Anthony Hudetz, PhD


Neuroscience Graduate Program


The laboratory of Dr. Anthony Hudetz investigates the neural basis of consciousness and the mechanism of general anesthesia. The NIH-funded work focuses on the neurophysiological mechanism by which anesthetics modulate neuronal activity and interneuronal communication. One of the hypotheses being tested is that consciousness depends critically on the complexity of functional neuronal organization. When anesthetics are administered, neuronal connections are severed, breaking down the communication networks of the brain. Such neuronal disconnection and the resulting disorganization occurs primarily in the cerebral cortex, especially in areas involved with the final integration of sensory, motor, and cognitive processes essential for conscious awareness. The neuronal pathways that lead to information disintegration under general anesthesia are studied by electrophysiological methods, by simultaneously recording the activity of hundreds of cortical neurons, and by noninvasive functional magnetic resonance imaging in human participants and patients with disorders of consciousness. These investigations provide complementary information about the functional connectivity patterns of the brain and their critical changes in general anesthesia associated with the loss and return of consciousness.

Prominent Publications