Patients in Vegetative State Can Respond Emotionally to Loved Ones
2014 01 10

By Jeremy Dean | PSYBLOG



It has long been thought that patients who are in a vegetative state–frequently due to a traumatic brain injury–have no awareness of their environment or themselves.

A new study using fMRI brain imaging, though, shows that some patients can display emotional reactions to pictures of loved ones (Sharon et al., 2013).

The study is surprising because patients in this condition show no signs of being aware of their surroundings. They breathe on their own, sleep and wake up, but otherwise appear utterly unresponsive to what’s going on around them.

Their families naturally wonder if they even realise they are there.

Responding to loved ones


The new study, though, put four patients who were in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) in a brain scanner and showed them pictures, some of people they knew and some of strangers.

These results were compared with those from a healthy control group.

For two PVS patients, the brain scans suggested emotional awareness.

One patient in particular–a 60-year-old woman who had been hit by a car–showed brain activity in the emotional and face-processing areas of the brain when looking at pictures of loved ones.

[...]

Read the full article at: spring.org.uk



READ: Vegetative man tells doctors ‘I’m not in pain’ via MRI communication




Related Articles
A third state of consciousness could exist, say researchers
Psychedelics Researcher Says DMT Might Mediate Between Our Consciousness and Other Realities
Banishing consciousness: the mystery of anaesthesia


Latest News from our Front Page

If Someone Secretly Controlled What You Say, Would Anyone Notice?
2014 10 01
The subject enters a room in which a 12-year-old boy is seated. A 20-minute conversation ensues. The subject quizzes the boy about current events and other topics to get a sense of his intelligence and personality. But the boy is not what he appears to be. Unbeknownst to the subject, the boy is wearing a radio receiver in his ear, and ...
Obama has had accurate intelligence about ISIS since BEFORE the 2012 election, says administration insider
2014 10 01
‘President Barack Obama’s intelligence briefings have provided him with specific information since before he won re-election in 2012 about the growing threat of the terror group now known alternatively as ISIS and ISIL, an administration insider told MailOnline on Monday. ‘Unless someone very senior has been shredding the president’s daily briefings and telling him that the dog ate them, highly accurate ...
Can holding a magnet against your head help defeat depression?
2014 10 01
Former GP Sue Mildred suffered from crippling depression and anxiety for 20 years. On two occasions it was so severe that she ended up in hospital, and for 15 years she was unable to work. Sue, 51, has tried antidepressants, talking therapies and, out of desperation, even ECT (electro-convulsive therapy), where an electric current is passed through the brain. This did ...
Extremists to have Facebook and Twitter vetted by anti-terror police
2014 09 30
Theresa May to announce new Extremist Disruption Orders to strengthen counter-terrorism if the Tories win the next general election Extremists will have to get posts on Facebook and Twitter approved in advance by the police under sweeping rules planned by the Conservatives. They will also be barred from speaking at public events if they represent a threat to “the functioning of democracy”, ...
Scottish Independence: Protesters demand revote
2014 09 30
Pro-independence campaigners gathered outside the Scottish Parliament for the second day in a row, this time to demand a revote of the September 18 referendum. While yesterday’s “Rally For A Revote” saw the return of Saltires and Yes banners to Holyrood, it did not match the turnout for the “Voice Of The People” rally held on Saturday, when up 3000 people ...
More News »