2012-2013 Harpur College Dean’s Speaker Series for Integrative Neuroscience
March 6, 2013Tweet
Despite major advances in neuroscience, recovery of consciousness after brain injury remains poorly understood. At the origin of this challenge is the surprising degree of uncertainty of underlying brain function that may be present when confronted with patient at the bedside with very limited or even no overt signs of behavioral responsiveness. Schiff will review recent studies that have expanded our knowledge of the range of this uncertainty, highlight the evolving picture of the natural history of the recovery from severe brain injury and the challenges of utilizing surrogate measurements with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technologies and electrophysiological methods to determine evidence of awareness and higher cognitive functions. Recent well-publicized research in this field will be placed in a context that frames several important distinctions and organizes these observations to improve their interpretability and make clearer next steps toward improving both patient care and scientific understanding of the problem of consciousness.
Schiff will also give a lecture at 1 p.m. in the SL-306, designed for undergraduate majors in integrative neuroscience, biology, psychology and engineering, titled, “How I became a physician-scientist and why I really enjoy it.”