Into the Grey Zone

Adrian Owen
Hardback
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A startling tale of a neuroscientific discovery that revolutionises our thinking about life and death - and gives patients and their families the answers they crave.
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In 2006 Dr Adrian Owen and his team made medical history. They discovered a new realm of consciousness, a twilight zone somewhere between life and death. They called this the Grey Zone.

The people who inhabit the Grey Zone are frequently labelled as being irretrievably lost, with no awareness and no sense of self. The shocking truth is that they are often still there, an intact mind trapped deep inside a broken body and brain, hearing everything around them, experiencing emotions, thoughts, pleasure and pain, just like the rest of us. Not quite living, and not quite gone, they have existed silently in these shadowlands. But now, through Dr Owen's pioneering techniques, we can talk to them - and they can talk back.

These shifting boundaries of consciousness have shaken the architecture of our sense of self. We have known for a long time that a body does not define a person - but what if a brain does not define a mind? What does it mean if a mind can exist unharmed within a deeply damaged brain?

Through cutting edge research and case studies that are poignant, tragic and uplifting, Dr Owen maps this inner universe of the self, showing us what it means to be alive and human.

"A fantastically thought provoking book that will cause you to question the most essential ideas you have about what it means to be alive, and what it means to be you. Adrian Owen is not just one of our top scientists, but a great storyteller" (Daniel J. Levitin, author of This Is Your Brain on Music and The Organised Mind)

"Riveting and strangely uplifting ... Owen's experiences with grey-zone patients and their families, he said, had changed his life. Reading the book, I can see why: the testimonies of people who have returned from the grey zone evoke the mysteries of consciousness and identity with tremendous power" (Joshua Rothman, The New Yorker, 'What We're Reading This Summer')

"Fascinating ... With remarkable clarity, Owen punctuates his findings with concise dispatches on the human condition and the disparities between what is considered quality of life and what some consider an inhumane, dysfunctional existence ... A striking scientific journey that draws hopeful attention to how the brain reacts, restores, and perseveres despite grave injury" (Kirkus Reviews)
 

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Additional Info

ISBN 9781783350988
Publisher Guardian Faber
Format Hardback
Publication date 7 Sep 2017

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