alius bulletin n°1 2017 .pdf
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Copyright: © 2017 Fortier, Lemoine & Millière. This is an open access publication
distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits
unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original
author and source are credited.
The editors wish to express their gratitude to Cordelia Erickson-Davis, Daniel
Friedman, Ella Letort and Kai Woolner-Pratt for their valuable proofreading
of the interviews, and to all the contributors for accepting to participate to this
ALIUS is an international and interdisciplinary research group dedicated to
the investigation of all aspects of consciousness, with a specific focus on nonordinary or understudied conscious states traditionally classified as altered
states of consciousness.
In Latin, alius means “different”. This lexical choice reflects the group’s
mission to study the diversity of consciousness in a systematic manner. ALIUS
puts a particular stress on the need for a naturalistic approach to all aspects of
consciousness, including states and experiences which have long been unduly
associated to parapsychology and pseudoscientific hypotheses.
To this end, it fosters a unique interdisciplinary collaboration of
researchers, involving neuroscientists, psychologists, philosophers of mind,
psychiatrists and anthropologists, towards the development of a systematic
and scientific model of consciousness supported by both theoretical work and
experimental studies. This collaboration may take the form of joint articles,
blog posts, editorial work on special issues, thematic workshops and
Find out more about the group on the website: aliusresearch.org
About the Bulletin
The ALIUS Bulletin is an annual publication featuring in-depth interviews with
prominent scholars working on consciousness and its altered states (ASCs).
The goal of the Bulletin is to present a clear outline of current research on
ASCs across a variety of disciplines, with an emphasis on empirical work. It
also aims at dispelling the widespread stigma that still plagues the notion of
ASC, while allowing a wider audience to discover rigorous scientific work on
the topic presented by authors in their own words.
Table of Contents
Psychedelics and consciousness
Interviewed by Martin Fortier & Raphaël Millière
On different ways of being conscious:
modes of consciousness and the predictive mind
Interviewed by Matthieu Koroma
The anthropology of mind: exploring unusual sensations and
spiritual experiences across cultures
Interviewed by Martin Fortier
The phenomenon of voice-hearing:
an interdisciplinary approach
Interviewed by Mathieu Frerejouan
Towards a biocultural approach to dissociative consciousness
Interviewed by Arnaud Halloy
Relocating dreams on the conceptual map: how the analysis of
sleep and dreaming challenges our taxonomy of mental states
Interviewed by Alessio Bucci & Raphaël Millière
Robin Carhart-Harris is a research fellow at Imperial College London, where he is
the head of psychedelic research at the Centre for Neuropsychopharmacology of
the Division of Brain Sciences. He has been conducting pioneering brain imaging
studies of psychedelic drugs over the past six years, focusing on psilocybin and more
recently LSD. He has published over forty papers in neuropharmacology and
Jakob Hohwy is a professor of philosophy at Monash University in Melbourne,
Australia. His research focuses on philosophy of mind, philosophy of cognitive
neuroscience and philosophical psychopathology. He has also been involved in a
number of experimental research projects with neuroscientists and psychiatrists.
His book The Predictive Mind (2013) gives a unified account of conscious perception
within the Bayesian framework of predictive coding.
Tanya Luhrmann is a professor of anthropology, and (by courtesy) of psychology, at
Stanford University. Her work explores “how people know what is real—particularly
how they know that God is present”. She has published a book, When God Talks Back
(2012) on American evangelicals’ understanding of mind, God and reality. She had
previously published an acclaimed book, Of Two Minds (2000), on the
psychodynamic and the biomedical approaches to mental illness.
Simon McCarthy-Jones is an associate professor of psychiatry at Trinity College in
Dublin. He works on the phenomenon of voice-hearing from a neuropsychological,
phenomenological, and historical point of view. He is the author of Hearing Voices
(2012), and his next book on voice-hearing, Can’t You Hear Them? The Science and
Significance of Hearing Voices, will be published in April 2017.
Rebecca Seligman is an associate professor of anthropology at Northwestern
University. Her research covers a broad range of subjects in medical and
psychological anthropology as well as cross-cultural psychiatry. She has written a
book on possession and dissociation in an Afro-Brazilian cult (Possessing Spirits and
Healing Selves, 2014) and co-edited a groundbreaking volume on culture and
neuroscience (Oxford Handbook of Cultural Neuroscience, 2015).
Jennifer Windt is a lecturer in philosophy at Monash University in Melbourne,
Australia. Her research centers on dreaming, philosophy of cognitive science,
philosophy of mind, self-consciousness, and sleep. Her book Dreaming: A Conceptual
Framework for Philosophy of Mind and Empirical Research (2015) develops an
empirically-informed account of dreaming, and has been universally acclaimed as
the most comprehensive book ever written on the topic.