After studying medicine in Zurich and Montpellier, he continued his clinical training in Zurich (physiology, psychiatry), Zug (internal medicine) and Bern (neurology). In 1981 he obtained the title of specialist in neurology. As senior physician at the Neurological University Department at the Inselspital Bern, his primary research interests were clinical neurophysiology and sleep. In 1986 he pursued a scientific study leave as Honorary Visiting Scientist at the Institute of Neurology and National Hospital for Nervous Diseases, Queen Square in London, where he was one of the first to study transcranial magnetic stimulation of the human brain and to examine motor function. In 1987 he habilitated in neurology at the Medical Faculty of Berne and in 1990 he was elected full professor and chairman of the Neurological University Hospital of Berne. His research interests include sleep, vigilance, disorders of awareness, attention and consciousness, the mechanisms of visual exploration and cortical control of oculomotor functions. Since 2012 he is Professor emeritus and still active in a voluntary capacity in several foundations and medical societies, including as president of the Baasch-Medicus Foundation and the Swiss Brain League.