In recent years, brain imaging studies have begun to shed light on the neural correlates of physiologically-reversible altered states of consciousness such as deep sleep, anesthesia, and psychedelic experiences. The emerging consensus is that normal waking consciousness requires the exploration of a dynamical repertoire enabling both global integration i.e., long-distance interactions between brain regions, and segregation, i.e., local processing in functionally specialized clusters. Altered states of consciousness have notably been characterized by a tipping of the integration/segregation balance away from this equilibrium. Historically, functional MRI (fMRI) has been the modality of choice for such investigations. However, fMRI does not enable characterization of the integration/segregation balance at sub-second temporal resolution. Here, we investigated global brain spatiotemporal patterns in electrocorticography (ECoG) data of a monkey ( Macaca fuscata) under either ketamine or propofol general anesthesia. We first studied the effects of these anesthetics from the perspective of band-specific synchronization across the entire ECoG array, treating individual channels as oscillators. We further aimed to determine whether synchrony within spatially localized clusters of oscillators was differently affected by the drugs in comparison to synchronization over spatially distributed subsets of ECoG channels, thereby quantifying changes in integration/segregation balance on physiologically-relevant time scales. The findings reflect global brain dynamics characterized by a loss of long-range integration in multiple frequency bands under both ketamine and propofol anesthesia, most pronounced in the beta (13-30 Hz) and low-gamma bands (30-80 Hz), and with strongly preserved local synchrony in all bands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1279646
JournalFrontiers in network physiology
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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