I encountered an interesting popular article Scientists Just Changed Our Understanding of How Anaesthesia Messes With The Brain telling about the finding that anesthetes weaken the communications between neurons. It is found that a anesthete known as propofol restrics the movement of protein syntaxin 1a appearing as neurotransmitter at synapses and neurons.
The TGD inspired explanation for the loss of consciousness would be following. Nerve pulse activity is needed to generate neurotransmitters attaching to the receptors of post-synaptic neuron and in this manner forming connections between pre- and post-synaptic neurons giving rise to networks of active neurons. The transmitter would be like a relay in old-fashioned telephone network. Propofol would prevent the formation of the bridges and therefore of the networks of active neurons serving as correlates for mental images. No mental images, no higher level consciousness.
The earlier TGD inspired proposal was that anesthetes induce a hyperpolarization reducing the nerve pulse activity. How anesthetes could induce hyperpolarization is discussed at here: the model involves microtubules in an essential manner. Hyperpolarization would have same effect as the restriction of the movement of syntaxin 1a. This mechanism might be at work during sleep and also some anesthetes (but not propofol) could use it.
The TGD based interpretation relies on a profound re-interpretation of the function of transmitters and information molecules in general (see this). The basic idea is that connected networks of neurons correspond to mental images at neuronal level and that the effect of anesthetes is to prevent the formation of these networks.
See the the chapter Quantum model of nerve pulse or the article DMT, pineal gland, and the new view about sensory perception.
- In TGD based model neither nerve pulses nor information molecules represent signals in intra-brain communications but build communication channels acting as relays fusing existing disjoint flux tubes associated with axons to network like connected structures as they attach to receptors.
Flux tue networks make possible classical signalling by dark photons with heff=n× h. Dark photons make their presence manifest by occasionally transforming to ordinary photons identified as bio-photons with energies in visible and UV range. This signalling takes place at light velocity and is therefore optimal for communication and information processing purposes.
Quantum mechanically flux tube networks correspond to so called tensor networks. Due to quantum coherence in the scale of network, quantum entanglement between the neurons of connected sub-networks is possible and networks serve as correlates for mental images.
Nerve pulse patterns frequency modulate generalized Josephson radiation from neuronal membrane acting as a generalized Josephson junction. This radiation identifiable as EEG gives rise to sensory input to magnetic body (MB). MB in turn controls biological body (say brain) via dark cyclotron radiation, at least through genome, where it induces gene expression.
- All mental images at the level of brain are cognitive representations but they generate dark photon signals as virtual sensory inputs to sensory organs and in this manner give rise to sensory percepts as kind of artworks resulting in an iteration like process involving signalling forth and back using dark photons. This would make possible pattern recognition and formation of the objects of the perceptive field as cognitive representations in turn mapped to sensory percepts at sensory organs.
- In the case of hearing of speech the objects of the perceptive field are linear and represent words and sentences. In the case of written language the words decompose to linear sequences of syllables and these in turn into letters. In the case of sensory perception the sub-networks are 2-D or even 3-D and represent objects of the perceptive field. The topological dynamics of this network represents the dynamics of sensory perception and verbal and sensorily represented cognition (idiot savants).