The Brain Basis of Consciousness, and More...

The Graziano lab focuses on a mechanistic theory of consciousness, the Attention Schema Theory (AST). The theory seeks to explain how an information-processing machine such as the brain can insist it has consciousness, describe consciousness in the magicalist ways that people often do, assign a high degree of confidence to those assertions, and attribute a similar property of consciousness to others in a social context. AST is about how the brain builds informational models of self and of others, and how those models create physically incoherent intuitions about a semi-magical mind, while at the same time serving specific, adaptive, cognitive uses. Click here for the Wikipedia summary of the Attention Schema Theory of consciousness.

Click here (welcome video) for an intro video to Graziano's Youtube channel on consciousness and music.

The lab has also made contributions to two other fundamental areas of neuroscience: how neurons in the primate brain encode peripersonal space (click here for Graziano's book, The Spaces Between Us), and how the motor cortex controls complex movement (click here for a review article on Ethological Action Maps). For more information, read the Wikipedia summary of Graziano's research

Latest Videos 

TedEd: Consciousness









TEDxCornell: Consciousness and the Social Brain


Michael S. A. Graziano
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08540