Benjamin Baird

Benjamin Baird
University of Wisconsin–Madison | UW · Center for Sleep and Consciousness

PhD

About

47
Publications
53,864
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
4,008
Citations

Publications

Publications (47)
Article
Full-text available
A critical mystery in neuroscience lies in determining how anatomical structure impacts the complex functional dynamics of human thought. How does large-scale brain circuitry constrain states of neuronal activity and transitions between those states? We address these questions using a maximum entropy model of brain dynamics informed by white matter...
Article
Full-text available
Convergent evidence indicates that frontopolar Brodmann area 10, and more generally the anterior prefrontal cortex (aPFC), supports the human capacity to monitor and reflect on cognition and experience. An important unanswered question, however, is whether aPFC is a homogeneous region that supports a general-purpose metacognitive ability or whether...
Article
Full-text available
Consciousness never fades during waking. However, when awakened from sleep, we sometimes recall dreams and sometimes recall no experiences. Traditionally, dreaming has been identified with rapid eye-movement (REM) sleep, characterized by wake-like, globally 'activated', high-frequency electroencephalographic activity. However, dreaming also occurs...
Article
Full-text available
Lucid dreaming is a remarkable state of consciousness in which one is aware of the fact that one is dreaming while continuing to dream. Based on the strong relationship between physiological activation during rapid eye-movement sleep and lucid dreaming, our pilot research investigated whether enhancing cortical activation via acetylcholinesterease...
Article
Full-text available
Humans are typically unable to engage in sustained smooth pursuit for imagined objects. However, it is unknown to what extent smooth tracking occurs for visual imagery during REM sleep dreaming. Here we examine smooth pursuit eye movements during tracking of a slow-moving visual target during lucid dreams in REM sleep. Highly similar smooth pursuit...
Article
Study Objectives 1) To replicate the finding that lucid dreams are associated with physiological activation, including heightened REM density, during REM sleep. 2) To critically test whether a previously reported increase in frontolateral 40 Hz power in lucid REM sleep, used to justify the claim that lucid dreaming is a “hybrid state” mixing sleep...
Article
Evidence suggests continuity between cognition in waking and sleeping states. However, one type of cognition that may differ is episodic thoughts of the past and future. The current study investigated this across waking, NREM sleep and REM sleep. We analyzed thought reports obtained from a large sample of individuals (N = 138) who underwent experie...
Article
Dreamers were long thought absolutely isolated from the outside world. Yet psychophysiological studies over the past 40 years have firmly established that lucid dreamers can use eye movements to report on their dream content in real time while in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. We now also know that sensory input is not completely suppresssed durin...
Chapter
Lucid dreaming occurs when one recognizes that one is dreaming during ongoing sleep. This unique state is an emerging area of scientific research and a promising method for the study of dreaming. Lucid dreams can be objectively verified on a polysomnogram through volitional eye movements. Lucid dreams occur during REM sleep and are associated with...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The aim of the study was to investigate differences in cortical networks based on the state of consciousness. Five subjects performed a serial-awakening paradigm with electroencephalography (EEG) recordings. We considered four states of consciousness: (1) non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep with no conscious experience, (2) NREM sleep with consciou...
Article
Full-text available
The neuronal connectivity patterns that differentiate consciousness from unconsciousness remain unclear. Previous studies have demonstrated that effective connectivity, as assessed by transcranial magnetic stimulation combined with electroencephalography (TMS–EEG), breaks down during the loss of consciousness. This study investigated changes in EEG...
Article
Full-text available
Lucid dreaming refers to the phenomenon of becoming aware of the fact that one is dreaming during ongoing sleep. Despite having been physiologically validated for decades, the neurobiology of lucid dreaming is still incompletely characterized. Here we review the neuroscientific literature on lucid dreaming, including electroencephalographic, neuroi...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Humans typically lack awareness that they are dreaming while dreaming. However, at times a remarkable exception occurs and reflective consciousness can be regained while dreaming, referred to as lucid dreaming. While most individuals experience lucid dreams rarely there is substantial variance in lucid dream frequency. The neurobiological...
Article
Strong conceptual and theoretical connections have been made between meditation practice, mindfulness, and lucid dreaming. However, only a handful of empirical studies have evaluated the relationship between lucid dreaming and meditation, and conclusions remain tempered by methodological limitations. In this study, we evaluated the relationship bet...
Article
Full-text available
It is often assumed that during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep the cerebral cortex homogenously shows electroencephalogram (EEG) activity highly similar to wakefulness. However, to date no studies have compared neural oscillatory activity in human REM sleep to resting wakefulness with high spatial sampling. In the current study, we evaluated high-r...
Data
Supplementary procedures and results. (DOCX)
Data
Prediction of lucidity from dimensions of consciousness (DIM) using binary logistic regression rank-ordered by predictive value. (DOCX)
Data
Bayesian classification of lucidity from DIMs. (DOCX)
Data
Examples of narrative reports classified as lucid dreams. (DOCX)
Article
Full-text available
Thoughts occur during wake as well as during dreaming sleep. Using experience sampling combined with high-density EEG, we investigated the phenomenal qualities and neural correlates of spontaneously occurring thoughts across wakefulness, non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, and REM sleep. Across all states, thoughts were associated with activation...
Preprint
Consciousness never fades during wake. However, if awakened from sleep, sometimes we report dreams and sometimes no experiences. Traditionally, dreaming has been identified with REM sleep, characterized by a wake-like, globally "activated", high-frequency EEG. However, dreaming also occurs in NREM sleep, characterized by prominent low-frequency act...
Article
Alternative views of the nature of consciousness posit that awareness of an object is either an all-or-none phenomenon or that awareness can be partial, occurring independently for different levels of representation. The all-or-none hypothesis predicts that when one feature of an object is identified, all other features should be consciously access...
Article
Full-text available
The neural mechanisms that mediate metacognitive ability (the capacity to accurately reflect on one's own cognition and experience) remain poorly understood. An important question is whether metacognitive capacity is a domain-general skill supported by a core neuroanatomical substrate or whether regionally specific neural structures underlie accura...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter, we first consider the respective roles of unconscious, conscious, and metaconscious processes. We then focus on two topic areas that have revealed the value of a tripartite distinction of consciousness: mind-wandering and awareness of emotions. Last, we consider some future directions in which consideration of the construct of meta...
Article
Full-text available
Contemplative mental practices aim to enable individuals to develop greater awareness of their own cognitive and affective states through repeated examination of first-person experience. Recent cross-sectional studies of long-term meditation practitioners suggest that the subjective reports of such individuals are better calibrated with objective i...
Article
Full-text available
The mind flows in a "stream of consciousness," which often neglects immediate sensory input in favor of focusing on intrinsic, self-generated thoughts or images. Although considerable research has documented the disruptive influences of task-unrelated thought for perceptual processing and task performance, the brain dynamics associated with these p...
Article
Full-text available
Reading is a fundamental human capacity and yet it can easily be derailed by the simple act of mind-wandering. A large-scale brain network, referred to as the default mode network (DMN), has been shown to be involved in both mind-wandering and reading, raising the question as to how the same neural system could be implicated in processes with both...
Article
Full-text available
Although mind-wandering during silent reading is well documented, to date no research has investigated whether similar processes occur during reading aloud. In the present study, participants read a passage either silently or aloud while periodically being probed about mind-wandering. Although their comprehension accuracies were similar for both re...
Article
Full-text available
Given that the ability to attend to a task without distraction underlies performance in a wide variety of contexts, training one's ability to stay on task should result in a similarly broad enhancement of performance. In a randomized controlled investigation, we examined whether a 2-week mindfulness-training course would decrease mind wandering and...
Chapter
non-commercial research and educational use only. Not for reproduction, distribution or commercial use. This chapter was originally published in the book The Psychology of Learning and Motivation, Vol. 60, published by Elsevier, and the attached copy is provided by Elsevier for the author's benefit and for the benefit of the author's institution, f...
Article
Full-text available
Although anecdotes that creative thoughts often arise when one is engaged in an unrelated train of thought date back thousands of years, empirical research has not yet investigated this potentially critical source of inspiration. We used an incubation paradigm to assess whether performance on validated creativity problems (the Unusual Uses Task, or...
Article
Full-text available
Although consciousness can be brought to bear on both perceptual and internally generated information, little is known about how these different cognitive modes are coordinated. Here we show that between-participant variance in thoughts unrelated to the task being performed (known as task unrelated thought, TUT) is associated with longer response t...
Article
Full-text available
Tests of working memory capacity (WMC) and fluid intelligence (gF) are thought to capture variability in a crucial cognitive capacity that is broadly predictive of success, yet pinpointing the exact nature of this capacity is an area of ongoing controversy. We propose that mind-wandering is associated with performance on tests of WMC and gF, thereb...
Article
Given that as much as half of human thought arises in a stimulus independent fashion, it would seem unlikely that such thoughts would play no functional role in our lives. However, evidence linking the mind-wandering state to performance decrement has led to the notion that mind-wandering primarily represents a form of cognitive failure. Based on p...

Network

Cited By