I started my research with an interest is the (possibly non-existent) functional role conscious awareness plays in human cognition. As I have (as of yet) failed in finding anything that seems to hold as an a priori candidate for this alleged role, I pursued two different research paths. One aimed to prove that certain things, such as arithmetic, can be done without conscious awareness. The other attempted to generate empirical data on the phenomenon of conscious awareness, primarily finding out which cognitive events we become consciously aware of and why.
Recently, I submitted my dissertation showing evidence for unconscious arithmetic processing and started a post-doctoral position with Kentaro Fujitan in Ohio State University studying self-control.
I still have not given up on getting back to my original question and hope to perhaps find some hints for an answer in the way self-control requires (or does not require) consciousness.