How can we begin to explain the relationship between our brains and our conscious experience? This problem has vexed philosophers, and more recently neuroscientists, at least since the time of Descartes. Here Anil Seth, a neuroscientist, suggests a way forward. In contrast with what David Chalmers has called the Hard Problem of consciousness (the difficulty of explaining the phenomena of conscious experience in purely physical terms), Anil outlines an approach which he has dubbed the 'Real Problem' of consciousness. Anil is a Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow.