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Scientists from George Washington University have found what may be a way to shift the brain’s consciousness on and off after attempting to find what causes epilepsy in a patient. The discovery was accidental and if it proves to be accurate it may aid doctors in performing less painful surgeries as well as improve their knowledge of the brain’s consciousness.
According to The Huffington Post, Dr. Mohamad Koubeissi and the other doctors performing the epilepsy experiment discovered that the brain’s consciousness can be turned off while testing electrodes that had been placed in the woman’s brain when trying to find the cause of her epilepsy. Each implanted electrode was turned on by releasing electricity to that part of the brain. Once the scientists placed electricity on the Claustrum, a part of the brain that is a flat panel of neurons, Koubeissi noted that the woman stopped responding to commands given and would just look as if she was staring into space.
When the electricity had stopped, the woman could not recall that she has ever been unconscious. Koubeissi and the other doctors experimented with the phenomenon several times and found the same results each time. However, they are unsure as to whether or not the phenomenon is due to the woman’s lack of the hippocampus, which had been removed a while back in order to relieve her epilepsy symptoms, Tech Times noted.
The scientists experimented on the phenomenon for two days and other scientists are going to continue testing to learn more about this mystery.