The Boundaries of Consciousness: Neurobiology and Neuropathology

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Steven Laureys
Elsevier, 2006 - Medical - 585 pages
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Consciousness is one of the most significant scientific problems today. Renewed interest in the nature of consciousness - a phenomenon long considered not to be scientifically explorable, as well as increasingly widespread availability of multimodal functional brain imaging techniques (EEG, ERP, MEG, fMRI and PET), now offer the possibility of detailed, integrated exploration of the neural, behavioral, and computational correlates of consciousness. The present volume aims to confront the latest theoretical insights in the scientific study of human consciousness with the most recent behavioral, neuroimaging, electrophysiological, pharmacological and neuropathological data on brain function in altered states of consciousness such as: brain death, coma, vegetative state, minimally conscious state, locked-in syndrome, dementia, epilepsy, schizophrenia, hysteria, general anesthesia, sleep, hypnosis, and hallucinations. The interest of this is threefold. First, patients with altered states of consciousness continue to represent a major clinical problem in terms of clinical assessment of consciousness and daily management. Second, the exploration of brain function in altered states of consciousness represents a unique lesional approach to the scientific study of consciousness and adds to the worldwide effort to identify the "neural correlate of consciousness". Third, new scientific insights in this field have major ethical and social implications regarding our care for these patients.
  

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Contents

1 What in the world is consciousness?
1
2 A neuroscientific approach to consciousness
11
how and what do we measure?
25
toward a cognitive neuroscience of human experience
45
5 Skill corporality and alerting capacity in an account of sensory consciousness
55
6 Methods for studying unconscious learning
69
7 Computational correlates of consciousness
81
8 Machine consciousness
99
23 Hysterical conversion and brain function
309
precipitating factors and neural correlates
331
25 Neardeath experiences in cardiac arrest survivors
351
26 The concept and practice of brain death
369
defining the borders of consciousness
381
28 Behavioral evaluation of consciousness in severe brain damage
397
29 Evoked potentials in severe brain injury
415
two equations with three unknowns
427

9 Consciousness information integration and the brain
109
10 Dynamics of thalamocortical network oscillations and human perception
127
11 From synchronous neuronal discharges to subjective awareness?
143
12 Genes and experience shape brain networks of conscious control
173
a neurological guided tour
185
14 The mental self
197
cytology and components of the neural network correlates of consciousness
205
a reappraisal of functional neuroimaging data
219
17 General anesthesia and the neural correlates of consciousness
229
studies with propofol
245
hypnosis and placeboinduced analgesia
251
why are patients with absence seizures absent?
271
21 Two aspects of impaired consciousness in Alzheimers disease
287
22 Functional brain imaging of symptoms and cognition in schizophrenia
299
31 Novel aspects of the neuropathology of the vegetative state after blunt head injury
445
32 Using a hierarchical approach to investigate residual auditory cognition in persistent vegetative state
457
measurements of brain function and therapeutic possibilities
473
what is it like to be conscious but paralyzed and voiceless?
495
35 Braincomputer interfaces the key for the conscious brain locked into a paralyzed body
513
36 Neural plasticity and recovery of function
527
clinical ethical and legal problems
537
potentials and limitations
545
39 Outcome and ethics in severe brain damage
555
toward a palliative neuroethics for disorders of consciousness
565
Index
583
Color Plates
587
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