School of Bioscience
Our research group focuses on consciousness and its neural mechanisms from both a cognitive neuroscientific and philosophical perspective. This includes the study of altered states of consciousness such as sleep, anaesthesia, dreams and hypnosis; along with related topics like subjective well-being, empathy, ethics, attention, visual perception, sense of smell and cognition more broadly.
The field of research is relatively new. It integrates psychology, biology and philosophy by means of central themes such as perception, memory, language, emotion and the neural correlates of consciousness.
Research in cognitive neuroscience expands knowledge and understanding of how human abilities and characteristics are reflected in brain activity. Among other things, increased knowledge contributes to the possibility for individuals to create a healthier, more functional life.
The focus of our research in Skövde is to increase understanding of what consciousness is. There is ongoing debate in the field of consciousness studies. Among the questions to answer: is consciousness a phenomenon that can be reduced to something material or is it beyond objective explanation? That is to say, is it somehow non-material?
One way to get closer to an answer is to look at altered states of consciousness such as sleep, anaesthesia, dreams and hypnosis. Increased knowledge of the brain mechanisms underlying these states will lead to increased understanding of how "normal" human consciousness works. For now, consciousness remains an enigma unsolved, ranked among the most important unsolved problems in science.