Biomedicine and Molecular Biosciences COST Action BM0605
CATIA - Consciousness : A Transdisciplinary, Integrated Approach

End date: September 2011


Consciousness is considered to be one of the most significant scientific problems today. Understanding the mechanisms involved in the conscious states we enjoy when perceiving, feeling, thinking, or acting requires a highly interdisciplinary approach that involves different disciplines (from neuroscience to philosophy; from artificial intelligence to psychology), different methods (behavioral, computational, and brain imaging methods), and different populations (from animals to pathological cases). While a majority of researchers in the domain works in Europe, there is little concerted effort to bring this community together, and the domain’s interdisciplinary nature is a genuine challenge for junior scientists. This COST Action therefore aims to create a strong network of active senior and junior scientists so as to contribute to the emergence of a “consciousness community” in the EU. The Action is focused on improving the understanding of (1) the defining features, (2) the behavioral markers, (3) the computational principles, and (4) the neural mechanisms associated with conscious experience in humans and animals. These objectives are achieved by coordinating research efforts on four central topics: (1) fundamental issues, (2) technologies, (3) experimental paradigms, and (4) clinical, societal and ethical implications.



We aim to contribute to the understanding of mechanisms associated with consciousness. This is achieved by coordinating ongoing research dedicated to consciousness in Europe so as to make it possible to achieve the close interdisciplinary interactions that are necessary to advance knowledge in the domain.


In particular, we aim :

  1. to create, on a European scale, a network of active researchers in the domain
  2. to foster interactions between junior and senior scientists so as to contribute to the emergence of a "consciousness” community in Europe.


To achieve our objectives we offer:

  1. Training Schools
  2. Scientific Dissemination Meetings
  3. Annual Working Group Meetings focused on horizon-scanning and identifying innovative collaborations
  4. Short-Term Scientific Missions implementing identified collaborations
  5. The creation of electronic tools to facilitate interactions and knowledge building: providing information about ongoing research, conferences, training opportunities, as well as a basis for forum discussions (tentative); several mailing lists; an e-print archive.