The Neurology of Consciousness

The Neurology of Consciousness

Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropathology

1st Edition - October 8, 2008

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  • Editors: Steven Laureys, Giulio Tononi
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080921020

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Understanding consciousness is the major unsolved problem in biology. One increasingly important method of studying consciousness is to study disorders of consciousness, e.g. brain damage and disease states leading to vegetative states, coma, minimally conscious states, etc. Many of these studies are very much in the public eye because of their relationship to controversies about coma patients (e.g. Terry Schiavo case in the US recently), and the relationship to one of the major philosophical, sociological, political, and religious questions of humankind.This is the first book to summarize our current understanding of the neuroanatomical and functional underpinnings of human consciousness by emphasizing a lesional approach offered via the study of neurological patients. The selected contributors are all outstanding authors and undisputed leaders in their field.

Key Features

  • New chapters on the neuroanatomical basis of consciousness, functional intrinsic brain activity, anesthesia, as well as expanded coverage of the unresponsive wakefulness syndrome/ vegetative state and the minimally conscious state
  • The first comprehensive, authoritative collection to describe disorders of consciousness and how they are used to study and understand the neural correlates of conscious perception in humans
  • Includes revised and new chapters from the top international researchers in the field


Researchers and graduate students in Cognitive Neuroscience, Cognitive Neurology, Neuroscience, Translational Neuroscience, Neurology, Psychiatry, Neuropsychology, Cognitive Psychology, Clinical Psychology

Table of Contents

  • Preface: Steven Laureys and Giulio Tononi
    1. Consciousness: an overview of the phenomenon and of its possible neural basis
    Antonio Damasio and Kaspar Meyer
    2. The neurological examination of consciousness: Hal Blumenfeld
    3. Evaluating consciousness by measuring brain function: Steven Laureys, Joy Hirsch, Boris Kotchobey & Giulio Tononi
    4. Consciousness and neural synchronization: Wolf Singer
    5. Neural correlates of visual consciousness: Geraint Rees
    6. The relationship between consciousness and attention: Naotsugu Tsuchiya1 and Christoph Koch

    7. Intrinsic Brain Activity and Consciousness: Marcus Raichle and Abraham Z. Snyder
    8. Sleep and dreaming: Giulio Tononi
    9. Sleepwalking: Claudio Bassetti 10. General Anesthesia and Consciousness: Michael Alkire

    11. Coma: Bryan Young
    12. Brain death: James Bernat
    13. The Assessment of Conscious Awareness in the Vegetative State: Adrian Owen, Nicholas Schiff & Steven Laureys
    14. The Minimally Conscious State: Clinical Features, Pathophysiology and Therapeutic Implications: Joseph Giacino & Nicholas Schiff
    15. Locked-in syndrome: Steven Laureys
    16. Dementia: Pietro Pietrini, Paulo Nichelli & Eric Salmon
    17. Brain-computer interfaces for communication in paralysed patients and implications for disorders of consciousness: Andrea Kubler
    18. Neuroethics and Disorders of Consciousness: A Pragmatic Approach to Neuro-palliative Care: Joseph Fins

    19. Epilepsy and Consciousness: Hal Blumenfeld
    20. The Left Hemisphere Does Not Miss the Right Hemisphere: Michael Gazzaniga and Michael B. Miller
    21. Visual consciousness: an updated neurological tour: Lionel Naccache
    22. The neurophysiology of self-awareness disorders in conversion hysteria: Patrick Vuillemier
    23. Leaving body and life behind : Out-of-body and near-death experience: Olaf Blanke & Sebastian Dieguez
    24. The hippocampus, memory, and consciousness: Bradley R. Postle
    25. Syndromes of Transient Amnesia: Adam Zeman & Chris Butler
    26. Consciousness and aphasia: Paulo Nichelli
    27. Blindness and Consciousness: New Light from the Dark: Pietro Pietrini, Maurice Ptito, Ron Kupers
    28. The Neurology of Consciousness: An Overview: Giulio Tononi & Steven Laureys

Product details

  • No. of pages: 440
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2008
  • Published: October 8, 2008
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080921020

About the Editors

Steven Laureys

Steven Laureys
Steven Laureys, MD PhD, is director of the Coma Science Group at the Neurology Department and Cyclotron Research Centre of the University Hospital and University of Liège, Belgium. He is research director at the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research and clinical professor and board-certified in neurology and in palliative medicine. His team studies the neural basis of human consciousness (coma, anesthesia, hypnosis and sleep). He assesses the recovery of neurological disability and neuronal plasticity in acquired brain injury (e.g., comatose, “vegetative”/unresponsive, minimally conscious and locked-in syndromes) confronting clinical expertise and behavioral evaluation with multimodal neuroimaging (positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance imaging) and electrophysiology studies (electroencephalography coupled to transcranial magnetic stimulation) and also deals with the ethical implications of this translational clinical research. He is chair of the World Federation of Neurology Applied Research Group on Coma and the European Academy of Neurology Subcommittee on Disorders of Consciousness. He is recipient of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society Young Investigator Award, the William James Prize (Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness) and the Blaise Pascal Medal of Medicine of the European Academy of Sciences. He has written 4 books and over 300 scientific papers on the subject of disorders of consciousness (H-index 65).

Affiliations and Expertise

Coma Science Group, Cyclotron Research Center; Department of Neurology, Liège University Hospital, Belgium; Belgian National Funds for Scientific Research; Belgian Royal Academy of Sciences

Giulio Tononi

Giulio Tononi
Giulio Tononi, MD PhD is a psychiatrist and neuroscientist in Madison, Wisconsin, USA. He is the director of the Center for Sleep and Consciousness at the University of Wisconsin, which focuses on the function of sleep and the nature of consciousness.. Together with his collaborators, he has been developing and testing a comprehensive hypothesis on the function of sleep, the synaptic homeostasis hypothesis. Research on consciousness has led to the integrated information theory, which tries to account for what consciousness is, how it can be measured, and how it is realized in the brain.He received the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, the John W. Severinghaus Award, the Pisa Sleep Award and he holds the David P. White Chair in Sleep Medicine, as well as a Distinguished Professor in Consciousness Science.

Affiliations and Expertise

psychiatrist and neuroscientist in Madison, Wisconsin, USA. He is the director of the Center for Sleep and Consciousness at the University of Wisconsin

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