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Morten L. Kringelbach

Loss of consciousness reduces the stability of brain hubs and the heterogeneity of brain dynamics

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  • Ane López-González, Pompeu Fabra University
  • ,
  • Rajanikant Panda, University of Liege
  • ,
  • Adrián Ponce-Alvarez, Pompeu Fabra University
  • ,
  • Gorka Zamora-López, Pompeu Fabra University
  • ,
  • Anira Escrichs, Pompeu Fabra University
  • ,
  • Charlotte Martial, University of Liege
  • ,
  • Aurore Thibaut, University of Liege
  • ,
  • Olivia Gosseries, University of Liege
  • ,
  • Morten L. Kringelbach
  • Jitka Annen, University of Liege
  • ,
  • Steven Laureys, University of Liege
  • ,
  • Gustavo Deco, Pompeu Fabra University, ICREA

Low-level states of consciousness are characterized by disruptions of brain activity that sustain arousal and awareness. Yet, how structural, dynamical, local and network brain properties interplay in the different levels of consciousness is unknown. Here, we study fMRI brain dynamics from patients that suffered brain injuries leading to a disorder of consciousness and from healthy subjects undergoing propofol-induced sedation. We show that pathological and pharmacological low-level states of consciousness display less recurrent, less connected and more segregated synchronization patterns than conscious state. We use whole-brain models built upon healthy and injured structural connectivity to interpret these dynamical effects. We found that low-level states of consciousness were associated with reduced network interactions, together with more homogeneous and more structurally constrained local dynamics. Notably, these changes lead the structural hub regions to lose their stability during low-level states of consciousness, thus attenuating the differences between hubs and non-hubs brain dynamics.

TidsskriftCommunications Biology
Antal sider15
StatusUdgivet - dec. 2021

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
A.L.G. and G.D. were supported by Swiss National Science Foundation Sinergia grant no. 170873. A.P.A. and G.D. received funding from the FLAG-ERA JTC (PCI2018-092891). G.D., S.L. and G.Z.L. received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation under the Specific Grant Agreement No. 785907 (Human Brain Project SGA2) and No. 945539 (Human Brain Project SGA3). G.D. acknowledges the Spanish Ministry Project PSI2016-75688-P (AEI/ FEDER), the Catalan Research Group Support 2017 SGR 1545, and AWAKENING (PID2019-105772GB-I00, AEI FEDER EU) funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (MCIU), State Research Agency (AEI) and European Regional Development Funds (FEDER). The study was further supported by the University and University Hospital of Liège, the Belgian National Funds for Scientific Research (FRS-FNRS), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office (BELSPO) in the framework of the PRODEX Programme, “Fonda-zione Europea di Ricerca Biomedica”, the Bial Foundation, the Mind Science Foundation and the European Commission, the fund Generet, the King Baudouin Foundation, AstraZeneca foundation, and the DOCMA project [EU-H2020-MSCA-RISE-778234]. R.P. is research fellow, O.G. is research associate and S.L. is research director at F.R.S.-FNRS. M.L.K. is supported by the ERC Consolidator Grant: CAREGIVING (no. 615539), Center for Music in the Brain, funded by the Danish National Research Foundation (DNRF117), and Centre for Eudaimonia and Human Flourishing funded by the Pettit and Carlsberg Foundations. We would like to thank the healthy participants and the patients, their families, caregivers and treating clinicians for their participation in this study. The authors thank the whole staff from the ICU and Nuclear Medicine departments, University Hospital of Liège. We are highly grateful to the members of the Liège Coma Science Group for their assistance in clinical evaluations.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

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