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  1. Quentin Noirhomme & Caroline Schnakers, A Twitch of Consciousness: Defining the Boundaries of Vegetative and Minimally Conscious States.
    Some patients awaken from their coma but only show reflex motor activity. This condition of wakeful (eyes open) unawareness is called the vegetative state. In 2002, a new clinical entity coined ‘‘minimally conscious state’’ defined patients who show more than reflex responsiveness but remain unable to communicate their thoughts and feelings. Emergence from the minimally conscious state is defined by functional recovery of verbal or nonverbal communication.1 Our empirical medical definitions aim to propose clearcut borders separating disorders of consciousness such (...)
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  2. Richard Malone, Caroline Schnakers & Kathleen Kalmar, Does the Four Score Correctly Diagnose the Vegetative and Minimally Conscious States?
    Wijdicks and colleagues1 recently presented the Full Outline of UnResponsiveness (FOUR) scale as an alternative to the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS)2 in the evaluation of consciousness in severely brain-damaged patients. They studied 120 patients in an intensive care setting (mainly neuro-intensive care) and claimed that “the FOUR score detects a locked-in syndrome, as well as the presence of a vegetative state.”1 We fully agree that the FOUR is advantageous in identifying locked-in patients given that it specifically tests for eye movements (...)
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  3. Camille Chatelle, Steven Laureys, Steve Majerus, Caroline Schnakers, Paula M. Niedenthal, Martial Mermillod, Marcus Maringer & Ursula Hess (2010). Eye Gaze and Conscious Processing in Severely Brain-Injured Patients. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (6):442.
    Niedenthal et al. discuss the importance of eye gaze in embodied simulation and, more globally, in the processing of emotional visual stimulation (such as facial expression). In this commentary, we illustrate the relationship between oriented eye movements, consciousness, and emotion by using the case of severely brain-injured patients recovering from coma (i.e., vegetative and minimally conscious patients).
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  4. Fabien Perrin, Caroline Schnakers, Manuel Schabus, Christian Degueldre, Serge Goldman, Serge Brédart, Marie-Elisabeth E. Faymonville, Maurice Lamy, Gustave Moonen, André Luxen, Pierre Maquet & Steven Laureys (2006). Brain Response to One's Own Name in Vegetative State, Minimally Conscious State, and Locked-in Syndrome. Archives of Neurology 63 (4):562-569.
  5. Caroline Schnakers, Joseph Giacino, Kathleen Kalmar, Sonia Piret, Eduardo Lopez, Mélanie Boly, Richard Malone & Steven Laureys (2006). Does the FOUR Score Correctly Diagnose the Vegetative and Minimally Conscious States? Annals of Neurology 60 (6):744-745.