consciousness

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

Human behavior is typically elucidated in terms of unseen entities such as motivation, curiosity, anxiety and confidence. What has been unclear is whether these mental entities are coded by specific neurons in specific areas of the brain. Professor Adam Kepecs at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has answered some of these questions in new research. The… Read more

Scientists at Imperial College London have gazed inside the brain to show how taking DMT alters human consciousness by considerably changing the brain’s electrical activity. DMT (or dimethyltryptamine) is one of the main psychoactive constituents in ayahuasca, the psychedelic brew traditionally made from vines and leaves of the Amazon rainforest. The drink is typically prepared… Read more

Explaining how something as complex as consciousness can emerge from a grey, jelly-like lump of tissue in the head is arguably the greatest scientific challenge of our time. The brain is an extraordinarily complex organ, consisting of almost 100 billion cells – known as neurons – each connected to 10,000 others, yielding some ten trillion… Read more

A new theory, inspired by thermodynamics, takes a high-level perspective of how neural networks in the brain transiently organize to give rise to memories, thought and consciousness. The key to awareness is the ebb and flow of energy: when neurons functionally tag together to support information processing, their activity patterns synchronize like ocean waves. This… Read more