templeton World Charity Foundation hopes to narrow the debate with experiments that directly pit theories of consciousness against each other.
The first two contenders are the global workspace theory (GWT), championed by Stanislas Dehaene and the integrated information theory (IIT), proposed by Giulio Tononi.
To test the schemes, six labs will run experiments with a total of more than 500 participants.MORE