Research Statement
One of the main issues in consciousness research is widely known as the hard problem of consciousness. The core of the hard problem amounts to the question of how a physical system such as the human brain can give rise to the rich spectrum of sensations and emotions that make up our subjective experiences. The challenge is to find an integrated approach for the understanding of the physical world and the inner world (consciousness) as well as their interdependence. The current research activities focus on the development of a conceptual framework for consciousness that lays the foundations for a fundamental theory of consciousness. A central characteristic of the framework is a deeper understanding of quantum systems. The framework opens up new perspectives for consciousness research and sheds new light on the functioning of the brain.

The approach rests on the hypothesis that consciousness as such is not produced by the brain, but is based on an all-pervasive substrate. From this perspective, individual consciousness results from the dynamic interaction between the brain and this substrate, or in other words, whenever the activity of the brain leaves a fingerprint (an information state) in this substrate, it generates a conscious state. This is a very elegant approach. However, it raises three key questions:

1. What kind of substrate carries consciousness?
2. How does the interaction mechanism work?
3. Is there evidence that conscious processes in the brain rely on this mechanism?

Interestingly, stochastic electrodynamics (SED), a promising theoretical framework that provides a deeper understanding of quantum physics, gives the answers to these questions. SED furnishes the substrate as well as the appropriate mechanism and the neurophysiological body of evidence suggests that exactly this mechanism can be found in the brain.
Beyond Combination: How Cosmic Consciousness Grounds Ordinary Experience
In collaboration with Itay Shani, Department of Philosophy, Sun Yat-Sen University, Zhuhai, China
Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4, 390-410. doi: 10.1017/apa.2018.30 (December 2018)
[Abstract] [Full Text (HTML)] [Full Paper (PDF)]

The Role of the Brain in Conscious Processes: A New Way of Looking at the Neural Correlates of Consciousness
Frontiers in Psychology 9:1346. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01346 (August 2018)
[Full Text (HTML)] [Full Paper (PDF)]

Shedding Light on the Fundamental Mechanism Underlying Hypnotic Analgesia
Annals of Palliative Medicine 7, 170-176. doi: 10.21037/apm.2017.04.03 (January 2018)
[Abstract] [Full Text (HTML)] [Full Paper (PDF)]

On the Universal Mechanism Underlying Conscious Systems and the Foundations for a Theory of Consciousness
Open Journal of Philosophy 6, 346-367. doi: 10.4236/ojpp.2016.64034 (November 2016)
[Abstract] [Full Text (HTML)] [Full Paper (PDF)]

A New Perspective on the Functioning of the Brain and the Mechanisms behind Conscious Processes
Frontiers in Psychology 4:242. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00242 (April 2013)
[Full Text (HTML)] [Full Paper (PDF)]

Materie und Bewusstsein
Ein Blick hinter die Kulissen der Materie öffnet die Tür zu einer Theorie des Bewusstseins
Research paper in German (November 2012)
[Materie und Bewusstsein]

A Conceptual Framework for Consciousness Based on a Deep Understanding of Matter
Philosophy Study 2, 689-703. doi: 10.17265/2159-5313/2012.10.001 (October 2012)
[Abstract] [Full Paper (PDF)]

Shedding Light on the Universal Mechanism Underlying Conscious Systems
Contribution to the TSC 2017 Conference in La Jolla, California, USA (June 2017)
[Book of Abstracts]

The Agent behind the Scenes: Exposing the Universal Mechanism Underlying Conscious Systems
Presentation at the ASSC 20, Buenos Aires, Argentina (June 2016)
[The Agent behind the Scenes]

A Novel Approach to the Scientific Understanding and Exploration of Consciousness
Talk at the International Congress of Hypnosis 2015, Roots and Future of Consciousness, Paris, France (August 2015)
[Book of Abstracts] [A Novel Approach to the Scientific Understanding and Exploration of Consciousness]

Toward a Scientific Understanding of Consciousness
Talk at the University of Verona, Department of Surgical Sciences, Verona, Italy (October 2014)
[Toward a Scientific Understanding of Consciousness]

The Fundamental Mechanisms of Consciousness: Unveiling the True Relationship between Brain and Mind
Presentation at the TSC 2014 Conference in Tucson, Arizona, USA (April 2014)
[Book of Abstracts] [The Fundamental Mechanisms of Consciousness]

A Conclusive Conceptual Framework for Consciousness: Roadmap for the Development of a Fundamental Theory
Talk at the TSC 2013 Conference in Agra, India (March 2013)
[Book of Abstracts] [A Conclusive Conceptual Framework for Consciousness]

Tackling the Hard Problem
A View Behind the Scenes of Matter Provides Valuable Clues for the Development of a Theory of Consciousness
Talk at the TSC 2012 Conference in Tucson, Arizona, USA (April 2012)
[Book of Abstracts] [Tackling the Hard Problem]

The Lightness of Being
Physics Opens a Door to a Theory of Consciousness
Talk at a meeting on Mind and Matter, Munich, Germany (January 2012)
[The Lightness of Being]

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© DIWISS, Dr. Joachim Keppler Last Update: June 2019