#NCIntroduces… Sleep science

Written by Tom Naughton, UCL Cancer Institute (London, UK)

Consciousness is a famously tricky concept, and definitions of it vary. At a very basic level, though, it could be described as a sense. Or, rather, a variety of sensations. At its heart, consciousness is a tool that helps our species, and many others, to survive. We use it to understand changes in our environment and respond to them appropriately. And it has developed as we have, helping us to respond to more complex problems as time goes on. As a result, our species prospered. But there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Consciousness is also an energy-intensive process,...

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