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Consciousness Integration and Complexity

I Pappas, R M Adapa, D K Menon, E A Stamatakis
The precise mechanism of anaesthetic action on a neural level remains unclear. Recent approaches suggest that anaesthetics attenuate the complexity of interactions (connectivity) however evidence remains insufficient. We used tools from network and information theory to show that, during propofol-induced sedation, a collection of brain regions displayed decreased complexity in their connectivity patterns, especially so if they were sparsely connected. Strikingly, we found that, despite their low connectivity strengths, these regions exhibited an inordinate role in network integration...
November 1, 2018: NeuroImage
Felix Tretter
Psychiatric illnesses like dementia are increasingly relevant for public health affairs. Neurobiology promises progress in diagnosis and treatment of these illnesses and exhibits a rapid increase of knowledge by new neurotechnologies. In order to find generic patterns in huge neurobiological data sets and by exploring formal brain models, non-linear science offers many examples of fruitful insights into the complex dynamics of neuronal information processing. However, it should be minded that neurobiology neither can bridge the explanatory gap between brain and mind nor can substitute psychological and psychiatric categories and knowledge...
October 2018: Chaos
Caterina Feltrin, Jennifer M Newton, Georgina Willetts
AIM: To increase understanding of strategies graduate nurses use on a day-to-day basis to integrate themselves into pre-existing social frameworks. BACKGROUND: Being a graduate nurse and transitioning from a novice to beginner in the first year of clinical practice is stressful, challenging and overwhelming due to steep learning curves and adjusting to working in professional environments. How graduate nurses socially adapt and fit into ward cultures is a hurdle to successful transition and can be difficult...
October 29, 2018: Journal of Advanced Nursing
Natascha G Alves, Andrea N Trujillo, Jerome W Breslin, Sarah Y Yuan
Excessive microvascular permeability is a serious complication following hemorrhagic shock and resuscitation (HSR). S1P has been shown to ameliorate microvascular leakage in a model of combined alcohol intoxication and hemorrhagic shock and resuscitation (HSR). In the current study, we tested the hypothesis that S1P reduces HSR-induced microvascular leakage by preserving endothelial cell junctional structure and the endothelial glycocalyx through protection of mitochondrial function. We used an established in vivo rat model of conscious HSR and assessed microvascular leakage, endothelial glycocalyx integrity, and mitochondrial function by intravital microscopy...
October 18, 2018: Shock
Colin P Doherty, Eoin O'Keeffe, James Keaney, Brian Lawlor, Robert F Coen, Michael Farrell, Matthew Campbell
A history of brain trauma has long been acknowledged as increasing an individual's risk of developing dementia in later life. The underlying mechanisms that belie this pre-disposition are, however, very poorly understood. Here, we report a clinical-neuropathological correlation of a man who presented at the age of 66 with a progressive complex atypical dementia with early and prominent neurobehavioral symptoms. His neurological condition continued to decline up to his death at the age of 74. During the compilation of his clinical history, it was established that the subject had experienced a single severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) aged 12 years in 1954 resulting in loss of consciousness, hospitalization, and coma for a number of days after which he was deemed to have recovered...
October 19, 2018: Clinical Neuropathology
Moshe Zaguri, Yaara Zohar, Dror Hawlena
Animals adjust behaviors to balance changes in predation risk against other vital needs. Animals must therefore collect sensory information and use a complex risk-assessment process that estimates risks and weighs costs and benefits entailed in different reactions. Studying this cognitive process is challenging, especially in nature, because it requires inferring sensory abilities and conscious decisions from behavioral reactions. Our goal was to address this empirical challenge by implementing psychophysical principles to field research that explores considerations used by desert isopods (Hemilepistus reaumuri) to assess the risk of scorpions that hunt exclusively from within their burrows...
November 2018: American Naturalist
David Engel, Thomas W Malone
Researchers in many disciplines have previously used a variety of mathematical techniques for analyzing group interactions. Here we use a new metric for this purpose, called "integrated information" or "phi." Phi was originally developed by neuroscientists as a measure of consciousness in brains, but it captures, in a single mathematical quantity, two properties that are important in many other kinds of groups as well: differentiated information and integration. Here we apply this metric to the activity of three types of groups that involve people and computers...
2018: PloS One
V Peviani, F G Magnani, A Ciricugno, T Vecchi, G Bottini
The sense of body ownership is a fundamental feature that refers to the ability to recognize our body as our own, allowing us to interact properly with the outside world. Usually, it is explored by means of the Rubber Hand Illusion (RHI) during which a dummy hand is incorporated in the mental representation of one's own body throughout a multisensory (visuo-tactile) integration mechanism. Particular attention has been paid to the neurofunctional counterparts of this mechanism highlighting the pivotal role of an occipito-parieto-frontal network involving the Ventral Premotor area (PMv)...
November 2018: Neuropsychologia
Nadezhda Barvitenko, Alfons Lawen, Muhammad Aslam, Antonella Pantaleo, Carlota Saldanha, Elisaveta Skverchinskaya, Marco Regolini, Jack A Tuszynski
BACKGROUND: Myriads of signaling pathways in a single cell function to achieve the highest spatio-temporal integration. Data are accumulating on the role of electromechanical soliton-like waves in signal transduction processes. Theoretical studies strongly suggest feasibility of both classical and quantum computing involving microtubules. AIM: A theoretical study of the role of the complex composed of the plasma membrane and the microtubule-based cytoskeleton as a system that transmits, stores and processes information...
August 22, 2018: Bio Systems
Tomer Fekete, David B Omer, Kazunori O'Hashi, Amiram Grinvald, Cees van Leeuwen, Oren Shriki
Critical dynamics are thought to play an important role in neuronal information-processing: near critical networks exhibit neuronal avalanches, cascades of spatiotemporal activity that are scale-free, and are considered to enhance information capacity and transfer. However, the exact relationship between criticality, awareness, and information integration remains unclear. To characterize this relationship, we applied multi-scale avalanche analysis to voltage-sensitive dye imaging data collected from animals of various species under different anesthetics...
August 16, 2018: NeuroImage
Stephen LaBerge, Kristen LaMarca, Benjamin Baird
Lucid dreaming is a remarkable state of consciousness in which one is aware of the fact that one is dreaming while continuing to dream. Based on the strong relationship between physiological activation during rapid eye-movement sleep and lucid dreaming, our pilot research investigated whether enhancing cortical activation via acetylcholinesterease inhibition (AChEI) would increase the frequency of lucid dreams and found AChEI to be a promising method for lucid dream induction. In the current study we sought to quantify the size and reliability of the effect of AChEI on lucid dreaming, dream recall and dream content as well as to test the effectiveness of an integrated lucid dream induction protocol which combined cholinergic stimulation with other methods for lucid dream induction...
2018: PloS One
A Alpár, T Harkany
The mammalian hypothalamus contains an astounding heterogeneity of neurons to achieve its role in coordinating central responses to virtually any environmental stressor over the life-span of an individual. Therefore, while core features of intrahypothalamic neuronal modalities and wiring patterns are stable during vertebrate evolution, integration of the hypothalamus into hierarchical brain-wide networks evolved to coordinate its output with emotionality, cognition and conscious decision-making. The advent of single-cell technologies represents a recent milestone in the study of hypothalamic organization by allowing the dissection of cellular heterogeneity and establishing causality between opto- and chemogenetic activity modulation of molecularly-resolved neuronal contingents and specific behaviours...
July 20, 2018: Journal of Internal Medicine
Amelie Haugg, Rhodri Cusack, Laura E Gonzalez-Lara, Bettina Sorger, Adrian M Owen, Lorina Naci
It is well established that some patients, who are deemed to have disorders of consciousness, remain entirely behaviorally non-responsive and are diagnosed as being in a vegetative state, yet can nevertheless demonstrate covert awareness of their external environment by modulating their brain activity, a phenomenon known as cognitive-motor dissociation. However, the extent to which these patients retain internal awareness remains unknown. To investigate the potential for internal and external awareness in patients with chronic disorders of consciousness (DoC), we asked whether the pattern of juxtaposition between the functional time-courses of the default mode (DMN) and fronto-parietal networks, shown in healthy individuals to mediate the naturally occurring dominance switching between internal and external aspects of consciousness, was present in these patients...
2018: Frontiers in Neurology
Xerxes D Arsiwalla, Paul Verschure
The grand quest for a scientific understanding of consciousness has given rise to many new theoretical and empirical paradigms for investigating the phenomenology of consciousness as well as clinical disorders associated to it. A major challenge in this field is to formalize computational measures that can reliably quantify global brain states from data. In particular, information-theoretic complexity measures such as integrated information have been proposed as measures of conscious awareness. This suggests a new framework to quantitatively classify states of consciousness...
2018: Frontiers in Neuroscience
Marco Solcà, Roberta Ronchi, Javier Bello-Ruiz, Thomas Schmidlin, Bruno Herbelin, François Luthi, Michel Konzelmann, Jean-Yves Beaulieu, François Delaquaize, Armin Schnider, Adrian G Guggisberg, Andrea Serino, Olaf Blanke
OBJECTIVES: To develop and test a new immersive digital technology for complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) that combines principles from mirror therapy and immersive virtual reality and the latest research from multisensory body processing. METHODS: In this crossover double-blind study, 24 patients with CRPS and 24 age- and sex-matched healthy controls were immersed in a virtual environment and shown a virtual depiction of their affected limb that was flashing in synchrony (or in asynchrony in the control condition) with their own online detected heartbeat (heartbeat-enhanced virtual reality [HEVR])...
July 31, 2018: Neurology
Kyle D Webster, Susan Michalowski, Thomas E Hranilovich
The legitimacy and etiology of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) remains a controversial topic within Psychiatry. The two schools of thought are the Post-Traumatic Model (PTM) and the Socio-Cognitive Model (SCM). This case highlights the validity of PTM in an individual who suffered severe and prolonged physical, psychological, and sexual abuse from 2 years old through adulthood. The reported abuse was corroborated and proven on two separate occasions via medical professionals/rape kit and the police. This resulted in the incarceration of one of her abusers...
2018: Frontiers in Psychiatry
Edgar Uhl, Stefan Thumser, Peter Mayer, Henry Dube
Molecular motors undergo repetitive directional motions upon external energy input. A profound challenge is the defined transfer of directional motor motions to remote entities at the molecular scale. Herein, we present a molecular setup that allows for the transfer of the directional rotation of a light-powered motor unit onto a remote biaryl axis via an ethylene glycol chain link. Based on a combination of X-ray crystallographic analysis, ECD, and NMR experiments as well as a comprehensive theoretical assessment, we provide evidence for the coupled stepwise directional motions of both molecular units...
June 22, 2018: Angewandte Chemie
Tamra M Langley, Jeremy Dority, Justin F Fraser, Kevin W Hatton
BACKGROUND: As the role of advanced practice providers (APPs) expands to include increasingly complex patient care within the intensive care unit, the educational needs of these providers must also be expanded. An onboarding process was designed for APPs in the neurocritical care service line. METHODS: Onboarding for new APPs revolved around 5 specific areas: candidate selection, proctor assignment, 3-phased orientation process, remediation, and mentorship. To ensure effective training for APPs, using the most time-conscious approach, the backbone of the process is a structured curriculum...
June 2018: Journal of Neuroscience Nursing: Journal of the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses
Chen Song, Geraint Rees
The integration of inputs across the entire visual field into a single conscious experience is fundamental to human visual perception. This integrated nature of visual experience is illustrated by contextual illusions such as the tilt illusion, in which the perceived orientation of a central grating appears tilted away from its physical orientation, due to the modulation by a surrounding grating with a different orientation. Here we investigated the relative contribution of local, intra-hemispheric and global, inter-hemispheric integration mechanisms to perception of the tilt illusion...
July 15, 2018: NeuroImage
Anna Gerge
Safe-place inductions are considered important altered states of consciousness (ASC) to be (re)installed during trauma-informed psychotherapy. Coregulation aimed at changing implicit relational knowing and increasing integration and coherence through relational work and hypnotic techniques is crucial, as clients' abilities to self-soothe and regulate have become seriously impaired. Thus, resource-oriented metaphors as inner strength imagery is advocated. Also, methods such as creative-arts therapy and neurofeedback will induce ASCs, as most methods used with complex traumatized clients, due to their high hypnotizability...
April 2018: International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis
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