Photo of BBC drama explores consciousness, with help from CIFAR fellow

BBC drama explores consciousness, with help from CIFAR fellow

by Eva Voinigescu Azrieli Program in Brain, Mind & Consciousness News 28.02.2017

CIFAR Senior Fellow Anil K. Seth co-conceived and consulted for a radio programme which recently won Best Single Drama in the 2017 BBC Audio Drama Awards.

Seth (University of Sussex) is a senior fellow in CIFAR’s Azrieli program in Brain, Mind & Consciousness. He developed the idea and advised on the script for The Sky is Wider, a radio drama which explores the ethical and emotional consequences of emerging methods for communicating with patients in a minimally conscious state using neuroimaging.

“Recent advances have enabled researchers to not only diagnose ‘residual’ awareness following severe brain injuries, but also to open new channels of communication with behaviourally unresponsive patients,” Seth writes in a post for BBC Radio 4. The judges called it “a perfect radio play” and “a stunning achievement.”

The play was inspired by the work of CIFAR Koerner Fellow & Co-Director of the Azrieli program in Brain, Mind & Consciousness, Adrian Owen (Western University), who has pioneered methods for communicating with otherwise unresponsive patients by using brain imaging to detect their reactions to questions.

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