ABC Radio National’s 15-minute science programme Ockham’s Razor discusses the philosophy and neuroscience of qualia – the conscious experience of sensation.
The importance of qualia is hotly debated within cognitive science. Some argue that it is the essential thing to explain in consciousness, with others arguing that either it is a red-herring and no more worthy of scientific explanation than phlogiston, or simply that it is too complex to explain.
Nevertheless, neuroscientist Colin Hales does an admirable job of discussing the current thinking on the topic, and outlining the potential links between qualia and brain states.
Realaudio or transcript of Ockam’s Razor on qualia.