Vernet Lab Action, Thought and Perception

Neural substrates of Spontaneous Thoughts

When awake, most of us believe we are experiencing a stream of consciousness, which would be made of external or internal images, sounds and other sensations, or words (e.g., when talking to ourselves). To explore such conscious experience, many neuroscience studies have focused on characterizing the neural substrate of the content of consciousness (being conscious of a face vs. of a house). Other studies have characterized various states of consciousness (awake, asleep with or without dreaming, anesthesia, disorders of consciousness…) Our research aims to bridge the gap between content and state studies of consciousness. For this, we are exploring the neural correlates not only of the content, but also of the vividness and quality of spontaneous thoughts in humans.