The brain doesn’t really go out like a light when anesthesia kicks in. Nor does neural activity gradually dim, a new study in monkeys reveals. Rather, intermittent flickers of brain activity appear as the effects of an anesthetic take hold. Some synchronized networks of brain activity fall out of step as monkeys drift from wakefulness. But those networks resynchronize when deep unconsciousness sets in.
"Anesthesia Steals Awareness in Stages" is from the August 20, 2016 issue of Science News.