Toward a Science of Consciousness
Apr 9-14, 2012
Robert Kentridge -
I started out in Psychology working on brain mechanisms of reward before a sideways move into studying eye-movements and visual attention which in turn led me to neuropsychology. I have concentrated on two neurological conditions, both of which affect visual consciousness - blindsight and cerebral achromatopsia. Patients with blindsight can make accurate discriminations of simple properties of visual stimuli even though their condition renders them blind. Together with my colleagues, Charlie Heywood and Larry Weiskrantz, I discovered that the speed with which a blindsight patient responds to a stimulus he does not see is affected by manipulations of visual attention. I first reported the finding at the 1998 Tucson meeting. I have continued to study the relationship between visual attention and consciousness in normal volunteers and in neurological patients ever since. I am also currently working on a project assessing the cortical areas involved in perceiving different aspects of materials such as colour, texture and glossiness and another assessing the contribution of unconsciously processed visual information in rehabilitating reading in patients with visual deficits following strokes. I am Reader in Psychology at Durham University, a beautiful cathedral city in the north-east of England.