Current News

Do explosive brain networks explain hypersensitivity in chronic pain? A new collaboration between the CCS and Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center (http://www.med.umich.edu/painresearch/) applied novel network science to understand the subjective experience of pain. For more information see: https://labblog.uofmhealth.org/lab-report/does-an-exploding-brain-network-cause-chronic-pain

CCS co-sponsoring the 2018 Science of Consciousness Conference Mark your calendars for this multidisciplinary forum to understand consciousness (http://www.consciousness.arizona.edu/), with workshop and plenary presentations by multiple CCS faculty.

Professor Irene Tracey, Nuffield Chair in Anaesthetic Science and Clinical Neuroscience at the University of Oxford, will deliver the keynote lecture for the 2018 CCS symposium on “Consciousness and Pain” on August 9, 2018 in the Rackham Amphitheatre


2017- Dr. Dinesh Pal, CCS faculty and Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology, has been awarded a new R01 from the National Institutes of Health to study the mechanistic underpinnings of the interactions between sleep homeostasis and sedation

Dr. Pal will employ sophisticated techniques including high-density EEG in rodents and multi-neuroanalyte monitoring using mass spectrometry to answer a fundamental question: if and how sedatives can provide a sleep-like state. CCS director, Dr. Mashour is a co-investigator on the grant.

2017- CCS faculty receive new NIH funding to study the role of the hypothalamus in level of consciousness

Dr. Giancarlo Vanini will work with his co-PI, George Mashour, and other faculty in the Center for Consciousness Science to understand how sleep-promoting regions in the hypothalamus regulate the entry into and exit from the anesthetized state. Using cutting-edge chemogenetic techniques, they will also explore how these subcortical nuclei alter cortical connectivity and dynamics.

2016- CCS work on mechanisms of anesthetic-induced unconsciousness recognized by major journals of anesthesiology

Theoretical and empirical work of CCS members has been published and featured in the journals Anesthesiology and Anesthesia & Analgesia. Experimental work on the neural correlates of consciousness was recognized with the cover articles for the November issue of Anesthesiology. Furthermore, the “infographic” sections of both journals featured the work on frontal-parietal network disruptions identified by the CCS during propfol-, sevoflurane-, and ketamine-induced unconsciousness. See:http://anesthesiology.pubs.asahq.org/data/Journals/JASA/935792/5FF01.png and http://journals.lww.com/anesthesia-analgesia/Fulltext/2016/11000/Towards_Understanding_Mechanisms_of_Anesthesia.1.aspx


2016- CCS faculty receive NIH grant to study cortical connectivity in computational models, non-human primates, and surgical patients

CCS Directors Mashour and Lee have just been awarded a NIH R01 to conduct computational, neurobiological, and clinical studies of consciousness and anesthesia. CCS faculty Cindy Chestek (biomedical engineering) and Parag Patil (neurosurgery) are co-investigators.


2015- CCS faculty Dr. Cindy Chestek receives NIH grant through the BRAIN initiative to advance neuronal recording

Dr. Chestek (primary faculty in Biomedical Engineering) and her colleague Joshua Berke in Psychology have been awarded a BRAIN initiative grant in the amount of $2.6 million to develop a high density electrode array of carbon threads thinner than human hair for recording from over a thousand neurons at the same time. These tools could help map out the circuitry of the brain and see how individual neurons communicate with one another. Dr. Chestek is the recipient of a CCS pilot grant on this subject.

2015- CCS develops new collaborations with consciousness research groups at the Technische Universität Munich (TUM) in Germany and the University of Turku in Finland

CCS director George Mashour recently served as an August-Wilhelm Scheer Visiting Professor at TUM and an honorary fellow of the TUM Institute for Advanced Study. He and CCS directors UnCheol Lee and Tony Hudetz are collaborating on projects related to consciousness, anesthesia and coma with the multidisciplinary research team of Dr. Eberhard Kochs. CCS is also working collaboratively on projects related to consciousness and anesthesia with the research groups of Dr. Harry Scheinin and Dr. Annti Revonsuo in Turku, Finland.

2015- CCS receives grants from the National Institutes of Health and the James S. McDonnell Foundation to study brain networks as consciousness is lost and reconstituted

Dr. George Mashour and the CCS have been awarded major grants from the NIH and the prestigious James S. McDonnell Foundation to study consciousness in humans and nonhuman primates. The new NIH RO1 will fund studies of healthy volunteers receiving ketamine and nitrous oxide; parallel studies examining cortical information transfer in the monkey brain during anesthetic state transitions will also be conducted. The McDonnell Foundation grant funds a translational neuroscience project conducted across multiple U.S. and Australian centers, led by the Center for Consciousness Science at the University of Michigan. The goal of this project is to study how the brain reconstitutes consciousness and cognition after major perturbations such as general anesthesia or seizures. The multidisciplinary teams assembled for the studies span the fields of neuroscience, physics, computational science, biomedical engineering, pain neurobiology, anesthesiology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry.

Recent publications by CCS faculty


2018- CCS hosts Neuroscience Graduate Program course on consciousness

CCS faculty will lead a multidisciplinary seminar/journal club on the neurobiology of consciousness. The course (NS704, Neurobiology of Consciousness) takes place at Noon on Wednesdays in the Medical-Science-1 building (7th floor conference room) in the Fall 2018 semester.

2016- The CCS hosts symposium on “Altered States of Consciousness”

This past August, the CCS hosted a one-day symposium during which invited speakers discussed altered states of consciousness, including the psychedelic experience, ketamine anesthesia, delirium, emergence from unconsciousness, and near death experiences. Keynote speaker, Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris of Imperial College London, gave a provocative lecture on the scientific and clinical importance of psychedelic drugs. A diverse and dynamic audience of >150 individuals was in attendance.