Groundbreaking research has found that patients left in a vegetative state for devastating brain damage are able to think and respond to questions.
British and Belgian researchers have been able to reach into the mind of a man who suffered a severe traumatic brain injury in a road accident in 2003 and communicate.
Their research involved a new brain scanning method called functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) imaging.
The man was asked to give yes and no answers to simple questions such as "is your father's name Thomas?" with the help of a hi-tech scanner that monitored his brain activity.