Comment on "Detecting Awareness in the Vegetative State"

  title={Comment on "Detecting Awareness in the Vegetative State"},
  author={Parashkev Nachev and Masud Husain},
  pages={1221 - 1221}
In a report of a single patient in a persistent vegetative state, Owen et al. (Brevia, 8 September 2006, p. 1402) claimed that the presence of task-specific brain activation in response to verbal command implies both covert conscious awareness and a capacity for intention. We argue that neither can be securely inferred from the evidence presented. 
Cogito ergo sum by MRI.
  • A. Ropper
  • Psychology, Medicine
    The New England journal of medicine
  • 2010
An imaginative series of experiments using functional magnetic resonance imaging of the brain, culminating in the article by Monti and colleagues in this issue of the Journal, has revealed a form of preserved cognition in ostensibly unconscious patients.
Imaging in Severe Disorders of Consciousness: Rethinking Consciousness, Identity, and Care in a Relational Key
FUNCTIONAL MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (fMRI) DETECTS DEGREES of consciousness in a few vegetative patients, despite the difficulty of establishing any form of communication with them at the bedside.
Establishing consciousness in non-communicative patients: A modern-day version of the Turing test
  • J. Stins
  • Psychology
    Consciousness and Cognition
  • 2009
The Moral Status and Welfare of Patients Diagnosed as Vegetative With Covert Awareness
Several neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that a minority of patients diagnosed as being in the vegetative state are able to modulate their brain activity in response to the commands of
Comment on Laureys et al. Self-consciousness in non-communicative patients
  • J. Cole
  • Biology
    Consciousness and Cognition
  • 2007
Brain damage and the moral significance of consciousness.
It is argued that enjoyment of consciousness might actually give stronger moral reasons not to preserve a patient's life and, indeed, that these might be stronger when patients retain significant cognitive function.


Detecting Awareness in the Vegetative State
Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to demonstrate preserved conscious awareness in a patient fulfilling the criteria for a diagnosis of vegetative state and the patient activated predicted cortical areas in a manner indistinguishable from that of healthy volunteers.
The authors are funded by the Wellcome Trust
  • The authors are funded by the Wellcome Trust
Curr. Biol
  • Curr. Biol
  • 2005