Dr. Klaus M. Stiefel, University of Western Sydney

                               V O R T R A G

Oesterreichisches Forschungsinstitut fuer Artificial Intelligence(OFAI) der OSGK
Freyung 6/6, A-1010 Wien
Tel: +43-1-5336112-17,  Fax: +43-1-5336112-77, Email: sec@ofai.at

Dr. Klaus M. Stiefel
The MARCS Institute
University of Western Sydney


We bring together three findings and ideas relevant for the
understanding of human consciousness: (I) Crick’s and Koch’s theory
that the claustrum is a "conductor of consciousness" crucial for
subjective conscious experience. (II) Subjective reports of the
consciousness-altering effects of the plant Salvia divinorum, whose
primary active ingredient is salvinorin A, a κ-opioid receptor agonist.
(III) The high density of κ-opioid receptors in the claustrum. Fact III
suggests that the consciousness-altering effects of
S. divinorum/salvinorin A (II) are due to a κ-opioid receptor mediated
inhibition of primarily the claustrum and, additionally, the deep
layers of the cortex, mainly in prefrontal areas. Consistent with Crick
and Koch’s theory that the claustrum plays a key role in consciousness
(I), the subjective effects of S. divinorum indicate that salvia
disrupts certain facets of consciousness much more than the largely
serotonergic hallucinogen lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Based on
this data and on the relevant literature, we suggest that the claustrum
does indeed serve as a conductor for certain aspects of higher-order
integration of brain activity, while integration of auditory and visual
signals relies more on coordination by other areas including parietal
cortex and the pulvinar.


Time: Thursday, 10th July 2014, 6.30 p.m. sharp

Location:  Oesterreichisches Forschungsinstitut
fuer Artificial Intelligence, OFAI
Freyung 6, Stiege 6, 1010 Wien


Univ.-Prof. Ing. Dr. Robert Trappl