Activitas Nervosa Superior 2010;
George A. Mashour
, Ashley Turner
University of Michigan Medical School
Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Received August 20, 2009; accepted October 10, 2009
Consciousness is a multidisciplinary subject of inquiry. The extent of clinical contributions to the field of consciousness
studies has yet to be investigated.
The goal of this study was to assess the degree of clinically related articles in the lit-
erature of consciousness studies through a systematic evaluation. Three journals systematically identified (Consciousness
and Cognition, Journal of Consciousness Studies, and Anthropology of Consciousness) were reviewed from the first is-
sue through December 2008.
All original articles related to anesthesiology, general clinical medicine, neurology, neuro-
surgery, and psychiatry were identified. Of the 1,805 articles reviewed for the three journals, a total of 149 clinically re-
levant articles were identified; this represented an average contribution of 8% to the total articles.
Psychiatry was the
discipline most consistently represented in the three journals; neurosurgery was the least represented. There is a relative
paucity of clinical articles in the literature of consciousness studies. Clinical perspectives may thus be underrepresented
in the field.
Key words: Consciousness; Consciousness studies; Meta-analysis
The study of consciousness is a richly interdisciplinary
endeavor, involving philosophy, psychology, cognitive
science, neuroscience, physics, and numerous other
psychiatry, neurosurgery, and anesthesiology all deal
with the disturbance or disruption of consciousness.
such, studies and reports related to these disciplines
may potentially enrich the discourse of consciousness
studies. For example, anesthesiologists regularly initiate
a deep state of reversible unconsciousness, providing a
unique opportunity for understanding the molecular and
neurophysiologic mechanisms of consciousness.
neurosurgical patients may yield insight into the neural
substrates of consciousness through clinicopathologic
correlation. Thus, the clinical perspective is vital to the
progress of consciousness studies, but the extent of
The goal of this study was therefore to
assess the degree of clinically related articles in the
literature of consciousness studies through a systematic
Journals devoted primarily to the publication of original
A journal search on PubMed using the
term “consciousness” yielded only Consciousness and
An internet search (Google) using the terms
“consciousness journal” and “consciousness journals”
Psyche, Anthropology of Consciousness, International