The overall goal of this research project is to investigate local neuronal mechanisms in the cerebral cortex associated with complex, natural sensory experience and to determine how general anesthetics may alter sensory-specific contents of consciousness. Our general hypothesis is that anesthetic modulation of consciousness is closely tied to the modification of specific spatiotemporal patterns of neuronal activity in local cortical circuits. We will test our hypothesis in the rat visual and association cortex as a model system in vivo.