Conscious and pre-conscious processes as seen from the standpoint of sleep-waking cycle neurophysiology. Academic Article uri icon


  • The literature on state-dependent fluctuations in thalamocortical activities indicates that in electrophysiological terms, waking and paradoxical sleep are fundamentally identical states, with the provision that the handling of sensory information is altered in REM sleep. The central paradox of REM sleep, namely the apparent lack of cognitive responsiveness to sensory stimulation in spite of increased thalamocortical responsiveness to sensory stimuli, will lead us to hypothesize that the processing of sensory inputs in REM sleep is similar to that underlying preconscious processing of sensory inputs in the waking state. This will lead to a general discussion of the role of fast (approximately equal to 40 Hz) thalamocortical oscillations and temporal binding in sensory processing and conscious experience.

publication date

  • September 1995