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February 8, 2010

Scientists read the minds of the living dead

The Independent.

Using a a scanning technique called functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), scientists have been able to comunicate with a man who was believed to be in a vegetative state for years. They asked him yes-no questions and told him to imagine a particular scene if the answer was a “yes”, and a different one if it was a “no”. The man answered correctly questions as if the name of his father was Alexander or not. They scanned his mind while answering and detected activity in particular region when the answer was yes (when he imagined a determinate scene) and another one in a different region when he wanted to say no (imagining a different scene).

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Carles Peñarrocha Martínez permalink
    February 11, 2010 2:25 pm

    I read this article in another paper. It’s a very interesting text! Apart from the technical and scientist matters, I think it’s a very worrying problem because it involves ethical questions such as the possible patient’s decision to want to die because of his difficult situation.

  2. marisa permalink*
    February 14, 2010 9:03 pm

    Thanks Nadia. Another shocking piece of news. As Carles says, what would happpen if people then were asked are you suffering? or would you like us to stop keeping you alive?

  3. nadiasays permalink
    February 14, 2010 10:12 pm

    You are right.
    I agree that this dicovery involves ethical questions. When I read it the first thing that came to my mind was: “another point against euthaneasia”…

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