technology-news

Patients in a vegetative state may be able to recognize loved ones

Washington, Dec. 17 : Researchers have claimed that unresponsive patients' brains could be able to recognize photographs of their family and friends.


Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), Dr. Haggai Sharon and Dr. Yotam Pasternak of Tel Aviv University's Functional Brain Center and Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center have shown that the brains of patients in a vegetative state emotionally react to photographs of people they know personally as though they recognize them.

To gain insight into "what it feels like to be in a vegetative state," the researchers worked with four patients in a persistent (defined as "month-long") or permanent (persisting for more than three months) vegetative state.

They showed them photographs of people they did and did not personally know, then gauged the patients' reactions using fMRI, which measures blood flow in the brain to detect areas of neurological activity in real time.

In response to all the photographs, a region specific to facial recognition was activated in the patients' brains, indicating that their brains had correctly identified that they were looking at faces.

But in response to the photographs of close family members and friends, brain regions involved in emotional significance and autobiographical information were also activated in the patients' brains.

In other words, the patients reacted with activations of brain centers involved in processing emotion, as though they knew the people in the photographs. The results suggest patients in a vegetative state can register and categorize complex visual information and connect it to memories - a groundbreaking finding.

The findings have been published in PLOS ONE.

--ANI (Posted on 17-12-2013)

technology-news headlines

New groundbreaking technique may help cure diseases by 'editing' DNA

Ancient Antarctica was as warm as today's California coast

Domesticated chili pepper originated in Central-east Mexico

Neanderthals carried more copies of potentially detrimental mutations

'Upside-down planet' reveals new method for studying binary star systems

Learn why homo sapiens survived when others could not

New material prevents plastic from ageing

Know if you are an app addict

Animals with bigger brain size more intelligent

Now, a detector to distinguish 'sour' oil from 'sweet'

UV lamp of the future is here

Shrimp-inspired material to make airplanes stronger

Quick Links: Goa | Munnar | Pondicherry | Free Yearly Horoscope '2014

Comments

Your e-mail:


Your Full Name:


Type verification image:
verification image, type it in the box

Message:

Back to Top