Chair: Caroline Schnakers, PhD
Department of Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Since the beginning of her career, Dr Schnakers focused her research on severely brain-injured patients recovering coma and, more particularly, on the detection of conscious cognitive activity using behavioral and electrophysiological techniques. She has shown the difficulty to detect signs of consciousness (40% of error rate) and the difference of sensitivity between existing coma scales to detect these signs. In parallel, she has developed electrophysiological paradigms for detecting conscious cognitive activity without the intervention of motor and verbal functions (using mental tasks) in severely brain-injured patients who are unable to actively interact with their surroundings. Finally, she has created and validated the first scale allowing pain assessment in patients with disorders of consciousness. In 2010, she has received the Young Investigator Award from the International Brain Injury Association in recognition of her work. She has published more than 70 articles (H-index: 38) and she is the editor of a book titled “Coma and Disorders of consciousness” (Springer-Verlag, Paris, 2011; Springer-Verlag, London, 2012).