Scientists claim to have identified patterns of human consciousness
Humans have learned to travel into space, cope with diseases and understand nature at the level of elementary particles. However, we still have no idea what human consciousness is, i.e., the brain-derived ability to experience, learn the world and transmit knowledge to others. Recent studies shed new light on this conundrum.
In an article published in „Science Advances” researchers argue that they have found connections in mozgu, whichore become active when we are aware of the. And this is not just a philosophical issue. Often for doctors and families of osob after severe damage in moWith the artificial brain, the decision on further treatment may depend precisely on the patient’s possible consciousness.
Modern imaging techniques mozgu are yielding better and better results and allow for an increasing understanding of human consciousness. For example, we know that complex areas of mozgu, including the prefrontal cortex, responsible for a range of higher cognitive functions, are involved in conscious thinking. However, large areas of mozgu have a great many functions. Therefore, the researchers decided to see what the network of com m unications looked likeorec mozg people representing consciousness.
Glohe major difficulty with this type of research is that conscious experience is something absolutely internal and thus inaccessible to others. For example, two people can look at the same image, but they cannot know whether it evokes the same reaction in them unless they talk about it. Only conscious individuals can experience subjective sensations. Therefore, the best way to find out if someone is conscious is still to ask them about it.
However, what if a person loses the ability to moof knowing or conveying information to us in other waysob? Then it is likely to be considered unconscious. In a new study conducted by a scientistoin seven countriesoin the world, signatures were identified mozgowe, whichore may indicate awareness without relying on self-representation or the need to ask the patientow o engage in a particular task. Researchers argue that this will allow them to test whether people in coma or vegetative state after trauma mozgu are conscious or not.
Scientists say it is also possible to determine the level of this consciousness. For their study, they used a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technique, ktora allows to measure the activity of mozgu and determine how someore areas in the mozgu communicate with others. When the area in the mozgu is more active consumes more oxygen and needs more blood supply. These changes can be detected, even when the subject is at rest. It is possible to measure the roThe differences between regions in the mozgu to create patterns of connections.
The researchers studied 53 patientsoin a vegetative state, 59 showing minimal consciousness and 47 healthy patientsow. The researchers came from Paris, New York, Liège, Ontario and London. Researchers tested the level of consciousness through simple tasks and questions. They found in this wayob two headsowne communication patterns between regions of the mozgu. One was a simple reflection of physical connections in the mozgu. It has been recorded mainlyownie in osob, whichore practically remained unconscious.
The second patternor was very complex and indicated the dynamic interactions between 42 regions of mozgu. This patternor occurred in waspsob, ktore in any wayob were conscious. What’s more wzor this disappeared when patients were put under deep anesthesia.
This kind of research can lead to an understanding of whether a person remains conscious, which influences ros medical decisions, including those affecting her future life. Researchers hope to develop devices in the future to modulate the mozg in such a wayob to restoreotain consciousness in osob, whichore they lost it as a result of illness or accident – for example, using non-invasive m stimulation techniquesozgu.
Research brings us closer to understanding how consciousness arises in mozgu. Having more data on the neural patterns of theoin consciousness in osob experiencing rotions of different statesoin consciousness – starting with taking psychedelicsow to experience conscious snow – we may one day crack this puzzle.