Neuroscience’s Most Perplexing Riddle: Consciousness

Every day in the US 60,000 patients go undergo general anesthesia, but what happens to the brain during this process is somewhat a mystery. Neuroscientists are digging deeper into understanding consciousness and they hope their findings will transform anesthesia from a solely clinical tool into a powerful instrument for studying the most basic questions about the brain.

Understanding what happens to the brain under anesthetic drugs could lead to novel treatments for coma and other brain conditions—and to insights into fundamental questions in neuroscience, including the nature of consciousness itself.

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