We would like to comment on the work by Owen et al1 on the usefulness of functional magnetic resonance imaging to detect covert awareness in the vegetative state. Functional neuroimaging techniques can provide substantial contributions to a better understanding of the complex pathophysiology of disorders of consciousness. In the article, Owen and colleagues suggest that functional magnetic resonance imaging provides a new means for detecting conscious awareness when a standard clinical approach is unable to provide that information.
Sarà M, Pistoia F, Cernera G, Sacco S. The Consciousness Dilemma: Feel or Feel of Feeling?. Arch Neurol. 2008;65(3):418. doi:10.1001/archneur.65.3.418-a