Relationship between auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) and subjective experience in waking and sleep

[Speaker] Takahara, Madoka:1
[Co-author] Dentico, Daniela:2, Boly, Melanie:2, Tononi, Giulio:2
1:Fukushima University (Japan), 2:University of Wisconsin-Madison (United States of America)

Our aim was to investigate electrophysiological correlates of subjective experience across behavioral states. The experiments involved waking and sleep high-density EEG recordings on 8 young healthy volunteers. During waking, a sequence of pure tones was played while the participants were (1) in resting state, (2) attending to the sounds, (3) watching a short movie, and (4) performing an imagery task. During sleep, data were acquired in N2, N3, and REM. After each session, the participants were prompted by an alarm sound to report how intensely they had heard the sequence of tones. During waking, ERP responses were observed across conditions which corresponded to the subjective awareness of the tones. Although during sleep, we found no difference between deviant and standard tones, an N1-like component was elicited when the participants reported hearing the tones. This work will increase our understanding of the neurophenomenology of disconnection from the environment during sleep.
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