Dreams, Phantasms and Memories Keynote Speaker

Keynote Speaker

Keynote Speaker – Professor Katja Valli

Katja Valli, PhD, is currently a Senior Researcher at the Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland, and an Associate Professor in Cognitive Neuroscience at the Department of Cognitive Neuroscience and Philosophy, University of Skövde, Sweden. Her research mainly focuses on the simulation theories of the evolutionary function of dreaming, and the content and neural correlates of consciousness and dreaming. She has published extensively on the Threat Simulation Theory of dreaming which suggest that in our ancestors dreaming about threatening events in the safe environment of sleep might have served a rehearsal function, and enhanced the neurocognitive mechanisms involved in the recognition and avoidance of threats. More recently, she has been conducting research on the Social Simulation Theory, which takes into account the importance of the social environment in human evolution, suggesting that dreams might also function as rehearsal of social perception, cognition, and interaction. Her second line of research aims at understanding the neural mechanisms of conscious experiences in general, and dreaming in particular. She utilizes sleep and anesthesia, two states of consciousness when experiences may be present vs absent, in conjunction with electroencephalography and brain imaging methods, to investigate the differences in brain activity patterns between conscious and non-conscious states. She has published over 40 international journal articles and book chapters on dreaming and consciousness, and served as the President (2013-2015), Vice-President (2012-2013), Board member (2007 onwards) and Research Committee chair (2009 onwards) of the International Association for the Study of Dreams, and as the treasurer of the Finnish Sleep Research Association (2011-2015).

Last modified: 13.03.2018