Mind-wandering and Sleep

Mind-wandering and Sleep

Our brain consumes more energy than the rest of our body - a story we have been told before. What many of us don't know: most of this consumed energy is not used for active perception - but rather internal processes, establishing our connection with ourselves. In this workshop we will discover two of these internal processes: mind-wandering and sleep.

Mind-wandering, daydreaming, or: "spontaneous self-generated thought" is one of the most fascinating topics in modern neuroscience. Depending on who we ask, we spend 30-50% of our waking hour wandering off to other places. Mind-wandering has been called inefficient and depressing but also a space for creativity and disobedience. What role does mind-wandering play in our lives? Are our thoughts free when they wander?

The 20th century emergence of global economic and political infrastructures for continuous work, consumption and surveillance have led to drastic changes in the way we sleep and when we sleep. Neoliberal or advanced capitalist systems have prioritized the values of productivity, efficiency and security for which sleep is a natural obstacle. We propose to share our ideas on the relationship between sleep, contemporary society and the future of neuroscience in a "sleep-themed" cocktail bar. We will offer drinks with hypnotic effects, using over-the-counter sedative substances such as lavender, tryptophan, and magnesium. While mixing and mingling throughout the space, attendees will be able to hear recordings based on fictional and scientific texts about sleep. We intend to create the ultimate drinking experience within and without awareness.