How Science Found a Way to Help Coma Patients Communicate

British neuroscientist Adrian Owen – The Guardian:

“Scott, please imagine playing tennis when you hear the instruction,” I said.

I still get goose bumps when I remember what happened next. Scott’s brain exploded in an array of colour-activation, indicating that he was indeed responding to our request and imagining he was playing tennis.

“Now imagine walking around your house, please, Scott.”

Again Scott’s brain responded, demonstrating that he was there, inside, doing exactly what he was asked. Scott’s family was right. He was aware of what was going on around him. He could respond – perhaps not with his body, in quite the way they had insisted he could, but certainly with his brain.

This story is a fascinating account of medical researchers directly communicating with a coma patient using a functional MRI, even as he lay motionless after twelve years of incapacity.

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