Consciousness

David dhe at eden.rutgers.edu
Tue Feb 21 14:36:13 EST 1995


beaumont at decameron.win-uk.net (Andrew Beaumont) writes:

>Does anyone have any thoughts about what might happen if you could
>*entirely* isolate a brain from any sensory input? This is purely
>hypothetical of course, as it would be impossible to test, but what
>I'm getting at is the inherent stability of the neural system
>deprived of sensory throughput.

When Karen Ann Quinlan was autopsied, the most prominent neuronal loss
was found not in neocortex (as expected), and not in the brain stem
(as is also common in comatose patients), but in the thalamus--and not
the reticular parts.  Get the picture?  (If you don't get the picture,
read up on the functions of the thalamus.)

--David




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