Neural markers of consciousness are difficult to identify, leading to phenomenon such as intra-operative awareness, and a 40% misdiagnosis rate of behaviourally unresponsive patients. In this talk, I will discuss how anesthesia can be used as a tool to identify and characterize changes associated with an individual’s level of consciousness in their electroencephalogram (EEG). We will review studies conducted with various types of general anesthetics (propofol, sevoflurane and ketamine), and characterize neural patterns of unconsciousness using power, cross-frequency coupling, functional and effective connectivity and network analysis. We will also explore the potential for using EEG recordings during exposure to anesthesia as a diagnostic tool for patients with disorders of consciousness.
The objectives of this talk are to:
Identify EEG correlates of anesthesic-induced unconsciousness
Understand principles of information flow in the brain during various states of consciousness
Recognize the potential of anesthesia as a tool for the diagnosis of disorders of consciousness
Dr. Blain-Moraes is an assistant professor at the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy at McGill University, and leads the Biosignal Interaction and Personhood and Technology (BIAPT) Lab. She completed her PhD in biomedical engineering and rehabilitation sciences at the University of Toronto, and two postdoctoral fellowships in brain-computer interfaces and anesthesiology from the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on using physiological signals to augment the personhood of non-communicative individuals by assessing their level of consciousness and cognition, and by building assistive technologies to enhance interaction with this population.