The Neurology of Consciousness - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780123741684, 9780080921020

The Neurology of Consciousness

1st Edition

Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropathology

Editors: Steven Laureys Giulio Tononi
eBook ISBN: 9780080921020
Hardcover ISBN: 9780123741684
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 8th October 2008
Page Count: 440
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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


  1. Intrinsic Brain Activity and Consciousness: Marcus Raichle and Abraham Z. Snyder

  2. Sleep and dreaming: Giulio Tononi

  3. Sleepwalking: Claudio Bassetti 10. General Anesthesia and Consciousness: Michael Alkire


  1. Coma: Bryan Young

  2. Brain death: James Bernat

  3. The Assessment of Conscious Awareness in the Vegetative State: Adrian Owen, Nicholas Schiff & Steven Laureys

  4. The Minimally Conscious State: Clinical Features, Pathophysiology and Therapeutic Implications: Joseph Giacino & Nicholas Schiff

  5. Locked-in syndrome: Steven Laureys

  6. Dementia : Pietro Pietrini, Paulo Nichelli & Eric Salmon

  7. Brain-computer interfaces for communication in paralysed patients and implications for disorders of consciousness: Andrea Kubler

  8. Neuroethics and Disorders of Consciousness: A Pragmatic Approach to Neuro-palliative Care: Joseph Fins


  1. Epilepsy and Consciousness: Hal Blumenfeld

  2. The Left Hemisphere Does Not Miss the Right Hemisphere: Michael Gazzaniga and Michael B. Miller

  3. Visual consciousness: an updated neurological tour: Lionel Naccache

  4. The neurophysiology of self-awareness disorders in conversion hysteria: Patrick Vuillemier

  5. Leaving body and life behind : Out-of-body and near-death experience: Olaf Blanke & Sebastian Dieguez

  6. The hippocampus, memory, and consciousness: Bradley R. Postle

  7. Syndromes of Transient Amnesia: Adam Zeman & Chris Butler

  8. Consciousness and aphasia : Paulo Nichelli

  9. Blindness and Consciousness: New Light from the Dark: Pietro Pietrini, Maurice Ptito, Ron Kupers

  10. The Neurology of Consciousness: An Overview: Giulio Tononi & Steven Laureys


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2008
Academic Press
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About the Editor

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

University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, USA


"This is a very welcome addition to the field of neuroscience literature and should be read by anyone involved in the care of persons with disorders of consciousness... I would highly recommend the text to any clinician involved in the neurosciences with an interest in consciousness and/or disorders of consciousness. It is well worth the asking price and is an excellent source of current information on the topic. Overall rating 9 out of 10." - Nathan Zasler, MD, Chief Editor, NeuroTrauma Letter, Chairperson, IBIA, Medical Director and CEO, Tree of Life and Concussion Care Centre of Virginia

"Laureys and the Liege school have shifted the paradigm in the clinical understanding of disturbed consciousness. He and Tononi have edited a ground breaking book. In this field the book to have and read next to Plum and Posner's Diagnosis of Stupor and Coma is now Laureys and Tononi. Clinicians need to be aware of the recent rapid advances in consciousness studies, many occasioned by imaging and non-invasive brain monitoring, because they will affect management of their most vulnerable patients." - Richard Frackowiak, University College London and Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris

"An outstandingly unique book reassembling the most recent data of the rising science of consciousness." - Jean-Pierre Changeux, College de France

“Here, at last, is a survey of the way that damage to the brain alters consciousness. This volume is a well-equipped hardware shop with most of the pieces that are needed to build a state-of-the-art model of how the brain performs its most magical function, the creation of a self that sees, perceives, knows that it does so, and dares to ask how.” - Allan Hobson, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA

Ratings and Reviews