This and many more reasons are MAJOR causes of concern when some ignorant medical person or even a neurologist tells a family that their relative/loved one is “brain dead,” or in a “persistent vegetative state,” because some of them “wake up” and are FINE.
We need to know more before we “pull the plug” on these comatose individuals, yes?
Signals long thought to be “noise” appear to represent a distinct form of brain activity.
By Tanya Lewis
Every few seconds a wave of electrical activity travels through the brain, like a large swell moving through the ocean. Scientists first detected these ultraslow undulations decades ago in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans of people and other animals at rest—but the phenomenon was thought to be either electrical “noise” or the sum of much faster brain signals and was largely ignored.
Now a study that measured these “infraslow” (less than 0.1 hertz) brain waves in mice suggests they are a distinct type of brain activity that depends on an animal’s conscious state. But big questions remain about these waves’ origin and function.
An fMRI scan detects changes in blood flow that are assumed to be linked to neural activity. “When you put someone in a scanner, if you just look…
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