ARTICLE REVIEW: RETURNING FROM OBLIVION: IMAGING THE NEURAL CORE OF CONSCIOUSNESS

Discovering neuro mechanisms of the consciousness while explaining how they develop the conscious state in the brain may one of modern neuroscience’s greatest challenge.  The study is an exceptional report of research undertook by various universities jointly to evaluate the origin of consciousness and the contributing factors that coordinate to bring the brain in such a state.

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According to the study, two causes trigger mind consciousness; the drug-related causes and the state related causes. The study was clearly designed to separate the return consciousness behaviors from the two causes. This was achieved through using neuroimaging and pattern analysis methodology. Effects from the drug changes were eliminated by imaging the rapid response of consciousness return from the unconscious state. The researchers use the positron emission topography for the purposes of monitoring responses resulting from the drug-induced unconsciousness.

The results of the study revealed neuro correlation between the blood flow in the region and consciousness. The recovery from anesthesia occurs in stages. The initial stage involves autonomic arousal that was f0ollowed by reflexes of the brain stern. The second stage involved uncoordinated somatic movements that are characterized by the ability of the patients to respond to simple commands. The process involves minimal cortical activity and form the essential foundation for consciousness. The results also noted that returning to the consciousness state did not involve larges neocortical functions.

In conclusion, the study established that neuro consciousness involves stimulation of brainstem, thalamus and arousal of the entire ACC network. It arises because of stimulation of parietal activity that involves motor awareness and movement sensations.

References:

Langsjo, W.J et al (2012). Journal of neuroscience: Returning from oblivion: imaging the neural core of consciousness.