Who we are

We are a group of researchers at UC Irvine interested in how a system (biological or artificial) may become aware of its own existence and capable of perceptual experience.  Other interests include how perceptual experiences emerge from brain (or machine) function, and the nature of reality and the degree to which our percepts conform to empirical findings in physics.     

Dr. Kourosh Saberi  is the Director of Conscious Systems Lab.  He received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley, was a Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and a  Senior Research Fellow at Caltech’s Division of Biology.  Lab collaborators include  Dr. Greg Hickok, Professor of Cognitive Sciences with expertise in language and functional organization of the brain,  Dr. Haleh Farahbod, Ph.D. in Neuroscience with expertise in disorders of brain function, and  Dr. Don Hoffman (Ph.D., MIT) with expertise in vision, perception, and conscious agents. 

On whether machines can think

...the only way by which one could be sure that machine thinks is to be the machine and to feel oneself thinking... It is in fact the solipsit point of view.  A is liable to believe "A thinks and B does not"  whilst B believes "B thinks but A does not."  Instead of arguing continuously over this point it is usual to have the polite convention that everyone thinks. 

- Alan Turing