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Upcoming Events

Neuroscience Graduate Program course on consciousness to be led by CCS faculty

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

The CCS is hosting a one-day symposium on “Altered States of Consciousness” Thursday, August 11, 8:00am, in the UM Rackham Amphitheatre

Invited speakers will discuss diverse altered states of consciousness, including the psychedelic experience, ketamine anesthesia, emergence from unconsciousness, and near death experiences. Keynote speaker, Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris, Imperial College London, will be discussing his outstanding work on psychedelics. Additional speakers include George Mashour (CCS Director), Jimo Borjigin (University of Michigan), Alex Proekt (University of Pennsylvania), Ben Palanca (Washington University), Andrew McKinstry-Wu (University of Pennsylvania), and Dinesh Pal (University of Michigan).

Research

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.

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.

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.

CCS receives $100,000 donation to study meditation and the brain

Dr. Tarik Bel-Bahar and the CCS have received a first gift of $100,000 from the Alpern Family Foundation for much-needed research into consciousness and brain dynamics associated with yogic meditation. This gift will help CCS researchers develop innovative exploratory studies focused on altered states of consciousness and contemplative techniques, while also laying the groundwork for long-term research programs. The first studies will focus on brain-mind mechanisms and effects of kundalini meditation in older adults and meditation experts. Please contact Dr.Tarik Bel-Bahar (tarikb@umich.edu) or Dr. George Mashour (gmashour@umich.edu) with any inquiries about the project.

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


Education

CCS co-sponsors the 2016 Toward a Science of Consciousness conference in Tucson

CCS partnered with the Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona to co-sponsor the longest-running meeting in the field of consciousness. CCS Director Mashour co-chaired the meeting with Stuart Hameroff, who directs the UA Center for Consciousness Studies. CCS faculty Tony Hudetz and Jimo Borjigin gave plenary lectures at the conference. Multiple CCS faculty members delivered outstanding oral presentations in the concurrent sessions.

CCS hosts the inaugural Edward F. Domino Lecture by Dr. John Krystal, Chair of Psychiatry at Yale

Dr. Domino has made seminal contributions to the understanding of sleep-wake states and neuropharmacology. His introduction of the anesthetic ketamine into clinical practice 50 years ago was a major accomplishment for the field of anesthesiology—ketamine is experiencing a renaissance as a unique anti-depressant, with Dr. Krystal leading the field. The lecture drew a multidisciplinary crowd, including anesthesiologists, pharmacologists, psychiatrists, and neuroscientists.