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Lived Experience in the Behavioral Neuroscience of Sleep: Conceptual, Methodological, and Ethical Implications

Nemati, Nedah (2022) Lived Experience in the Behavioral Neuroscience of Sleep: Conceptual, Methodological, and Ethical Implications. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Neuroscience is widely thought to shed light on core questions about what it means to be human. The neuroscience literature is also animated by an urgency to render our behaviors knowable through the discipline’s tools and procedures. For example, by studying insect sleep, scientists seek to understand – and in some ways succeed in characterizing – a human process long deemed inaccessible and the opposite of consciousness.

Meanwhile, key questions – What is sleep? Where is sleep? Why do humans do it? How can sleep be improved? – resist compact answers and demand novel philosophical insight to link neuroscientific facts to our behavioral experiences.

This dissertation applies historical and philosophical approaches to the neuroscientific study of sleep to argue that explaining behavioral experiences relies on lived experience. Examining the study of insect sleep, the first half of the dissertation explores the necessity of these lived experiences in neurobiological studies today, as well as how they have taken shape in the past. The second half of the dissertation then investigates what is lost – philosophically, scientifically, and socially – when the role of lived experience is neglected in empirical investigations.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Nemati, Nedahnnn10@pitt.edunnn100000-0001-9426-766X
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairChirimuuta,
Committee ChairAllen,
Committee MemberMichael,
Committee MemberJames,
Date: 12 October 2022
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 31 May 2022
Approval Date: 12 October 2022
Submission Date: 3 June 2022
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 156
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > History and Philosophy of Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: sleep; philosophy of neuroscience; lived experience
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2022 15:52
Last Modified: 03 May 2024 12:30


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