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Waking and dreaming consciousness: Neurobiological and functional considerations

Authors
Publisher
Pergamon Press
Publication Date
Volume
98
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.pneurobio.2012.05.003
Keywords
  • Article

Abstract

Highlights ► We present a theoretical review of sleep with a special focus on pontine-geniculate-occipital waves and what they tell us about sleep and consciousness. ► We review the nature and purpose of sleep in terms of protoconsciousness and predictive coding, using the free energy principle. ► By combining these theoretical perspectives, we discover answers to some fundamental questions: such as why is homeothermy suspended during sleep? Why is sleep necessary? Why are we not surprised by our dreams? What is the role of synaptic regression in sleep? ► In brief, we show that the brain can optimize itself during sleep by minimizing the statistical complexity of its model of the waking world. ► The implicit optimization processes are remarkably consistent with the known neurobiology of sleep and provide testable predictions about its functional anatomy.

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