Making Waves in Consciousness Research

  title={Making Waves in Consciousness Research},
  author={Nicholas D. Schiff},
  journal={Science Translational Medicine},
  pages={198fs32 - 198fs32}
  • N. Schiff
  • Published 14 August 2013
  • Biology
  • Science Translational Medicine
A new strategy for quantifying consciousness may have broad applications in the clinic and the lab. A new strategy for quantifying consciousness in human brains may have broad applications in the clinic and in neurobiology research labs (Casali et al., this issue). 

Consciousness and integrated energy differences in the brain

By reconsidering the nature of energy and recasting its role in neural activity, the argument draws on the integrated information theory developed by Tononi et al. but reinterprets their findings from the perspective of energy exchange.

Encircling the Consciousness Conundrum

This chapter argues that at the current state of theorising the information integration theory (IIT) as developed by Edelman and Tononi and its subsequent supplementation through the work of Koch and his research team represents the most rigorously articulated and empirically testable hypothesis available on the topic.

Nonconsensual withdrawal of nutrition and hydration in prolonged disorders of consciousness: authoritarianism and trustworthiness in medicine

These guidelines are not only harmful to patients and families, but they represent the means of nonconsensual euthanasia and would constitute a gross violation of the public’s trust in the integrity of the medical profession.



A Theoretically Based Index of Consciousness Independent of Sensory Processing and Behavior

An electroencephalographic-derived index of human consciousness that reflects the information content of the brain’s response to a magnetic stimulus is defined, and appears to be a robust measure that distinguishes conscious from unconscious states well enough to be used on an individual basis, a prerequisite for deployment in the clinic.

Willful modulation of brain activity in disorders of consciousness.

It is shown that a small proportion of patients in a vegetative or minimally conscious state have brain activation reflecting some awareness and cognition, and this technique may be useful in establishing basic communication with patients who appear to be unresponsive.

Mean-field modeling of thalamocortical dynamics and a model-driven approach to EEG analysis

A preliminary study tests the role of the central thalamus in the organization of patterns of cortical interactions and suggests how indexes of thalamocortical dynamics can be extracted from the EEG by analyzing the EEG of a patient with chronic brain injury, who has a marked improvement in behavior and frontal brain metabolism in response to zolpidem.

Dissociations between behavioural and functional magnetic resonance imaging-based evaluations of cognitive function after brain injury.

Observations reveal significant challenges in developing validated functional magnetic resonance imaging-based methods for clinical use and raise interesting questions about underlying brain function assayed using these methods in brain-injured subjects.

Diagnostic accuracy of the vegetative and minimally conscious state: Clinical consensus versus standardized neurobehavioral assessment

Standardized neurobehavioral assessment is a more sensitive means of establishing differential diagnosis in patients with disorders of consciousness when compared to diagnoses determined by clinical consensus.

Placebo-controlled trial of amantadine for severe traumatic brain injury.

Amantadine accelerated the pace of functional recovery during active treatment in patients with post-traumatic disorders of consciousness, indicating a benefit with respect to the primary outcome measure.

Longitudinal outcome of patients with disordered consciousness in the NIDRR TBI Model Systems Programs.

People with DOC at the time of admission to inpatient rehabilitation showed functional improvement throughout early recovery and in years post-injury.

Willful modulation of brain activity in disorders of consciousness.