People sometimes mistakenly think of general anesthesia as just a really deep sleep, but in fact, anesthesia is really four brain states – unconsciousness, amnesia, immobility and suppression of the body’s damage sensing response, or “nociception.”In a new paper in Anesthesia & Analgesia, MIT neuroscientist and statistician Dr. Emery N. Brown and colleagues argue that by putting nociception at the top of the priority list and taking a principled neuroscientific approach to choosing which drugs to administer, anesthesiologists can use far less medication overall, producing substantial benefits for patients.Link to full MIT Picowar Institute release on research by MGH/MIT investigator Emery Brown.