Electroencephalograms may not always be a reliable reflection of consciousness, according to new research in rats[1]. Scientists are still debating just how to reliably determine whether someone is conscious. This question is of great practical importance when making medical decisions about anesthesia or treating patients in a vegetative state or coma. “EEG doesn’t necessarily correlate… Read more

General anesthesia is essential to modern medicine. It allows physicians to temporarily keep people in an unconscious state. When infusions of the anesthetic drug stop, patients gradually recover consciousness and awaken, a process called emergence. Previous studies using recordings of electrical activity in the brain have documented spontaneous changes during anesthesia. In addition, the way… Read more

Prefrontal cortex cholinergic stimulation causes wake-like behavior in anesthetized rats, researchers in the University of Michigan Medical School Center for Consciousness Science report. In the search for what controls our overall level of consciousness, researchers have traditionally focused on structures in the lower part of the brain. These structures include the brainstem (which regulates vital… Read more

Only 15 minutes of relaxing classical, jazz, and piano music before an eye surgery can lead to patients feeling less anxiety and requiring less sedation, a new study has found. Eye surgery while conscious can be highly stressful for patients. It has long been known that music can reduce anxiety, even minimising the need for… Read more