Reduced Repertoire of Cortical Microstates and Neuronal Ensembles in Medically Induced Loss of Consciousness

Cell Syst. 2019 May 22;8(5):467-474.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.cels.2019.03.007. Epub 2019 May 1.

Abstract

Medically induced loss of consciousness (mLOC) during anesthesia is associated with a macroscale breakdown of brain connectivity, yet the neural microcircuit correlates of mLOC remain unknown. To explore this, we applied different analytical approaches (t-SNE/watershed segmentation, affinity propagation clustering, PCA, and LZW complexity) to two-photon calcium imaging of neocortical and hippocampal microcircuit activity and local field potential (LFP) measurements across different anesthetic depths in mice, and to micro-electrode array recordings in human subjects. We find that in both cases, mLOC disrupts population activity patterns by generating (1) fewer discriminable network microstates and (2) fewer neuronal ensembles. Our results indicate that local neuronal ensemble dynamics could causally contribute to the emergence of conscious states.

Keywords: Calcium imaging; Coma; Consciousness; Ensembles; Information theory; Local networks; Microelectrode array; Microscale.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Consciousness / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Unconsciousness / metabolism*