Article published in:New Horizons in the Neuroscience of Consciousness
Edited by Elaine K. Perry, Daniel Collerton, Fiona E.N. LeBeau and Heather Ashton
[Advances in Consciousness Research 79] 2010
► pp. 3–16
The slow cortical potential hypothesis on consciousness
We propose a neurophysiological hypothesis on the emergence of consciousness, which postulates that the slow cortical potential (SCP) recorded from the surface of the brain provides an index of the activities of superficial-layer pyramidal neurons that directly contribute to the emergence of conscious awareness. This hypothesis is supported by existing data from manipulations of conscious awareness in normal human subjects and by data from altered states of consciousness such as general anesthesia and recovery from vegetative states; it further makes experimentally testable predictions. Given a relationship between the SCP and the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signal that has now been revealed, this hypothesis also provides a potential bridge between existing neuroimaging and electrophysiological studies on consciousness.
Published online: 28 October 2010