Classes I teach at Caltech




The meaning of Professor derives from "to profess" or "to declare publicly". All too often, in our research-dominated universities, this key function of a professor is neglected. I love to teach. While a professor at Caltech, I taught a number of undergraduate and graduate classes on biophysics, computational neuroscience, systems neuroscience, vision and visual perception and on consciousness and the brain.


By far the most popular lecture series was and remains

  • The Neuronal Basis of Consciousness (CNS/Bi/Psy 120). This award-winning nine unit class, taught in the spring of each year, is concerned with the correlates of consciousness in the brain. The course focuses on the anatomy, physiology and psychology of sensory consciousness in the mammalian brain, in particular visual perception. Other topics include coma and other disturbances of consciousness, clinical case studies (e.g., prosopagnosia, neglect), attention, memory, zombie systems, free will and some philosophical questions of interest to the student of consciousness.

    With the help of Leila Reddy, a graduate student in my laboratory, and Leslie Maxfield and her team from Academic Media Technologies at Caltech, these lectures have been filmed, edited and put online here.

    They are organized into 16 lectures, each about one hour. They follow the textbook I wrote (with much help from my close colleague and mentor, Francis Crick), The Quest for Consciousness - A Neurobiological Approach. Each lecture corresponds to one or two book chapters.