Unveiling Phase Transition Mechanism of Emerging of Consciousness
Unveiling Phase Transition Mechanism of Emerging of Consciousness
  • Reporter Lee Suh-young
  • 승인 2013.01.01 12:41
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A research team of Professor Seunghwan Kim (PHYS) and Prof. Jee Hyun Choi of Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) unveiled a phase transition mechanism, switching from consciousness phase to unconsciousness phase.
A fundamental and so far unanswered question for cognitive neuroscience remains whether the thalamocortical switch for consciousness works in a discontinuous manner or not. The research team shows that the thalamocortical system, connecting the thalamus and the cerebral cortex, plays a key role in the breakdown or emergence of consciousness, providing bottom-up information delivery from sensory afferents and integrating top-down intracortical and thalamocortical reciprocal signaling.
To unveil the nature of thalamocortical system phase transition in conjunction with consciousness transition, ketamine/xylazine was administered unobtrusively to ten mice under a forced working test with motion tracker, and field potentials in the sensory and motor-related cortex and thalamic nuclei were concomitantly collected. The significance of results concerns whether the nature of phase transition in the thalamocortical system during consciousness transition further elucidate the underlying basis for the ambiguous borderlines between conscious and unconscious brains.