Detecting Awareness in the Vegetative State ― 2006/09/20 16:57:56
Science 8 September 2006: Vol. 313. no. 5792, p. 1402
Brevia Detecting Awareness in the Vegetative State Adrian M. Owen,1* Martin R. Coleman,2 Melanie Boly,3 Matthew H. Davis,1 Steven Laureys,3 John D. Pickard2
We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to demonstrate preserved conscious awareness in a patient fulfilling the criteria for a diagnosis of vegetative state. When asked to imagine playing tennis or moving around her home, the patient activated predicted cortical areas in a manner indistinguishable from that of healthy volunteers.
Recent functional neuroimaging studies have suggested that "islands" of preserved brain function may exist in a small percentage of patients who have been diagnosed as vegetative.