Brain as a TV. Science as a dogma.


Scientists in Cambridge have found hidden signatures in the brains of people in a vegetative state, which point to networks that could support consciousness even when a patient appears to be unconscious and unresponsive. The study could help doctors identify patients who are aware despite being unable to communicate.

The researchers showed that the rich and diversely connected networks that support awareness in the healthy brain are typically — but importantly, not always — impaired in patients in a vegetative state. Some vegetative patients had well-preserved brain networks that look similar to those of healthy adults — these patients were those who had shown signs of hidden awareness by following commands such as imagining playing tennis.

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The images above show brain networks in two behaviorally similar vegetative patients (left and middle), but one of whom imagined playing tennis (middle panel), alongside a healthy adult (right panel). (1)

Watch the TV carefully. Break the TV.
Conclude that the TV is producing the image.
Be astonished.

Now go back and re-check your assumptions.

Make sure they have not turned into dogmas.
Watch the TV again carefully…
Break it again.
Keep watching the show…

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