New studies that have been carried out at the George Washington University (D.C.) have recently gained access to the switch that allows to activate and deactivate the state of consciousness of a woman with epilepsy episodes. This has been possible by stimulating a brain area with electrical impulses.

Turn Off And Turn On The Conscience: New Studies

The conclusions of the research indicate that it is highly probable that consciousness is the product of the integration of activities of different brain areas, the result of the combination of all perceptual stimuli in a single experience.

Years ago, the British researcher Francis Crick argued that the brain area known as the cloister could be the epicenter of consciousness, integrating all the information that the various neural networks send uninterruptedly.

Stimulation In Some Areas Of The Brain

The new research provides new evidence that Crick’s hypothesis could be true. The study came to this conclusion through stimulation tests of different regions of the brain of a patient with epilepsy and monitoring the resulting activity to be able to specify what was the epicenter of the crisis.

It was reported that the stimulation with electricity (an electrode located in the right cloister and the cortex of the anterior cingulate) caused the patient to pass from conscious to unconscious state.

His motor activity was interrupted, his breathing slowed down, and he did not answer the doctors’ questions. At the moment when the researchers interrupted the electrical stimulation, the woman regained consciousness and did not remember anything of what happened.

The Key Is In The Cloister

The research, published in Epilepsy & Behavior, showed that although consciousness is a complex process in which different structures, regions, and networks intervene, the cloister could be in charge of centralizing the product, and therefore, it would be in this one the cerebral switch of consciousness.

The study has only been done for the moment in a single person, and it will be necessary to check the results with a larger sample in order to confirm the relevance of this discovery. If so, it could mark a before and after in the understanding of the functioning of human consciousness.


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