Wednesday, June 15, 2011

HOW COOL.This could lead to locating brain regions for consciousness. SCIENCE ROCKS.

Real-Time Video: First Look at a Brain Losing Consciousness Under Anesthesia
By Maia Szalavitz Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What happens to your brain as it slips into unconsciousness? A new technique allows researchers to view real-time 3-D images of a patient undergoing anesthesia using the drug propofol, and the findings show that consciousness isn't suddenly switched off, but rather fades as though a dimmer is being dialed down.

The research also suggests that consciousness resides in the connections between multiple parts of the brain, not in any single region. The images show that changes in the anesthetized brain start in the midbrain, where certain receptors for a neurotransmitter called GABA are plentiful.

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