Academy of Finland
Funding decision
Name Revonsuo, Antti
Organisation TY
Project title The Conscious Mind: Integrating subjective phenomenology with objective measurements
Decision No. 266434
Decision date 13.12.2012
Funding period 01.01.2013 - 31.12.2016
Funding 610 438
WebFOCUS Report
Project description
The Conscious Mind -project focused on states of consciousness. The function of dreaming was studied by developing a new theory, Social Simulation Theory, which showed that one of the functions of dreaming may be the rehearsal of social interaction. Social interaction is more common in dreams than during waking. In another line of research, we measured subjective experiences, language processing, and brain activity, as subjects faded into an unresponsive state due to drug-induced general anesthesia. Nearly all participants recalled dreaming during unresponsiveness. The meaning of words presented during anesthesia was processed in the brain at an unconscious level. However, the brain was unable to combine the presented words into complex sentences, and the participants were unable to recall the sentences later. The findings indicate that consciousness is not necessarily fully lost during general anaesthesia, even though the person is no longer responding to the environment.