A Systematic Exploration of the Multi-scale Brain Processes Underlying Conscious Perception

TWCF0562

Director: Theofanis Panagiotaropoulos

Institution: Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale

Consciousness is one of the biggest unresolved mysteries in science. Until now, research on consciousness has relied either on measurements of brain signals from methods that provide whole-brain coverage (fMRI, MEG, EcoG), but are limited to spatiotemporal resolution, or on direct electrophysiological recordings of small neuronal populations, but in one brain area at a time. This project, led by Theofanis Panagiotaropoulos at NeuroSpin, focuses on developing more advanced techniques to overcome such limitations.

Current methods are not sufficient to resolve the coordination patterns of brain activity at multiple scales that range from single neurons and paired interactions to intermediate- and large-scale neuronal networks. Probing these scales requires simultaneous, high-density, recordings of neuronal populations and their interactions in large-scale brain networks. With an Accelerating Research on Consciousness grant, the team aims to fill this gap in knowledge about consciousness and provide novel insights into the complex neuronal mechanisms that characterize conscious perception. The applicants plan to first record electrophysiological activity during a paradigm of multistable conscious visual perception and hierarchical predictive coding (which requires conscious perception). The recordings will sample brain activity at multiple scales simultaneously (from single neurons to intermediate- and large-scale brain networks).

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