: Neuroimaging and brain stimulation in the search for the functional architecture of consciousness

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: School of Psychology


This PhD project will use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) methods to measure how the dynamics within and between specific brain cortical and subcortical networks change in healthy human participants when manipulating their degree of internal and external awareness. We will obtain behavioural measures using tasks that aim at inducing a switch between internal processes and external world monitoring. We will modulate such processes by allowing participants to transition between wakefulness, drowsiness and sleep onset, and by altering the influence of thalamus using non-invasive neurostimulation techniques. We will analyse the data with dynamic functional and effective connectivity approaches, and with methods to investigate and summarise network properties from graph theory. This project will allow us to investigate the switch between different contents of consciousness from a behavioural and neural perspective, and observe how this balance changes while reducing the level of consciousness (through sleep) and altering the thalamic influence (with neurostimulation), with a focus on the specific neural dynamics between thalamus and relevant cortical networks.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M01116X/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
2097741 Studentship BB/M01116X/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2022 Sara Calzolari