I'm a scientist who studies sleep, attention and consciousness in animals. Ask Me Anything!
Hi, I'm Associate Professor Bruno van Swinderen. Why and how do we sleep and what is consciousness? Are all animals that sleep by definition conscious when they are awake? I study fruit flies and have recently published research which shows that flies have distinct sleep stages. General anaesthetics abolish consciousness in humans, but how do they really work? My research shows that common mechanisms might be involved in all animals. What do sleep and general anaesthesia together tell us about how the brain works?
EDIT: Thanks for all of the discussion everyone! I'll be tuning out now and leaving this stimulating discussion to the rest of you. I appreciate your questions and hope some of my answers made sense. We'll see how the research goes.
EDIT: If you're interested in learning more, I explain more on this episode of A Grey Matter podcast, out today.