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Oscillatory dynamics in cortex seem to organize into traveling waves that serve a variety of functions. Recent studies show that propofol, a widely used anesthetic, dramatically alters cortical oscillations by increasing slow-delta oscillatory power and coherence. It is not known how this affects traveling waves. We compared traveling waves across the cortex of non-human primates before, during, and after propofol-induced loss of consciousness (LOC). After LOC, traveling waves in the slow-delta (∼1 Hz) range increased, grew more organized, and traveled in different directions relative to the awake state. Higher frequency (8-30 Hz) traveling waves, by contrast, decreased, lost structure, and switched to directions where the slow-delta waves were less frequent. The results suggest that LOC may be due, in part, to increases in the strength and direction of slow-delta traveling waves that, in turn, alter and disrupt traveling waves in the higher frequencies associated with cognition. © 2022 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Sayak Bhattacharya, Jacob A Donoghue, Meredith Mahnke, Scott L Brincat, Emery N Brown, Earl K Miller. Propofol Anesthesia Alters Cortical Traveling Waves. Journal of cognitive neuroscience. 2022 Jun 02;34(7):1274-1286

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PMID: 35468201

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