consciousness

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Related to Consiousness: levels of consciousness

consciousness

 [kon´shus-nes]
1. the state of being conscious; fully alert, aware, oriented, and responsive to the environment.
2. subjective awareness of the aspects of cognitive processing and the content of the mind.
3. the current totality of experience of which an individual or group is aware at any time.
4. in psychoanalysis, the conscious.
5. in Newman's conceptual model, health as expanding consciousness, the informational capacity of the human system, or its capacity for interacting with the environment; consciousness is considered to be coextensive with the universe, residing in all matter.
clouding of consciousness see clouding of consciousness.
levels of consciousness
1. an early freudian concept referring to the conscious, preconscious, and unconscious.
2. the somewhat loosely defined states of awareness of and response to stimuli, generally considered an integral component of the assessment of an individual's neurologic status. Levels of consciousness range from full consciousness (behavioral wakefulness, orientation as to time, place, and person, and a capacity to respond appropriately to stimuli) to deep coma (complete absence of response).

Consciousness depends upon close interaction between the intact cerebral hemispheres and the central gray matter of the upper brainstem. Although the hemispheres contribute most of the specific components of consciousness (memory, intellect, and learned responses to stimuli), there must be arousal or activation of the cerebral cells before they can function. For this reason, it is suggested that a detailed description of the patient's response to specific auditory, visual, and tactile stimuli will be more meaningful to those concerned with neurologic assessment than would the use of such terms as alert, drowsy, stuporous, semiconscious, or other equally subjective labels. Standardized systems, such as the glasgow coma scale, aid in objective and less ambiguous evaluation of levels of consciousness.

Examples of the kinds of stimuli that may be used to determine a patient's responsiveness as a measure of consciousness include calling him by name, producing a sharp noise, giving simple commands, gentle shaking, pinching the biceps, and application of a blood pressure cuff. Responses to stimuli should be reported in specific terms relative to how the patient responded, whether the response was appropriate, and what occurred immediately after the response.

con·scious·ness

(con'shŭs-nes),
The state of being aware, or perceiving physical facts or mental concepts; a state of general wakefulness and responsiveness to environment; a functioning sensorium.
[L. conscio, to know, to be aware of]

consciousness

(kŏn′shəs-nĭs)
n.
1. The state or condition of being conscious.
2. In psychoanalysis, the conscious.

con·scious·ness

(kon'shŭs-nĕs)
The state of being aware, or perceiving physical facts or mental concepts; a state of general wakefulness and responsiveness to environment; a functioning sensorium.
[L. conscio, to know, to be aware of]

consciousness

Full awareness of self and of one's environment. The conviction that it is possible to explain the sources of consciousness has spawned a small library of books purporting to do so.

con·scious·ness

(kon'shŭs-nĕs)
State of being aware, or perceiving physical facts or mental concepts; a state of general wakefulness and responsiveness to environment; a functioning sensorium.
[L. conscio, to know, to be aware of]
References in periodicals archive ?
In 28 to 100% of cases can be seen decreasing level of consiousness , meanwhile in rare cases are observed comatous patients.
Hannah was rushed to Falkirk Royal Infirmary in June after she lost consiousness while staying at a pal's house in Bainsford, Falkirk.
I had mostly complex partial seizures, but once in a while, I was having generalized seizures where I lost consiousness. That particular part of my seizure disorder was under control for a number of years.
Then he started to fade in and out of consiousness. Lewis stood on the roof of his car, but still couldn't reach him.
Although impaired consiousness, analgesics, and sedatives spare most advanced dementia patients the pain and suffering Conroy contemplates, a few such patients may be in this category.
Symbolically in their behaviour, the Room 207 friends exemplifying the post-apartheid South African populace striving to defeat a white privilege society reveal Moele's message that the black characters derive their self-determining spirit from their common Africanness underlying all African consiousnesses and lifestyles (see Mphahlele, "Notes towards" 136).