The human brain is extraordinarily complex. Image Credit: PD - NIA
Scientists have identified the area of the brain responsible for triggering our conscious experience.
How our brain creates our conscious mind is a conundrum that has puzzled scientists for centuries. Most theories agree that it must involve an integration of activity from many different parts of the brain to produce a single unifying awareness of the world around us, but the exact way in which this works has remained something of a mystery.
Now however a breakthrough made by Mohamad Koubeissi and his colleagues at the George Washington University in Washington DC has provided a unique glimpse in to the way that our brain deals with consciousness. By stimulating a part of the brain known as the claustrum with electricity the researchers were able to effectively render a subject conscious or unconscious on demand.
"I would liken it to a car," said Koubeissi. "A car on the road has many parts that facilitate its movement – the gas, the transmission, the engine – but there's only one spot where you turn the key and it all switches on and works together."
"So while consciousness is a complicated process created via many structures and networks – we may have found the key."
Source: New Scientist | Comments (47)