Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




Dr. Melvyn Goodale

Second Advisor

Dr. Seyed Mirsattari


Functional connectivity within a resting state network of the brain, termed the default mode network (DMN), has been suggested to represent the neural correlate o f the stream of consciousness. Altered states of consciousness where awareness is thought to be absent could provide insight into the function o f the DMN. Here I examined the functional connectivity in the DMN in both reversible and irreversible coma using fMRI. Twelve healthy control subjects and thirteen comatose patients following cardiac arrest were included in the study. DMN connectivity was observed in healthy controls and two patients who regained consciousness. DMN connectivity was absent in the eleven patients who failed to regain consciousness. Functional connectivity in the DMN is preserved in the comatose patients who regained consciousness but absent in those who did not recover consciousness indicating that potentially the DMN is necessary but not sufficient to support consciousness.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.