Where do we go when we go to sleep?

Dr Lauren N. Whitehurst

We think of sleep as a period of relaxation and recuperation, but while we snooze, our brains remain incredibly busy, often with intriguing "side effects" like dreams and sleepwalking. What does the mind get up to when we're not paying attention?

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When we all fall asleep, where do we go?

Have you ever been told you've been talking in your sleep, or woken up from a strange dream, and wondered what your brain's been up to behind your back?

Just because we are unconscious, and have no memory for the greater part of our sleep, does not mean that we're in a passive state. It's rich, diverse and precious, yet still fascinatingly mysterious. So what then is life like within sleep?

One of our all-time favourite Garden Fellows, Dr. Lauren N. Whitehurst, is at the forefront of research into the sleeping brain. A neuroscientist and professor of Psychology at the University of Kentucky, she’ll be joining us live in The Garden to explore the history and science of sleep and answer your questions about what's happening in your brain when your conscious mind isn't looking.

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50 minutes


The Unconscious Mind

About the Fellow

Dr Lauren N. Whitehurst

Lauren is an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky. In her lab, she studies what affects our sleep, and how that in turn affects our waking behaviour.

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The Unconscious Mind Collection

The unconscious mind is a vast unmapped territory of feelings, thoughts, urges and memories that sit just outside our awareness. Luckily, our intrepid Garden Fellows are at the forefront of exploring it, and they're taking you with them on the journey.