A Look at the Unconscious Brain Under General Anesthesia

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National Institutes of Health
Wednesday, March 2, 2011 | 3pm EST (US and Canada) / March 3, 4am CST (China) / 8pm GMT (UK) Long > 60 min | English

Webinar Details

Description: General anesthesia is a drug-induced, reversible condition comprised of five behavioral and physiological states: unconsciousness, amnesia (loss of memory), analgesia (loss of pain sensation), akinesia (immobility), and cardiovascular, respiratory and thermoregulatory stability with control of the stress response. The mechanisms by which anesthetic drugs induce the state of general anesthesia is considered one of the biggest mysteries of modern medicine. We have been using three experimental paradigms to study general anesthesia-induced loss of consciousness in humans: combined fMRI/EEG recordings, high-density EEG recordings and intracranial recordings. These studies are allowing us to establish precise neurophysiological, neuroanatomical and behavioral correlates of general anesthesia. We will discuss the relation between our findings and two other important altered states of arousal: sleep and coma. Our findings suggest that the state of general anesthesia is not as mysterious as currently believed.

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Webinar Type: Recorded


Dr. Emery Brown
Dr. Emery Brown
Emery Brown, anesthesiologist, Professor of Computational Neuroscience at MIT, and Co-Director of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, unveils the surprising truth about exactly what happens to your brain under anesthesia and what it suggests for understanding the brain and improving treatment.

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