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Suppressing the Mind
Anesthetic Modulation of Memory and Consciousness. Contemporary Clinical Neuroscience
Anesthetics produce a reversible state of unconsciousness accompanied by ante- grade amnesia. This remarkable phenomenon brings great relief to surgical patients and wonder to clinicians and scientists. To date, we do not fully understand the mechanisms by which anesthetics ablate conscious sensation and memory. We are, however, making progress. This book presents original results as well as overviews of the current state of knowledge of the problem. It is authored by investigators who know the ?eld well; their research at a number of levels has contributed substantially to our c- rent understanding of anesthetic modulation of memory and consciousness. Most of the contributors were presenters at two workshops organized by Dr. Pearce and Dr. Hudetz at the 40th Annual Winter Conference on Brain Research, held at Snowmass Village, Colorado, from January 27 through February 2, 2007. One workshop focused on anesthetic modulation of consciousness and another on an- thetic modulation of memory. Seven of the chapters are based on material presented at these symposia - appropriately updated with new relevant ?ndings.
This infor- tion is supplemented by chapters on anesthesia and sleep, computational analysis of the state of anesthesia, and the clinical phenomenon of "anesthesia awareness," a topic that has recently received much public attention. With these three additional contributions, the book thus includes 10 chapters.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
From the reviews: "The editors present this book as the first book with a unified view of studies on anaesthetic modulation on both consciousness and memory to bridge molecular, cellular, integrative, and systems-level effects. ... even the heavy technical information in the book is written in the style for a wider audience - such as the JCS/Tucson toward-a-science-of-consciousness crowd." (Bill Faw, Journal of Consciousness Studies, Vol. 18 (3-4), 2011) "This is a compilation of 10 essays on the neuroscientific underpinnings of general anesthesia. ... intended for anesthesia researchers, but the quality and the clarity of the writing make it accessible and interesting for anyone involved in clinical anesthesia care. ... I found this book extremely enlightening. The authors have successfully presented the current state of scientific understanding in a way that appeals to clinical practitioners. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to gain a better understanding of how general anesthetics work." (David B. Glick, Doody's Review Service, May, 2010)