Electrocorticography reveals thalamic control of cortical dynamics following traumatic brain injury

Sima Mofakham, Adam Fry, Joseph Adachi, Patricia L. Stefancin, Tim Q. Duong, Jordan R. Saadon, Nathan J. Winans, Himanshu Sharma, Guanchao Feng, Petar M. Djuric, Charles B. Mikell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The return of consciousness after traumatic brain injury (TBI) is associated with restoring complex cortical dynamics; however, it is unclear what interactions govern these complex dynamics. Here, we set out to uncover the mechanism underlying the return of consciousness by measuring local field potentials (LFP) using invasive electrophysiological recordings in patients recovering from TBI. We found that injury to the thalamus, and its efferent projections, on MRI were associated with repetitive and low complexity LFP signals from a highly structured phase space, resembling a low-dimensional ring attractor. But why do thalamic injuries in TBI patients result in a cortical attractor? We built a simplified thalamocortical model, which connotes that thalamic input facilitates the formation of cortical ensembles required for the return of cognitive function and the content of consciousness. These observations collectively support the view that thalamic input to the cortex enables rich cortical dynamics associated with consciousness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1210
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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