Rest/full displays brain activity in real time of a subject doing…nothing. The instructions to the volunteer were simply to rest in the scanner with eyes open. The scanner, using functional MRI, took a highly detailed 3D image of the brain every second. Rest/full extracts just the cerebral cortex for animation. At every point on the cortex, as brain activity increases the color brightens and reddens.
In this animation, we see the ceaseless and all-over activity of the brain even at rest. Or to put it another way, the brain is never at rest. Or in still other words, our conscious life never pauses in the unwinding and unfolding story that is each of us.
(Data courtesy of the Human Connectome Project. Processed and visualized using Matlab, by D. Lloyd.)
Dan Lloyd is the Thomas C. Brownell Professor of Philosophy and a Professor of Neuroscience at Trinity College, Connecticut. He is the author/editor of Subjective Time: The philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience of temporality (co-edited with Valtteri Arstila), MIT Press, 2014; Radiant Cool: a novel theory of consciousness, an exploration of consciousness presented as noir detective fiction, MIT Press, 2004; and Simple Minds, a philosophical examination of scientific approaches to the mind and brain. Bradford Books/MIT Press, 1989. He has presented his animations and sonifications of brain activity in the US, Great Britain, Europe, and (now) Australia.