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  Temporal irreversibility of neural dynamics as a signature of consciousness

de la Fuente, L. A., Zamberlan, F., Bocaccio, H., Kringelbach, M., Deco, G., Perl, Y. S., et al. (2022). Temporal irreversibility of neural dynamics as a signature of consciousness. Cerebral Cortex. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhac177.

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de la Fuente, Laura Alethia1, 2, 3, Author
Zamberlan, Federico1, 3, 4, Author
Bocaccio, Hernán1, 3, Author
Kringelbach, Morten5, 6, 7, Author
Deco, Gustavo8, 9, 10, 11, Author              
Perl, Yonatan Sanz1, 8, Author
Pallavicini, Carla1, 3, Author
Tagliazucchi, Enzo1, 3, 12, Author
1Department of Physics, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, ou_persistent22              
2Institute of Cognitive Neurology (INECO), Favaloro University, Buenos Aires, Argentina, ou_persistent22              
3National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), Buenos Aires, Argentina, ou_persistent22              
4Department of Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence, Tilburg University, the Netherlands, ou_persistent22              
5Centre for Eudaimonia and Human Flourishing, University of Oxford, United Kingdom, ou_persistent22              
6Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, United Kingdom, ou_persistent22              
7Center for Music in the Brain, Aarhus University, Denmark, ou_persistent22              
8Department of Information and Communication Technologies, Center for Brain and Cognition, University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain, ou_persistent22              
9Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA), University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain, ou_persistent22              
10Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634551              
11School of Psychological Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, ou_persistent22              
12Latin American Brain Health Institute (BrainLat), University Adolfo Ibañez, Santiago, Chile, ou_persistent22              


Free keywords: ECoG; Consciousness; Ketamine; Sleep; Time’s arrow
 Abstract: Dissipative systems evolve in the preferred temporal direction indicated by the thermodynamic arrow of time. The fundamental nature of this temporal asymmetry led us to hypothesize its presence in the neural activity evoked by conscious perception of the physical world, and thus its covariance with the level of conscious awareness. We implemented a data-driven deep learning framework to decode the temporal inversion of electrocorticography signals acquired from non-human primates. Brain activity time series recorded during conscious wakefulness could be distinguished from their inverted counterparts with high accuracy, both using frequency and phase information. However, classification accuracy was reduced for data acquired during deep sleep and under ketamine-induced anesthesia; moreover, the predictions obtained from multiple independent neural networks were less consistent for sleep and anesthesia than for conscious wakefulness. Finally, the analysis of feature importance scores highlighted transitions between slow ($\approx$20 Hz) and fast frequencies (>40 Hz) as the main contributors to the temporal asymmetry observed during conscious wakefulness. Our results show that a preferred temporal direction is manifest in the neural activity evoked by conscious mentation and in the phenomenology of the passage of time, establishing common ground to tackle the relationship between brain and subjective experience.


Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2022-04-162022-02-192022-04-182022-05-04
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhac177
Other: online ahead of print
PMID: 35512291
 Degree: -



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Project name : -
Grant ID : PICT-2018-03103, PICT-2019-02294
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Agencia Nacional De Promocion Cientifica Y Tecnologica
Project name : -
Grant ID : 1220995
Funding program : -
Funding organization : ANID/FONDECYT Regular

Source 1

Title: Cerebral Cortex
Source Genre: Journal
Publ. Info: New York, NY : Oxford University Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: - Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1047-3211
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925592440