Dr Adam B. Barrett

Lecturer in Machine Learning and Data Science

Department of Informatics

University of Sussex



Neuroscience of consciousness

The major part of my research output falls under the banner of mathematical approaches to the neuroscience of consciousness; i.e., understanding what is distinct about the particular neural structures, dynamics and functions that give rise to subjective experience.

Inspired by Integrated Information Theory, a major focus of this is on the development of potential measures of conscious level that quantify the extent to which neural dynamics simultaneously generate and integrate information. In other words, this has involved modelling and developing our mathematical understanding of neural complexity, as well as deriving statistical techniques for applying abstract measures based on this concept to neuroimaging data. Datasets analysed include EEG recordings from participants undergoing general anaesthesia, intracranial depth electrode recordings from awake and asleep epileptic patients, and MEG data from drug-induced psychedelic states.

Another area is on understanding the role of metacognition in conscious awareness (i.e., knowing about knowing), and how to model and measure this at both the behavioural and neural level.