Toward a Unified Theory of Narcosis: Brain Imaging Evidence for a Thalamocortical Switch as the Neurophysiologic Basis of Anesthetic-Induced Unconsciousness
Consciousness and Cognition 9 (3):370-386 (2000)
A unifying theory of general anesthetic-induced unconsciousness must explain the common mechanism through which various anesthetic agents produce unconsciousness. Functional-brain-imaging data obtained from 11 volunteers during general anesthesia showed specific suppression of regional thalamic and midbrain reticular formation activity across two different commonly used volatile agents. These findings are discussed in relation to findings from sleep neurophysiology and the implications of this work for consciousness research. It is hypothesized that the essential common neurophysiologic mechanism underlying anesthetic-induced unconsciousness is, as with sleep-induced unconsciousness, a hyperpolarization block of thalamocortical neurons. A model of anesthetic-induced unconsciousness is introduced to explain how the plethora of effects anesthetics have on cellular functioning ultimately all converge on a single neuroanatomic/neurophysiologic system, thus providing for a unitary physiologic theory of narcosis related to consciousness
|Keywords||*Consciousness States *General Anesthetics *Neurons *Reticular Formation *Thalamus Neuroanatomy Neurophysiology|
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Citations of this work BETA
Propofol Induction Reduces the Capacity for Neural Information Integration: Implications for the Mechanism of Consciousness and General Anesthesia.UnCheol Lee, George A. Mashour, Seunghwan Kim, Gyu-Jeong Noh & Byung-Moon Choi - 2009 - Consciousness and Cognition 18 (1):56-64.
The Thalamic Dynamic Core Theory of Conscious Experience.Lawrence M. Ward - 2011 - Consciousness and Cognition 20 (2):464-486.
Invariant Reversible QEEG Effects of Anesthetics.E. R. John, L. S. Prichep, W. Kox, P. Valdes-Sosa, J. Bosch-Bayard, E. Aubert, M. Tom, F. diMichele & L. D. Gugino - 2001 - Consciousness and Cognition 10 (2):165-183.
Subjective Experience is Probably Not Limited to Humans: The Evidence From Neurobiology and Behavior.Bernard J. Baars - 2005 - Consciousness and Cognition 14 (1):7-21.
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