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Consciousness System 

Consciousness System
Chapter:
Consciousness System
Author(s):

Eduardo E. Benarroch

, Jeremy K. Cutsforth-Gregory

, and Kelly D. Flemming

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190209407.003.0011
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date: 15 October 2019

Consciousness is the state of awareness of self and the environment and involves 2 main functions: arousal (level of consciousness) and awareness (content of consciousness). These functions involve a group of brainstem and forebrain areas that form the consciousness system and include the reticular formation of the brainstem, hypothalamus, basal forebrain, thalamus, and cerebral cortex. The aims of this chapter are to describe the anatomy of the consciousness system, physiologic basis of cortical operations, regulation of wakefulness and sleep, mechanism of attention, and pathologic states of altered consciousness.

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