I’m interested in understanding the neural correlates of conscious awareness from two different perspective:

1. Link dynamic changes during different states of consciousness (sleep, anesthesia, seizures) with the phenomenology of consciousness. Do the dynamic changes we observe in neuroimaging agree or contradict our subjective experience of what the loss of consciousness is like?

2. The physical substrate of consciousness awareness: current models of consciousness focus on neurobiological accounts of how integration and broadcasting of information in the cortex leads to conscious awareness. However, the physical laws the human brain uses to achieve this amazing feat are not unique to biological systems: criticality, metastability, divergence of correlations, all are critical for the aforementioned theories but can be explained by physics (statistical mechanics). These are proposed as necessary (but not sufficient) conditions for consciousness to emerge in the brain.


Loss of persistent neural activity during sleep is correlated with the emergence of slow rhythms.

Journal reference:

Tagliazucchi, E., von Wegner, F., Morzelewski, A., Brodbeck, V., Jahnke, K., Laufs, H. (2013) Breakdown of long-range temporal dependence in default mode and attention networks during deep sleep. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA.