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Adrian M. Owen


  • Program Co-Director
  • Koerner Fellow
  • Brain, Mind & Consciousness




Adrian Owen is best known for his work assessing consciousness of patients in vegetative states, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) technology to observe their brain activity.

By prompting patients to imagine activities, his research has shown that some of these patients display responses similar to those of healthy people. His research seeks to understand the causes and effects of these ‘disorders of consciousness’ as well as neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Watch Adrian Owen at The Walrus Talks Boundaries:


  • Canada Excellence Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience and Imaging
  • Pinsent Darwin Scholarship
  • Hellmuth Prize for Achievement in Research

Relevant Publications

  • Hampshire, A., Highfield, R.R., Parkin, B.L, & Owen, A.M. (2012). Fractioning human intelligence. Neuron, 76(6), 1225–37.
  • Cruse, D., Chennu, S., Chatelle, C., et al. (2011). Bedside detection of awareness in the vegetative state. The Lancet, 378(9827), P1702.
  • Monti, M.M., Vanhaudenhuyse, A., Martin, R.C., et al. (2010). Willful modulation of brain activity in disorders of consciousness. New England Journal of Medicine, 362, 579–89.
  • Laureys, S., Schiff, N.D., & Owen, A.M. (eds.). (2009). Coma Science: Clinical and Ethical Implications. New York: Elsevier.
  • Owen, A.M., Coleman, M.R., Boly, M., et al. (2006). Detecting awareness in the vegetative state. Science, 313(5792), 1402.

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