Dualism persists in the science of mind.
Demertzi, Athina ; ; Ledoux, Didier et al
in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (2009), 1157
The relationship between mind and brain has philosophical, scientific, and practical implications. Two separate but related surveys from the University of Edinburgh (University students, n= 250) and the ... [more ▼]
The relationship between mind and brain has philosophical, scientific, and practical implications. Two separate but related surveys from the University of Edinburgh (University students, n= 250) and the University of Liege (health-care workers, lay public, n= 1858) were performed to probe attitudes toward the mind-brain relationship and the variables that account for differences in views. Four statements were included, each relating to an aspect of the mind-brain relationship. The Edinburgh survey revealed a predominance of dualistic attitudes emphasizing the separateness of mind and brain. In the Liege survey, younger participants, women, and those with religious beliefs were more likely to agree that the mind and brain are separate, that some spiritual part of us survives death, that each of us has a soul that is separate from the body, and to deny the physicality of mind. Religious belief was found to be the best predictor for dualistic attitudes. Although the majority of health-care workers denied the distinction between consciousness and the soma, more than one-third of medical and paramedical professionals regarded mind and brain as separate entities. The findings of the study are in line with previous studies in developmental psychology and with surveys of scientists' attitudes toward the relationship between mind and brain. We suggest that the results are relevant to clinical practice, to the formulation of scientific questions about the nature of consciousness, and to the reception of scientific theories of consciousness by the general public. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 65 (5 ULg)
Another kind of 'BOLD Response': answering multiple-choice questions via online decoded single-trial brain signals.
; ; et al
in Progress in Brain Research (2009), 177
The term 'locked-in'syndrome (LIS) describes a medical condition in which persons concerned are severely paralyzed and at the same time fully conscious and awake. The resulting anarthria makes it ... [more ▼]
The term 'locked-in'syndrome (LIS) describes a medical condition in which persons concerned are severely paralyzed and at the same time fully conscious and awake. The resulting anarthria makes it impossible for these patients to naturally communicate, which results in diagnostic as well as serious practical and ethical problems. Therefore, developing alternative, muscle-independent communication means is of prime importance. Such communication means can be realized via brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) circumventing the muscular system by using brain signals associated with preserved cognitive, sensory, and emotional brain functions. Primarily, BCIs based on electrophysiological measures have been developed and applied with remarkable success. Recently, also blood flow-based neuroimaging methods, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), have been explored in this context. After reviewing recent literature on the development of especially hemodynamically based BCIs, we introduce a highly reliable and easy-to-apply communication procedure that enables untrained participants to motor-independently and relatively effortlessly answer multiple-choice questions based on intentionally generated single-trial fMRI signals that can be decoded online. Our technique takes advantage of the participants' capability to voluntarily influence certain spatio-temporal aspects of the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal: source location (by using different mental tasks), signal onset and offset. We show that healthy participants are capable of hemodynamically encoding at least four distinct information units on a single-trial level without extensive pretraining and with little effort. Moreover, real-time data analysis based on simple multi-filter correlations allows for automated answer decoding with a high accuracy (94.9%) demonstrating the robustness of the presented method. Following our 'proof of concept', the next step will involve clinical trials with LIS patients, undertaken in close collaboration with their relatives and caretakers in order to elaborate individually tailored communication protocols. As our procedure can be easily transferred to MRI-equipped clinical sites, it may constitute a simple and effective possibility for online detection of residual consciousness and for LIS patients to communicate basic thoughts and needs in case no other alternative communication means are available (yet)--especially in the acute phase of the LIS. Future research may focus on further increasing the efficiency and accuracy of fMRI-based BCIs by implementing sophisticated data analysis methods (e.g., multivariate and independent component analysis) and neurofeedback training techniques. Finally, the presented BCI approach could be transferred to portable fNIRS systems as only this would enable hemodynamically based communication in daily life situations. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 67 (3 ULg)
Ethical implications : pain, coma and related disorders
Schnakers, Caroline ; Faymonville, Marie ; Laureys, Steven
in Banks, William P. (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Consciousness (2009)Detailed reference viewed: 17 (2 ULg)
Magnetic resonance spectroscopy and diffusion tensor imaging in coma survivors: promises and pitfalls.
TSHIBANDA, Luaba ; Vanhaudenhuyse, Audrey ; et al
in Progress in Brain Research (2009), 177
The status of comatose patient is currently established on the basis of the patient-exhibited behaviors. Clinical assessment is subjective and, in 40% of patients, fails to distinguish vegetative state ... [more ▼]
The status of comatose patient is currently established on the basis of the patient-exhibited behaviors. Clinical assessment is subjective and, in 40% of patients, fails to distinguish vegetative state (VS) from minimally conscious states (MCS). The technologic advances of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have dramatically improved our understanding of these altered states of consciousness. The role of neuroimaging in coma survivors has increased beyond the simple evaluation of morphological abnormalities. The development of 1H-MR spectroscopy (MRS) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) provide opportunity to evaluate processes that cannot be approached by current morphologic MRI sequences. They offer potentially unique insights into the histopathology of VS and MCS. The MRS is a powerful noninvasive imaging technique that enables the in vivo quantification of certain chemical compound or metabolites as N-acetylaspartate (NAA), Choline (Cho), and Creatine (Cr). These biomarkers explore neuronal integrity (NAA), cell membrane turnover (Cho), and cell energetic function (Cr). DTI is an effective and proved quantitative method for evaluating tissue integrity at microscopic level. It provides information about the microstructure and the architecture of tissues, especially the white matter. Various physical parameters can be extracted from this sequence: the fractional anisotropy (FA), a marker of white matter integrity; mean diffusivity (MD); and the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) which can differentiate cytotoxic and vasogenic edema. The most prominent findings with MRS and DTI performed in traumatic brain-injured (TBI) patients in subacute phase are the reduction of the NAA/Cr ratio in posterior pons and the decrease of mean infratentorial and supratentorial FA except in posterior pons that enables to predict unfavorable outcome at 1 year from TBI with up to 86% sensitivity and 97% specificity. This review will focus on the interest of comatose patients MRI multimodal assessment with MRS and DTI. It will emphasize the advantages and pitfalls of these techniques in particular in predicting the coma survivors' outcome. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 15 (4 ULg)
Pain and non-pain processing during hypnosis: a thulium-YAG event-related fMRI study.
Vanhaudenhuyse, Audrey ; Boly, Mélanie ; Balteau, Evelyne et al
in NeuroImage (2009), 47(3), 1047-54
The neural mechanisms underlying the antinociceptive effects of hypnosis still remain unclear. Using a parametric single-trial thulium-YAG laser fMRI paradigm, we assessed changes in brain activation and ... [more ▼]
The neural mechanisms underlying the antinociceptive effects of hypnosis still remain unclear. Using a parametric single-trial thulium-YAG laser fMRI paradigm, we assessed changes in brain activation and connectivity related to the hypnotic state as compared to normal wakefulness in 13 healthy volunteers. Behaviorally, a difference in subjective ratings was found between normal wakefulness and hypnotic state for both non-painful and painful intensity-matched stimuli applied to the left hand. In normal wakefulness, non-painful range stimuli activated brainstem, contralateral primary somatosensory (S1) and bilateral insular cortices. Painful stimuli activated additional areas encompassing thalamus, bilateral striatum, anterior cingulate (ACC), premotor and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices. In hypnosis, intensity-matched stimuli in both the non-painful and painful range failed to elicit any cerebral activation. The interaction analysis identified that contralateral thalamus, bilateral striatum and ACC activated more in normal wakefulness compared to hypnosis during painful versus non-painful stimulation. Finally, we demonstrated hypnosis-related increases in functional connectivity between S1 and distant anterior insular and prefrontal cortices, possibly reflecting top-down modulation. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 123 (28 ULg)
Detecting consciousness in a total Locked-in syndrome: an active event related paradigm
Schnakers, Caroline ; ; et al
in Neurocase : Case Studies in Neuropsychology, Neuropsychiatry & Behavioural Neurology (2009), 25
Total locked-in syndrome is characterized by tetraplegia, anarthria and paralysis of eye motility. In this study, consciousness was detected in a 21-year-old woman who presented a total locked-in syndrome ... [more ▼]
Total locked-in syndrome is characterized by tetraplegia, anarthria and paralysis of eye motility. In this study, consciousness was detected in a 21-year-old woman who presented a total locked-in syndrome after a basilar artery thrombosis (49 days post-injury) using an active event-related paradigm. The patient was presented sequences of names containing the patient's own name and other names. The patient was instructed to count her own name or to count another target name. Similar to 4 age- and gender-matched healthy controls, the P3 response recorded for the voluntarily counted own name was larger than while passively listening. This P3 response was observed 14 days before the first behavioral signs of consciousness. This study shows that our active event-related paradigm allowed to identify voluntary brain activity in a patient who would behaviorally be diagnosed as comatose. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 68 (9 ULg)
Hypnosis and cingulate-mediated mechanisms of analgesia
FAYMONVILLE, Marie-Elisabeth ; ; Maquet, Pierre et al
in Vogt, Brent (Ed.) Cingulate Neurobiology and Disease (2009)Detailed reference viewed: 26 (5 ULg)
Mécanismes de l'anesthésie générale: apport de l'imagerie fonctionnelle
Boveroux, Pierre ; Bonhomme, Vincent ; Kirsch, Murielle et al
in Revue Médicale de Liège (2009), 64(Synthèse 2009), 36-41Detailed reference viewed: 109 (22 ULg)
Apport de la neuro-imagerie fonctionnelle à l'étude de la douleur
Fontaine, Robert ; Vanhaudenhuyse, Audrey ; Demertzi, Athina et al
in Revue du Rhumatisme (2009), 76Detailed reference viewed: 37 (10 ULg)
Neural substrates of phonological and lexicosemantic representations in Alzheimer's disease.
; Majerus, Steve ; Collette, Fabienne et al
in Human Brain Mapping (2009), 30(1), 185-99
The language profile of patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized not only by lexicosemantic impairments but also by phonological deficits, as shown by an increasing number of ... [more ▼]
The language profile of patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized not only by lexicosemantic impairments but also by phonological deficits, as shown by an increasing number of neuropsychological studies. This study explored the functional neural correlates underlying phonological and lexicosemantic processing in AD. Using H(215)O PET functional brain imaging, a group of mild to moderate AD patients and a group of age-matched controls were asked to repeat four types of verbal stimuli: words, wordlike nonwords (WL+), non-wordlike nonwords (WL-) and simple vowels. The comparison between the different conditions allowed us to determine brain activation preferentially associated with lexicosemantic or phonological levels of language representations. When repeating words, AD patients showed decreased activity in the left temporo-parietal and inferior frontal regions relative to controls, consistent with distorted lexicosemantic representations. Brain activity was abnormally increased in the right superior temporal area during word repetition, a region more commonly associated with perceptual-phonological processing. During repetition of WL+ and WL- nonwords, AD patients showed decreased activity in the middle part of the superior temporal gyrus, presumably associated with sublexical phonological information; at the same time, AD patients showed larger activation than controls in the inferior temporal gyrus, typically associated with lexicosemantic levels of representation. Overall, the results suggest that AD patients use altered pathways to process phonological and lexicosemantic information, possibly related to a progressive loss of specialization of phonological and lexicosemantic neural networks. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 119 (19 ULg)
Functional connectivity in the default network during resting state is preserved in a vegetative but not in a brain dead patient.
Boly, Mélanie ; Tshibanda, Luaba ; Vanhaudenhuyse, Audrey et al
in Human Brain Mapping (2009), 30(8), 2393-400
Recent studies on spontaneous fluctuations in the functional MRI blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal in awake healthy subjects showed the presence of coherent fluctuations among functionally ... [more ▼]
Recent studies on spontaneous fluctuations in the functional MRI blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal in awake healthy subjects showed the presence of coherent fluctuations among functionally defined neuroanatomical networks. However, the functional significance of these spontaneous BOLD fluctuations remains poorly understood. By means of 3 T functional MRI, we demonstrate absent cortico-thalamic BOLD functional connectivity (i.e. between posterior cingulate/precuneal cortex and medial thalamus), but preserved cortico-cortical connectivity within the default network in a case of vegetative state (VS) studied 2.5 years following cardio-respiratory arrest, as documented by extensive behavioral and paraclinical assessments. In the VS patient, as in age-matched controls, anticorrelations could also be observed between posterior cingulate/precuneus and a previously identified task-positive cortical network. Both correlations and anticorrelations were significantly reduced in VS as compared to controls. A similar approach in a brain dead patient did not show any such long-distance functional connectivity. We conclude that some slow coherent BOLD fluctuations previously identified in healthy awake human brain can be found in alive but unaware patients, and are thus unlikely to be uniquely due to ongoing modifications of conscious thoughts. Future studies are needed to give a full characterization of default network connectivity in the VS patients population. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 82 (20 ULg)
Different beliefs about pain perception in the vegetative and minimally conscious states: a European survey of medical and paramedical professionals.
Demertzi, Athina ; Schnakers, Caroline ; Ledoux, Didier et al
in Progress in Brain Research (2009), 177
Pain management in severely brain-damaged patients constitutes a clinical and ethical stake. At the bedside, assessing the presence of pain and suffering is challenging due to both patients' physical ... [more ▼]
Pain management in severely brain-damaged patients constitutes a clinical and ethical stake. At the bedside, assessing the presence of pain and suffering is challenging due to both patients' physical condition and inherent limitations of clinical assessment. Neuroimaging studies support the existence of distinct cerebral responses to noxious stimulation in brain death, vegetative state, and minimally conscious state. We here provide results from a European survey on 2059 medical and paramedical professionals' beliefs on possible pain perception in patients with disorders of consciousness. To the question "Do you think that patients in a vegetative state can feel pain?," 68% of the interviewed paramedical caregivers (n=538) and 56% of medical doctors (n=1166) answered "yes" (no data on exact profession in 17% of total sample). Logistic regression analysis showed that paramedical professionals, religious caregivers, and older caregivers reported more often that vegetative patients may experience pain. Following professional background, religion was the highest predictor of caregivers' opinion: 64% of religious (n=1009; 850 Christians) versus 52% of nonreligious respondents (n=830) answered positively (missing data on religion in 11% of total sample). To the question "Do you think that patients in a minimally conscious state can feel pain?" nearly all interviewed caregivers answered "yes" (96% of the medical doctors and 97% of the paramedical caregivers). Women and religious caregivers reported more often that minimally conscious patients may experience pain. These results are discussed in terms of existing definitions of pain and suffering, the remaining uncertainty on the clinical assessment of pain as a subjective first-person experience and recent functional neuroimaging findings on nociceptive processing in disorders of consciousness. In our view, more research is needed to increase our understanding of residual sensation in vegetative and minimally conscious patients and to propose evidence-based medical guidelines for the management of possible pain perception and suffering in these vulnerable patient populations. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 42 (11 ULg)
Diagnostic accuracy of the vegetative and minimally conscious state: clinical consensus versus standardized neurobehavioral assessment.
Schnakers, Caroline ; Vanhaudenhuyse, Audrey ; et al
in BMC Neurology (2009), 9
BACKGROUND: Previously published studies have reported that up to 43% of patients with disorders of consciousness are erroneously assigned a diagnosis of vegetative state (VS). However, no recent studies ... [more ▼]
BACKGROUND: Previously published studies have reported that up to 43% of patients with disorders of consciousness are erroneously assigned a diagnosis of vegetative state (VS). However, no recent studies have investigated the accuracy of this grave clinical diagnosis. In this study, we compared consensus-based diagnoses of VS and MCS to those based on a well-established standardized neurobehavioral rating scale, the JFK Coma Recovery Scale-Revised (CRS-R). METHODS: We prospectively followed 103 patients (55 +/- 19 years) with mixed etiologies and compared the clinical consensus diagnosis provided by the physician on the basis of the medical staff's daily observations to diagnoses derived from CRS-R assessments performed by research staff. All patients were assigned a diagnosis of 'VS', 'MCS' or 'uncertain diagnosis.' RESULTS: Of the 44 patients diagnosed with VS based on the clinical consensus of the medical team, 18 (41%) were found to be in MCS following standardized assessment with the CRS-R. In the 41 patients with a consensus diagnosis of MCS, 4 (10%) had emerged from MCS, according to the CRS-R. We also found that the majority of patients assigned an uncertain diagnosis by clinical consensus (89%) were in MCS based on CRS-R findings. CONCLUSION: Despite the importance of diagnostic accuracy, the rate of misdiagnosis of VS has not substantially changed in the past 15 years. Standardized neurobehavioral assessment is a more sensitive means of establishing differential diagnosis in patients with disorders of consciousness when compared to diagnoses determined by clinical consensus. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 43 (4 ULg)
A new era of coma and consciousness science.
; ; Laureys, Steven
in Progress in Brain Research (2009), 177
In the past ten years, rapid technological developments in the field of neuroimaging have produced a cornucopia of new techniques for examining both the structure and function of the human brain in vivo ... [more ▼]
In the past ten years, rapid technological developments in the field of neuroimaging have produced a cornucopia of new techniques for examining both the structure and function of the human brain in vivo. In specialized centers, many of these methods are now being employed routinely in the assessment of patients diagnosed with disorders of consciousness, mapping patterns of residual function and dysfunction and helping to reduce diagnostic errors between related conditions such as the vegetative and minimally conscious states. Moreover, such efforts are beginning to provide important new prognostic indicators, helping to disentangle differences in outcome on the basis of a greater understanding of the underlying mechanisms responsible and providing information that will undoubtedly contribute to improved therapeutic choices in these challenging populations. Of course, these emerging technologies and the new information that they provide will bring new ethical challenges to this area and will have profound implications for clinical care and medical-legal decision-making in this population of patients. We review the most recent work in this area and suggest that the future integration of emerging neuroimaging techniques with existing clinical and behavioral methods of assessment will pave the way for new and innovative applications, both in basic neuroscience and in clinical practice. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 35 (2 ULg)
The problem of aphasia in the assessment of consciousness in brain damaged patients.
Majerus, Steve ; Bruno, Marie-Aurélie ; Schnakers, Caroline et al
in Progress in Brain Research (2009), 177Detailed reference viewed: 60 (13 ULg)
Coma, Persistent Vegetative States, and Diminished Consciousness
Demertzi, Athina ; Laureys, Steven ; Boly, Mélanie
in Encyclopedia of Consciousness (2009), 1Detailed reference viewed: 62 (14 ULg)