Chakravarthi Ramakrishna (Year: 1999)

M.B.B.S., Kasthurba Medical College, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Karnataka
M.S. Consciousness Studies, Bhaktivedanta Institute, Mumbai & BITS, Pilani, India
Ph.D. Harvard University (2007)
Currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at New York University, Dept of Psychology and Neural Science

M.S. Dissertation Title: "On the Timing of Conscious Experience- A Critical Review of Libet's Work"
Guide: Dr. S. Nagarkatti

Personal statement:

To begin with, it must be said that Bhaktivedanta Institute is a unique institute. I first noticed the poster advertising this course while I was studying medicine in Manipal. I was immediately attracted towards it as it offered all the subjects I really liked - physics (to which I had no access in medicine), neuroscience, evolution, artificial intelligence, philosophy and so forth. I joined the course in spite of advice against it (since I would be leaving a very noble and lucrative profession once I take up research).

Once here, the scope and breadth of this multidisciplinary field fascinated me. Consciousness has often touted as the final frontier in human understanding. Almost anything in the universe is potentially explainable within the scientific framework, whereas the questions about how we feel, sense, perceive, and other such 'subjective' qualities do not have even the beginnings of an answer. It is deeply related to the concept we have about ourselves. The relevance of consciousness studies in this fact and also the immense benefits that can accrue by unraveling and understanding the workings of the human mind. For example, advances in artificial intelligence and the cognitive sciences can result in technology that might revolutionize the way we live; or a change in the way we understand the concepts of matter, causality, time, etc., can, once again, change, in Copernican proportions, the way we look at the world.