Integrating the Science of Consciousness and Anesthesia

Department of Anesthesia, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.
Anesthesia and analgesia (Impact Factor: 3.47). 11/2006; 103(4):975-82. DOI: 10.1213/01.ane.0000232442.69757.4a
Source: PubMed


The nature and mechanism of human consciousness is emerging as one of the most important scientific and philosophical questions of the 21st century. Disregarded as a subject of serious inquiry throughout most of the 20th century, it has now regained legitimacy as a scientific endeavor. The investigation of consciousness and the mechanisms of general anesthesia have begun to converge. In the present article I provide an introduction to the study of consciousness, describe the neural correlates of consciousness that may be targets of general anesthetics, and suggest an integrated approach to the science of consciousness and anesthesia.

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