This Week's Letters

Science  02 Mar 2007:
Vol. 315, Issue 5816, pp. 1219a
DOI: 10.1126/science.315.5816.1219a

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

Russell Conduit; Response Christoph Adami; Hod Lipson, Victor Zykov, Josh Bongard

Online Versus Hardcopy Textbooks

Ronald I. Dorn

Is the EC Afraid of Its Own Visions?

Josef Settele, Ingolf Kühn, Stefan Klotz, Volker Hammen, Joachim Spangenberg

Corrections and Clarifications

Technical Comment Abstracts

Technical Comment Abstracts

COMMENT ON “Detecting Awareness in the Vegetative State”

Parashkev Nachev and Masud Husain

Abstract: 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.

Full text at www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/315/5816/1221a

COMMENT ON “Detecting Awareness in the Vegetative State”

Daniel L. Greenberg

Abstract: Owen et al. (Brevia, 8 September 2006, p. 1402) claimed that a patient's brain activity revealed that she was consciously responding to commands despite being in a vegetative state. However, several alternative explanations were not eliminated. Specifically, the activity could reflect unconscious reactions to the last word in the command, not conscious decisions to respond. A refined experimental design could clarify these issues. Full text at www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/315/5816/1221b

RESPONSE TO COMMENTS ON “Detecting Awareness in the Vegetative State”

Adrian M. Owen, Martin R. Coleman, Melanie Boly, Matthew H. Davis, Steven Laureys, Dietsje Jolles, John D. Pickard

Abstract: Additional data, supported by relevant functional neuroimaging literature, confirm that the “normal” patterns of brain activity reported in a patient who was clinically diagnosed as vegetative could not have occurred “automatically” in the absence of conscious awareness. The most parsimonious explanation remains that this patient was consciously aware despite her diagnosis of vegetative state. Full text at www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/315/5816/1221c

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