Master of Science
Naturalistic stimuli evoke synchronous patterns of neural activity between individuals in sensory and higher cognitive, “executive” networks of the brain. fMRI paradigms developed to measure this inter-subject synchronization have been extended to test for executive processing in behaviourally non-responsive patients as a neural marker of awareness. This thesis adapted one such paradigm for use in EEG, a low-cost, portable neuroimaging technique that can be administered at a patient’s bedside. Healthy participants listened to a suspenseful auditory narrative during EEG recording. Significant inter-subject synchronization was found throughout the audio but was significantly reduced during a scrambled control condition. This paradigm was then used to evaluate executive processing in a cohort of patients. One locked-in patient and one patient in a vegetative state were significantly synchronized to healthy controls during the audio. EEG is a suitable tool to detect executive processing, a proxy measure of awareness, in patients who are behaviourally non-responsive.
Laforge, Geoffrey, "Identifying Electrophysiological Components of Covert Awareness in Patients with Disorders of Consciousness" (2017). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 4883.