The Molecular Biology Of Consciousness Investigated With Genetically Modified Mice, Phil. Tran. Biol. Sc.
The question is raised of the relevance of experimental work with the mouse and some of its genetically modified individuals in the study of consciousness. Even if this species does not go far beyond the level of 'minimal consciousness', it may be a useful animal model to examine the elementary building blocks of consciousness using the methods of molecular biology jointly with investigations at the physiological and behavioural levels. These building blocks which are anticipated to be universally shared by higher organisms (from birds to humans) may include: (i) the access to multiple states of vigilance, like wakefulness, sleep, general anaesthesia, (...).