Watch images of the brain as it becomes unconscious

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The finding supports a theory put forward by Professor Susan Greenfield, from the University of Oxford, that unconsciousness is a process by which different areas of the brain inhibit each other as the brain shuts down.

The new technique, called Functional Electrical Impedance Tomography by Evoke Response (fEITER), is more compact than other brain imaging techniques, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and so is easily transported into the operating theatre.  It involves attaching tens of electrodes to the patient's head, which send low electrical currents through the skull. The currents are interrupted by the brain's tissues and electrical signals.

Although a lot more research needs to be undertaken, they hope that this technique will help doctors pinpoint damage in the brains of people suffering from stroke and head injury.

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