OMCAN: A new network for mathematical approaches to consciousness research

Oxford Mathematics of Consciousness and Applications Network (OMCAN) is a new network with a focus on bringing mathematics to bear on one of sciences' greatest challenges. 

Over the last few decades scientists from various disciplines have started searching for the general theoretical bases of consciousness and answers to related questions such as how can consciousness be unified with physics, what medical, ethical and commercial benefits might theoretical progress bring, and is there a type of mathematical structure with the property of consciousness. This has resulted in several new mathematically formulated theories (or partial theories) of consciousness, many of which are complementary to each other. Whilst these theories are preliminary, advances in computer science are rapidly being made involving ever more parallel systems, often inspired by biological architectures, which highlights the pressing need for a step change in the level of research being undertaken to establish the general theoretical bases of consciousness.

Oxford Mathematics of Consciousness and Applications Network (OMCAN) provides researchers from across the University of Oxford with the opportunity to share their knowledge in this area, participate in relevant seminars and discussions, and find funding in support of collaborative research. Supported by the Mathematical Physical and Life Sciences Division in Oxford, it will be based at the Mathematical Institute.  

OMCAN is holding its networking launch event on 19th September and you can attend and give a short introduction about yourself and your relevant interests. Please RSVP by 31 August to omcan@maths.ox.ac.uk and include up to three slides in pdf format about your relevant research interests.

Prof. Steve Furber (University of Manchester) is giving the OMCAN Inaugural Lecture on 7th November titled 'Biologically-Inspired Massively-Parallel Computation on SpiNNaker (Spiking Neural Network Architecture).