A/Professor Bruno van Swinderen

Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland

Title: "Understanding general anaesthesia: why loss of consciousness is interesting"

Abstract: General anaesthetics have been in use for almost 200 years, but there remains a surprising lack of understanding on how these diverse drugs really work. All general anaesthetics essentially rob us of our most precious asset, our consciousness, thereby allowing surgery to proceed without pain or awareness. Yet, most animals are also rendered unresponsive by general anaesthetics, often at exactly the same concentrations that produce unconsciousness in humans. This suggests conserved target mechanisms that have little to do with that precious human asset, and points instead to a way of understanding fundamental processes common to all animal brains. In this talk, I will be presenting some new clues on how general anaesthetics work, and will attempt to reconcile our recent findings with more established theories in the field. I’ll also be discussing our results in the larger context of the evolution of sleep.


About Neuroscience Seminars

Neuroscience seminars at the QBI play a major role in the advancement of neuroscience in the Asia-Pacific region. The primary goal of these seminars is to promote excellence in neuroscience through the exchange of ideas, establishing new collaborations and augmenting partnerships already in place.

The scheduled QBI Neuroscience Seminar series are held on Wednesdays from 11am-12pm in the Level 7 Auditorium of the Queensland Brain Institute, Building 79, St Lucia Campus, The University of Queensland. Additional seminars may be held at other times as listed below.


Neuroscience Seminars archive 2005-2016