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The vegetative state and awareness


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http://www.nature.com/news/2006/060904/full/060904-11.html

 

A paper in Science has reported that a woman in a vegetative state has apparently responded to people asking her to think of doing certain tasks, like playing tennis. After being asked to do so fMRI scans showed brain activity in the same regions as in controls.

 

Owen A. M., et al. (2006) Science, 313. 1402

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Consciousness is not the most precisely defined term, either. How much of the brain must be functioning properly for a person to be conscious? Is a sleeping person conscious? I can talk in my sleep - I don't remember it, but according to my girlfriend I answer her questions.

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Is a sleeping person conscious? I can talk in my sleep - I don't remember it, but according to my girlfriend I answer her questions.

 

I actually do the same thing, providing completely lucid responses even though I'm definitely asleep and remember none of it the next day.

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