Interfaculty Research Cooperation - Decoding Sleep

Thalamus, sleep, cognition and consciousness: Insights from patients with brain damage

Brain with highlighted thalamic region

In a first subproject (Thalamic stroke and sleep), we aim to investigate the specific contribution of Thalamus in sleep and to gather more knowledge on how sleep intervenes in the functional recovery after an ischemic thalamic stroke. Our approach will include the examination of structural and functional thalamic alterations, changes in sleep architecture as well as the clinical outcome in terms of memory and motor impairments.

In a second subproject (Deep brain stimulation and minimally conscious state), we will use multimodal electrophysiological (high-density EEG, intracranial recordings from deep brain stimulation electrodes) and neuroimaging tools to study cortical and subcortical networks that are involved in the consciousness system. We aim to use deep brain stimulation as a tool to increase our understanding on the neurobiology of consciousness and explore its potential as a dynamic modulator of the underlying network. Our approach will include a wide spectrum of consciousness states from wakefulness to states of altered consciousness during sleep (parasomnias) and to states with disturbed consciousness as featured in disorders of consciousness (e.g. minimally conscious state, vegetative state etc).