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April 10 Mind/Brain Lecture Focuses on Deciphering the Brain Under General Anesthesia

Emery n brown

The 25th annual Swartz Foundation Mind/Brain Lecture features anesthesiologist-statistician Emery N. Brown, MD, who will discuss “Deciphering the Dynamics of the Unconscious Brain Under General Anesthesia,” on Monday, April 10, at 4 pm, in the Staller Center for the Arts. The lecture will also be livestreamed at stonybrook.edu/live.

General anesthesia is a drug-mediated state during which a patient is rendered insensate in order to tolerate surgery or an invasive diagnostic procedure. The discovery of anesthesia nearly 180 years ago transformed surgery overnight from trauma and butchery to a humane and often life-saving therapy.

During this lecture, Dr. Brown will describe how anesthetic drugs create this amazing state of general anesthesia. As he will explain, the brain is not turned off but is rather quite active in a highly structured way under general anesthesia. In particular, he will focus on how the anesthetic drugs create unconsciousness, how an anesthesiologist can be sure that a patient is unconscious under anesthesia, the difference between anesthesia and sleep, and how we can “turn the brain back on” after anesthesia. 

This is a free presentation intended for a general audience.

Emery N. Brown, MD, is the Edward Hood Taplin Professor of Medical Engineering and Computational Neuroscience at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Warren M. Zapol Professor of Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital. He is an anesthesiologist-statistician whose research studies the neurophysiology of anesthesia and development of signal processing algorithms for neuroscience data analysis. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Inventors. He is the recipient of the Swartz Prize in Computational Neuroscience, the Dickson Prize in Science and the Gruber Prize in Neuroscience.

The Mind/Brain Lecture Series is hosted by Stony Brook’s Department of Neurobiology and Behavior and is supported by the Swartz Foundation, which launched the lecture series at Stony Brook University in 1997 to acquaint the campus and the public with current thoughts on brain research. The lecture series promotes the philosophical and scientific perspective that properties of the mind — from sensory perception to learning to thinking to consciousness — are a direct product of the intrinsic physical properties of the brain.

 

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