Conscious Perception and State

Consciousness, a perennial subject of fascination, has witnessed a surge in scientific exploration over recent decades. The primary objectives of the science of consciousness involve elucidating the neural mechanisms governing conscious states and devising methodologies for diagnosing and recovering impaired consciousness. SFIM actively contributes to this scientific realm through the utilization of cutting-edge computational and neuroimaging tools, including high-field fMRI, MEG, and pupillometry, to investigate two pivotal themes in the study of consciousness.

1. Neural Mechanisms of Consciousness

The central challenge in understanding consciousness lies in unraveling how neural processes give rise to subjective states of conscious experience. Additionally, there is an interest in discerning how diverse sources of content in conscious experiences (such as vision versus audition, or sight versus imagery) share common neural networks. Several projects within SFIM employ afterimages as a perceptual model to delve into these inquiries and explore the neural underpinnings of conscious experience.

2. Predicting Conscious Content and State

Conscious states exhibit spontaneous fluctuations influenced by neurophysiological dynamics. The ability to predict conscious states from physiological indicators holds broad significance for both experimental and clinical domains. Two specific projects in SFIM employ electrophysiology and real time pupillometry methods to forecast states of arousal/vigilance linked with conscious states (Samika, Sharif, and colleagues). Additionally, predicting the content of consciousness (i.e., the subjects of conscious perception) is crucial for accounting for variability in neural signals. Javier and colleagues are leading projects exploring how the content of conscious perception during resting-state fMRI can impact recorded activity on an individual subject basis.

Active Project