Consciousness

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Measuring Consciousness using fMRI

Functional magnetic resonance imaging is a measure of activity in the brain using an MRI machine. MRI machines generate a magnetic field that can scan a brain for electrical activity. In this way, researchers are not able to know what you are thinking but where you are thinking and associate certain areas with certain purposes. For example, the act of seeing and vision is associated with the back of the brain.

When is comes to measuring consciousness, fMRI scanners are incredibly useful too. They surpass the traditional methods of simply observing a patient’s behaviour (more…)

The Difference between Vegetation and Consciousness

In popular culture comas are practically common place. While a useful plot device in medical fiction, they’re significantly more important in real life as they offer the brain a chance to recover from severe damage caused by stroke, seizure, or traumatic injury. But if a coma is like a reset button for our brain, how how do we tell between those who are minimally conscious and those who are vegetative (that is to say, completely unaware) within a coma? The Glasgow Coma Score (a scale from 3-15, 15 being fully conscious) is commonly used in medical situations to score a patient’s conscious state. This is a satisfactory measure of ability, leaving t (more…)