abstract Enzo Tagliazucchi

Enzo Tagliazucchi (Brain Imaging Center, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany)

Intrinsic brain activity fluctuations: insights from states of diminished conscious awareness

In recent years, we have seen a flood of papers studying intrinsic brain activity during wakeful rest ("resting state") and its use as a tool to understand brain function, as well as to develop biomarkers for different diseases. In spite of many interesting results, there is little consensus about the answer of very basic questions regarding these spontaneous, intrinsic brain activity fluctuations. What is their origin? What is their function? Are they related to conscious awareness and spontaneous thought? In this talk, we will first present many different plausible answers to this questions, and we will then show what we can learn about them by the study of brain activity during the different states of vigilance and awareness we experience as we fall into deep sleep each night. As a result of this study, we expect to gain insights not only on resting state brain activity during wakeful rest, but also on the mechanisms which underlie loss of consciousness in the descent to deep sleep.