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Consciousness lost and found: Subjective experiences in an unresponsive state
Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University of Turku, 20014 Turku, Finland.
Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University of Turku, 20014 Turku, Finland.
Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University of Turku, 20014 Turku, Finland.
University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5133-8664
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2011 (English)In: Brain and Cognition, ISSN 0278-2626, E-ISSN 1090-2147, Vol. 77, no 3, 327-334 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Anesthetic-induced changes in the neural activity of the brain have been recently utilized as a research model to investigate the neural mechanisms of phenomenal consciousness. However, the anesthesiologic definition of consciousness as ‘‘responsiveness to the environment’’ seems to sidestep the possibility that an unresponsive individual may have subjective experiences. The aim of the present study was to analyze subjective reports in sessions where sedation and the loss of responsiveness were induced by dexmedetomidine, propofol, sevoflurane or xenon in a nonsurgical experimental setting. After regaining responsiveness, participants recalled subjective experiences in almost 60% of sessions. During dexmedetomidine sessions, subjective experiences were associated with shallower ‘‘depth of sedation’’ as measured by an electroencephalography-derived anesthesia depth monitor. Results confirm that subjective experiences may occur during clinically defined unresponsiveness, and that studies aiming to investigate phenomenal consciousness under sedative and anesthetic effects should control the subjective state of unresponsive participants with post-recovery interviews.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2011. Vol. 77, no 3, 327-334 p.
Keyword [en]
consciousness, responsiveness, subjective experiences, depth of sedation, dexmedetomidine
National Category
Neurosciences Psychology
Research subject
Natural sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-5602DOI: 10.1016/j.bandc.2011.09.002ISI: 000297535300002Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84859247060OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-5602DiVA: diva2:509073
Available from: 2012-03-12 Created: 2012-03-12 Last updated: 2016-04-28Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
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  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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