Share this article:
An On-Off Switch For Consciousness
Imagine turning off consciousness just like you turn off a light, with a flip of the switch. Doctors at George Washington University discovered that they could control consciousness by using electrodes to deliver tiny jolts of electricity to a particular brain region. It was when they stimulated the claustrum that their patient ignored commands and stared blankly into space. Watch this video to learn more.
From HuffPost Science:
“Dr. Mohamad Koubeissi and his team observed the phenomenon while mapping electrodes implanted in the woman’s brain as part of an attempt to determine the origin of her seizures. They activated the electrodes one by one, sending a pulse of electricity to various brain areas. When they stimulated a sheet-like area of neurons called the claustrum, Koubeissi noticed something odd: rather than responding to commands, the woman was just staring blankly into space.”
The study was published online in Epilepsy & Behavior.
Studies such as this one lead us to think about what exactly it means to be conscious. The Claustrum, the first book to explore the cognitive and clinical implications of the claustrum’s functionality, helps us out by exploring this topic in detail! Take a look below at chapter 14.
The scientific study of the nervous system is entering a new golden age. Researchers and clinicians continue to advance the treatment of conditions such as Alzheimer’s syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and traumatic brain injury. Public initiatives like the federal Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) program in the United States, announced in April 2013, ensure that funding and resources will continue to be applied to this rapidly growing field. Elsevier’s journals, books, eBooks, online references, and tools are respected around the world for everything from physiology and pathology to behavioral genetics and nerve repair. Our publications are a gateway to the latest advancements in neuroscience research and leading-edge data for professionals, students, and academics alike.