Technical Comments

Comment on "Detecting Awareness in the Vegetative State"

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Science  02 Mar 2007:
Vol. 315, Issue 5816, pp. 1221
DOI: 10.1126/science.1135096

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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.

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