Scientist talks to vegetative patients—and MRIs light up

A brain researcher based in Toronto claims he can speak to patients who are in a vegetative state—and the evidence is in MRI.

Adrian Owen studies patients who otherwise appear to be without complex motor functions. He tells them to imagine playing tennis—reacting to the ball’s approach, preparing for a return shot and completing the stroke.

He found some patients were able to respond with yes or no answers.

“On that day, and on many occasions in the months that followed, we conversed with Scott through this magical connection we had made between his mind and our machine,” Owen told the Mail, speaking of the first patient he was able to converse with.

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