The mechanisms and measurement of conscious experience are among the most fundamental questions in science, with profound philosophical and clinical implications. However, for the greater part of the 20th century, consciousness was marginalized as unworthy of serious scientific inquiry. Fortunately, we are now past these “dark ages” with an established international community of consciousness researchers, but the field is still in its infancy.

Recent work in the Department of Anesthesiology, as well as collaborating departments at the University of Michigan Medical School, has resulted in significant advances in the science of consciousness that have been recognized internationally by the medical and scientific community (with major studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) as well as the public (with featured articles in the Washington Post, New York Times Magazine, and other worldwide media). Given this momentum, as well as the paucity of centers around the world dedicated to the rigorous multidisciplinary study of consciousness, we developed the Center for Consciousness Science (CCS) at the University of Michigan Medical School.

The mission of the CCS is to advance multidisciplinary research, education, and clinical care as it relates to consciousness. This includes the initiation and support of collaborative scholarship across the medical school, outreach to relevant schools and centers at the University of Michigan and beyond, sponsorship of educational events as well as student involvement in the field, and application of novel techniques to clinical practice. We are enthusiastic about this mission and welcome your involvement in the CCS.