Anil Seth Quotes

Who the Hell is Anil Seth?

Anil Kumar Seth is a British professor in the field of Neuroscience working on consciousness at the University of Sussex.

Born January 01, 1972

Books by Anil Seth


Best 34 Quotes by Anil Seth

“A good way to study a phenomenon is to see what happens when it disappears.”

Anil Seth

“Although certain brain regions decline faster than others, we lose on average approximately 10 per cent of our grey and white matter every decade of our adult lives. Mirroring this, our powers of reasoning, as measured by non-verbal IQ tests, peaks in our early 20s and declines steadily after this.”

Anil Seth
30-Second Brain

“Anesthesia is a modern kind of magic. It turns people into objects and back again into people.”

Anil Seth

“Breathe. Shrink that amygdala, enhance that prefrontal cortex. There is no downside to meditation. Om.”

Anil Seth
30-Second Brain

“Consciousness is any kind of experience at all, whether it's a visual experience of the world around us, whether it's an emotional experience of feeling sad or jealousy or happy or excited. From experiences of intending to do something or being the cause of something that happens, consciousness is the word that we use to circumscribe all the different kinds of experiences that we can have.”

Anil Seth

“Everything that we perceive - consciously or unconsciously - is a construction of the brain.”

Anil Seth

“Feelings provide the basis for human reason – brain-damaged patients left devoid of emotion struggle to make the most elementary decisions.”

Anil Seth
30-Second Brain

“Human consciousness is just a tiny region in a vast space of possible consciousnesses.”

Anil Seth

“I do see this close alignment between the insights we’re getting from cognitive neuroscience and Buddhism to the extent that things are not necessarily the way they seem. Things can change. There is an impermanence to our experience, to the world, there is an impermanence to the self, and recognizing that impermanence... does open the space for change.”

Anil Seth

“If you think of perception as prediction then it becomes natural to think that the self is not the thing that does the perceiving. The self is a perception.”

Anil Seth

“Imagination is a powerful, particularly human, skill. But instead of having specialized neural hardware, it is entirely reliant on our existing sensory regions.”

Anil Seth
30-Second Brain

“Imagine being a brain. You’re locked inside a bony skull, trying to figure what’s out there in the world. There’s no lights inside the skull. There’s no sound either. All you’ve got to go on is streams of electrical impulses which are only indirectly related to things in the world, whatever they may be. So perception — figuring out what’s there — has to be a process of informed guesswork in which the brain combines these sensory signals with its prior expectations or beliefs about the way the world is to form its best guess of what caused those signals. The brain doesn’t hear sound or see light. What we perceive is its best guess of what’s out there in the world.”

Anil Seth

“In our daily life we are constantly filling in the blanks to try and make sense of things.”

Anil Seth

“It's because we naturally experience the contents of our perception as being real that it becomes harder to appreciate that somebody else might not experience things exactly the same way.”

Anil Seth

“Locating a cup of coffee involves linking visual information with information about the current posture of the body, which involves highly specialized mechanisms in the brain.”

Anil Seth
30-Second Brain

“Long-term meditators also appear somewhat protected from dementia, which makes sense given that meditation causes brain regions linked to complex thought and memory to grow instead of shrink.”

Anil Seth
30-Second Brain

“Meditation even reduces the need for sleep. Due to its stress-reducing properties, meditation is increasingly being used as a clinical tool, relieving symptoms of chronic pain, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and other conditions.”

Anil Seth
30-Second Brain

“One recent lab-based training paradigm that has shown some promise, however, involves the tricky task of keeping in mind two different streams of information simultaneously. Not only did performance increase dramatically over the weeks of training on this fiendish exercise, but so did IQ, particularly for those who started in the lower IQ range.”

Anil Seth
30-Second Brain

“The brain tries to figure out the true colour of a surface independent of the lighting conditions; so seeing colour isn’t just detecting wavelengths of light.”

Anil Seth
30-Second Brain

“The first few years in life are critical for learning a first language. Feral children without exposure to language fail to develop full linguistic abilities. They can learn many words, but their syntax never reaches a normal level. Second languages learned during the critical period are processed in the same regions of Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area as the first language, while different regions of Broca’s area are used for a second language learned after puberty.”

Anil Seth
30-Second Brain

“The shape of our minds or the minds of any living creature can only be understood in light of their being alive.”

Anil Seth

“The truth is that all perceptions are acts of interpretation. They're acts of informed guesswork that the brain applies when it encounters sensory data.”

Anil Seth

“There's this cultural trope that intelligence and consciousness go together and that AI will develop awareness at some point.”

Anil Seth

“Unlike brain training, meditation is increasingly being shown to have profound effects on thought, emotions and the brain. For instance, long-term meditators have a shrunken amygdala, a brain region associated with anxiety or fear, and an enlarged prefrontal cortex, associated with our highest forms of cognitive processing and intelligence.”

Anil Seth
30-Second Brain

“Upset and resentment are a reflection of our own thoughts and can, therefore, never be caused by anyone or anything outside of ourselves. ”

Anil Seth

“We are part of, not apart from, the rest of nature.”

Anil Seth

“We are part of, not apart from, the rest of nature.”

Anil Seth

“We don't just passively perceive the world. We actively generate it. The world we experience comes as much, if not more, from the inside out as from the outside in.”

Anil Seth

“We don’t just passively perceive the world; we actively generate it. The world we experience comes as much from the inside-out as the outside-in, in a process hardly different from that which we casually call hallucination. Indeed, in a way, we're always hallucinating. It’s just that when we agree about our hallucinations, that’s what we call reality.”

Anil Seth

“We feel afraid because our body is preparing to act in a particular way, not vice versa. Although controversial, this idea has stood the test of time; it is now widely accepted that emotions are deeply dependent on how the brain and body respond to each other, and the search is now on for the brain mechanisms involved. One key region is the amygdala.”

Anil Seth
30-Second Brain

“We're all hallucinating all the time; when we agree about our hallucinations, we call it reality.”

Anil Seth

“When the end of consciousness comes, there’s nothing to be afraid of. Nothing at all.”

Anil Seth

“When we make a movement, our brain predicts the sensory consequences of the movement so that we experience the movement, as self-caused. If these predictions go awry, the brain may falsely attribute control to some external source, leading to a ‘delusion of control’. Recently, the theory has been extended to explain perceptual hallucinations, using the idea that perceptions are also based on predictions. This implies that schizophrenics, unlike most, should be able to tickle themselves, which turns out to be true.”

Anil Seth
30-Second Brain

“When we suffer, we suffer consciously, whether it's through mental illness or pain. And if we can experience joy and suffering, what about other animals? Might they be conscious, too? Do they also have a sense of self? And as computers get faster and smarter, maybe there will come a point, maybe not too far away, when my iPhone develops a sense of its own existence. Now I actually think the prospects for a conscious AI are pretty remote.”

Anil Seth