Monday, June 12, 2006

The brain during normal awareness, absence Seizures, and the vegetative state

A review by Laureys in Trends in Cognitive Sciences (Volume 9, Issue 12, December 2005, Pages 556-559) notes the brain correlates of the different levels of consciousness summarized in this figure:

A variety of studies have shown declines in the content and level of consciousness correlate with activity decreases in frontal and parietal regions of the brain. During absence seizures and sleepwalking, during which partially preserved arousal and behaviors such as walking are preserved in the absence of self awareness, frontal and parietal association cortices are deactivated.

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