Researchers using PET discovered that patients waking up after being under anesthesia experience a primitive form of consciousness, according to a study in the Journal of Neuroscience. "The central core structures of the more primitive brain structures including the thalamus and parts of the limbic system appeared to become functional first, suggesting that a foundational primitive conscious state must be restored before higher order conscious activity can occur," said researcher Harry Scheinin from the University of Turku in Finland.

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