Public Defence: Bjørn Erik Juel

M.Sc. Bjørn Erik Juel at Institute of Basic Medical Sciences will be defending the thesis “Electrophysiological Markers of Consciousness: Measures of connectivity, complexity, and signal diversity in EEG for distinguishing between conscious and unconscious brain states” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

Photo: Private

Trial Lecture – time and place

See Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Professor Antti Revonsuo, University of Skövde, Sweden
  • Second opponent: Researcher Francesca Siclari, Lausanne University Hospital, Switzerland
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Professor Erik Taubøll, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Professor II Bjørnar Hassel, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Professor Johan Frederik Storm, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo


Can we know whether someone is conscious by looking solely at the activity of their brain? If so, what is it about the patterns of their brain activity that is particular for when they are having some conscious experience? Perhaps there are markers in the brain activity that are always observable when someone is conscious, but that are never observable when they are unconscious?

In an attempt to answer such questions, we obtained measurements of electrical brain activity from patients and healthy volunteers in both conscious and unconscious states. Using these measurements, we tried to find particular markers in the recorded brain activity that differed predictably between conscious and unconscious states, and that could be used to precisely and objectively classify individuals as conscious or unconscious.

We found that several of the markers we tested could be used to accurately classify the state of consciousness in patients and healthy controls. Hopefully, the work presented here will become useful for tools for objective monitoring of the conscious state in patients, and be informative for expanding our scientific understanding of the phenomenon consciousness.

Additional information

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Published Apr. 11, 2019 11:30 AM - Last modified Apr. 11, 2019 8:48 PM