Register now for a complimentary webinar from the International Brain Injury Association entitled "The Search for Consciousness: Functional Neuroimaging in the Acute Brain Injured State". This compelling and engaging educational activity will take place on June 2, 2020 at 2pm EDT. The webinar will feature Dr. Adrian Owen of the University of Western Ontario.

About the Webinar

In recent years, rapid technological developments in the field of neuroimaging have provided a number of new methods for revealing thoughts, actions and intentions based solely on the pattern of activity that is observed in the human brain. These techniques, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG) and functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), have been used to detect covert conscious awareness in some chronic patients who are behaviourally entirely non-responsive (e.g. vegetative) and even to allow some of these individuals to communicate their wishes and thoughts to the outside world.

In this lecture, Dr. Owen will explore the extent to which such methods may also be useful for improving diagnosis and prognosis in the acute phase of brain injury; that is, in the first few days after a serious injury when patients are at their most vulnerable and prognosis is most uncertain. Dr. Owen will present data showing that techniques like fMRI can be used safely and successfully in the intensive care setting, both to detect preserved cognitive capabilities that evade detection using standard clinical approaches, and to predict and measure outcomes in unresponsive, acutely brain-injured patients. These findings have significant ethics and legal discussions (in terms of withdrawal of life-sustaining therapies), and will drive efforts to develop interventions to facilitate recovery and quality of life after serious brain injury.

About the Speaker

Adrian M. Owen OBE, PhD is currently a Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and Imaging in the Departments of Physiology & Pharmacology and Psychology at the University of Western Ontario, Canada. He also directs the Azrieli program in Brain, Mind, and Consciousness funded by the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), is on the Executive Committee of the CFREF funded initiative BrainsCAN and was previously the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience and Imaging at Western University. Dr Owen is best known for showing that functional neuroimaging can reveal conscious awareness in some patients who appear to be entirely vegetative and can even allow some of these individuals to communicate their thoughts and wishes to the outside world.

He has published over 350 peer-reviewed articles and chapters and a best-selling popular science book ‘Into the Gray Zone: A Neuroscientist Explores the Border Between Life and Death. Dr. Owen was recently awarded Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s Honors List, 2019, for services to scientific research.

Click here to register for this webinar.

The International Brain Injury Association (IBIA) is a multidisciplinary organization serving brain injury professionals across the globe. To learn more about IBIA and its official journal, Brain Injury, click here.

Future Webinars

Please refer back to this page in the coming months for additional webinars in the IBIA Webinar Series.


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