From the Researchers:
Our overall goal is to develop physical and neuroscientific foundations for the clinical strategies to accelerate the recovery from anesthesia and disorders of consciousness. Our hypothesis is that facilitating the brain networks toward criticality, a balanced state between order and disorder, will accelerate the emergence of consciousness from anesthesia and coma. The objective of the project is to demonstrate the feasibility of using changes in brain network criticality as a predictor for behavioral state transitions.
To this end, we will employ a computational model, analysis of empirical data on emergence from anesthesia and disorders of consciousness (unresponsive wakefulness syndrome, minimally conscious state) in human subjects, and direct control (accelerate and delay) of the recovery of consciousness using anesthesia in rat as a model system.