EEG and ANS markers of attention response in vegetative state: different responses to own vs. other names

Davide Crivelli*, Irene Venturella, Marina Fossati, Francesca Fiorillo, Michela Balconi

*Autore corrispondente per questo lavoro

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review

1 Citazioni (Scopus)


Covert measures of information-processing are valuable tools to support assessment of patients’ disorders of consciousness because of their potential in revealing what seem to be hidden. Those measures allow to overcome some limitations of traditional behavioural methods, which are often biased by difficulties in detecting reliable patients’ responses. Therefore, we aimed at exploring patterns of psychophysiological responses (electroencephalography–EEG, skin conductance level–SCL, skin conductance response–SCR, heart rate–HR) marking potentially-preserved processing of personally-relevant stimuli in a sample of VS patients. In particular, we compared the processing of own vs. other names due to the intrinsic salience, relevance, and familiarity of such stimuli. Analysis of electroencephalography, skin conductance and heart rate modulations highlighted a consistent pattern of increased skin conductance and heart rate measures in response to patients’ own name with respect to other names. Further, we observed increased delta and decreased alpha activity over frontal areas in response to their own name with respect to other names. Own-name stimuli might preserve their peculiar qualification even after severe brain damage and might call on residual attention orientation and preferred coding resources, suggesting the existence of partly preserved information-processing pathways that extends beyond basic auditory sensory processing.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1629-1647
Numero di pagine19
RivistaNeuropsychological Rehabilitation
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2020


  • Attention regulation
  • Autonomic measures
  • Disorders of consciousness
  • EEG
  • Own-name paradigm


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