What is it about?

Consciousness emerges from intricate neuronal interactions, yet the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. By simulating a special nonlinear cell we find their synchronized bursting can significantly influence the brain's integrated-information a leading signature of consciousness. We then explore this using neuronal and physics methods, shedding light on how neural activity shapes our awareness.

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Why is it important?

This work extends the recent discourse on consciousness in the brain. We believe the argument of where may be premature, with findings showing they are missing a fundamental cellular richness. This will impact neuroscience theories of consciousness, potentially reshaping treatments for cognitive issues (e.g., sleep, coma).


I hope you enjoy the manuscript. This was a great experience and one of my first projects as a post-doc, not only with a great local team, but I was also able to collaborate with some science heroes internationally! It also found an interesting result not expected: how much more integrated information can be achieved at a biologically more feasible low bursting rate. I also have placed all the code on github, so if you are interested take a look and reach out if you have any questions!

Brandon Munn
University of Sydney

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: A thalamocortical substrate for integrated information via critical synchronous bursting, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, November 2023, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2308670120.
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