Anil Seth

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University of Sussex, Brighton, UK


Higher Brain Functions

Title of talk:
Neural dynamics underlying the psychedelic state”


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Anil Seth is a Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at the University of Sussex, where he is also Co-Director (with Prof. Hugo Critchley) of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science. He sits on the steering group and advisory board of the Human Mind Project.

He is the Editor-in-Chief of Neuroscience of Consciousness, editor and co-author of 30 Second Brain and consultant for Eye Benders (winner of the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize 2014). He contributes regularly to a variety of media including the New Scientist, The Guardian, the BBC and writes the popular blog NeuroBanter.

His research pursues one of the great challenges for 21st century science – of understanding the biological basis of conscious experience. He uses a highly multidisciplinary approach to study complex brain networks by bringing together research across neuroscience, mathematics, computer science, psychology, philosophy and psychiatry.

Billions of neurons are working together to create a conscious perception of the world and of ourselves within it. How does this happen? What are the biophysical mechanisms that underpin our experiences of self and world? According to neuroscientist Anil Seth, we’re all hallucinating all the time; it’s just that when we agree about our hallucinations, we call it “reality”.


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Selected Publications:

Seth, A.K. and Friston, K.J. (2016). Active interoceptive inference and the emotional brain. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

Seth, A.K., Barrett, A.B., and Barnett, L.C. (2015). Granger causality analysis in neuroscience and neuroimaging. Journal of Neuroscience 35(8):3293-3297

Reveley, C., Seth, A.K., Silva, A., Yu., D., Saunders, R.C., Leopold, D., and Ye, F. (2015). Superficial white-matter fiber systems impede detection of long-range connections in diffusion MR tractography. Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences USA. 112(21)E2820-8

Seth, A.K. (2015). The cybernetic Bayesian brain: from interoceptive inference to sensorimotor contingencies. In Open MIND, eds. T. Metzinger & J. Windt. Frankfurt a.M., GER: MIND group

Seth, A.K. (2014). A predictive processing theory of sensorimotor contingencies: Explaining the puzzle of perceptual presence and its absence in synaesthesia. Cognitive Neuroscience (target article) 5(2):97-118

Seth, A.K. (2013). Interoceptive inference, emotion, and the embodied self. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 17(11):656-663

Seth, A.K., Barrett, A.B., and Barnett, L.C. (2011). Causal density and integrated information as measures of conscious level. Phil. Trans R. Soc A. 368:3748-3676


Selected Other Writing:

Seth, A.K. (2016) The real problem. Aeon (feature essay, a 2016 editor’s pick)

Seth, A.K. (2016). Aliens on earth: What octopus minds can tell us about alien consciousness. In Aliens, ed. J. Al-Khalili. Profile Books, London.  Reprinted by TED books (2017).

Seth, A.K. (2015) Conscious awakening: (review of Ex Machina). New Scientist (24 Jan, pp.44-45)


Selected Videos:

TED Talk –


BBC’s The Life Scientific –