You are viewing AANS Neurosurgeon Volume 26, Number 2, 2017. View our current issue, Volume 26, Number 4, 2017

AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 2, 2017


What Happens in the Brain During Unconsciousness?

When patients undergo major surgery, they’re often put under anesthesia to allow the brain to be in an unconscious state.

But what’s happening in the brain during that time?

Three Michigan Medicine researchers are authors on three new articles from the Center for Consciousness Science exploring this question — specifically how brain networks fragment in association with a variety of unconsciousness states.

“These studies come from a long-standing hypothesis my colleagues and I have had regarding the essential characteristic of why we are conscious and how we become unconscious, based on patterns of information transfer in the brain,” says George A. Mashour, M.D., Ph.D., professor of anesthesiology, director of the Center for Consciousness Science and associate dean for clinical and translational research at the University of Michigan Medical School.

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