Thalamocortical model for a propofol-induced α-rhythm associated with loss of consciousness

Shinung Ching, Aylin Cimenser, Patrick L. Purdon, Emery N. Brown, Nancy J. Kopell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

270 Scopus citations


Recent data reveal that the general anesthetic propofol gives rise to a frontal α-rhythm at dose levels sufficient to induce loss of consciousness. In this work, a computational model is developed that suggests the network mechanisms responsible for such a rhythm. It is shown that propofol can alter the dynamics in thalamocortical loops, leading to persistent and synchronous α-activity. The synchrony that forms in the cortex by virtue of the involvement of the thalamus may impede responsiveness to external stimuli, thus providing a correlate for the unconscious state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22665-22670
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number52
StatePublished - Dec 28 2010


  • GABA
  • General anesthesia
  • Global coherence
  • Oscillations


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