Article Image
News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

Researchers measure consciousness through brain activity

 Sci­en­tists de­vel­oped a test of con­sciousness based on the con­cept—a test that does­n’t re­quire a pa­tient to ac­tu­ally do an­y­thing, they said.

Con­scious­ness is elu­sive, but we know it’s what van­ishes when we fall in­to a deep sleep and reap­pears when we wake up. Doc­tors typ­ic­ally de­ter­mine if a per­son is con­scious by their abil­ity to pro­cess and re­spond to ex­ter­nal com­mands, such as “open your eyes” or “squeeze my hand.” 

But these meth­ods are su­per­fi­cial, as re­search has shown in the last dec­ade that a brain to­tally dis­con­nect­ed from the out­side world may still have some aware­ness. This may hap­pen in brain-injured pa­tients who emerge from a co­ma but can’t move or un­der­stand in­struc­tions, for ex­am­ple.

One the­o­ry is that in a con­scious brain, dif­fer­ent popula­t­ions of neu­rons, or nerve cells, car­ry out their own com­puta­t­ional roles, but can’t com­mu­ni­cate with oth­er neu­ron popula­t­ions.

Join us on our Social Networks:


Share this page with your friends on your favorite social network: