Every night, when we fall asleep, we progressively disengage from the external environment and cease to experience it. Instead, our brain starts to generate an entire world of conscious experiences by itself, encompassing abstract thoughts, vivid images and story-like dreams. Consciousness during sleep may also fade, typically but not exclusively when we enter slow wave sleep early in the night. Which mechanisms underlie these changes in consciousness? We try to answer this question by studying how brain activity, measured with high-density EEG, relates to changes in consciousness during sleep, which we assess using serial awakening paradigms. We also investigate changes in mental activity that occur in sleep disorders, such as insomnia, sleepwalking or narcolepsy with the aim of better understanding these conditions.
Our laboratory is currently equipped with a complete high-density EEG system (Electrical Geodesics, Inc.) and with state-of-the-art complementary instruments and tools for the study of brain activity in both sleep and wake.
A comprehensive list of publications authored by Dr. Siclari can be found in the Unisciences database of the University of Lausanne.