[Comp-neuro] ICANN 2010 Workshop - Call For Papers

Dr. Amir Hussain ahu at cs.stir.ac.uk
Mon Mar 15 15:52:38 CET 2010

Dear all (with advance apologies for any cross-postings):


Please forward the Call below to interested colleagues..


Thank you in advance,


Amir Hussain, PhD

University of Stirling, Scotland, UK

E-mail: ahu at cs.stir.ac.uk  


1st International Workshop "Consciousness Versus Attention": Call for Papers

Workshop for the 20th International Conference on Artificial Neural Networks
(ICANN2010), Thessaloniki,Greece, 15-18 Sep, 2010 -


Workshop Chair: JG Taylor, Dept of Mathematics, King's College London 

Email:  <mailto:john.g.taylor at kcl.ac.uk> john.g.taylor at kcl.ac.uk


Programme Committee 

1) JG Taylor (King's College London:  <mailto:taymore2002 at aol.co.uk>
taymore2002 at aol.co.uk)

2) S Grossberg (Boston U: steve at bu.edu)

3) W Duch (Torun, Poland:  <mailto:wduch at is.umb.pl> wduch at is.umb.pl)

4) A Hussain (Stirling, UK:  <mailto:ahu at cs.stir.ac.uk> ahu at cs.stir.ac.uk

5) S Kollias (NTUA, Athens:  <mailto:skollias at ntua.gr> skollias at ntua.gr)

6) A Villa (Univ Grenoble: alessandro.villa at unil.ch)

7) N Kasabov (AUT Univ, Auckland:  <mailto:nkasabov at aut.ac.nz>
nkasabov at aut.ac.nz)


Subject Areas

Experiments on attention and consciousness

Modelling attention and role of emotion

Modelling consciousness

Creativity and its modelling

Developmental analyses of attention and consciousness

Evolutionary analyses of attention and consciousness

Modelling unconscious versus conscious processing 

Role of Emotion in Attention vs. consciousness


Call for papers

All interested are invited to submit by email a brief abstract (up to 4
pages) to Professor J Taylor, john.g.taylor at kcl.ac.uk or
taymore2002 at aol.co.uk and attend to give a paper if the abstract is
accepted. In particular the workshop is keen to have presentations in which
neural network models of attention and of creativity are used as a basis for
an argument one way or the other for the independence of consciousness and

The submissions will be reviewed rigorously by an international review
committee. The submission must conform to the Springer format detailed
instruction for preparing the manuscript in the required format can be found
in http://delab.csd.auth.gr/icann2010/submission.html

Short versions (up to six pages) of all accepted papers will appear in a
separate chapter of the ICANN 2010 (springer) conference proceedings.

An effort will be made to prepare a Special Issue of the Springer journal
Cognitive Computation (www.springer.com/12559) on this topic based on the
papers presented at the workshop



Registration policy will be exactly the same as the one of the main 20th
ICANN event. Please visit


Important Dates

Paper submission: May 1st 2010

Review to author by: May 17 2010

Final submission to conference: May 31 2010



There is an important controversy presently being fought out in both the
experiment and theory of attention as to the requirement of attention being
applied to a stimulus for the occurrence of consciousness of that stimulus.
The extreme positions are that a) attention and consciousness are
independent [1-6] and b) attention is necessary for consciousness of a
stimulus to arise [7, 8]. Some discussion supporting position b) is given in
the papers [9 - 11] (which is the majority position across brain
science).The purpose of this workshop is to attempt to bring together some
of the adversaries in this battle so that they can present their case,
especially from the point of view of experimental results claimed by one
side or the other to be final proof of their position.

The experiments being claimed by those who regard consciousness and
attention as independent will be fully summarised and argued for by their
supporters. However the alternate interpretation, that attention forms the
gateway to consciousness, may also be used to interpret some aspects of
these experiments. One particularly crucial aspect in this controversy is
the recognition that important aspects of mental life occur outside
consciousness. However how then is consciousness used in such partially
unconscious information processing. In creativity, for example,
consciousness arises as a crucial component after important unconscious
processing has occurred. More generally we expect the interchange between
the two states is highly non-trivial and needs to be teased out by
experiment. It will be these presently ambiguous experiments that need
further discussion.



[1] C. Willimzig, N. Tsuchiya, M. Fahle, W. Einhauser & C. Koch (2008)
Spatial attention increases performance but not subjective confidence in a
discrimination task. J. Vis. 8(5):1-10

[2] A. Rahnev, B. Maniscalco, E. Huang, L. Bahdo & H. Lau (2009) Weakly
attended stimuli produce an inflated sense of subjective visibility (U. of
Columbia preprint)

[3] A. Pastukhov & J. Braun (2007) Perceptual reversals need no prompting
from attention. J. Vis. 7(10)5:1-17

[4] N.Tsuchiya & C. Koch (2007) Attention and consciousness. Scholarpedia

[5] C. Koch & N. Tsuchiya (2007) Attention and consciousness: two distinct
brain processes? Trends in Cognitive Sciences 11(1):61-22 

[6] V. A. F. Lamme (2004) Separate neural definitions of visual
consciousness and visual attention: a case for phenomenal awareness Neural
Networks 17(5-6):861-872

[7] N. Srinivasan (2008) Interdependence of attention and consciousness Prog
Brain Res 168, eds R. Banarjee & B. K. Chakrabarti, Ch 6

[8] P. Zhang, S. Engel, C. Rios, B. He & S. He (2009) Binocular rivalry
requires visual attention: Evidence from EEG. J. Vis. 9(8): Abstract 291,

[9] Taylor JG (2010) A Review of Models of Consciousness, in The
Perception-Reason-Action Cycle, eds V Cutsuridis, A. Hussain & JG Taylor.
Berlin: Springer

[10] Taylor JG (2007) CODAM: A Model of Attention Leading to the Creation of
Consciousness. Scholarpedia 2(11):1598

[11] Taylor JG (2010) The Creativity Effect: Consciousness versus Attention
IJCNN2010 (submitted)


The Sunday Times Scottish University of the Year 2009/2010
The University of Stirling is a charity registered in Scotland, 
 number SC 011159.

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