Establishing consciousness in non-communicative patients: A modern-day version of the Turing test

Consciousness and Cognition 18 (1):187-192 (2009)
In a recent study of a patient in a persistent vegetative state, [Owen, A. M., Coleman, M. R., Boly, M., Davis, M. H., Laureys, S., & Pickard, J. D. . Detecting awareness in the vegetative state. Science, 313, 1402] claimed that they had demonstrated the presence of consciousness in this patient. This bold conclusion was based on the isomorphy between brain activity in this patient and a set of conscious control subjects, obtained in various imagery tasks. However, establishing consciousness in unresponsive patients is fraught with methodological and conceptual difficulties. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate that the current debate surrounding consciousness in VS patients has parallels in the artificial intelligence debate as to whether machines can think. Basically, used a method analogous to the Turing test to reveal the presence of consciousness, whereas their adversaries adopted a line of reasoning akin to Searle’s Chinese room argument. Highlighting the correspondence between these two debates can help to clarify the issues surrounding consciousness in non-communicative agents
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/j.concog.2007.12.005
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
John R. Searle (1980). Minds, Brains and Programs. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (3):417-57.

View all 11 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
B. Jack Copeland (2000). The Turing Test. Minds and Machines 10 (4):519-539.
Robert M. French (2000). Peeking Behind the Screen: The Unsuspected Power of the Standard Turing Test. Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence 12 (3):331-340.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

8 ( #276,630 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #289,836 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.