Gabriele Lohmann1, Wolfgang Heinke2, Burkhard Pleger1, Joeran Lepsien1, Stefan Zysset3, Robert Turner1
1Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany; 2Dept. of Anesthesiology and Intensive Medicine, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany; 3NordicNeuroLab, Norway
Propofol is an anesthestic agent widely used in clinical practice which is known to affect episodic memory. The exact mechanism causing this effect is still unclear. Here we investigated whether propofol has a region-specific effect on functional connectivity in fMRI data. Subjects were scanned under the influence of propofol or a placebo. Functional connectivity was assessed using an algorithm new to fMRI data analysis called 'eigenvector centrality'. Our results suggest that the well known impairment of episodic memory after propofol infusion is related to an impaired function of cerebellar regions known to be involved in memory encoding.