posted on Jun, 29 2012 @ 06:34 PM
I posted this information in another thread that was dying, and I thought that an individual thread would be more enlightening to more people. For
years, we have had a certain idea about what consciousness is. We think we can measure it and tell people whether loved ones, after suffering
strokes, accidents, or other medical conditions, are aware or unaware of their surroundings based on conventional science. Over the last few years,
however, a technique using fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) has changed that perception. Using fMRI, a doctor was able to instruct a
patient to think of playing tennis, which corresponds to certain brain activity. Asking simple yes/no answers the patients were instructed to think
of playing tennis for yes and to focus on something else if the answer is no.
The team then asked biographical and additional questions to determine the validity of the answers. They found that of the 54 initial CVS patients, 5
responded to this technique. This is, again, a medical advancement in its infancy, so it's hard to tell what will come of the technology. The
evidence only supports a few cases of patients with CVS, but I think in the case of medical science, if it helps one person it is worth the
investigation. I will link to two sites, one more reputable than the other, to attempt to show the experimental methodology used by the
This raises severe moral questions that need to be asked. It's highly plausible that at least a few of the people in PVS have been unplugged from
life-support equipment while they were fully aware of what was going on. Imagine how terrifying that would be. Regardless, this brings into question
our understanding of what consciousness is and how we should define it. Enjoy and discuss below.