Neural consciousness, the neural core of consciousness, neural mechanisms of consciousness, and the development of the conscious state in the brain are some of modern neuroscience’s greatest challenge. The following is a summary of a joint research study undertaken by various universities to evaluate the origin of consciousness and the factors that coordinate to bring a conscious state of the brain.
According to the study on the neural core of consciousness, the return to consciousness in the brain is triggered by two factors. These include drug related causes like anaesthesia induced unconsciousness and state related causes. The study was clearly designed to distinguish the return to consciousness behaviors from the two causes. This objective was achieved through the use of neural imaging and pattern analysis.
The effects of drug related causes of unconsciousness were eliminated by imaging the rapid response of the brain’s return to consciousness from the unconscious state. The researchers used positron emission topography to monitor brain responses resulting from drug-induced unconsciousness.
The results of the study revealed a neuro-correlation between blood flow in specific regions of the brain and return to consciousness. The brain’s recovery from anesthesia induced unconsciousness occurs in stages. The initial stage is autonomic arousal followed by reflexes of the brain stern.
After that, the brain goes to the second stage of uncoordinated somatic movements. This is characterized by the ability of recovering patients to respond to simple commands. The process is characterized by minimal cortical activity and forms the essential step for the brain’s return to neural consciousness. The results of the study also noted that the brain’s return to consciousness state did not involve large neocortical functions.
In conclusion, the study established that the brain’s return to consciousness involves the stimulation of brainstem, thalamus and arousal of the entire ACC network. Subsequently, neural consciousness arises because of the stimulation of parietal activity that includes motor awareness and movement sensations.
Langsjo, W.J et al (2012). Journal of neuroscience: Returning from oblivion: Imaging the neural core of consciousness.
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