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Towards an integrative theory of consciousness: part 1 (neurobiological and cognitive models).

De Sousa A - Mens Sana Monogr (2013)

Bottom Line: Both recent and past researches are highlighted.The importance and salient features of each theory are discussed along with the pitfalls, if present.A need for integration of various theories to understand consciousness from a holistic perspective is stressed, to enable one to reach a theory that explains the ultimate neurobiology of consciousness.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Consultant Psychiatrist & Psychotherapist, Mumbai, India.

ABSTRACT
The study of consciousness is poised today at interesting crossroads. There has been a surge of research into various neurobiological underpinnings of consciousness in the past decade. The present article looks at the theories regarding this complex phenomenon, especially the ones that neurobiology, cognitive neuroscience and cognitive psychology have to offer. We will first discuss the origin and etymology of word consciousness and its usage. Neurobiological correlates of consciousness are discussed with structures like the ascending reticular activating system, the amygdala, the cerebellum, the thalamus, the frontoparietal circuits, the prefrontal cortex and the precuneus. The cellular and microlevel theories of consciousness and cerebral activity at the neuronal level contributing to consciousness are highlighted, along with the various theories posited in this area. The role of neuronal assemblies and circuits along with firing patterns and their ramifications for the understanding of consciousness are discussed. A section on the role of anaesthesia and its links to consciousness is presented, along with details of split-brain studies in consciousness and altered states of awareness, including the vegetative states. The article finally discusses the progress cognitive psychology has made in identifying and theorising various perspectives of consciousness, perceptual awareness and conscious processing. Both recent and past researches are highlighted. The importance and salient features of each theory are discussed along with the pitfalls, if present. A need for integration of various theories to understand consciousness from a holistic perspective is stressed, to enable one to reach a theory that explains the ultimate neurobiology of consciousness.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

The ascending reticular activating system and its connections[Author's note: Image taken from the website – www.antranik.org – May be subject to copyright. Author has written for permission, still to receive reply despite repeated emails.]
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Figure 1: The ascending reticular activating system and its connections[Author's note: Image taken from the website – www.antranik.org – May be subject to copyright. Author has written for permission, still to receive reply despite repeated emails.]

Mentions: The role of the ARAS also involves coordination with the thalamus, which through extensive inhibitory axon collaterals, generates large scale thalamic burst discharges, which are responsible for gating specific reticular information that is transmitted back to the cortex, and this reverts the information back to the brainstem (Young and Pigott, 1999[239]). Positron emission tomography (PET) studies have demonstrated selective thalamic and ARAS hypometabolism during slow-wave sleep (Maquet, 2000[137]) and anaesthesia (Alkire, Haier and Fallon, 2000[3]). [See Figure 1]


Towards an integrative theory of consciousness: part 1 (neurobiological and cognitive models).

De Sousa A - Mens Sana Monogr (2013)

The ascending reticular activating system and its connections[Author's note: Image taken from the website – www.antranik.org – May be subject to copyright. Author has written for permission, still to receive reply despite repeated emails.]
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3653219&req=5

Figure 1: The ascending reticular activating system and its connections[Author's note: Image taken from the website – www.antranik.org – May be subject to copyright. Author has written for permission, still to receive reply despite repeated emails.]
Mentions: The role of the ARAS also involves coordination with the thalamus, which through extensive inhibitory axon collaterals, generates large scale thalamic burst discharges, which are responsible for gating specific reticular information that is transmitted back to the cortex, and this reverts the information back to the brainstem (Young and Pigott, 1999[239]). Positron emission tomography (PET) studies have demonstrated selective thalamic and ARAS hypometabolism during slow-wave sleep (Maquet, 2000[137]) and anaesthesia (Alkire, Haier and Fallon, 2000[3]). [See Figure 1]

Bottom Line: Both recent and past researches are highlighted.The importance and salient features of each theory are discussed along with the pitfalls, if present.A need for integration of various theories to understand consciousness from a holistic perspective is stressed, to enable one to reach a theory that explains the ultimate neurobiology of consciousness.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Consultant Psychiatrist & Psychotherapist, Mumbai, India.

ABSTRACT
The study of consciousness is poised today at interesting crossroads. There has been a surge of research into various neurobiological underpinnings of consciousness in the past decade. The present article looks at the theories regarding this complex phenomenon, especially the ones that neurobiology, cognitive neuroscience and cognitive psychology have to offer. We will first discuss the origin and etymology of word consciousness and its usage. Neurobiological correlates of consciousness are discussed with structures like the ascending reticular activating system, the amygdala, the cerebellum, the thalamus, the frontoparietal circuits, the prefrontal cortex and the precuneus. The cellular and microlevel theories of consciousness and cerebral activity at the neuronal level contributing to consciousness are highlighted, along with the various theories posited in this area. The role of neuronal assemblies and circuits along with firing patterns and their ramifications for the understanding of consciousness are discussed. A section on the role of anaesthesia and its links to consciousness is presented, along with details of split-brain studies in consciousness and altered states of awareness, including the vegetative states. The article finally discusses the progress cognitive psychology has made in identifying and theorising various perspectives of consciousness, perceptual awareness and conscious processing. Both recent and past researches are highlighted. The importance and salient features of each theory are discussed along with the pitfalls, if present. A need for integration of various theories to understand consciousness from a holistic perspective is stressed, to enable one to reach a theory that explains the ultimate neurobiology of consciousness.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus